Glossary

From SteamDeck Linux Wiki
(Redirected from Linux Terms Used)

In the Desktop Environment[edit | edit source]

Term Windows equivalent
The launcher Start Menu
The Task Manager The Taskbar
The System Tray Notification Area
Meta The Windows Key
Super The Windows Key

Terms for newbies[edit | edit source]

Term Meaning
Proton It is a tool that is relased by Valve Software to play Windows-only games on a supported Linux system. It includes various software like WINE (href), DXVK (href), Vulkan (href), OpenXR, Vkd3d and much more.
Vulkan It is a cross-platform API for 3D graphics and computing. Vulkan can be found on multiple Linux systems including SteamOS. This is the open source equivalent of Microsoft's DirectX API.
Lutris Lutris is a [free and open source] game manager. It has readily available scripts for Windows games so that the user can install and run any game they want, without messing with Proton and/or WINE.
WINE It is a compatibility layer that runs Windows-only software on Linux distributions like SteamOS. It also works on operating systems that are based on BSD.
DKVK A translation layer that allows running Windows-only games on Linux. It translates Microsoft's DirectX API to Vulkan API.
Distribution A Linux distribution (also known as distro) is an Operating System that includes several components like browser, terminal, graphics etc.
OpenXR It is a royalty-free and open standard that provices acess to AR and VR platforms.
swap A swap partition is a partition where your OS stores contents of RAM that are rarely used when the RAM usage gets high. Modern distributions use a swapfile (as it can be dynamically resized), but the main idea is still the same.
Linux Kernel A kernel is the most important part of an Operating System as it the kernel that communicated with hardware when the software asks for said hardware resource. Linux is name of a kernel created by Linus Torvalds.
sudo Every operating system has a "regular user" and an "administrator" (called a 'super-user' in Linux). When a regular user wants to do something that only an administrator can do, they should use the 'sudo' (super-user do) command to escelate the permissions.
X/X11 The X Window System (mostly known as X11, or sometimes X) is the "display protocol" to... well, display stuff on your monitor, instead of a blinking cursor that most users (gamers) won't love.
Wayland Like X/X11 Wayland is also a display protocol. Walyand a replacement for X/X11 aiming to keep the protocol very simple.
XWayland Everything needs a transition phase. So XWayland is a [quote] compatibility/translation layer [end quote] for running X11 apps on Wayland.
GRUB GRand Unified Bootloader. Simply put, this boots your Linux/BSD Operating System.
systemd systemd, mainly aimed to unify the way [background] services would be configured for every Linux distribution (given that it has systemd). If you want to do something when your computer starts, when it is put to suspend etc, you can schedule them using systemd.
blob It stands for binary large object. Usually, this refers to any binary object (executable software) that is distributed without any source code. (See also: proprietary, closed source software)
checksum A checksum is a mathematical operation that is performed on a file to generate a 'hash' that is unique to the contents of the file. This is usually done to know if the file you downloaded is unmodified.
daemon A daemon (pronounced day-mon) is a utility program/service that runs in the background to make sure that the system keeps running without any major and/or minor issues.
FOSS An acronym for Free and Open Source Software.
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