Ask Shadowman


May 2003

In the beginning, there was the command line. And it was good. Command line begat GUI. GUI begat newbies. And lo it came to pass that there was a man known by one name, like Strongbad or Agamemnon. He was called... Shadowman. And he was very, very good.

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


John K. bowed his head, and plead:
How do you keep X and your display manager from running on boot in Red Hat Linu 8.0 and 9? I just want to boot to a text login prompt.

Shadowman says:
John, you are a man after Shadowman's own heart. All you need to do is edit /etc/inittab. Find the line:

id:5:initdefault:

And change it to:
id:3:initdefault:

What you are changing is the run-level. From that same file, you can find what the other options do:
0 - halt (Do NOT set initdefault to this)
1 - Single user mode
2 - Multiuser, without NFS (The same as 3, if you do not have networking)
3 - Full multiuser mode
4 - unused
5 - X11
6 - reboot (Do NOT set initdefault to this)


Guy H. poked up from down under and said:
In NT and SCO we can add a user and get them to change the password at the first login. Can we do this in Linux? We run Red Hat Linux 7.2 with Webmin as our Admin tool for most work.

Shadowman says:
Shadowman's not sure how to do it via webmin, BUT the field you need to have changed is in /etc/shadow:

user:*:11981:0:99999:7:::
The one with all the 9s in it. You can also do it with the -e flag on 'useradd'.


Gopal R. dug through the nostalgia file and wondered:
How did Red Hat get it's name?

Shadowman says:
One of the following is true:

  • Shadowman thought he was dreaming, and attended that meeting in nothing but his trusty chapeau, a trend he carries on to this day
  • Affinity for the society of women by the same name
  • Something or other about the French Revolution
  • Rerun. [What's Happening?]
  • Founding father Mark Ewing was known for wearing his grampa's Cornell Lacrosse hat at Carnegie Mellon
  • Shizzle Linux doesn't translate in foreign markets


In short:

To Phil T. From Oz, who wanted to know about DLink200 ADSL, Shadowman Says: Word on the Google says driver has yet to appear, and may be cancelled.

To Tom B. who wanted modem lights, Shadowman Says: Right click the panel Add to Panel > Internet

To Brady J. who is missing modules.dep, Shadowman Says: That should happen by magic. Check another media, something sounds like it's corrupted.