Brief dictionary of Linux terms

When people enter the world of Linux they meet Endings as a repository, GRUB or Kernel that may seem unknown.

Here several terms used in the Linux world will be collected with the purpose of clear many doubts to the people who enter this world.


Console: It is a program to enter commands via keyboard. These commands are used to tell the operating system to take a certain action. Commands are entered one at a time. The console is usually located in Applications-> Accessories-> Terminal.

Distribution: Linux itself is just the kernel of the operating system. A Linux distribution is the kernel plus a lot of tools to make it easier to configure the operating system and a lot of other applications that can vary from one distribution to another. Examples of Linux distributions are: Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch, Mandriva. There are hundreds, they can be chosen according to simple tastes or complex needs.

Distribution: Diminutive of distribution.

Root: It is a type of user in Linux. It is the one that has permissions to perform any type of task in the operating system and the PC hardware.

Repository: Set of links and software packages normally hosted on Internet servers. They are used to make it easier to locate, download and install all the programs that we use in Linux.

Terminal: DOS-style command console.

GRUB: (GRand Unify Bootloader) is a bootloader: it is the first thing that loads when the computer starts.

Kernel: system core. The most basic part of the operating system. The rest of the elements are added to increase functionality and usability.

Package manager: Application either in graphical or console mode that allows us to search, install and uninstall applications along with their dependencies.

Super user: Root.

GUI: Interface Grafic of Usuario, from english Graphical Uto be Iinterface.

Demon: Continuous process that starts together with the system. (Corrected by Carlos)

Kernel Panic: Type of error in which the system crashes, it can only be solved with a restart, something like Hasefroch's Blue Screen of Death, although it is very difficult for us to get this error.

Contributions are welcome so you can write more terms in the comments.

Original Source: Linux Paradise

Input from the comments:

Contributions from Edward Lucena:

GPL (Gnu Public License): It is a Free Software license that allows the program to be copied, modified, used and distributed without restrictions, although it does not allow closing the system code.

Open Source / Open Source: It is a movement that supports the sharing of the source code of a program, but "prevents" its modification without the authorization of the original author.

Free Software Foundation (FSF): Organization created to promote and disseminate Free Software.

GNU (Gis not Not Unix): The GNU project was a project to make a free operating system, and although it was the initial Free Software project, it never became a complete operating system, it never completed the kernel, ultimately using the kernel called « Linux ». From GNU all the tools prevailed (there are really many), which were developed within the FSF, such as GIMP, Gnome, Emacs among others.

Contributions from crafty:

Linus Torvalds: Known for initiating and sustaining development of the Linux kernel.
Richard Stallman: Founder of the movement for free software in the world (FSF).

Contributions from Alfonso Morales:

X Window System (in Spanish X window system): Software that was developed in the mid-1980s at MIT to provide a graphical interface to Unix systems. This protocol allows graphical network interaction between a user and one or more computers, making the network transparent to the user. It generally refers to version 11 of this protocol, X11, which is currently in use. X is in charge of displaying the graphical information completely independent of the operating system.


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  1.   Courage said

    I add them

  2.   Courage said

    www (dot) geekpedia (dot) en / geek / Hasefroch

  3.   mauritius flowers said

    What is "Hasefroch"?

  4.   Carlos said

    I think the definition of a daemon is not that, as many processes start with the system and are not daemons. A daemon is a process that runs continuously (as in an infinite loop) and restarts when it is killed.

  5.   Eduard lucena said

    The term "Hasefroch" is often used to refer to the Microsoft company, and its products. Somehow, because it is one of the most used OS in the world, Linux users see it as "The Enemy" or "The Big Brother." I'm a linuxero, a ubunter to be more specific, but I don't show the pros of free software to anyone, telling them that no company's products are bad, I'm just trying to highlight the best aspects of free software.

  6.   Rangeware said

    I agree with you also it is not a Demon it is a Daemon if you want to translate it that way….

  7.   Courage said

    Now i put it

  8.   Courage said

    Right now i put them

  9.   Courage said

    It's not that either, I don't give a damn, as Mac users or ubuntosos see it.

    And the errors are undeniable, there they are proven, viruses, instability, etc.

    I have put the Hasefroch thing because being a Linux blog one can afford to put something like that

  10.   Courage said

    By the way, one of them, that of the GPL, I have completed so as not to have confusion with the characteristics of the BSD

  11.   Javier Debian Bb Ar said

    You lacked RTFM and STFW, fundamental when learning the S / O.

  12.   Alfonso Morales said

    They forget something important in the Linux world: desktop environments.

    GNOME: is a desktop environment and development infrastructure for Unix operating systems and Unix derivatives such as GNU / Linux, BSD or Solaris; composed entirely of free software.
    KDE: is a free software project for the creation of a desktop environment and development infrastructure for various operating systems such as GNU / Linux,
    XFCE: is a lightweight desktop environment for Unix-like systems such as GNU / Linux, BSD, Solaris and derivatives.
    LXDE: it is a free desktop environment for Unix and other POSIX platforms, such as Linux or BSD. The name corresponds to "Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment", which in Spanish means Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment.

    I think those are the main ones and since we are with graphics I think it is also fair to mention the window manager.

    X Window System (in Spanish X window system) is a software that was developed in the mid-1980s at MIT to provide a graphical interface to Unix systems. This protocol allows graphical network interaction between a user and one or more computers, making the network transparent to the user. It generally refers to version 11 of this protocol, X11, which is currently in use. X is in charge of displaying the graphical information completely independent of the operating system.

    Source: Wikipedia.

  13.   Courage said

    I add the X because the environments I think are not the most basic

  14.   Car32x said

    Totally agree, since there are many applications that start with the system and for that reason they are not Devils. Good rectification.

  15.   Courage said

    I add them

  16.   crafty said

    I think these should not be missing:

    Linus Torvalds: Known for initiating and sustaining the development of the Linux kernel.
    Richard Stallman: founder of the Free Software Movement in the World (FSF).

  17.   Eduard lucena said

    GPL: It is a Free Software license that allows the program to be copied, modified, used and distributed without restrictions

    Open Source / Open Source: It is a movement that supports the sharing of the source code of a program, but "prevents" its modification without the authorization of the original author.

    Free Software Foundation (FSF): Organization created to promote and disseminate Free Software.

    GNU: The GNU project was a project to create a free operating system, and although it was the initial Free Software project, it never became a complete operating system, since it never completed the kernel, ultimately using the kernel called "Linux". From GNU all the tools prevailed (there are really many), which were developed within the FSF, such as GIMP, Gnome, Emacs among others.

  18.   Courage said

    But I will put them in one about the terms used on the internet since it does not have to be related only to Linux

  19.   Let's use Linux said

    Well, good contribution!