FreeBSD Glossary

This glossary contains terms and acronyms used within the FreeBSD community and documentation.

A

ACL

把ǎ Access Control List.

ACPI

把ǎ Advanced Configuration and Power Interface.

AMD

把ǎ Automatic Mount Daemon.

AML

把ǎ ACPI Machine Language.

API

把ǎ Application Programming Interface.

APIC

把ǎ Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller.

APM

把ǎ Advanced Power Management.

APOP

把ǎ Authenticated Post Office Protocol.

ASL

把ǎ ACPI Source Language.

ATA

把ǎ Advanced Technology Attachment.

ATM

把ǎ Asynchronous Transfer Mode.

ACPI Machine Language

Pseudocode, interpreted by a virtual machine within an ACPI-compliant operating system, providing a layer between the underlying hardware and the documented interface presented to the OS.

ACPI Source Language

The programming language AML is written in.

Access Control List

Advanced Configuration and Power Interface

A specification which provides an abstraction of the interface the hardware presents to the operating system, so that the operating system should need to know nothing about the underlying hardware to make the most of it. ACPI evolves and supercedes the functionality provided previously by APM, PNPBIOS and other technologies, and provides facilities for controlling power consumption, machine suspension, device enabling and disabling, etc.

Application Programming Interface

A set of procedures, protocols and tools that specify the canonical interaction of one or more program parts; how, when and why they do work together, and what data they share or operate on.

Advanced Power Management

Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller

Advanced Technology Attachment

Asynchronous Transfer Mode

Authenticated Post Office Protocol

Automatic Mount Daemon

A daemon that automatically mounts a filesystem when a file or directory within that filesystem is accessed.

B

BIND

把ǎ Berkeley Internet Name Domain.

BIOS

把ǎ Basic Input/Output System.

BSD

把ǎ Berkeley Software Distribution.

Basic Input/Output System

The definition of BIOS depends a bit on the context. Some people refer to it as the ROM chip with a basic set of routines to provide an interface between software and hardware. Others refer to it as the set of routines contained in the chip that help in bootstrapping the system. Some might also refer to it as the screen used to configure the boostrapping process. The BIOS is PC-specific but other systems have something similar.

Berkeley Internet Name Domain

An implementation of the DNS protocols.

Berkeley Software Distribution

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Bikeshed Building

A phenomenon whereby many people will give an opinion on an uncomplicated topic, whilst a complex topic receives little or no discussion. See the FAQ for the origin of the term.

C

CD

把ǎ Carrier Detect.

CHAP

把ǎ Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol.

CLIP

把ǎ Classical IP over ATM.

COFF

把ǎ Common Object File Format.

CPU

把ǎ Central Processing Unit.

CTS

把ǎ Clear To Send.

CVS

把ǎ Concurrent Versions System.

Carrier Detect

An RS232C signal indicating that a carrier has been detected.

Central Processing Unit

Also known as the processor. This is the brain of the computer where all calculations take place. There are a number of different architectures with different instruction sets. Among the more well-known are the Intel-x86 and derivatives, Sun SPARC, PowerPC, and Alpha.

Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol

Classical IP over ATM

Clear To Send

An RS232C signal giving the remote system permission to send data.

Common Object File Format

Concurrent Versions System

D

DAC

把ǎ Discretionary Access Control.

DDB

把ǎ Debugger.

DES

把ǎ Data Encryption Standard.

DHCP

把ǎ Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.

DNS

把ǎ Domain Name System.

DSDT

把ǎ Differentiated System Description Table.

DSR

把ǎ Data Set Ready.

DTR

把ǎ Data Terminal Ready.

DVMRP

把ǎ Distance-Vector Multicast Routing Protocol.

Discretionary Access Control

Data Encryption Standard

Data Set Ready

Data Terminal Ready

Debugger

Differentiated System Description Table

Distance-Vector Multicast Routing Protocol

Domain Name System

The system that converts humanly readable hostnames (i.e., mail.example.net) to Internet addresses and vice versa.

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol

A protocol that dynamically assigns IP addresses to a computer (host) when it requests one from the server. The address assignment is called a ¨lease.

E

ECOFF

把ǎ Extended COFF.

ELF

把ǎ Executable and Linking Format.

ESP

把ǎ Encapsulated Security Payload.

Encapsulated Security Payload

Executable and Linking Format

Extended COFF

F

FADT

把ǎ Fixed ACPI Description Table.

FAT

把ǎ File Allocation Table.

FAT16

把ǎ File Allocation Table (16-bit).

FTP

把ǎ File Transfer Protocol.

File Allocation Table

File Allocation Table (16-bit)

File Transfer Protocol

A member of the family of high-level protocols implemented on top of TCP which can be used to transfer files over a TCP/IP network.

Fixed ACPI Description Table

G

GUI

把ǎ Graphical User Interface.

Giant

The name of a mutual exclusion mechanism (a sleep mutex) that protects a large set of kernel resources. Although a simple locking mechanism was adequate in the days where a machine might have only a few dozen processes, one networking card, and certainly only one processor, in current times it is an unacceptable performance bottleneck. FreeBSD developers are actively working to replace it with locks that protect individual resources, which will allow a much greater degree of parallelism for both single-processor and multi-processor machines.

Graphical User Interface

A system where the user and computer interact with graphics.

H

HTML

把ǎ HyperText Markup Language.

HUP

把ǎ HangUp.

HangUp

HyperText Markup Language

The markup language used to create web pages.

I

I/O

把ǎ Input/Output.

IASL

把ǎ Intelˇs ASL compiler.

IMAP

把ǎ Internet Message Access Protocol.

IP

把ǎ Internet Protocol.

IPFW

把ǎ IP Firewall.

IPP

把ǎ Internet Printing Protocol.

IPv4

把ǎ IP Version 4.

IPv6

把ǎ IP Version 6.

ISP

把ǎ Internet Service Provider.

IP Firewall

IP Version 4

The IP protocol version 4, which uses 32 bits for addressing. This version is still the most widely used, but it is slowly being replaced with IPv6.

把ǎ IP Version 6.

IP Version 6

The new IP protocol. Invented because the address space in IPv4 is running out. Uses 128 bits for addressing.

Input/Output

Intelˇs ASL compiler

Intelˇs compiler for converting ASL into AML.

Internet Message Access Protocol

Internet Printing Protocol

Internet Protocol

The packet transmitting protocol that is the basic protocol on the Internet. Originally developed at the U.S. Department of Defense and an extremly important part of the TCP/IP stack. Without the Internet Protocol, the Internet would not have become what it is today. For more information, see RFC 791.

Internet Service Provider

A company that provides access to the Internet.

K

KAME

Japanese for ¨turtle, the term KAME is used in computing circles to refer to the KAME Project, who work on an implementation of IPv6.

KDC

把ǎ Key Distribution Center.

KLD

把ǎ Kernel ld(1).

KSE

把ǎ Kernel Scheduler Entities.

KVA

把ǎ Kernel Virtual Address.

Kbps

把ǎ Kilo Bits Per Second.

Kernel ld(1)

Kernel Scheduler Entities

A kernel-supported threading system. See the project home page for further details.

Kernel Virtual Address

Key Distribution Center

Kilo Bits Per Second

Used to measure bandwith (how much data can pass a given point at a specified amount of time). Alternates to the Kilo prefix include Mega, Giga, Tera, and so forth.

L

LAN

把ǎ Local Area Network.

LOR

把ǎ Lock Order Reversal.

LPD

把ǎ Line Printer Daemon.

Line Printer Daemon

Local Area Network

A network used on a local area, e.g. office, home, or so forth.

Lock Order Reversal

The FreeBSD kernel uses a number of resource locks to arbitrate contention for those resources. A run-time lock diagnostic system found in FreeBSD-CURRENT kernels (but removed for releases), called witness(4), detects the potential for deadlocks due to locking errors. (witness(4) is actually slightly conservative, so it is possible to get false positives.) A true positive report indicates that ¨if you were unlucky, a deadlock would have happened here.

True positive LORs tend to get fixed quickly, so check http://lists.FreeBSD.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-current and the LORs Seen page before posting to the mailing lists.

M

MAC

把ǎ Mandatory Access Control.

MADT

把ǎ Multiple APIC Description Table.

MFC

把ǎ Merge From Current.

MFP4

把ǎ Merge From Perforce.

MFS

把ǎ Merge From Stable.

MIT

把ǎ Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

MLS

把ǎ Multi-Level Security.

MOTD

把ǎ Message Of The Day.

MTA

把ǎ Mail Transfer Agent.

MUA

把ǎ Mail User Agent.

Mail Transfer Agent

An application used to transfer email. An MTA has traditionally been part of the BSD base system. Today Sendmail is included in the base system, but there are many other MTAs, such as postfix, qmail and Exim.

Mail User Agent

An application used by users to display and write email.

Mandatory Access Control

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Merge From Current

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Merge From Perforce

To merge functionality or a patch from the Perforce repository to the -CURRENT branch.

把ǎ Perforce.

Merge From Stable

In the normal course of FreeBSD development, a change will be committed to the -CURRENT branch for testing before being merged to -STABLE. On rare occasions, a change will go into -STABLE first and then be merged to -CURRENT.

This term is also used when a patch is merged from -STABLE to a security branch.

把ǎ Merge From Current.

Message Of The Day

A message, usually shown on login, often used to distribute information to users of the system.

Multi-Level Security

Multiple APIC Description Table

N

NAT

把ǎ Network Address Translation.

NDISulator

把ǎ Project Evil.

NFS

把ǎ Network File System.

NTFS

把ǎ New Technology File System.

NTP

把ǎ Network Time Protocol.

Network Address Translation

Network File System

New Technology File System

A filesystem developed by Microsoft and available in its ¨New Technology operating systems, such as Windows® 2000, Windows NT® and Windows® XP.

Network Time Protocol

O

OBE

把ǎ Overtaken By Events.

ODMR

把ǎ On-Demand Mail Relay.

OS

把ǎ Operating System.

On-Demand Mail Relay

Operating System

A set of programs, libraries and tools that provide access to the hardware resources of a computer. Operating systems range today from simplistic designs that support only one program running at a time, accessing only one device to fully multi-user, multi-tasking and multi-process systems that can serve thousands of users simultaneously, each of them running dozens of different applications.

Overtaken By Events

Indicates a suggested change (such as a Problem Report or a feature request) which is no longer relevant or applicable due to such things as later changes to FreeBSD, changes in networking standards, the affected hardware having since become obsolete, and so forth.

P

p4

把ǎ Perforce.

PAE

把ǎ Physical Address Extensions.

PAM

把ǎ Pluggable Authentication Modules.

PAP

把ǎ Password Authentication Protocol.

PC

把ǎ Personal Computer.

PCNSFD

把ǎ Personal Computer Network File System Daemon.

PDF

把ǎ Portable Document Format.

PID

把ǎ Process ID.

POLA

把ǎ Principle Of Least Astonishment.

POP

把ǎ Post Office Protocol.

POP3

把ǎ Post Office Protocol Version 3.

PPD

把ǎ PostScript Printer Description.

PPP

把ǎ Point-to-Point Protocol.

PPPoA

把ǎ PPP over ATM.

PPPoE

把ǎ PPP over Ethernet.

PPP over ATM

PPP over Ethernet

PR

把ǎ Problem Report.

PXE

把ǎ Preboot eXecution Environment.

Password Authentication Protocol

Perforce

A source code control product made by Perforce Software which is more advanced than CVS. Although not open source, it use is free of charge to open-source projects such as FreeBSD.

Some FreeBSD developers use a Perforce repository as a staging area for code that is considered too experimental for the -CURRENT branch.

Personal Computer

Personal Computer Network File System Daemon

Physical Address Extensions

A method of enabling access to up to 64 GB of RAM on systems which only physically have a 32-bit wide address space (and would therefore be limited to 4 GB without PAE).

Pluggable Authentication Modules

Point-to-Point Protocol

Pointy Hat

A mythical piece of headgear, much like a dunce cap, awarded to any FreeBSD committer who breaks the build, makes revision numbers go backwards, or creates any other kind of havoc in the source base. Any committer worth his or her salt will soon accumulate a large collection. The usage is (almost always?) humorous.

Portable Document Format

Post Office Protocol

Post Office Protocol Version 3

PostScript Printer Description

Preboot eXecution Environment

Principle Of Least Astonishment

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Problem Report

A description of some kind of problem that has been found in either the FreeBSD source or documentation. See Writing FreeBSD Problem Reports.

Process ID

A number, unique to a particular process on a system, which identifies it and allows actions to be taken against it.

Project Evil

The working title for the NDISulator, written by Bill Paul, who named it referring to how awful it is (from a philosophical standpoint) to need to have something like this in the first place. The NDISulator is a special compatibility module to allow Microsoft Windows™ NDIS miniport network drivers to be used with FreeBSD/i386. This is usually the only way to use cards where the driver is closed-source. See src/sys/compat/ndis/subr_ndis.c.

R

RA

把ǎ Router Advertisement.

RAID

把ǎ Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks.

RAM

把ǎ Random Access Memory.

RD

把ǎ Received Data.

RFC

把ǎ Request For Comments.

RISC

把ǎ Reduced Instruction Set Computer.

RPC

把ǎ Remote Procedure Call.

RS232C

把ǎ Recommended Standard 232C.

RTS

把ǎ Request To Send.

Random Access Memory

Received Data

Recommended Standard 232C

A standard for communications between serial devices.

Reduced Instruction Set Computer

Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks

Remote Procedure Call

repocopy

把ǎ Repository Copy.

Repository Copy

repocopy(¨repository copy 罽糶) 碞琌钡眖 CVS repository い狡籹郎

璝ぃノ repocopy よΑê或璝璶 repository ず狡籹簿笆郎杠 committer 碞ゲ斗磅︽ cvs add ㄓр郎穝竚 临璶磅︽ cvs rm ㄓ埃侣郎

量硂贺よΑ翴赣郎ぇ玡闽魁 (ゑ CVS logs い闽兜ヘ)ぃ穦繦ぇτ狡籹穝よ τ FreeBSD 璸购い粄硂ㄇ菌癘魁常琌讽Τノ ┮穦竒盽蹦ノ repository copy よΑ 硂碞琌 repository 恨瞶穦钡 repository ず狡籹郎よΑ τ獶蹦 cvs(1) 祘Αㄓ秈︽ cvs addcvs rmぇ摸笆

Request For Comments

A set of documents defining Internet standards, protocols, and so forth. See www.rfc-editor.org.

Also used as a general term when someone has a suggested change and wants feedback.

Request To Send

Router Advertisement

S

SCI

把ǎ System Control Interrupt.

SCSI

把ǎ Small Computer System Interface.

SG

把ǎ Signal Ground.

SMB

把ǎ Server Message Block.

SMP

把ǎ Symmetric MultiProcessor.

SMTP

把ǎ Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.

SMTP AUTH

把ǎ SMTP Authentication.

SSH

把ǎ Secure Shell.

STR

把ǎ Suspend To RAM.

SMTP Authentication

Server Message Block

Signal Ground

An RS232 pin or wire that is the ground reference for the signal.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol

Secure Shell

Small Computer System Interface

Suspend To RAM

Symmetric MultiProcessor

System Control Interrupt

T

TCP

把ǎ Transmission Control Protocol.

TCP/IP

把ǎ Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol.

TD

把ǎ Transmitted Data.

TFTP

把ǎ Trivial FTP.

TGT

把ǎ Ticket-Granting Ticket.

TSC

把ǎ Time Stamp Counter.

Ticket-Granting Ticket

Time Stamp Counter

A profiling counter internal to modern Pentium® processors that counts core frequency clock ticks.

Transmission Control Protocol

A protocol that sits on top of (e.g.) the IP protocol and guarantees that packets are delivered in a reliable, ordered, fashion.

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol

The term for the combination of the TCP protocol running over the IP protocol. Much of the Internet runs over TCP/IP.

Transmitted Data

Trivial FTP

U

UDP

把ǎ User Datagram Protocol.

UFS1

把ǎ Unix File System Version 1.

UFS2

把ǎ Unix File System Version 2.

UID

把ǎ User ID.

URL

把ǎ Uniform Resource Locator.

USB

把ǎ Universal Serial Bus.

Uniform Resource Locator

Unix File System Version 1

Unix File System Version 2

Universal Serial Bus

User ID

A unique number assigned to each user of a computer, by which the resources and permissions assigned to that user can be identified.

User Datagram Protocol

V

VPN

把ǎ Virtual Private Network.

Virtual Private Network

All FreeBSD documents are available for download at http://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/doc/

Questions that are not answered by the documentation may be sent to <freebsd-questions@FreeBSD.org>.
Send questions about this document to <freebsd-doc@FreeBSD.org>.