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Ok, im completely new to linux, just finished installing red hat 6.2

i dont know any commands, so i was wondering how to get into the shell (instead of that god-aweful DOS look-alike)


CTRL-ALT-F7 usually goes to the X11 mode (the gui, which is usualy GNOME or KDE with Redhat depending on what you have choosen during installation)

CTRL-ALT-F1 ---- F6 are non GUI modes (that dos alike)

note: in order to be able to use X11 you must have either GNOME or KDE installed or some other GUI.

if your system boots to console by default and you want to change it , so that gui is default then

edit your

/etc/inittab file

and change runlevel from 3 id:3:initdefault: (or something like this should be written there) to id:5:initdefault: , just above this line you can see what modes you can set besides this with comments as well, so you won't accidentaly set it to 6 (which is a really bad idea )
Robert B
I would recommend a newer version of Linux if you can. RH 6.2 is very primative (Kind of like running Windows 3.1 instead of Windows XP.), what is your hardware?
You use the term shell .... if you are logged in, wheter you are in console (text/character) mode, or GUI (graphical) mode, you are in a shell. The default shell is bash, which is an extended version of the old Borne (sh) shell.

What you probably want is to go to graphical mode (your shell will still be bash, you will just need to open a terminal window from the menu to type in command line entries now).

The GUI that comes with RH 6.2 is fairly outdated, and you would have needed to install Xwindows (XFree86) and a Graphical Desktop system (usually KDE or GNOME). If you installed those already, you can get to GUI mode with the command startx

As Robert said, runlevel 5 is GUI mode and runlevel 3 is console mode in the file /etc/inittab ... if you change change your default runlevel to 5, you will boot up in graphical mode.
Because of security issues, I recommend a newer version of Linux ... something like feather linux or damn small linux for an old machine, or FedoraCore 1 or 2 for a newer machine.
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