Jargon File

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The Jargon File

Term Explanation read more
API API stands for application programming interface and it is an interface that allows other programs to interact with an application in a pre-defined way. Wikipedia: API
bash Bash is the "Bourne Again Shell" developed from its predecessor bsh = Bourne Shell. Bash is the default "command line interface" (CLI) of KDE. Wikipedia:bash
distro, distribution A collection of software making up a complete operating system with desktop and applications. In car terms, this would be everything except the engine. Some Linux distros
live CD/DVD A complete distribution on a CD/DVD. Allows you to try out a distro without installing. Can be run on Windows without installing anything at all on your hard drive. Safe but slow. Some Live CD's
repo, repository Collection of additional software, that can be downloaded and installed on your machine. You usually access your repository via applications like Discover or Muon. See your distributions webpage for more info
terminal the Linux command line interface (CLI) , usually bash run in Konsole. If you are told to enter text, this is where you enter it. Open a console
Package manager Application to browse repos, add, or remove software. Distros often have their own package managers. This is the preferred way to install, or remove software safely. Software installed this way will automatically be kept up to date with the latest safety upgrades and bug fixes. Some Package Managers
root The administrator of your machine. Even if you administer your own machine, it is still preferable to only log in as root when you absolutely must. Usually, if you want to do something that needs you to be root, a popup will simply ask for root's password, so you won't need to switch user.

Root also designates the basis of the file hierarchy, signified by /
console the Linux command line interface (CLI), usually bash run in Konsole. Open a console
shell the Linux command line interface (CLI), usually bash run in Konsole. A set of commands is comprised in this shell. Konsole
su - Shell command to switch user, usually to root. Used, when you need special rights to do something. You will be prompted for the root password before su takes effect. NB: remember to type exit when you are done. This gets you back to your regular user.
sudo Like su, but it only grants root privileges for one command, so the command you want to run should immediately follow sudo. Unlike su, you will be requested to provide your own password (not the one of root user) and you will not need to exit.
path Full specification of a file giving its placing in the file system. For example /home/myUser/Documents/Greetings.txt (an absolute path), or Document/Greeting.txt (path relative to my home directory).
bug anything that may be wrong with an application or the underlying framework. Reporting bugs
bko Short name for the KDE bug reporting site bugs.kde.org
user A user account. Most Linux system are set up with at least one ordinary user (you) and an administrator = root.
session When you log in to your system, an application or some server you start a session, which lasts until you log out of it again.
logon The act of starting a new session on a system. This usually requires a username and a password. Several users might be logged on to a system simultaneously, although only one would be active at a time.
logout The act of ending a session on a system. The system will then wait for another logon rather that just shutting down.
desktop The workspace you see, when you log in. It typically has a panel with a start menu and other widgets. The workspace itself can also hold various widgets.
activity Activities
pager A widget to switch between virtual desktops Pager
task manager A widget that you will often see in your desktops panel. It will contain a small button for each application you are currently running. You can use it to switch between those applications.
systray A widget that you will often see in your desktops panel. It contains icons for some system services such as the clipboard and the Device Notifier. System Tray
thumbnail A small (often icon sized) preview of the content a file
screenshot An image of what is on your screen at a particular time — sometimes required when you ask for help Spectacle
window decorations The edges around windows including the title line and its buttons, for example the close button.
theme A set of settings for the visual appearance of an application giving it a distinctive look and feel
panel A widget that holds other widgets. You can have one or more panels on your desktop. A panel is always placed along one of the edges of the screen. Panels
widget A self contained mini application that resides on (maybe integrate into) the desktop Widget
kio slave KIO
kpart KPart
virtual terminal Command line console text-only interface, usually Alt + Ctrl + F[1-6] Looks like CLI with bash run in Konsole, but cannot display graphics, just text and characters.
virtual console Pretty much a virtual terminal.
Virtual desktop Virtual Desktops
xko where x is some letter. Abbreviation for some KDE web site. Examples: fko = forums.kde.org, bko = bugs.kde.org and so on.
Konvi short for Konversation, the IRC client Konversation
Nepomuk Nepomuk
Akonadi Akonadi
Strigi Strigi
KDE The community of contributors and users of KDE technologies What is KDE
KDE SC The periodic releases of the KDE frameworks and core utilities — the Software Collection
KDE Software Besides the KDE SC a number of other software projects are developed under the KDE umbrella and actively supported by the community
Plasma The KDE workspace and supporting technology. Plasma workspaces comes in several varieties, Plasma Desktop, Plasma Netbook and Plasma Active
Plasma Desktop The KDE workspace variety designed for traditional computers, ie. systems with traditional input devices such as keyboard and mouse and with large displays
Plasma Mobile The KDE workspace variety designed for smartphones and similar compact devices
Planet Short for the planet.kde.org. The Planet aggregates blogs about all things KDE planet.kde.org
Dot Short for dot.kde.org. The Dot is the official news site for KDE dot.kde.org
Get Hot New Stuff Technology that allows applications to offer users the option to easily download and install plugins, artwork, scripts or similar additions using a unified interface. Upload for data sharing, however, is done less easily. Get Hot New Stuff
tar ball An archive format for distributing files. To use the files contained in a tar ball you need to unpack it (see Archive Management in Dolphin).
snapshot Latest development version of an application. Not as polished and well tested as the stable version.
sources Text files containing source code of some software. It has to be compiled and installed before it can be used.
Context menu A menu with items relevant for a particular object. Typically, it pops up when you right click the object.
meta key A special key used in combination with other keys. Often the Start key is used for this.
cli The command line interface (CLI) is usually bash (= Bourne Again Shell) run in Konsole app, a textual device for input (type via keyboard) and output (visual read from screen).
plasmoid a native plasma widget program.
applet A widget
ghns See Get Hot New Stuff Get Hot New Stuff
kdesu console command use to start a gui application as a different user (usually root) that runs in the existing desktop
kdesudo See kdesu
virtual console See virtual terminal , an interface (CLI) usually bash run in Konsole.
fko Short name for the KDE forums forums.kde.org
hover To place the mouse over some item and keep it still for a little while, so some info bubble pops up or the mouse cursor changes shape.
Tooltip Small info box that is displayed when you hover over an item with the cursor.
prefix A piece of text at the beginning of a text string – the first few letters
postfix A piece of text at the end of a text string – the last few letters
$HOME The path to your home directory such as /home/wiliam/
Super key A special key used in combination with other keys. Often the Start key is used for this.
Compose key A special key used in combination with other keys – mostly to type accented characters and other non standard letters and symbols, e.g. Alt Gr Compose Key
Hamburger menu An icon in the shape of 3 horizontal lines (or 3 bullets) stacked vertically. It opens up a menu of commands or settings options.