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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.
  • 99.999 (Five nines or Five 9s) - In computers, 99.
  • access control list (ACL) - An access control list (ACL) is a list of rules that specifies which users or systems are granted or denied access to a particular object or system resource.
  • 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.
  • AS/400 (IBM iSeries, AS/400e, eServer iSeries/400, Power Systems) - The IBM Application System/400 -- or AS/400 -- is a family of midrange computers that was released in 1988, succeeding both System/36 and System/38 platforms.
  • attribute - In general, an attribute is a property, quality, or characteristic that something or someone has.
  • Automatic Private IP Addressing (APIPA) - Automatic Private IP Addressing (APIPA) is a feature of Windows-based OSes -- included since Windows 98 and Windows ME -- that enables a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol client to automatically assign an IP address to itself when there's no DHCP server available to perform that function.
  • bash (Bourne again shell) - Bash (Bourne Again Shell) is the free and enhanced 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).
  • binary - Binary describes a numbering scheme in which there are only two possible values for each digit -- 0 or 1 -- and is the basis for all binary code used in computing systems.
  • 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 - To boot (as a verb; also "to boot up") a computer is to load an operating system into the computer's main memory or random access memory (RAM).
  • 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 in 1979 at what at the time was Bell Labs.
  • 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 eradicated.
  • 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 prompt - A command prompt is the input field in a text-based user interface screen for an operating system (OS) or 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 disk operating system (DOS) commands that tell the operating system (OS) how the computer is initially set up.
  • 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.
  • cursor - A cursor is the position indicator on a computer display screen where a user can enter text.
  • Cygwin - Cygwin is a collection of open source tools that allows Unix or Linux applications to be compiled and run on a Microsoft Windows operating system (OS) 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 (OS) that uses a Unix-like kernel -- typically Linux -- alongside other program components, many of which come from GNU Project.
  • defragmentation - Defragmentation is the process of locating the noncontiguous fragments of data into which a computer file may be divided as it is stored on a hard disk, and rearranging the fragments and restoring them into fewer fragments or into the whole file.
  • 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.
  • disk image - A disk image is a copy of the entire contents of a storage device, such as a hard drive, DVD, or CD.
  • Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) - Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) is an extension to Component Object Model (COM) that enables software components to communicate with each other across different computers on a local area network (LAN), on a wide area network (WAN) or across the internet.
  • 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 a free, Java-based development platform known for its plugins 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 is a specialized operating system (OS) 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.
  • failover - Failover is a backup operational mode in which the functions of a system component are assumed by a secondary component when the primary becomes unavailable.
  • 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 Allocation Table (FAT) - File Allocation Table (FAT) is a file system that Microsoft developed to support small disks and simple folder structures.
  • 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 files or folders on a networked computer.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • font - The word 'font' refers to a set of printable or displayable typography or text characters in a specific style and size.
  • 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.
  • 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 - GNU/Linux is a Unix-like operating system made up of different OS components and services that create the Linux OS.
  • 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).
  • guest virtual machine (guest VM) - A guest virtual machine (VM) is the software component of a VM, an independent instance of an operating system (OS), called a guest OS, and its associated software and information.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • icon - In today's age of technological advancement, most people recognize the word 'icon' as referring to a small selectable or nonselectable image representing or leading to something else in a computer's graphical user interface (GUI) or on the web.
  • 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.
  • interrupt - An interrupt is a signal emitted by a device attached to a computer or from a program within the computer.
  • IO.SYS - IO.SYS is a hidden executable binary file that processes instructions that tell the operating system (OS) how the computer is set up when it is booted or started.
  • ITAR and EAR compliance - The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) are two important U.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • job step - In certain computer operating systems, a job step is part of a job, a unit of work that a computer operator (or a program called a job scheduler) gives to the operating system.
  • kernel - The kernel is the essential foundation of a computer's operating system (OS).
  • lights-out management (LOM) - Lights-out management (LOM) is a form of out-of-band management.
  • Linux operating system - Linux is a Unix-like, open source and community-developed operating system (OS) for computers, servers, mainframes, mobile devices and embedded devices.
  • logical partition (LPAR) - A logical partition (LPAR) is the division of a computer's processor s, memory, and storage into multiple sets of resources so that each set of resources can be operated independently with its own operating system instance and application s.
  • macOS - MacOS is the computer operating system for Apple desktops and laptops.
  • Master Boot Record (MBR) - The Master Boot Record (MBR) is the information in the first sector of a hard disk or a removable drive.
  • menu - A menu is a set of options presented to the user of a computer application to help them find information or execute a function.
  • Microsoft - Microsoft is the largest vendor of computer software in the world.
  • Microsoft Windows Hello - Microsoft Windows Hello is a biometric identity and access control feature that supports fingerprint scanners, iris scanners and facial recognition technology on compatible devices running Windows.
  • Microsoft Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) - The Microsoft Windows Recovery Environment, or Windows RE, is a simplified, scaled-back version of the Windows operating system that is used to boot the system when Windows 8.
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 - Windows Server 2012 R2 is the second iteration of Windows Server 2012.
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016 - Microsoft Windows Server 2016 is Microsoft's server operating system (OS).
  • mobile operating system - A mobile operating system (OS) is software that allows smartphones, tablet PCs (personal computers) and other devices to run applications and programs.
  • MPP (massively parallel processing) - MPP (massively parallel processing) is the coordinated processing of a program by multiple processors that work on different parts of the program, with each processor using its own operating system and memory.
  • MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System) - MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System) was the Microsoft-marketed version of the first widely-installed operating system in personal computers.
  • multitasking - Multitasking, in an operating system, is allowing a user to perform more than one computer task (such as the operation of an application program) at a time.
  • MVS (Multiple Virtual Storage) - MVS (Multiple Virtual Storage) is IBM's best-known operating system for mainframe and large servers.
  • Nagios - Nagios is an open source monitoring system for computer systems.
  • open system - In a computing context, an open system is an open source operating system, typically composed of coordinated modular components from a number of sources and not reliant upon any proprietary elements.
  • operating system (OS) - An operating system (OS) is the program that, after being initially loaded into the computer by a boot program, manages all of the other application programs in a computer.
  • operational level agreement (OLA) - An operational level agreement (OLA) is a contract that defines how various IT groups within a company plan to deliver a service or set of services.
  • OS X - OS X is version 10 of the Apple Macintosh operating system.
  • parallel processing - Parallel processing is a method in computing of running two or more processors (CPUs) to handle separate parts of an overall task.
  • Patch Tuesday - Patch Tuesday is the unofficial name of Microsoft's monthly scheduled release of security fixes for the Windows operating system (OS) and other Microsoft software.
  • PCI Security Standards Council - The PCI Security Standards Council is an organization created by the major credit card companies in an effort to better protect credit card holder data.
  • performance testing - Performance testing is a testing measure that evaluates the speed, responsiveness and stability of a computer, network, software program or device under a workload.
  • pipe - In computer programming, especially in Unix operating systems (OSes), a pipe is a technique for passing information from one program process or command to another.
  • platform - In IT, a platform is any hardware or software used to host an application or service.
  • POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface) - POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface) is a set of standard operating system interfaces based on the Unix operating system.
  • POST (Power-On Self-Test) - A Power-On Self-Test (POST) is an operation initiated by a computer after it has been turned on but before it boots up the OS.
Networking
  • network management system

    A network management system, or NMS, is an application or set of applications that lets network engineers manage a network's ...

  • host (in computing)

    A host is a computer or other device that communicates with other hosts on a network.

  • Network as a Service (NaaS)

    Network as a service, or NaaS, is a business model for delivering enterprise WAN services virtually on a subscription basis.

Security
CIO
  • digital disruption

    Digital disruption is the change that occurs when new digital technologies and business models affect the value proposition of ...

  • value stream management

    Value stream management is an emerging business process intended to gauge the flow of value into business resources and ...

  • audit program (audit plan)

    An audit program, also called an audit plan, is an action plan that documents what procedures an auditor will follow to validate ...

HRSoftware
  • team collaboration

    Team collaboration is a communication and project management approach that emphasizes teamwork, innovative thinking and equal ...

  • employee self-service (ESS)

    Employee self-service (ESS) is a widely used human resources technology that enables employees to perform many job-related ...

  • learning experience platform (LXP)

    A learning experience platform (LXP) is an AI-driven peer learning experience platform delivered using software as a service (...

Customer Experience
  • shoppable video

    A shoppable video is a way for consumers to discover products and make a purchase through links within the video.

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)

    Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric that organizations use for assessing customer loyalty toward their brand, products or ...

  • B2C (business-to-consumer)

    B2C, or business-to-consumer, is a retail model where products or services move directly from a business to the end user who has ...

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