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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:48 am 
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Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 8:21 pm
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Location: Burblandia
Just put Linux mint 16 Petra on a netbook I got. I am trying to understand some things and not really quite sure how to construct my inquiry. In the install process you are asked to provide your name. I did ...yes my real full name. That's the first thing, I don't really want to provide my real name do I? You are also asked to create a user name I think. See here is the problem I don't really know what I'm doing behind the scenes when creating these names. For example let's say my name is John Doe and my user name is shortened to John. Once the process is complete I log into the computer and it show both those names in the login area. If I go to terminal It shows something like $John Doe@John.

So I think John Doe is root and Joe is a user with admin privileges, or maybe John Doe is a group...I'm not sure. I tried to change both those names using some terminal commands and also Users and groups from the services panel. I could change the John (user name) but not the John Doe name. Is there a way to change the John Doe part or do I have to reinstall? Also, any clarification of this entie thing would be greatly appreciated.

BTW, the notebook runs way better with this linux set up than it did with the preloaded windows7 starter and 3 tons of bloat-wear. It was almost unusable.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:01 am 
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Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 8:13 pm
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Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
In your example, John Doe is your username, John is your system's name. John Doe probably has a short username of johndoe, but maybe not.

The name you give it during setup is only used to create local accounts. You could have given it John Doe and it wouldn't have cared any more than OSX cares about what name you give it (well, except for registration, which - mostly - doesn't exist on Linux).

If you want to change the account name you're kind of stuck with it, there's as much work involved in changing it as there is changing the short account name in OSX. Similarly though you can easily create a new account with whatever name you want and just start using that instead very easily.

I'm really not familiar with Mint, but most of Linux is identical except for minor differences. If you want some variety, they have an Ubuntu Netbook Remix variant.


Last edited by MonkeyBoy on Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:55 am 
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Location: Burblandia
MonkeyBoy wrote:
In your example, John Doe is your username, John is your system's name. John Doe probably has a short username of johndoe, but maybe not.

The name you give it during setup is only used to create local accounts. You could have given it John Doe and it wouldn't have cared any more than OSX cares about what name you give it (well, except for registration, which - mostly - doesn't exist on Linux).

If you want to change the account name you're kind of stuck with it, there's as much work involved in changing it as there is changing the short account name in OSX. Similarly though you can easily create a new account with whatever name you want and just start using that instead very easily.

What if any are the possible security risks associated with your system name being ones real full name? I could easily add an account with a benign name and delete the old account, but, if I understand correctly, the system name will remain my full real name. For some reason that makes me feel exposed. Is there a standard or recommended approach for these establishing these naming systems? Naturally I'm in a very small home use environment. My 'network' consists of 3 or 4 computers a smart TV and two Playstations (my kids not mine).


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:13 pm 
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Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
You can change the system name fairly easily, you should be able to do that from the control panel area. Account names are not so easily changed, however. Sorry I'm really not familiar with Mint at all, but I've floated between Linux releases enough to know the similarities.

Just by way of comparison, all my systems at home are named Monkey(something). Its not so much done for security reasons as it is just because I feel like being a little creative here and there.

One of the servers at work is called Torquemada, and it's primary job is to torture students by not letting them screw around (on Facebook, etc) during class.

Edit: Must be the day for Linux problems, our Ubuntu server at work had issues today. Always fun to diagnose and fix problems purely from a terminal window, when most of the search results discuss how to do it in a GUI.


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