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Linux Guide - B


  • back door
    A hole in the security of a system deliberately left in place by designers or maintainers.
  • back up
    to make a copy of important data onto a different storage medium. Backing up to tape is essential system maintenance.
  • Backbone
    A high-speed line or series of connections that forms a major pathway within a network
  • background
    Processing that a system performs without requiring interaction with the user. In Linux, append an ampersand (&) to the command line to request background processing
  • background process
    A process that runs without interacting with a terminal. Because each user in a Linux system is allowed to have a number of background processes running simultaneously, Linux is called a multitasking system.
  • backslash
    A character (\) that is used in shell statements to quote another character (that is, to remove its special meaning to the shell). For example, if you want to use a dollar sign as a dollar sign, rather than as a symbol for end of line, enter \$
  • backup
    A copy of a file (or a group of files) that is stored off-line in the event that a computer system fails, losing or damaging the original file or files
  • Bandwidth
    A measure of the amount of data a network can send or receive at one time
  • bang
    Denoted by the ! character. The C shell command !!, which repeats the last command, for example, is pronounced "Bang!Bang!"
  • Bang path
    A series of names that specifies a path between two nodes. It is sometimes used for email or BITNET as well as in the Linux uucp program. The path consists of machine or domain names separated by ! (bang).
  • banner page
    A way to separate printing jobs which often indicates the owner of the file that has been printed.
  • basename
    the name of a file minus any extension that may be included in the full name. For example, if the full name of the source file for a C program is combine.c, its basename is combine
  • Bash
    Descended from the Bourne Shell, Bash is a GNU product, the "Bourne Again SHell." It's the standard command line interface on most Linux machines.
    Beginners All purpose Symbolic Instruction Code: a non-structured language that is often considered the easiest to start programming. It was developed as an interactive, mainframe timesharing language that received fame with home computers in the 1980s.
  • baud
    measures of the rate at which signals are transmitted over a telecommunications link. It is equivalent to the number of elements or pulses transmitted in one second
  • BBS
    Bulletin Board System - A computer you can dial to access files and participate in electronic discussions. BBSs are sometimes not networked and may provide partial net access often through email
  • Becker, Donald
    a staff scientist with the Center for Excellence in Space Data and Information Sciences (CESDIS). Donald has been extremely influential in the development of low-cost, high-performance parallel computing as the chief investigator of the Beowulf Project. Becker has written enhancements to the kernel network subsystem to support faster I/O on high-speed networks, device drivers for countless Ethernet cards, and a distributed shared-memory package
  • Behlendorf, Brian
    although the Apache web server is largely a community effort, Behlendorf is probably one of its most important developers .
  • Beowulf
    a multi computer architecture which can be used for parallel computations. It is a system which usually consists of one server node, and one or more client nodes connected together via Ethernet or some other network. It is a system built using commodity hardware components, like any PC capable of running Linux, standard Ethernet adapters, and switches
  • beta software
    Development copies that are released prior to the full version. They are released to aid debugging of the software and to obtain real world reports of its operation. An expiry date is often built into the software. See alpha software
  • BGP
    A network routing protocol
  • big-endian
    It describes the order in which bytes of a word are processed. Many RISC computers and 68000 processors use big-endian representations where the high-order byte is stored at the lower address.
  • bin
    A directory that contains executable programs, the majority of which are stored in binary files. Most programs are found in directories /bin and /usr/bin; however, users often keep additional programs in private bin directories, such as /home/linux/bin
  • binary file
    a file that contains codes which are not part of the ASCII character set. A binary file can contain any type of information that can be represented by an 8 bit byte - a possible 256 values
  • Binhex
    BINary HEXadecimal - A method for converting non-text files (non-ASCII) into ASCII
  • BIOS
    Basic Input/Output System: services on a ROM chip that enable the hardware and software of a computer to communicate with each other.
  • Bluetooth
    A wireless technology that uses short-range radio frequencies to allow communication between many different devices.
  • BogoMip
    `BogoMips' is a contraction of `Bogus MIPS'. MIPS stands for (depending who you listen to) Millions of Instructions per Second, or Meaningless Indication of Processor Speed
  • boot
    To 'boot' a computer is to start the operating system. A boot can be a "hard boot" or a "soft boot". A restart may be to the lowest level of the CPU's control program (BIOS), or slightly higher, depending on whether it is a hard or soft boot and the design of the computer system. In any case, the "operating system" is restarted from the beginning
  • bootdisk
    a miniature, self-contained Linux system on a floppy diskette
  • bootstrap
    The ROM routine used to load the OS is often known as the 'bootstrap', from the old expression "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps"
  • bot
    an IRC or MUD user who is actually a program. On IRC, typically the robot provides some useful service. Examples are NickServ, which tries to prevent random users from adopting nicks already claimed by others, and MsgServ, which allows one to send asynchronous messages to be delivered when the recipient signs on
  • bounce
    This describes the action of an undeliverable email message being returned to the sender. In the popular pine program the term bounce actually refers to the redirection of an email.
  • Bourne Shell
    The Bourne shell is the most widely used Unix shell.It prompts you with $.Its program name is sh
  • bridge
    Any device that connects two physically distinct network segments, usually at a lower network layer than would a router
  • broadcast
    a type of communication between hosts (or computers) on a network where a computer can talk to all computers. See multicast and unicast
  • buffer
    A temporary storage space which holds data for future processing. The data may be stored on a hard disk, in RAM or on specialised chips such as UARTs.
  • buffer overflow
    Common coding style is to never allocate large enough buffers, and to not check for overflows. When such buffers overflow, the executing program (daemon or set-uid program) can be tricked in doing some other things. Generally this works by overwriting a function's return address on the stack to point to another location.
  • bug
    A bug is a flaw in design, coding or manufacture of software which causes all -- or some portion -- of a program to not perform as expected.
  • bus
    An internal communication network in a computer system. A typical system includes an address bus, a data bus, and a control bus. The width of the address bus determines the amount of memory that can be addressed by the system
  • Bus Master DMA
    A technology for increasing the speed of hard disk data transfers which requires support from the motherboard and the BIOS, and at least some support from the drive
  • byte
    Eight bits in a row. That is a series of eight pieces of information, each of which can be either 1 or 0
  • byte ordering
    This refers to the order in which bytes that are ordered in memory as n,n+1,... are ordered when a computer considers multiple bytes as one integer. Big-endian computers use bytes with lower addresses for the bits with higher powers of two. PowerPC, m68k, HP-PA-RISC, IBM-370, PDP-10, most other computers use this. Little-endian computers use the opposite convention. i86, PDP-11, VAX, uses this
  • Bzip2
    a new algorithm for compressing data. It generally makes files that are 60-70% of the size of their gzip'd counterparts

Key:  Commands - People - General

Last Updated Saturday, October 29 2005 @ 03:10 AM EDT

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