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Linux hints and tips

Create accounts for everyone

If you are the only user of your computer you won't need to create any additional accounts and the one that is set up when you install the operating system is fine for everything you do. If two or more people use the computer though, instead of everyone using the same account there are many advantages to everyone having there own separate account.

When each user has their own account it means that they have their own provate file storage area. Everyone has a home folder and it enables them to keep their files separate from everyone else's. They can store their own documents, photos, videos, music and system preferences. Even more important is the ability to control what a user can and cannot do when they are logged in to the computer. It adds extra security to the system.

It is essential when linux is used in the home with several family members and in the office where anyone could access a computer. After all, you don't want your kids or your co-workers deleting your files.

Creating additional accounts is easy. In Ubuntu, Mint and Debian you just need to run Users and Groups (Go to the System, Administration menu). You might need to click the Unlock button and enter the password in order to make any changes. Then you can click the Add User button to create an account for another user of the computer. Give them a username and enter their real name. Create a password for them and enter it.

You can choose a profile for them and this is basically what permissions they have and it controls what they can do on the system. You could make them an administrator like yourself, but this might give them too much power and they might not need it anyway. It is best for most people if you select Desktop User for the profile. If there are any administrative tasks to be done then you can log on. A Desktop User can't make major system-wide changes, so they are unlikely to accidentally (or even maliciously in the case of disgruntled employees) damage the system.

When you have created the new account, log off and the new user can log on. Depending on how the welcome screen is configured, you might see their account listed and can simply click it and enter the password to log on.

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