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For People New to Both FreeBSD and Unix

Annelise Anderson

August 15, 1997

Congratulations on installing FreeBSD! This introduction is for people new to both FreeBSD and Un*x--so it starts with basics. It assumes you are using version 2.0.5 or later of FreeBSD as distributed by BSDi or, your system (for now) has a single user (you)--and you are probably pretty good with DOS/Windows or OS/2.

1 Logging in and Getting Out

Log in (when you see login:) as a user you created during installation or as root. (Your FreeBSD installation will already have an account for root; root can go anywhere and do anything, including deleting essential files, so be careful!) The symbols % and # in the following stand for the prompt (yours may be different), with % indicating an ordinary user and # indicating root.

To log out (and get a new login: prompt) type

    # exit

as often as necessary. Yes, press enter after commands, and remember that Unix is case-sensitive--exit, not EXIT.

To shut down the machine type

    # /sbin/shutdown -h now

Or to reboot type

    # /sbin/shutdown -r now


    # /sbin/reboot

You can also reboot with Ctrl-Alt-Delete. Give it a little time to do its work. This is equivalent to /sbin/reboot in recent releases of FreeBSD and is much, much better than hitting the reset button. You do not want to have to reinstall this thing, do you?

This, and other documents, can be downloaded from

For questions about FreeBSD, read the documentation before contacting <>.
For questions about this documentation, e-mail <>.

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