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I just finished installing cleos and have been able to query my account information from the chain.

cleos -u http://nodes.get-scatter.com:80 get account hezdenzvg4ge

For actions that require authentication like creating an account or exchanging funds, I assume I have to enter my private key somewhere to enable those.

Is there a login command for authenticating?

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You will use keosd for that. It's the EOSIO default wallet. It works like a server on your computer, so after you run keosd you can access it by running cleos --wallet-url http://localhost:8900 from any other terminal window.

I suggest you create an alias using the above command, let's say you named it cleosw

Usually to create and/or unlock you will do:

cleosw wallet create # write down the password
cleosw wallet unlock # you will need it when the wallet session times out
cleosw wallet import YOUR_PK

Now after you have your wallet unlocked you can just run your commands:

cleosw push action TRANSACTION THAT YOU WANT TO SIGN
cleosw set contract ....
cleosw system newaccount ....

That's it, good luck!

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