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Thread: it's just hard!!!

  1. #1
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    Unhappy it's just hard!!!

    hello..can someone help me understand ubuntu's different technical terms??
    i mean,their meaning..like for example, what is linux? how do you explain that using simple terms?? i am trying to learn ubuntu by just reading informations from google..it don't really help me because it's hard for me to understand technical terms..thanks a lot..replies are very much appreciated..

  2. #2
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    Re: it's just hard!!!

    strictly speaking linux is the name of the open source 'engine' (kernel) that manages the computer resources. The term is commonly used to describe both the engine itself and the user land (desktop environments, programs) on top of it (as in most modern distros), though such a combination should be called GNU/Linux (where Linux is the engine and GNU = all the tools on top) - unfortunately for purists almost nobody cares and linux it is

    Distro (like ubuntu, debian, fedora, ...) is a 'mix tape' of kernel and selected programs that people behind the distro compile and try their best to make sure everything works out of the box and the user can be productive right off the bat (commonly used programs are preinstalled). Note that these are only defaults and you can change pretty much everything in the system, install other desktop environments and what not. Modern distros maintain repositories of compatible software that can be installed in 2 mouse clicks in an uniform way, without the hunting for linux equivalent of setup.exes (think AppStore)


    Linux shares many similarities with unix and started as an open source alternative to it (afaik).
    Last edited by Vaphell; September 11th, 2012 at 03:19 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Re: it's just hard!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by jcka005 View Post
    hello..can someone help me understand ubuntu's different technical terms??
    i mean,their meaning..like for example, what is linux? how do you explain that using simple terms?? i am trying to learn ubuntu by just reading informations from google..it don't really help me because it's hard for me to understand technical terms..thanks a lot..replies are very much appreciated..
    I will try, although some terms aren't well solidified in my mind. Someone else will probably come to the rescue. Note that in the worlds of Windows and Mac, these things are usually all lumped together as the "Operating System".

    Linux can mean many things. To begin with, you should know that if you're using Ubuntu, your operating system is technically Gnu. Gnu was developed to be an open-source OS styled after Unix--specifically, mimicking its modularity. (That modularity is part of the reason for the confusion.)

    A Kernel is the portion of your system that carries out the most basic functions of a computer. You never interface directly with the kernel, but other parts of your system do. The kernel can carry out all its functions without any other part of the system.

    When Gnu was first developed, the kernel was a large hurdle. For a while, Gnu was only run using the kernel from Unix. Then Linus Torvalds (not part of the Gnu team) created his own open-source kernel, which he called Linux. It became common for Gnu to be run with the Linux kernel before the Gnu team produced their own kernel. Today, many distributions of the Gnu operating system still use the Linux kernel rather than the Gnu kernel, and Ubuntu is one of those distributions.

    A Distribution is a set of packages that have been put together to comprise an entire operating system and desktop environment, with some common applications. Distributions exist so that the user doesn't have to choose, collect, and put together all the different parts of the system. Also, they act as a great starting point in describing your system, especially when you're seeking help on a forum. Ubuntu is an example of a distribution.

    The Shell is like the opposite of the kernel. It's the portion of the operating system you interface with, and includes panels, launchers, your window manager, etc. The default shell in recent versions of Ubuntu is Unity. Prior to that, it was Gnome. Shell and Desktop Environment are similar terms that are sometimes used interchangeably, although there are slight differences in meaning.


    If people ask what OS you use, you could say Gnu (which is correct), but that wouldn't mean anything to most people. Some would say Gnu/Linux. Some would say Ubuntu/Linux. Some would just say Ubuntu.


    To the average person in everyday conversation, "I use Linux" means "I don't use Windows or Mac because I'm a smart computer geek." Most don't realize that there are distributions of Gnu/Linux that don't require a smart computer geek to learn.
    Last edited by newb85; September 11th, 2012 at 11:38 AM. Reason: Incorrect Info
    Jane, stop this crazy thing!

  4. #4
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    Re: it's just hard!!!

    Here is a list of some of the common terms in Linux/Unix/computing, http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/linux-tutorials-howtos-reference-material/5026-glossary-common-linux-computer-terms.html

    If something confuses me here, either an acronym or a term, I do a google search with,

    definition "insert acronym or terminology here"
    and within the first few links find a bit of information to describe what it is.

    Example, --definition linux--, <--click the link to get a google search results page. Then follow the link to Wikipedia or whatis.com for example, to get to the information you want. Can be used with any term or acronym. Good sites like wikipedia or whatis.com will have further terminology used linked to an "explantion" of that word to help you.

    Just takes a bit of practice and you will soon pick up on what is being discussed. Cheers.

  5. #5
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    Re: it's just hard!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by newb85 View Post
    II will try,
    Nice write-up. Although I would make one minor correction-

    Quote Originally Posted by newb85 View Post
    IMost people don't realize that both Mac and Android also implement the Linux kernel
    Mac OS X uses a variant of the BSD kernel, which is Unix-like (as is Linux) but quite different from Linux.
    Android uses a modified Linux kernel and the Dalvik virtual machine to run the Android OS.

  6. #6
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    Re: it's just hard!!!

    thanks for the reply sir..or mam..
    honestly, i didn't get most of your words..but i am trying to understand by reading it word by word
    can you make it like this :
    ubuntu = OS
    wine = emulator for windows based programs
    linux = ???
    explain as simple as you can..sorry to disturb you
    please do notify me if i have posted wrong words..
    Last edited by jcka005; September 11th, 2012 at 03:35 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: it's just hard!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by newb85 View Post
    I will try, although some terms aren't well solidified in my mind. Someone else will probably come to the rescue. Note that in the worlds of Windows and Mac, these things are usually all lumped together as the "Operating System".

    Linux can mean many things. To begin with, you should know that if you're using Ubuntu, your operating system is technically Gnu. Gnu was developed to be an open-source OS styled after Unix--specifically, mimicking its modularity. (That modularity is part of the reason for the confusion.)

    A Kernel is the portion of your system that carries out the most basic functions of a computer. You never interface directly with the kernel, but other parts of your system do. The kernel can carry out all its functions without any other part of the system.

    When Gnu was first developed, the kernel was a large hurdle. For a while, Gnu was only run using the kernel from Unix. Then Linus Torvalds (not part of the Gnu team) created his own open-source kernel, which he called Linux. It became common for Gnu to be run with the Linux kernel before the Gnu team produced their own kernel. Today, many distributions of the Gnu operating system still use the Linux kernel rather than the Gnu kernel, and Ubuntu is one of those distributions.

    A Distribution is a set of packages that have been put together to comprise an entire operating system and desktop environment, with some common applications. Distributions exist so that the user doesn't have to choose, collect, and put together all the different parts of the system. Also, they act as a great starting point in describing your system, especially when you're seeking help on a forum. Ubuntu is an example of a distribution.

    The Shell is like the opposite of the kernel. It's the portion of the operating system you interface with, and includes panels, launchers, your window manager, etc. The default shell in recent versions of Ubuntu is Unity. Prior to that, it was Gnome. Shell and Desktop Environment are similar terms that are sometimes used interchangeably, although there are slight differences in meaning.


    If people ask what OS you use, you could say Gnu (which is correct), but that wouldn't mean anything to most people. Some would say Gnu/Linux. Some would say Ubuntu/Linux. Some would just say Ubuntu.


    To the average person in everyday conversation, "I use Linux" means "I don't use Windows or Mac because I'm a smart computer geek." Most people don't realize that both Mac and Android also implement the Linux kernel. Also, most don't realize that there are distributions of Gnu/Linux that don't require a smart computer geek to learn.

    ***thankyou very much..it won't be easy to understand what you have just said, but i know i'll be able to cope with it..

  8. #8
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    Re: it's just hard!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by coldcritter64 View Post
    Here is a list of some of the common terms in Linux/Unix/computing, http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/linux-tutorials-howtos-reference-material/5026-glossary-common-linux-computer-terms.html

    If something confuses me here, either an acronym or a term, I do a google search with,

    and within the first few links find a bit of information to describe what it is.

    Example, --definition linux--, <--click the link to get a google search results page. Then follow the link to Wikipedia or whatis.com for example, to get to the information you want. Can be used with any term or acronym. Good sites like wikipedia or whatis.com will have further terminology used linked to an "explantion" of that word to help you.

    Just takes a bit of practice and you will soon pick up on what is being discussed. Cheers.
    ***thanks very much too..i appreciate it very much..thanks guys! yeah, i will be practicing more of ubuntu to learn..

  9. #9
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    Re: it's just hard!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by cortman View Post
    Nice write-up. Although I would make one minor correction-



    Mac OS X uses a variant of the BSD kernel, which is Unix-like (as is Linux) but quite different from Linux.
    Android uses a modified Linux kernel and the Dalvik virtual machine to run the Android OS.

    thanks for the correction..might be useful..

  10. #10
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    Re: it's just hard!!!

    Hi, to hopefully wrap you mind around Linux, or the differences between linux
    and windows. Think of an automobile. With linux, the kernel is the engine, a very
    adaptable engine, you can use a standard transmission or an automatic, or direct
    drive,you can paint the car any color want, have any interior you want, any suspension,
    wheels,brakeing system,stereo, you can pretty much design any type of automobile
    you want all using the "linux" engine. with windows, you get what they make, and if
    you want any add on's, you pay for them.If you attempt to remove the windows supplied
    wheels,the engine wont start. And lastly linux is open source code, you can even change the kernel code....if you dare, and it's FREE ! The terminology will come to you in time
    and with use. If you read a term you dont understand, highlight it,right click and google
    it,read about it. Jump in and do stuff, if you break something, thats when you learn.
    Craving anchovy, herring and squid pizza.....with clam sauce

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