C – a powerful programming language in which many Linux routines are written.
CentOS – a popular Linux distro from the Fedora lineage.
CLI – command line interface
codecs – plug-in ‘translators’ for sound and video programs that allow them to work with specific file formats, e.g. MP3.
Debian – a historically important Linux distro designed to exclude proprietary packages.
distro – a Linux distribution (a self-contained installation package for the complete OS, usually packaged with applications software like OpenOffice)
DSL – Damn Small Linux. Designed to be as compact as possible but still provide adequate functionality. Currently hovering around 50 Mb.
Fedora – a historically important and still popular distro, now at Version 12.
GNOME – A popular GUI for Linux distros. Originally ‘GNU Network Object Model Environment’, though this name is now seldom used.
GNU Project – a collaborative project founded by Richard Stallman in 1983 with the aim of providing free open source software. GNU stands (recursively) for ‘GNU’s Not Unix’.
Grub – a widely used boot menu system, used to give people a choice at boot time – for instance, between Linux and Windows.
GUI – Graphic (or Graphical) User Interface.
IMG file – a file containing an ‘image’ of a floppy disk, DVD or USB memory stick. Depending on its size and format it may be possible to transfer this to another memory stick and/or a CD or DVD.
IOPS – input/output operations per second
ISO file – a file containing an ‘image’ of a CD or DVD. ISO files can be downloaded from the Internet and then copied to a blank CD or DVD using standard applications such as Brasero or GnomeBaker.
kernel – the central block of code which defines a Linux operating system.
KDE – ‘K’ Desktop Environment. A popular GUI for Linux distros.
Linux – an open source operating system. From ‘Linus Torvalds’ (the originator) + ‘UNIX’ (the inspiration).
Linux Mint – a relatively new distro spun off from Ubuntu in 2006 with ‘elegance’ in mind, and updated several times since. The latest version is ‘Gloria’.
MAAS – Metal as a Service
Mandriva – a historically important distro.
MUA – Mail User Agent The email application that a user sends/receives (thunderbird,pine,outlook)
MTA – Mail Transport Agent. The server agent responsible for sending the emails (sendmail,postfix,qmail)
MDA – Mail Delivery Agent. The server agent that accepts email from MTA, and places into users mailbox (procmail)
MSA – message submission agent. MSA brings message into standards compliance before relaying to an MTA. Historically, port 25 has acted as both an MTA and MSA port in sendmail. A mail submission agent (MSA) is a computer program or software agent that receives electronic mail messages from a mail user agent (MUA) and cooperates with a mail transfer agent (MTA) for delivery of the mail. It uses a variant of the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), as specified in RFC 6409.
OpenSUSE – a free popular open source version of SUSE.
OS – Operating System.
PAM – Pluggable Authentication Modules
PDF – Portable Document Format. A print-style electronic representation of a document, widely used on all platforms and the Internet. Most Linux applications can output directly to PDF.
PCLinuxOS – a relatively new distro with many enthusiastic supporters.
PAE kernel – Physical Address Extension is a feature to allow 32-bit x86 processors to access a physical address space (including random access memory and memory mapped devices) larger than 4 gigabytes.
PXE – The Preboot eXecution Environment (PXE, also known as Pre-Execution Environment; sometimes pronounced “pixie”) is an environment to boot computers using a network interface independently of data storage devices (like hard disks) or installed operating systems.
Samba – a set of applications and routines that enable Linux PCs to communicate with Windows networks.
‘shell’ – a command-line-based working environment available in the Linux Terminal window.
Slax – a popular compact distro, currently just 180 Mb.
sudo – from Ubuntu, means “super user do”
SUSE – A popular Linux distro, developed in Germany. Its full name is Software-und-System-Entwicklung, i.e. ‘Software and System Development’.
‘Tux’ – the unofficial but widely used name for the penguin in the Linux logo. Allegedly abbreviated from Torvalds UniX.
Ubuntu – a popular distro based on Debian and targeted towards new users and converts from Windows.
Unix – an early mainframe operating system developed at Bell Labs in 1969.
Xwindows – a GUI for Linux, still widely used but now less popular than GNOME and KDE
Computer Architecture abbrevations
i386 was the first x86 32 bit processor. What this means is that it’ll run on practically any x86 CPU made within the last 22 years, but seeing that the architecture was designed so long ago, it’s reasonable to expect that any operating system compiled for it isn’t going to be running at optimal speed on today’s latest and greatest processors.
i686 on the other hand is a much more modern architecture. It includes practically every processor that’s Pentium II or better.
x86_64 is a 64 bit extension to the x86 architecture. x86_64 processors can still run 32 bit operating systems (e.g. i386) if you so choose, but they’re also capable of running 64 bit operating systems. X86-64 is a 64 bit CPU architecture promoted by AMD.
IA64 is an all new architecture for 64 bit CPUs, promoted and developed by Intel and HP. This architecture is very powerful, designed for very high end servers. IA64 contaions no legacy designs from the X86 architecture and will not be compatible with current programs you might use in Windows.
PowerPC (PPC) is the processor type that Macs used to use, but within the last few years Macs have also transitioned over to x86. Nowadays, PowerPC’s main use is seen in modern game consoles.
TNEF – Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format or TNEF is a proprietary E-mail attachment format used by Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Exchange Server. An attached file with TNEF encoding is most often named winmail.dat or win.dat, and has a MIME type of Application/MS-TNEF.