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Learning Linux

From MobileRobots Research and Academic Customer Support

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Where can I find more information about using Linux?

If you are new to using GNU/Linux, some guides on getting started can be found at the following sites:

  • If your robot's onboard computer is using RedHat 7 (it displays "RedHat Linux" and indicates version 7 on the console), start with the RedHat 7.3 Getting Started Guide.
  • If you have a different Linux distribution, then it was not installed by MobileRobots. You can find more documentation about that distribution on its website.
  • is a repository of many different guides, FAQ and HOWTO documents about Linux in general, including various programming and system administration tasks, though some information can be out of date or not applicable to Debian.

For more depth, there are many books about using Linux and GNU develpment tools, consult your local computer bookseller. O'Reilly and Associates is a popular publisher of books on Linux and programming.

The best way to learn about Linux is to work with an experienced colleague who can demonstrate things and answer questions as they arise.

There are also many maling lists and discussion forums, and many companies and consultants offer paid support and consulting. For example, see and

How do I log in to a Linux computer?

You may log in to the console via a directly attached monitor and keyboard, or log in remotely over a network using 'ssh' (secure shell). You can transfer files using 'sftp' (secure FTP) or 'scp' (secure copy). (From Windows you can use 'Putty' for ssh and 'WinSCP' for sftp.) During factory installation of the operating system, two user accounts were created: 'root' (the administrative superuser) and 'guest' with no passwords.

If your Linux system does not automatically boot into a graphical environment at the console, you can start the GUI desktop environment by running the command 'startx', or by selecting Linux with GUI environment from the menu at boot.

To change your password, run the 'passwd' command.

How do I add new user accounts to a Linux computer?

Log in as 'root' and run the 'adduser' command, or use the GNOME Users and Groups administration tool.

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