CentOS is essentially a free implementation of the open source code from Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Logos and other trademarks aside, CentOS is RHEL at its core without the licensing fees. As such, CentOS has become very popular among server administrators as an ideal Linux server solution. This brief tutorial will explain how to get started with a new CentOS installation.
1. Change your root password – When you sign up for a dedicated server, your host probably provided you with a randomly generated root password. If you installed CentOS yourself, you can skip this step. For security, however, it is best to change a password that was sent to you via email. Simply run this command through SSH:
It will prompt you twice to type your new password.
2. Create an admin user
This account will act as your gateway to root. You don not want to have to login as root ever again after this first time. Therefore, create a new user that can escalate to root. If you want your username to be “bobalina” type:
# adduser bobalina
You then need to create a password for the new user that is different from the root password:
# passwd bobalina
In part two, we will continue the initial setup of users and authentication.