For People New to Both FreeBSD and UNIX®

$FreeBSD: head/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/new-users/article.xml 39632 2012-10-01 11:56:00Z gabor $

August 15, 1997

Legal Notice

Congratulations on installing FreeBSD! This introduction is for people new to both FreeBSD and UNIX®—so it starts with basics. It assumes you are using version 2.0.5 or later of FreeBSD as distributed by, 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; who 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?