Desktop environment: The graphical user interface. GNOME and KDE are the most prevalent.

Distro (abbreviated from "distribution"): A package of the Linux kernel with a desktop interface and numerous programs.

GNOME (GNU Network Object Model): Pronounced "nome," this is a Linux desktop environment with a focus on usability.

• Click here for FOXNews.com's Personal Technology Center.

GNU (GNU's not Unix): Pronounced "guh-noo," a free software project under which Linux and its apps are developed.

GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader): The standard shell that loads when the computer is turned on to let users select which OS to boot.

KDE (K Desktop Environment): The first of the major GUIs for the X Window System, popular for the range of apps available for it. (The "K" originally stood for "Kool.")

Kernel: The core element of the OS, dictating how the OS and the processor communicate.

Open source: Software whose underlying programming code can be accessed, modified, and redistributed by anyone.

Partitioner: Software that adds, deletes, or resizes partitions during Linux installation.

Wine (Wine Is Not an Emulator): An ongoing project that experiments with the possibilities of running Windows apps from within Linux.

Copyright © 2007 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Ziff Davis Media Inc. is prohibited.