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System Configuration

System Configuration

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4: System Administration Guide
V. System Configuration

Part of a system administrator's job is configuring the system for various tasks, types of users, and hardware configurations. This section explains how to configure a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system.

Table of Contents
20. Console Access
21. Date and Time Configuration
22. Keyboard Configuration
23. Mouse Configuration
24. X Window System Configuration
25. User and Group Configuration
26. Printer Configuration
27. Automated Tasks

28. Log Files
29. Manually Upgrading the Kernel
30. Kernel Modules

31. Mail Transport Agent (MTA) Configuration
Command Line Version
Console Access
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4: System
Administration Guide
Chapter 20. Console Access
When normal (non\u00adroot) users log into a computer locally, they are given
two types of special permissions:
1. They can run certain programs that they would not otherwise be able
to run

2. They can access certain files (normally special device files used to
access diskettes, CD\u00adROMs, and so on) that they would not
otherwise be able to access

Since there are multiple consoles on a single computer and multiple users
can be logged into the computer locally at the same time, one of the users
has to essentially win the race to access the files. The first user to log in at
the console owns those files. Once the first user logs out, the next user who
logs in owns the files.

In contrast,eve r y user who logs in at the console is allowed to run
programs that accomplish tasks normally restricted to the root user. If X is
running, these actions can be included as menu items in a graphical user
interface. As shipped, the console\u00adaccessible programs includehalt,

poweroff, andr eb o ot.
20.1. Disabling Shutdown Via [Ctrl]\u00ad[Alt]\u00ad

By default,/etc/inittab specifies that your system is set to shutdown
and reboot in response to a [Ctrl]\u00ad[Alt]\u00ad[Del] key combination used at
the console. To completely disable this ability, comment out the
following line in/etc/inittab by putting a hash mark (#) in front of it:

ca::ctrlaltdel:/sbin/shutdown -t3 -r now

Alternatively, you may want to allow certain non\u00adroot users the right to
shutdown or reboot the system from the console using [Ctrl]\u00ad[Alt]\u00ad
[Del]. You can restrict this privilege to certain users, by taking the
following steps:

1. Add the\u00ada option to the/etc/inittab line shown above, so
that it reads:
ca::ctrlaltdel:/sbin/shutdown -a -t3 -r now
2. The-a flag tellsshutdown to look for the/etc/shutdown.allow
3. Create a file namedshutdown.allow in/etc. The
shutdown.allow file should list the usernames of any users who

are allowed to shutdown the system using [Ctrl]\u00ad[Alt]\u00ad[Del]. The
format of theshutdown.allow file is a list of usernames, one
per line, like the following:


According to this exampleshutdown.allow file, the users stephen,
jack, and sophie are allowed to shutdown the system from the console
using [Ctrl]\u00ad[Alt]\u00ad[Del]. When that key combination is used, the

shutdown -a command in /etc/inittab checks to see if any of the

users in/etc/shutdown.allow (or root) are logged in on a virtual
console. If one of them is, the shutdown of the system continues; if
not, an error message is written to the system console instead.

For more information onshutdown.allow, refer to theshutdown man
System Configuration
Disabling Console
Program Access
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4: System
Administration Guide
PrevChapter 20. Console Access Next
20.2. Disabling Console Program Access

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