The Console and Logging In – Linux (indeed all Unix – like) systems make heavy use of text consoles. In modern environments, text consoles are usually implemented using windows in a graphical desktop environment, whereas in the past, consoles were dedicated devices, typically capable of displaying 24 or 25 lines of 80 or 132 characters each.
In a standard Linux installation, you can use both graphical and text-based displays Most Linux installations offer eight text-based consoles and one graphical display, all on the same screen (only one can be displayed at a time). Each console has its own settings (character/graphical mode, graphical parameters, font, etc). These devices are known as virtual consoles or ve: s, since they aren’t physical devices like the dedicated terminals of the past. You can switch between virtual consoles using Ctrl – Alt – F1 (hold Ctrl and Alt, then type FI), Ctrl – Alt – F2, Ctrl – Alt – F3, Ctrl – Alt – F4, Ctrl – Alt – F5, Ctrl – Alt – F6, Ctrl – Alt – F7, Ctrl – Alt – F8 and Ctrl – Alt – F9 for VC: s 1 through 9.
Since Linux is a multiuser operating system, users must authenticate themselves before gaining access. Authentication is done with a username and password, configured by the system administrator. Although visually different, the process of logging in is the same in both text and graphical modes. The combination of username, password, and disk space for personal files is called a user account.
This is the default nowadays on most desktop computers. You know you will connect to the system using graphical mode when you are first asked for your user name, and then in a new window, to type your password.
To log in, make sure the mouse pointer is in the login window, provide your username and password to the system, and click OK or press Enter.
You know you’re in text mode when the whole screen is black, showing (in most cases white) characters. A text mode login screen typically shows some information about the machine you are working on the name of the machine and a prompt waiting for you to log in.
RedHat Linux Release 8.0 (Psyche)
The login is different from a graphical login, in that you have to hit the Enter key after providing your user name because there are no buttons on the screen that you can click with the mouse Then you should type your password, followed by another Enter You won’t see any indication that you are entering something, not even an asterisk, and you won’t see the cursor move. But this is normal on Linux and is done for security reasons.