Ask Shadowman

July 2004

July. Lilies, and rubys. Though the Sun is in Cancer enroute to Aquarius via Neptune, it's brave Leo's time to shine. Time too for Wimbledon, the Tour de France and he who goes by but one name, like Fortinbras or Kamehameha, he is... the Shadowman.

Got a question that you'd like Shadowman to answer? Ask him.

Omar A. had this to say:
I recently purchased an HP zx6000 workstation with Red Hat Linux Advanced Workstation ver 2.1 OS. When I turn the machine on the GUI does not start and command line appears. With which command do I start the GUI and how do I make the GUI to come on automatically during boot-up sequence?

Shadowman says:
First things first Omar, let's fix it so next reboot, you are all set since you have to be root, anyway.

Log in as root. Then type:

vi /etc/inittab

Find this line:


And then press 'i' (for insert), and change the 3 to a 5. Then press 'Esc' and ':wq!' (which means write, quit and no foolin' respectively).

That changes your init (short for initialize) level to '5', which is graphical initialization. Now you can type 'startx' or 'init 5' to get to your gui.

Next time you reboot, you should be all set.

Doctor Robert G. Wanted to See:
I will try to be brief. Several weeks ago I purchased a 30GB hard drive and installed it on my Sony laptop. I wanted a duel-boot system using WinXP and Red Hat Linux Fedora. I finally convinced a guy from a LUG to help me install the Fedora Core 2, however, I have been unable to convince him to tutor or teach me how to use the Fedora program. I have checked with a technical college in Orangeburg, SC, but they don't teach classes in Linux. I have asked several computer repair shops in Orangeburg and Columbia, SC to recommend someone to teach me the basics of Fedora. They don't know anyone. I sent an e-mail to a guy who writes computer technology articles, including Linux, for The State newspaper in Columbia and asked if he knew someone who would be willing to teach me the Linux system. I received no answer. I ordered a book, "Red Hat Linux Fedora for Dummies" and I have learned a few things, however, I have been unable to configure my modem for Earthlink dial-up using their instructions.

My question: Do you have any suggestions as to how I can get an instructor, teacher or tutor to teach the basic Linux techniques to an old retired doctor in my general area of South Carolina? If so, I shall very much appreciate your advice.

Shadowman says:
Holy man! If that's brief, you shoulda been a lawyer! Anyway, Shadowman likes the Official Fedora Companion: Your Guide to the Fedora Project.

As for local support, the LUGs are your best bet for getting pointers to volunteer tutoring.

ColaLug (Columbia) --
UCLUG (Upper Carolina) --
CLUG (Clemson) --
BSLUG (Beachside) --

What for events that offer the sort of how to help you're looking for, or ask the members where to look elsewhere. If you run into snags in between, you can get help and how-to information from the following sites:

In general, the interface shouldn't be so different from what you'd expect in any other OS. Click the menu to the lower left, and look at the things you can launch. They should look and feel pretty much like what you're used to.

For example, to answer your modem configuration question. Cick the menu, go into "System Settings" and click "Networking". You may be prompted for a password, this should be the "root" password you created during the install.

Click "New" and "Modem Connection" and answer the questions. Click "activate" when you are finished, and it should dial out and connect. If these are the steps you followed from your "Dummies" guide, you may have what is called a WinModem. Some of these can be made to wokr, and you can test out some of those sites Shadowman listed to see how.