Immediately after a successful login, the shell prompt indicates where you are at with the symbol ~ (tilde) which is the home directory of the login user name. Simply type ls -lh at the command prompt and press the Enter key. A typical empty home directory listing on Linux Fedora 9 with pre-defined subdirectories may look like the following.

Each line shows details associated with a file such as the file type and permission, file ownership, file date and time, and the actual file name. More explanations on the Linux file system are presented in subsequent sections.

[brucelee@192.168.224.109 ~]$ ls -lh
total 32K
drwxr-xr-x 2 brucelee brucelee 4.0K 2008-10-17 17:00 Desktop
drwxr-xr-x 2 brucelee brucelee 4.0K 2008-10-17 17:00 Documents
drwxr-xr-x 2 brucelee brucelee 4.0K 2008-10-17 17:00 Download
drwxr-xr-x 2 brucelee brucelee 4.0K 2008-10-17 17:00 Music
drwxr-xr-x 2 brucelee brucelee 4.0K 2008-10-17 17:00 Pictures
drwxr-xr-x 2 brucelee brucelee 4.0K 2008-10-17 17:00 Public
drwxr-xr-x 2 brucelee brucelee 4.0K 2008-10-17 17:00 Templates
drwxr-xr-x 2 brucelee brucelee 4.0K 2008-10-17 17:00 Videos


For security reasons, many hosting providers do not supply root as the initial login name. If you are not yet the root user, you will need to verify that you do have the administration privilege of root by using the root password supplied by your hosting provider. The command su (switch user) without any arguments will gain root access after supplying the correct password.



[brucelee@192.168.224.109 ~]$ su
Password:

Use cd /root and ls -alh (list with abbreviated options: all, long form, and human-readable) to see the contents of your root account. In typical daily administrative tasks to maintain your dedicated server, you probably will never need to access or change anything in the /root directory. Note that the command prompt for the root user is denoted by the symbol #.

Utmost care should be excersized while logging in as root, since inadvertent mistakes can damage or destroy essential system files and render the server useless.

[root@192.168.224.109 brucelee]# cd /root
[root@192.168.224.109 ~]# ls -alh
total 96K
drwxr-x--- 6 root root 4.0K 2008-10-08 20:13 .
drwxr-xr-x 23 root root 4.0K 2008-10-16 07:42 ..
-rw------- 1 root root 806 2007-10-05 15:46 anaconda-ks.cfg
-rw------- 1 root root 22K 2008-10-17 10:59 .bash_history
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 24 2006-07-12 17:06 .bash_logout
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 191 2006-07-12 17:06 .bash_profile
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 176 2006-07-12 17:06 .bashrc
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 100 2006-07-12 17:06 .cshrc
drwx------ 2 root root 4.0K 2008-10-08 20:13 .gconf
drwx------ 2 root root 4.0K 2008-10-08 20:14 .gconfd
drwxr-xr-x 22 root root 4.0K 2008-10-08 20:17 .gimp-2.4
drwx------ 2 root root 4.0K 2008-10-08 20:13 .gnome2
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 15K 2007-10-05 15:46 install.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2.6K 2007-10-05 15:44 install.log.syslog
-rw------- 1 root root 1.0K 2008-10-13 13:32 .rnd
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 129 2006-07-12 17:06 .tcshrc