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Operating systems

Definitions related to operating systems, including tech terms about open source and proprietary operating systems and words and phrases about system programs, boot mechanisms, kernels, command interpreters, DLL libraries and drivers.

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  • .NET Framework - .NET Framework is a managed execution environment for Windows that allows software developers to create a software application in one programming language and be assured the app can work with code written in other languages.
  • access control list (ACL) - An access control list (ACL) is a table that tells a computer operating system which access rights each user has to a particular system object, such as a file directory or individual file.
  • AIX (Advanced Interactive eXecutive) - AIX is an open operating system from IBM that is based on a version of UNIX.
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) - Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is a version of Google’s mobile operating system.
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean - Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is the version of Google's mobile operating system that follows Android 4.
  • Android OS - Android OS is a Linux-based mobile operating system that primarily runs on smartphones and tablets.
  • Apple iOS - Apple iOS is a proprietary mobile operating system that runs on mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
  • Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) - Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) is a set of freely downloadable program utilities and related documents from Microsoft for ensuring compatibility among application programs in Windows operating systems, especially in a large network environment.
  • Arista Extensible Operating System (Arista EOS) - Extensible Operating System (EOS) is a scalable network operating system (OS) that offers high availability, streamlines maintenance processes, and enhances network security.
  • atomic - In ancient philosophy, an atom was the ultimate unit of matter on which more complex views of material reality were based.
  • autonomic computing - Autonomic computing is a self-managing computing model named after, and patterned on, the human body's autonomic nervous system.
  • bash (Bourne Again Shell) - Bash (Bourne Again Shell ) is the free version of the Bourne shell distributed with Linux and GNU operating systems.
  • beep code - A beep code is the audio signal given out by a computer to announce the result of a short diagnostic testing sequence the computer performs when first powering up (called the Power-On-Self-Test or POST).
  • BIOS (basic input/output system) - BIOS (basic input/output system) is the program a computer's microprocessor uses to start the computer system after it is powered on.
  • board support package - A board support package (BSP) is essential code code for a given computer hardware device that will make that device work with the computer's OS (operating system).
  • boot loader (boot manager) - A boot loader, also called a boot manager, is a small program that places the operating system (OS) of a computer into memory.
  • Bourne shell - The Bourne shell is the original UNIX shell (command execution program, often called a command interpreter) that was developed at AT&T.
  • BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) - BSD (originally: Berkeley Software Distribution) refers to the particular version of the UNIX operating system that was developed at and distributed from the University of California at Berkeley.
  • C shell - C shell is the UNIX shell (command execution program, often called a command interpreter) created by Bill Joy at the University of California at Berkeley as an alternative to UNIX's original shell, the Bourne shell.
  • Chromebook - Google Chromebook is a thin client laptop that is configured with the Chrome operating system (Chrome OS).
  • CICS (Customer Information Control System) - CICS (Customer Information Control System) is middleware that sits between the z/OS IBM mainframe operating system and business applications.
  • clean install - A clean install is a software installation in which any previous version is removed.
  • cloud OS - Cloud OS is a marketing label used to describe a lightweight operating system (OS) intended for netbooks or tablet PCs that access Web-based applications and stored data from remote servers.
  • cold backup (offline backup) - A cold backup, also called an offline backup, is a database backup during which the database is offline and not accessible to update.
  • command - In computers, a command is a specific order from a user to the computer's operating system or to an application to perform a service, such as "Show me all my files" or "Run this program for me.
  • command interpreter - A command interpreter is the part of a computer operating system that understands and executes commands that are entered interactively by a human being or from a program.
  • command-line interface (CLI) - A command-line interface (CLI) is a text-based user interface (UI) used to run programs, manage computer files and interact with the computer.
  • Conficker - Conficker is a fast-spreading worm that targets a vulnerability (MS08-067) in Windows operating systems.
  • CONFIG.SYS - CONFIG.SYS is a text file containing DOS (Disk Operating System) commands that tell the operating system how the computer is initially set up.
  • contiguous - Contiguous describes two or more objects that are adjacent to each other.
  • Conversational Monitor System (CMS) - CMS (Conversational Monitor System) is a product that comes with IBM's VM/ESA operating system and allows each of many simultaneous interactive users to appear to have an entire mainframe computer at their personal disposal.
  • core dump - A core dump is the printing or the copying to a more permanent medium (such as a hard disk) the contents of random access memory (RAM) at one moment in time.
  • Cosmos - Cosmos is an open source, evolving, .
  • CRON script - A CRON script is a list of one or more commands to a computer operating system or application server that are to be executed at a specified time.
  • crontab - crontab is a UNIX command that creates a table or list of commands, each of which is to be executed by the operating system at a specified time.
  • Ctrl-Alt-Delete - On a personal computer with the Microsoft Windows operating system, Control+Alt+Delete is the combination of the Ctrl key, the Alt key, and Del key that a user can press at the same time to terminate an application task or to reboot the operating system.
  • Cygwin - Cygwin is an open source collection of tools that allows Unix or Linux applications to be compiled and run on a Windows operating system from within a Linux-like interface.
  • deadlock - A deadlock is a situation in which two computer programs sharing the same resource are effectively preventing each other from accessing the resource, resulting in both programs ceasing to function.
  • Debian - Debian is a popular and freely-available computer operating system that uses the Linux kernel and other program components obtained from the GNU project.
  • demon - A demon (also see daemon which has a somewhat similar meaning) is a program or process, part of a larger program or process, that is dormant until a certain condition occurs and then is initiated to do its processing.
  • device driver - A device driver is a special kind of software program that controls a specific hardware device attached to a computer.
  • distribution - In marketing, distribution is the process of moving a product from its manufacturing source to its customers.
  • Document Type Definition (DTD) - A Document Type Definition (DTD) is a specific document defining and constraining definition or set of statements that follow the rules of the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) or of the Extensible Markup Language (XML), a subset of SGML.
  • domain controller - Primary domain controller (PDC) and backup domain controller (BDC) are roles that can be assigned to a server in a network of computers that use the Windows NT operating system.
  • DOS Protected Mode Interface (DPMI) - DPMI (DOS Protected Mode Interface) is a program interface that allows an application program running under the Disk Operating System (DOS) to take advantage of a DOS extender, which lets the program address a larger range of random access memory (RAM) than the 640 kilobytes to which PC programs are basically constrained.
  • EBCDIC (Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code)  - EBCDIC (Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code ) (pronounced either "ehb-suh-dik" or "ehb-kuh-dik") is a binary code for alphabetic and numeric characters that IBM developed for its larger operating systems.
  • Eclipse (Eclipse Foundation) - Eclipse is an open-source Java Integrated Development Environment (IDE) known for its plug-ins that allow developers to develop and test code written in other programming languages.
  • embedded hypervisor - An embedded hypervisor is a hypervisor that is programmed (embedded) directly into a processor, personal computer (PC) or server.
  • embedded operating system - An embedded operating system (OS) is a specialized operating system designed to perform a specific task for a device that is not a computer.
  • embedded system - An embedded system is a combination of computer hardware and software designed for a specific function.
  • EmbeddedJava - EmbeddedJava is Sun Microsystems' software development platform for dedicated-purpose devices with embedded systems, such as products designed for the automotive, telecommunication, and industrial device markets.
  • executable - In computers, to execute a program is to run the program in the computer, and, by implication, to start it to run.
  • fault-tolerant - Fault-tolerant technology is a capability of a computer system, electronic system or network to deliver uninterrupted service, despite one or more of its components failing.
  • Fedora - Fedora is a popular open source Linux-based operating system.
  • file - In data processing, using an office metaphor, a file is a related collection of records.
  • file allocation table (FAT) - A file allocation table (FAT) is a table that an operating system maintains on a hard disk that provides a map of the clusters (the basic units of logical storage on a hard disk) that a file has been stored in.
  • file extension (file format) - In a computer, a file extension is the layout of a file -- in terms of how the data within the file is organized.
  • file sharing - File sharing is the public or private sharing of computer data or space in a network with various levels of access privilege.
  • file system - In a computer, a file system -- sometimes written filesystem -- is the way in which files are named and where they are placed logically for storage and retrieval.
  • Firefox OS - Firefox OS is a Linux-based mobile operating system designed for smartphones, tablets and smart TVs.
  • flat file - A flat file is a collection of data stored in a two-dimensional database in which similar yet discrete strings of information are stored as records in a table.
  • flat file system - A flat file system is a system of files in which every file in the system must have a different name.
  • framework - In general, a framework is a real or conceptual structure intended to serve as a support or guide for the building of something that expands the structure into something useful.
  • free software - Free software is software that can be freely used, modified, and redistributed with only one restriction: any redistributed version of the software must be distributed with the original terms of free use, modification, and distribution (known as copyleft).
  • Fuchsia OS - Fuchsia OS is a cross-device, open source operating system from Google.
  • general protection fault (GPF) - General protection fault (GPF, sometimes seen as general protection error) the name of an error caused when an application program (for example, Microsoft Word or the Netscape Web browser) tries to access storage that is not designated for its use.
  • Get Windows 10 app - Get Windows 10 is an application that confirms if a computer is qualified to upgrade to Windows 10 for free and provides information on some of the key features in Microsoft's newest operating system.
  • GID (group ID or global index file) - In a Unix system, a GID (group ID) is a name that associates a system user with other users sharing something in common (perhaps a work project or a department name).
  • GNU Linux - The GNU Linux project was created for the development of a Unix-like operating system that comes with source code that can be copied, modified, and redistributed.
  • Google Android 4.4 KitKat - Android 4.4 KitKat is a version of Google's operating system (OS) for smartphones and tablets.
  • Google Chrome Enterprise - Google Chrome Enterprise is the business-focused solution for Chrome devices, Chrome browser and Chrome OS.
  • Google Chrome OS - Google Chrome OS is an open source lightweight operating system (OS).
  • grep - Grep, a UNIX command and also a utility available for Windows and other operating systems, is used to search one or more files for a given character string or pattern and, if desired, replace the character string with another one.
  • grok - To grok (pronounced GRAHK) something is to understand something so well that it is fully absorbed into oneself.
  • GWX (Get Windows 10) - GWX (get Windows 10) is a Windows upgrade app that was initially installed after Windows update KB3035583; the app has been the subject of consumer complaints for manipulative design.
  • hardware virtualization - Hardware virtualization, which is also known as server virtualization or simply virtualization, is the abstraction of computing resources from the software that uses those resources.
  • headless Android - Headless Android is a version of the Android operating system designed for embedded devices that lack user interfaces.
  • Host OS (host operating system) - A host OS is the software installed on a computer that interacts with the underlying hardware in a computer using virtualization technology.
  • hypervisor - A hypervisor is a function that abstracts -- isolates -- operating systems (OSes) and applications from the underlying computer hardware.
  • IBM i - IBM i is an operating system (OS) created to run on IBM’s Power Systems and Pure Systems for minicomputers and enterprise servers.
  • IBM Roadrunner - Roadrunner is the fastest supercomputer in the world, twice as fast as Blue Gene and six times as fast as any of the other current supercomputers.
  • ICM file (Image Color Matching file) - In Windows 95 and possibly other operating systems, an ICM (Image Color Matching) file contains a color system profile for a particular application or device such as a color printer or scanner.
  • initial program load (IPL) - IPL (initial program load) is a mainframe term for the loading of the operating system into the computer's main memory.
  • initialization - Initialization is the process of locating and using the defined values for variable data that is used by a computer program.
  • InstallAnywhere - InstallAnywhere is a program that can used by software developers to package a product written in Java so that it can be installed on any major operating system.
  • integer overflow - Integer overflow is the result of trying to place into computer memory an integer (whole number) that is too large for the integer data type in a given system.
  • interpreted (script) - An interpreted program, sometimes called a script, is a program whose instructions are actually a logically sequenced series of operating system commands, handled one at a time by a command interpreter.
  • interprocess communication (IPC) - Interprocess communication (IPC) is a set of programming interfaces that allow a programmer to coordinate activities among different program processes that can run concurrently in an operating system.
  • interrupt - An interrupt is a signal from a device attached to a computer or from a program within the computer that causes the main program that operates the computer (the operating system) to stop and figure out what to do next.
  • IO.SYS - In the Windows 95 operating system, IO.
  • iOS 7 - iOS 7 is the seventh version of Apple’s proprietary mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPodTouch.
  • iOS 8 - IOS 8 is the eighth version of Apple’s mobile operating system.
  • IoT OS (Internet of Things operating system) - An IoT OS is an operating system that is designed to perform within the constraints that are particular to Internet of Things devices, including restrictions on memory, size, power and processing capacity.
  • IT systems management - Systems management is the administration of the information technology systems in an enterprise data center.
  • Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) - The Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) is a collection of Java APIs owned by Oracle that software developers can use to write server-side applications.
  • JeOS (just enough operating system) - JeOS (just enough operating system) is a highly customized operating system built for a specific application.
  • job - In certain computer operating systems, a job is the unit of work that a computer operator gives to the operating system.
  • job scheduler - A job scheduler is a program that enables an enterprise to schedule and, in some cases, monitor computer 'batch' jobs (units of work, such as the running of a payroll program).
  • kernel - The kernel is the essential center of a computer operating system (OS).
  • lights-out management (LOM) - Lights-out management (LOM) is the ability for a system administrator to monitor and manage servers by remote control.
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    The ISO 31000 Risk Management framework is an international standard that provides businesses with guidelines and principles for ...

  • pure risk

    Pure risk refers to risks that are beyond human control and result in a loss or no loss with no possibility of financial gain.

  • risk reporting

    Risk reporting is a method of identifying risks tied to or potentially impacting an organization's business processes.

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  • Twofish

    Twofish is a symmetric-key block cipher with a block size of 128 bits and variable-length key of size 128, 192 or 256 bits.

  • walled garden

    On the internet, a walled garden is an environment that controls the user's access to network-based content and services.

  • potentially unwanted program (PUP)

    A potentially unwanted program (PUP) is a program that may be unwanted, despite the possibility that users consented to download ...

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  • What is risk mitigation?

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • fault-tolerant

    Fault-tolerant technology is a capability of a computer system, electronic system or network to deliver uninterrupted service, ...

  • synchronous replication

    Synchronous replication is the process of copying data over a storage area network, local area network or wide area network so ...

SearchStorage
  • Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA)

    Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) is a technology that enables two networked computers to exchange data in main memory without ...

  • storage (computer storage)

    Data storage is the collective methods and technologies that capture and retain digital information on electromagnetic, optical ...

  • storage medium (storage media)

    In computers, a storage medium is a physical device that receives and retains electronic data for applications and users and ...

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