Glossary (31 flavors of linux)

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  • Beginner: when you hear RAM you start running
  • Intermediate: when troubleshooting is no longer trouble
  • Advanced: RMS is on speed dial


Desktops create the appearance of the operating system. Different desktops will give different appearances and features.

  • Description: Gnome is a desktop environment created by the GNU Project. It is made up of entirely free software and looks similar to the classic Mac interface.
  • Screenshot: [1]
  • Website: [2]
  • Description: JWM is an extremely lightweight desktop environment that resembles Windows 98.
  • Screenshot: [3]
  • Website: [4]
  • Description: KDE is a desktop environment created the KDE Project. It is resembles the Windows interface and features many eye candy effects. It uses more computer resources when compared with Gnome.
  • Screenshot: [5]
  • Website: [6]
  • Description: LXDE is a lightweight desktop environment that is similar to KDE. It is designed to keep the computer resource usage to a minimum.
  • Screenshot: [7]
  • Website: [8]
  • Description: Openbox is a lightweight and fast desktop environment that is designed for more advanced users.
  • Screenshot: [9]
  • Website: [10]
  • Description: Timeless Windows Manager is the standard desktop for the X Windows System. It is extremely lightweight, and it is primarily used as the desktop of last resort. It is recommended only for advanced users.
  • Screenshot: [11]
  • Website:[12]
  • Description: Xfce is a desktop environment that is fast and lightweight. It resembles Gnome and is suitable for older computers.
  • Screenshot: [13]
  • Website: [14]

Package Managers

Package managers are pieces of software that make installing and upgrading software easier by automating software dependencies.

  • DEB: was originally developed for Debian. It allows for easy installation of software without adding any software repositories. [15]
  • Entropy: uses the source code from software in the Portage package manager but compiles the software first to make installation easier. [16]
  • Easypack: is a command line based package manager for Minix 3. [17]
  • Pacman: is designed for advanced users with large deployments. It is controlled through the command line or through a graphical user interface. [18]
  • PET: is a small package manager for Puppy Linux. [19]
  • RPM: was originally developed by Red Hat. It is the file format for LSB. [20]
    • APT: is a front end for DEB and RPM that simplifies software dependency for the user. [21]
    • URPMI: is a tool developed for Mandriva to simplify software installation, removal, updating, and locating. [22]
    • YUM: is a command line tool for updating software. [23]
  • Portage: is a BSD style package manager that offers wide support but the software must be compiled from the source code. [24]
  • TAR: is a type of file format used for Unix, Linux, BSD, and other Unix-like operating systems that often contains the source code for software. [25]
    • TBZ: stands for bzip2. It is a type of compression. [26]
    • TGZ: stands for gzip. It is a type of compression. [27]
    • TLZ: stands for LZMA. It is a type of compression. [28]


  • 64-bit: is a processor technology that improves performance. It will only work with 64-bit processors, but is usually backward compatible with 32-bit.
  • BSD: is a Unix based operating system that is similar to Linux. There are three major versions: OpenBSD, NetBSD, and, FreeBSD.
  • FSF: stands for the Free Software Foundation, an organization that advocates the use of free (libre) software.
  • GNU: stands for GNU's Not Unix, is a project that tries to make free (libre) versions of all necessary (and unnecessary) software for computers.
  • Libre: is a more descriptive term for free software. It refers to free as in liberty not price.
  • Live CD: an operating system that is able to boot off the cd-rom drive without installing anything on the hard drive.
  • LSB: is the Linux Standard Base. It is a joint project lead by the Linux Foundation to standardize the software system structure.
  • LTS: stands for Long Term Support. Ubuntu 8.04 LTS will be supported until April 2011.
  • MythTV: is a media center front end for Linux that is similar to Tivo or Windows Media Center.
  • PPC: the PowerPC architecture. Common PPC computers include the Apple G3, G4, and G5 Macintoshs.
  • Unix: an operating system that was developed in 1969 that still exists in variations (Linux, BSD, etc.) today

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