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Intro to Linux Glossary of Terms

  • Free: Freedom, Not without price think “free speech” not “free lunch”
    "Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of free as in free speech, not as in free beer." —Richard Stallman
     
  • BIOS Configuration Editor: The embedded utility that allows you to change the way you computer starts. This is a program built into the BIOS chip on your motherboard it is accessed before your operating system loads
  • BIOS: basic input/output system The BIOS software is built into the PC, and is the first code run by a PC when powered on . The primary function of the BIOS is to set up the hardware and load and start an operating system. When the PC starts up, the first job for the BIOS is to initialize and identify system devices such as the video display card, keyboard and mouse, hard disk drive, optical disc drive and other hardware. The BIOS then locates software held on a peripheral device (designated as a 'boot device'), such as a hard disk or a CD/DVD, and loads and executes that software, giving it control of the PC. This process is known as booting, or booting up, which is short for bootstrapping.
     
  • Case Sensitive: Linux is case sensitive. Case sensitive is when Capitalization changes meaning or when two words are different depending on whether they have the same letters capitalized. Passwords are almost always case sensitive. For example in Linux “This” and “this” are two different words.
  • Command Line interface: is a mechanism for interacting with a computer operating system or software by typing commands to perform specific tasks. This is the default interface for Linux.
  • Desktop Environment: In graphical computing, a desktop environment commonly refers to a style of graphical user interface (GUI) derived from the desktop metaphor that is seen on most modern personal computers. These GUIs help the user in easily accessing, configuring, and modifying many important and frequently accessed specific operating system (OS) features. The GUI usually does not afford access to all the many features found in an OS
  • Directory: In computing, a folder, directory, catalog, or drawer, is a virtual container originally derived from an earlier Object-oriented programming concept by the same name within a digital file system, in which groups of computer files and other folders can be kept and organized.
  • File System: is a means to organize data expected to be retained after a program terminates by providing procedures to store, retrieve and update data, as well as manage the available space on the device(s) which contain it. A file system organizes data in an efficient manner and is tuned to the specific characteristics of the device. There is usually a tight coupling between the operating system and the file system. Some file-systems provide mechanisms to control access to the data and metadata. Insuring reliability is a major responsibility of a file-system.
  • GNU: is a Unix-like computer operating system developed by the GNU project, ultimately aiming to be a "complete Unix-compatible software system" composed wholly of free software. Development of GNU was initiated by Richard Stallman in 1983 and was the original focus of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), but no stable release of GNU yet exists as of September 2010. GNU is a recursive acronym standing for GNU's Not Unix!
  • GrUB: GNU GRUB (short for GNU GRand Unified Bootloader) is a boot loader package from the GNU Project. GRUB is the reference implementation of the Multiboot Specification, which provides a user the choice to boot one of multiple operating systems installed on a computer or select a specific kernel configuration available on a particular operating system's partitions.
  • GUI (Graphical User Interface): In computing, a graphical user interface (GUI, sometimes pronounced gooey) is a type of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices with images rather than text commands. GUIs can be used in computers, hand-held devices such as MP3 players, portable media players or gaming devices, household appliances and office equipment . A GUI represents the information and actions available to a user through graphical icons and visual indicators such as secondary notation, as opposed to text-based interfaces, typed command labels or text navigation. The actions are usually performed through direct manipulation of the graphical elements.
  • HALT: Is the proper term for when your computer Powers off.
  • ISO Image:An ISO image (International Organization for Standardization) is an archive file (also known as a disc image) of an optical disc, composed of the data contents of every written sector of an optical disc, including the optical disc file system. ISO images can be created from optical discs, or can be used to recreate optical discs using software from many software vendors. ISO image files typically have a file extension of .iso. The name ISO is taken from the ISO 9660 file system used with CD-ROM media, but an ISO image might also contain a UDF (ISO/IEC 13346) file system.
  • Kernel: In computing, the kernel is the main component of most computer operating systems; it is a bridge between applications and the actual data processing done at the hardware level. The kernel's responsibilities include managing the system's resources (the communication between hardware and software components)
  • Linux: refers to the family of Unix-like computer operating systems using the Linux kernel. Linux can be installed on a wide variety of computer hardware, ranging from mobile phones, tablet computers, routers and video game consoles, to desktop computers, mainframes and supercomputers. Linux is a leading server operating system, and runs the 10 fastest supercomputers in the world.
  • LiveCd: A live CD, live DVD, or live disc is a CD or DVD containing a bootable computer operating system. Live CDs are unique in that they have the ability to run a complete, modern operating system on a computer lacking mutable secondary storage, such as a hard disk drive. Live USB flash drives are similar to live CDs, but often have the added functionality of automatically and transparently writing changes back to their bootable medium.
  • Open Source: is computer software that is available in source code form: the source code and certain other rights normally reserved for copyright holders are provided under a software license that permits users to study, change, improve and at times also to distribute the software.
  • Operating system: An operating system (OS) is software, consisting of programs and data, that runs on computers, manages computer hardware resources, and provides common services for execution of various application software. The operating system is the most important type of system software in a computer system.
  •  Package: A package refers to computer software packaged in an archive format to be installed by a package management system or a self-sufficient installer. Linux based operating systems are normally segmented into packages. Each package contains a specific application or service. Examples of packages include a library for handling the PNG image format, a collection of fonts, or a web browser.
  • Package manager: In software, a package management system, also called package manager, is a collection of software tools to automate the process of installing, upgrading, configuring, and removing software packages for a computer's operating system in a consistent manner. It typically maintains a database of software dependencies and version information to prevent software mismatches and missing prerequisites.
  • Root: On many computer operating systems, the superuser, or root, is a special user account used for system administration. Separation of administrative privileges from normal user privileges can make an operating system more resistant to viruses and other malware. Additionally, in organizations, administrative privileges are often reserved for authorized individuals in order to control abuse, misuse, or other undesired activities by end-users. In Linux the superuser account is always spelled “r-o-o-t” all lowercase.
  • SELinux: is a Linux feature that provides a mechanism for supporting access control security policies, including United States Department of Defense-style mandatory access controls, through the use of Linux Security Modules (LSM) in the Linux kernel. It is not a Linux distribution, but rather a set of Kernel modifications and user-space tools that can be added to various Linux distributions. Its architecture strives to streamline the volume of software charged with security policy enforcement, which is closely aligned with the Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria (TCSEC, referred to as Orange Book) requirement for trusted computing base (TCB) minimization (applicable to evaluation classes B3 and A1) but is quite unrelated to the least privilege requirement (B2, B3, A1) as is often claimed. The key concepts underlying SELinux can be traced to several earlier projects by the United States National Security Agency.
  • Slash: The slash (/) is a sign used as a punctuation mark and for various other purposes. It is often called a forward slash (to distinguish it from the backslash, ""). On Unix-like systems and in URLs, the slash is to separate directory and file components of a path. /home/exec/Desktop/Glossary.doc
  •  UNIX: (officially trademarked as UNIX, sometimes also written as Unix) is a multitasking, multi-user computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs, including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, Douglas McIlroy, and Joe Ossanna. The Unix operating system was first developed in assembly language, but by 1973 had been almost entirely recoded in C, greatly facilitating its further development and porting to other hardware. Today's Unix systems are split into various branches, developed over time by AT&T as well as various commercial vendors and non-profit organizations. The second edition of Unix was released on December 6th, 1972.
  •  Window Manager: A window manager is system software that controls the placement and appearance of windows within a windowing system in a graphical user interface. Most window managers are designed to help provide a desktop environment. They work in conjunction with the underlying graphical system which provides required functionality such as support for graphics hardware, pointing devices, and a keyboard, and are often written and created using a widget toolkit.
  •   Wubi: (Windows-based UBuntu Installer) is an official Windows-based free software installer for Ubuntu. Wubi was born as an independent project and as such versions 7.04 and 7.10 were unofficial releases. Since 8.04 the code has been merged within Ubuntu and since 8.04 alpha 5, Wubi can also be found in the Ubuntu Live CD. The goal of the project is to assist a Windows user unacquainted with Linux in trying Ubuntu without risking any loss of information due to disk formatting or partitioning. Wubi can also uninstall Ubuntu from within Windows.

 

 

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