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Linux Study Guide - Hardware Components

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argument   Text that provides UNIX/Linux with additional information for executing a command. On the command line, an argument name follows an option name, and a space separates the two. Examples of arguments are file and directory names.  
authentication   The process of verifying that a user is authorized to access a particular computer, server, network, or network resource, such as Telnet or FTP.  
Bash shell   A UNIX/Linux command interpreter (and the default Linux shell). Incorporates the best features of the Bourne shell and the Korn shell. Its name is an acronym for “Bourne Again Shell.”  
Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD)   A distribution of UNIX developed through the University of California at Berkeley, which first distributed the BSD UNIX version in 1975.  
Bourne shell   The first UNIX/Linux command interpreter, developed at AT&T Bell Labs by Stephen Bourne.  
C shell   A UNIX/Linux command interpreter designed for C programmers.  
case sensitive   A property that distinguishes uppercase letters from lowercase letters; for example, John differs from john. UNIX is case sensitive.  
client   A computer on a network running programs or accessing files from a mainframe, network server, or host computer.  
command   Text typed after the command-line prompt which requests that the computer take a specific action.  
command line   The onscreen location for typing commands.  
domain name   A name that identifies a grouping of computer resources on a network, consisting of three parts: a top-level domain (i.e. country or organization type), subdomain name (such as a business or college name), and host name (i.e. the name of a host computer).  
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)   An Internet protocol for sending and receiving files.  
graphical user interface (GUI)   Software that transforms bitmaps into an infinite variety of images, so that when you use an operating system you see graphical images.  
host   See server.  
Internet Protocol (IP) address   A set of four numbers (for the commonly used IP version 4) separated by periods  
kernel   The basic operating system, which interacts directly with the hardware and services user programs.  
Kernel mode   A means of accessing the kernel. Its use is limited to the system administrator to prevent unauthorized actions from interfering with the hardware that supports the entire UNIX/Linux structure.  
Korn shell   A UNIX/Linux command interpreter that offers more features than the original Bourne shell. Developed by David Korn at AT&T Bell Laboratories.  
log in   A process that protects privacy and safeguards a multiuser system by requiring each user to type a user name and password before using the system.  
mainframe   A large computer that has historically offered extensive processing, mass storage, and client access for industrial-strength computing.  
man pages   The online manual pages for UNIX/Linux commands and programs that can be accessed by entering man plus the name of the command or program.  
multitasking system   An operating system that enables a computer to run two or more programs at the same time.  
multiuser system   A system in which many people can simultaneously access and share a server computer’s resources. User authentication is required to use, or log in to, the system. UNIX and Linux are multiuser systems.  
network   A group of computers connected by network cable or wireless communications to allow many users to share computer resources and files. It combines the convenience and familiarity of the personal computer with the processing power of a mainframe.  
operating system (OS)   The most fundamental computer program, it controls all the computer’s resources and provides the base upon which application programs can be used or written.  
options   The additional capabilities you can use with a UNIX/Linux command.  
ordinary user   Any person who uses the system, except the system administrator or superuser.  
output redirection operator   The greater-than sign (>) is one example of a redirection operator. Typing > after a command that produces output creates a new file or overwrites an existing file and then sends output to a disk file, rather than to the monitor.  
peer-to-peer network   A networking configuration in which each computer system on the network is both a client and a server. Data and programs reside on individual systems, so users do not depend on a central server. If one computer fails, the others continue to operate.  
personal computer (PC)   A single, stand-alone machine, such as a desktop or laptop computer, that performs all input, output, processing, and storage operations.  
portability   A characteristic of an operating system that allows the system to be used in a number of different environments, particularly on different types of computers. UNIX and Linux are portable operating systems.  
Portable Operating System Interface for UNIX (POSIX)   Standards developed by experts from industry, academia, and government through the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for the portability of applications, including the standardization of UNIX features.  
root   The system administrator’s unique user name and reference to ownership of the root account. Also, the basis of the treelike structure of the UNIX/Linux file system and the name of the file (root directory) located at this level and the home directory.  
Secure Shell (SSH)   A form of authentication developed for UNIX/Linux systems to provide authentication security for TCP/IP applications, including FTP and Telnet.  
server   The computer that has a network operating system and, as a result, can accept and respond to requests from user programs running on other computers (called clients) in the network. Also called a host.  
server-based network   A centralized approach to networking, in which client computers’ data and programs reside on the server.  
server operating system   An operating system that controls the operations of a server or host computer, which accepts and responds to requests from user programs running on other computers (called clients) on the network.  
shell   An interface between the user and the operating system.  
superuser   See system administrator.  
System V (SysV)   A version of UNIX originating from AT&T Bell Labs and first released as System 3 in the early 1980s as a commercial version of UNIX. Today, commercial and free versions based on SystemV are available.  
syntax   A command’s format, wording, options, and arguments.  
system administrator   A user who has an account that can manage the system by adding new users, deleting old accounts, and ensuring that the system performs services well and efficiently for all users.  
Telnet   An Internet terminal emulation program.  
terminal   A device that connects to a server or host, but consists only of a monitor and keyboard and has no CPU. Sometimes called a dumb terminal.  
terminal window   A special window that is opened from a UNIX or Linux GUI desktop and that enables you to enter commands using a shell, such as the Bash shell.  
User mode   A means of accessing the areas of a system where program software resides.  


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