The Bourne Again Shell and is based on the Bourne shell, sh, the original command interpreter.


/bay'-sic/ n. A programming language, originally designed for Dartmouth's experimental timesharing system in the early 1960s, which for many years was the leading cause of brain damage in proto-hackers. Edsger W. Dijkstra observed in "Selected Writings on Computing: A Personal Perspective" that "It is practically impossible to teach good programming style to students that have had prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration." This is another case (like Pascal) of the cascading lossage that happens when a language deliberately designed as an educational toy gets taken too seriously. A novice can write short BASIC programs (on the order of 10-20 lines) very easily; writing anything longer (a) is very painful, and (b) encourages bad habits that will make it harder to use more powerful languages well. This wouldn't be so bad if historical accidents hadn't made BASIC so common on low-end micros in the 1980s. As it is, it probably ruined tens of thousands of potential wizards. [1995: Some languages called `BASIC' aren't quite this nasty any more, having acquired Pascal- and C-like procedures and control structures and shed their line numbers. --ESR] Note: the name is commonly parsed as Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, but this is a backronym. BASIC was originally named Basic, simply because it was a simple and basic programming language. Because most programming language names were in fact acronyms, BASIC was often capitalized just out of habit or to be silly. No acronym for BASIC originally existed or was intended (as one can verify by reading texts through the early 1970s). Later, around the mid-1970s, people began to make up backronyms for BASIC because they weren't sure. Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code is the one that caught on. From Jargon Dictionary


Beginners All purpose Symbolic Instruction Code: a non-structured language that is often considered the easiest to start programming. It was developed as an interactive, mainframe timesharing language that received fame with home computers in the 1980s. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


BBIagent provides a suite of applications to create the software for booting a computer as a broadband router and firewall. Based on the hardware configurations and connection type, you are able to download your own boot file which is written into a single 1.44MB diskette to be a boot diskette for the router. This is a Linux based system which uses Java tools to create a bootable floppy with router software. The software utilites provided by BBIagent.Net are free to use. Version 1.5.0 was released July 11, 2002. Version 1.8.1 was released May 16, 2003. A floppy-based distribution. From LWN Distribution List

BBLCD Toolkit

BBLCD is the acronym for Bernhard's Bootable Linux CD or Build your own Bootable Linux CD. BBLCD is a toolkit for building your own bootable Linux CD from your favorite (and possibly customized) distribution. It uses, more or less, an intelligent cp -a / /dev/cdrom to create a CDROM from an existing system. Version 0.7.7 was released April 9, 2003. A CD-based distribution. From LWN Distribution List

BBS (Bulletin Board Service)

A forum for users to browse and exchange information. Computer BBSs are accessible by telephone via a personal computer and a modem. Many BBSs are small operations run by a single person that allow only several users to log on at the same time. Some are much larger and allow hundreds of users to login simultaneously to use the system. Huge, commercial examples are America Online, CompuServe, and Prodigy. For example, please visit http://www.tcworld.com/wwwboard/wwwboard.html From Glossary of Distance Education and Internet Terminology

BBS (Bulletin Board System)

A computerized meeting and announcement system that allows people to carry on discussions, upload and download files, and make announcements without the people being connected to the computer at the same time. In the early 1990's there were many thousands (millions?) of BBS?s around the world, most are very small, running on a single IBM clone PC with 1 or 2 phone lines. Some are very large and the line between a BBS and a system like AOL gets crossed at some point, but it is not clearly drawn. From Matisse

BBS (Bulletin Board System)

Electronic BBSs formed much of the the core "cyberspace" in the 1980s. Telecommunication costs were high, so rather than interconnected via "always-on" connections, such systems transfered files and messages as irregular intervals over dial-up lines. Mail was transported through BBS via protocols like FidoNet and UUCP. Files would move themselves from system to system as users would download from one BBS and upload to others. Many of today's older hackers were active in the BBS community of the 1980s. From Hacking-Lexicon


// n. [abbreviation, `Basic Combined Programming Language') A programming language developed by Martin Richards in Cambridge in 1967. It is remarkable for its rich syntax, small size of compiler (it can be run in 16k) and extreme portability. It reached break-even point at a very early stage, and was the language in which the original hello world program was written. It has been ported to so many different systems that its creator confesses to having lost count. It has only one data type (a machine word) which can be used as an integer, a character, a floating point number, a pointer, or almost anything else, depending on context. BCPL was a precursor of C, which inherited some of its features. From Jargon Dictionary

BDF Fonts

A variety of bitmapped fonts for the X Window System. (Also, see PostScript Fonts and TrueType Fonts.) From I-gloss

BGP (Border Gateway Protocol)

On the Internet, BGP is used between ISPs in order to communicate routers. For example, imagine that the ALICE ISP needs to reach the BOB ISP. However, ALICE is not directly connected to BOB. ALICE therefore must figure out which ISP should be used to send traffic to BOB. It is through the use of BGP that such information is discovered. The name "border" comes from the fact that ISPs use BGP only on their borders (in contrast, they would use some other protocol (like OSPF) inside their networks). Key point: BGP can be subverted in many ways. BGP is generally unauthenticated, and rogue ISPs can play havoc. From Hacking-Lexicon

BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Daemon)

BIND is the most popular software on the Internet for providing DNS services. Your ISP is likely running BIND. BIND is open-source. Key point: BIND provides about 80% of all DNS services. It is also enabled by default on a lot of Linux distributions. As a result, any exploit discovered for BIND has immediate and large impact on the Internet. As of November, 1999, all versions of BIND previous to 8.2.2-P5/4.9.7 have known holes that can be exploited. It is likely that these newer versions also have undiscovered exploitable holes as well. Key point: BIND comes in two versions, 4.x and 8.x. This is largely due to backwards compatibility: people are running a lot of older servers and would rather patch them than upgrade to a newer version. Also, the newer 8.x code-base has not be extensively peer-reviewed and is thought to be a lot less secure than the 4.x source base. UPDATE: BIND v9 is now available, though most users are sticking with v8. See also: dig, DNS. From Hacking-Lexicon


Basic Input/Output System: services on a ROM chip that enable the hardware and software of a computer to communicate with each other. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux

BITNET (Because It's Time NETwork (or Because It's There NETwork))

A network of educational sites separate from the Internet, but e-mail is freely exchanged between BITNET and the Internet. Listservs., a popular form of e-mail discussion groups, originated on BITNET. At its peak (the late 1980's and early 1990's) BITNET machines were usually mainframes, often running IBM's MVS operating system. BITNET is probably the only international network that is shrinking. From Matisse

BLFS (Beyond Linux From Scratch)

Beyond Linux From Scratch (BLFS) is a project with the aim of assisting LFS users to go beyond the base system. It contains a broad range of instrutions for installing and configuring various packages on top of a base LFS system. If you are wondering why you would want an LFS system or what one is, see the entry for LinuxFromScratch below in this list. BLFS 1.0 was released April 28, 2003 under the original BSD License. From LWN Distribution List


BRLSPEAK is a Braille and Speech oriented mini-distribution of Linux for the visually impaired. Support for English, French, and Dutch (Netherlands). A 'special purpose/mini' distribution. From LWN Distribution List

BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution)

A version of the UNIX operating system that was developed and formerly maintained by the University of California, Berkeley. BSD helped to establish the Internet in colleges and universities because the distributed software included TCP/IP. From QUECID

BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) UNIX

UNIX distribution from University of California at Berkeley. (Also, see FreeBSD.) From I-gloss

BU Linux

Created at/for Boston University, BU Linux is based on Red Hat Linux, but specifically tailored for the BU environment. They have added security updates, made modifications to make software work better with their setup, and added some applications. BU Linux 2.5 (a.k.a Gigantic) was released August 27, 2002. BU Linux 3.0 (Doolittle) was released May 7, 2003. From LWN Distribution List

BUGS file

List of errata. From Rute-Users-Guide


One of the most important sources of information in the security community. BUGTRAQ has become the quasi-official place to publish vulnerability and exploit information. Controversy: A debate over "full-disclosure" surrounds BUGTRAQ. On one side is a community of people that believe full and open disclosure of vulnerabilities and exploits is necessary to promote the developement of protections against hacking. On the other side is a community of people that believe total disclosure, including script-kiddy ready exploits, is harmful. From Hacking-Lexicon


Build Your Linux Disk (BYLD) is a little package that helps you to build a Linux distribution on a single floppy disk to use as you want. Build a net client, rescue disk or other small application. A floppy-based distribution. From LWN Distribution List

BYO Linux

BYO Linux (aka Build Your Own Linux OR DiyLinux to some) allows Linux enthusiasts to construct their own 100% pure Linux distribution. From LWN Distribution List


A high-speed line or series of connections that forms a major pathway within a network. The term is relative as a backbone in a small network will likely be much smaller than many non-backbone lines in a large network. From Matisse


In computers that can do more than one task at a time, the environment in which tasks (such as printing a document or downloading a file) are carried out while the user works with an applicatino in the foreground. In computers that lack multitasking capabilites, background tasks are carried out during brief pauses in the execution of the system's primary (foreground) tasks. From QUECID

Background Process

A program that is running without user input. A number of background processes can be running on a multitasking operating system, such as UNIX/Linux, while the user is interacting with the foreground process (for example, data entry). Some background processes daemons, for example never require user input. Others are merely in the background temporarily while the user is busy with the program presently running in the foreground. From I-gloss

Bad Penguin Linux

An Italian distribution, currently at version 0.99.5. From LWN Distribution List

Bambi Linux

A Red Hat based wireless distribution. A 'wireless' distribution. From LWN Distribution List

BanShee Linux/R

BanShee Linux/R is a two-floppy rescue system using uClibc and Busybox to make sure that the system is as small as possible. Initial version 0.5 was released September 18, 2002. Version 0.61 was released October 27, 2002. A floppy-based distribution. From LWN Distribution List


How much stuff you can send through a connection. Usually measured in bits-per-second. A full page of English text is about 16,000 bits. A fast modem can move about 57,000 bits in one second. Full-motion full-screen video would require roughly 10,000,000 bits-per-second, depending on compression. From Matisse

Bang path

A series of names that specifies a path between two nodes. It is sometimes used for email or BITNET as well as in the Linux uucp program. The path consists of machine or domain names separated by ! (bang). From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


Descended from the Bourne Shell, Bash is a GNU product, the "Bourne Again SHell." It's the standard command line interface on most Linux machines. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux

Bash (Bourne Again SHell)

An enhanced version of the Bourne Shell. (Also, see Korn Shell.) From I-gloss


BasicLinux is a mini-version of Linux that boots from hard drive, floppy, or CDROM, and runs in a 4meg ramdisk. It's based on Slackware 3.5 and contains a fully-featured shell, an easy-to-use editor, and a variety of useful utilities. It can dial an ISP, browse the web, send/receive mail, or act as a router/firewall. Version 1.7 was released May 12, 2002. Version 2.0 was released February 22, 2003, now based on Slackware 7.1. A small disk distribution. From LWN Distribution List


In common usage the baud rate of a modem is how many bitsit can send or receive per second. Technically, baud is the number of times per second that the carrier signal shifts value - for example a 1200 bit-per-second modem actually runs at 300 baud, but it moves 4 bits per baud (4 x 300= 1200 bits per second). From Matisse


Components for the JavaBeans architecture. From I-gloss


BearOps Linux, formerly MaxOS, provides the BearOps Linux Server. From LWN Distribution List

Becker, Donald

a staff scientist with the Center for Excellence in Space Data and Information Sciences (CESDIS). Donald has been extremely influential in the development of low-cost, high-performance parallel computing as the chief investigator of the Beowulf Project. Becker has written enhancements to the kernel network subsystem to support faster I/O on high-speed networks, device drivers for countless Ethernet cards, and a distributed shared-memory package. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux

Beehive Linux

Beehive Linux is a distribution made by system administrators, for system administrors. It's intent is to provide fast and clean setup of workhorse servers and workstations. Version 0.5.0 was released April 16, 2002. Version 0.6.0 was released September 15, 2002. From LWN Distribution List

Behlendorf, Brian

although the Apache web server is largely a community effort, Behlendorf is probably one of its most important developers. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux

Bell-LaPadula Modle (BLM)

An academic model for enforcing access control for government and military. The model is based around the idea of mandator access control. The formal definition from TCSEC is: ...a means of restricting access to objects based on the sensitivity (as represented by a label) of the information contained in the objects and the formal authorization (e.g., clearance) of subjects to access information of such sensitivity In this definition, a "subject" is somebody (user) who wants access to an "object" (information, data file, system). The subject and object have different security levels. Objects (information, data, systems) are assigned security classification levels. A typical example would be: unclassified < confidential < secret < top-secret Subjects are assigned similar clearance levels that allow access to objects of similar level or below. For example, if you are a government employee with "secret" clearance level, you can access everything but "top-secret" information. A classification level such as "top-secret" will also include categories. For example, you may have a "secret" clearance for NATO information, and "top-secret" clearance for all matters pertaining to nuclear weapons. The system follows the principle of least privilege. Therefore, you would not be cleared to access top-secret NATO nuclear plans because your NATO clearance isn't high enough. From Hacking-Lexicon


A network of relatively inexpensive computers (including PCs), potentially using different processors and hardware architectures, united by Linux and special system-level software into a massively parallel computing system. The end result is a system capable of supercomputer computation at a much lower price. This sort of system is ideal for compute-intensive tasks such as weather modeling, because the calculations can be divided among dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of separate processors all running simultaneously. Sometimes referred to a "Beowulf-class supercomputer", or a super-cluster or hyper-cluster. For more on Beowulf technology, read the following articles: www.linuxworld.com/linuxworld/lw-2000-04/lw-04-parallel.html, and www.ibm.com/press/prnews.nsf/Searchvw/3f4e88b102477aa5852568460067a52a. From I-gloss


Famed was this Beowulf: far flew the boast of him, son of Scyld, in the Scandian lands. So becomes it a youth to quit him well with his father's friends, by fee and gift, that to aid him, aged, in after days, come warriors willing, should war draw nigh, liegemen loyal: by lauded deeds shall an earl have honor in every clan. Beowulf is the earliest surviving epic poem written in English. It is a story about a hero of great strength and courage who defeted a monster called Grendel. See History to find out more about the Beowulf hero. There are probably as many Beowulf definitions as there are people who build or use Beowulf Supercomputer facilities. Some claim that one can call their system Beowulf only if it is built in the same way as the NASA's original machine. Others go to the other extreme and call Beowulf any system of workstations running parallel code. My definition of Beowulf fits somewhere between the two views described above, and is based on many postings to the Beowulf mailing list: Beowulf is a multi computer architecture which can be used for parallel computations. It is a system which usually consists of one server node, and one or more client nodes connected together via Ethernet or some other network. It is a system built using commodity hardware components, like any PC capable of running Linux, standard Ethernet adapters, and switches. It does not contain any custom hardware components and is trivially reproducible. Beowulf also uses commodity software like the Linux operating system, Parallel Virtual Machine (PVM) and Message Passing Interface (MPI). The server node controls the whole cluster and serves files to the client nodes. It is also the cluster's console and gateway to the outside world. Large Beowulf machines might have more than one server node, and possibly other nodes dedicated to particular tasks, for example consoles or monitoring stations. In most cases client nodes in a Beowulf system are dumb, the dumber the better. Nodes are configured and controlled by the server node, and do only what they are told to do. In a disk-less client configuration, client nodes don't even know their IP address or name until the server tells them what it is. One of the main differences between Beowulf and a Cluster of Workstations (COW) is the fact that Beowulf behaves more like a single machine rather than many workstations. In most cases client nodes do not have keyboards or monitors, and are accessed only via remote login or possibly serial terminal. Beowulf nodes can be thought of as a CPU + memory package which can be plugged in to the cluster, just like a CPU or memory module can be plugged into a motherboard. Beowulf is not a special software package, new network topology or the latest kernel hack. Beowulf is a technology of clustering Linux computers to form a parallel, virtual supercomputer. Although there are many software packages such as kernel modifications, PVM and MPI libraries, and configuration tools which make the Beowulf architecture faster, easier to configure, and much more usable, one can build a Beowulf class machine using standard Linux distribution without any additional software. If you have two networked Linux computers which share at least the /home file system via NFS, and trust each other to execute remote shells (rsh), then it could be argued that you have a simple, two node Beowulf machine. From Beowulf-HOWTO


a multi computer architecture which can be used for parallel computations. It is a system which usually consists of one server node, and one or more client nodes connected together via Ethernet or some other network. It is a system built using commodity hardware components, like any PC capable of running Linux, standard Ethernet adapters, and switches. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


The Bifrost Network Project aims to find stability, performance, filter capabilities, administration, computer security, scalability and development possibilities of a Linux based streamlined router/firewall system. The hardware is basically a standard PC with two (or more) network interfaces (using preferably the Intel Tulip chip or an e1000 Gigabit card) and a 45 or 48 MB flash disk. The operating system is a modified, minimal and optimized Linux distribution, with the kernel configured for firewalling and routing. The filter which controls the firewall security policy, is part of the kernel code and can be configured via ipfwadm, ipchains or iptables. From LWN Distribution List


Source code that has been compiled into executable programs. In the UNIX/Linux world, some software is distributed as source code only; other packages include both source and binaries; still others are distributed only in binary format. From I-gloss


Information consisting entirely of ones and zeros. Also, commonly used to refer to files that are not simply text files, e.g. images. From Matisse

Binhex (BINary HEXadecimal)

A method for converting non-text files (non-ASCII) into ASCII. This is needed because Internet e-mail can only handle ASCII. From Matisse

Bit (Binary DigIT)

A single digit number in base-2, in other words, either a 1 or a zero. The smallest unit of computerized data. Bandwidthis usually measured in bits-per-second. From Matisse

Black Cat Linux

Black Cat is a Russian distribution now owned by ASPLinux. From LWN Distribution List

Black Lab Linux

Terra Soft Solutions provides Black Lab for HPC Clusters. It features a graphical installation, configuration, and maintenance suite for Yellow Dog Linux HPC (high performance computing) clusters. It's designed to work with Apple Macintosh and Terra Soft's Yellow briQ Nodes. Black Lab ships with the YDL 2.1 foundation and includes a subscription for 2 upgrades to future releases of both YDL and Black Lab. From LWN Distribution List

BlackRhino GNU/Linux

BlackRhino is a free Debian-based GNU/Linux software distribution for the Sony PlayStation 2. It contains over 1,200 software packages to aid in using and creating programs for the Sony PlayStation 2 Linux kit. The programs range in functionality from simple games, to text editors, compilers, web servers, windowing systems, database systems, graphics packages, mail servers and a variety of other tools and utilities. Version 1.0 was released March 4, 2003. A 'special purpose/mini' distribution. From LWN Distribution List


A unit of information that's processed or transferred. The unit size may vary. From QUECID

Blog (weB LOG)

A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a blog is a "blogger." Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in cronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominantly. From Matisse

Blue Cat Linux

BlueCat Linux from LynuxWorks is an enhanced implementation of the Linux model, made viable for use in a wide range of embedded systems. From LWN Distribution List

Blue Linux

Blue Linux, is a free Linux-based operating system bundled with many packages that are used in the educational field, for computers in the educational field. Version 1.0RC2 was released April 16, 2002. Version 1.0 was released January 30, 2003. From LWN Distribution List

BluePoint Embedded

BluePoint, a leader in Chinese localized Linux software, provides Linux platform technology and Embedded Linux Solution. From LWN Distribution List

BluePoint Linux

BluePoint claims to be China's leading Chinese localized Linux software company. From LWN Distribution List


A wireless technology that uses short-range radio frequencies to allow communication between many different devices. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


/bo'go-mips/ n. The number of million times a second a processor can do absolutely nothing. The Linux OS measures BogoMIPS at startup in order to calibrate some soft timing loops that will be used later on; details at the BogoMIPS mini-HOWTO. The name Linus chose, of course, is an ironic comment on the uselessness of all other MIPS figures. From Jargon Dictionary


`BogoMips' is a contraction of `Bogus MIPS'. MIPS stands for (depending who you listen to) Millions of Instructions per Second, or Meaningless Indication of Processor Speed. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux

Bonzai Linux

Bonzai Linux has been built to offer a Debian based Desktop-OS that fits on a 180MB CD-R(W). The Distribution includes the current stable version of KDE and has been modified for easier installation. Version 1.5 was released May 20, 2003. Version 2.1 was released June 23, 2003. From LWN Distribution List

Boot Disk

A diskette (floppy) containing enough of an operating system (such as Linux) to boot up (start) the computer and run some essential programs from the command line. This may be necessary if the system was rendered non-bootable for some reason. A boot disk can be used to partition and format the hard drive, restore the Master Boot Record, or copy specific files, among other things. From I-gloss

Boot sector

The first track on an IBM PC-comptible hard disk or floppy disk (track 0). During the boot process, read-only memory (ROM) tells the computer to read the first block of data on this track and load whatever program is found there. If system files are found, they direct the computer to load MS-DOS. From QUECID

Boot sequence

The order in which computers basic input output system (BIOS) searches disk drives for operating system files. Unless programmed otherwise, IBM PCs and compatibles look for the operating system on drive A first, then search drive C. To speed up your computers boot procedure, you can use the BIOS setup program to make it search drive C first. From QUECID


Short for Robot. A program designed to search for information on the Internet with little human intervention. From I-gloss

Boten GNU/Linux

Boten GNU/Linux is intended for home users and provides a fully-localized GNU/Linux environment in Hebrew. It's especially made for those new to Linux, though aimed to please all users, experts and newbies alike. It's currently based around the 2.4 Linux kernel series (USB supported) and the GNU C Library version 2.2.5 (libc6 ELF). Boten GNU/Linux could be installed in a UMSDOS partition as well and can run on 386 systems all the way up to the latest x86 machines. Version 9.5 h1/i1 was released April 21, 2003. From LWN Distribution List

Bounced message

An electronic mail message that comes back to the sender after a failed delivery attempt. The failure may be due to an incorrectly-typed e-mail address or to a network problem. From QUECID

Bourne Shell

A popular command line shell offering many advantages over the DOS command prompt. (Also, see Bash and Korn Shell.) From I-gloss

Bourne Shell

The Bourne shell is the most widely used Unix shell.It prompts you with $.Its program name is sh. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux

Broadcast message

In a network, a message to all system users that appears when you log in to the system. For example, broadcast messages are used to inform users when the system will be shut down for maintenance. From QUECID


A Program which allows your computer to download and display documents from the World Wide Web. The two most popular browsers are Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. It is also a software that allows users to access and navigate the World Wide Web. Some Web browsers, such as Mosaic and Netscape, are graphical. Lynx is a text-based browser. From Glossary of Distance Education and Internet Terminology


Brutalware fits on two floppy disks with TCP/IP networking (currently only bootp-based) and one supplementary floppy with tons of hacking utilities. Great distribution for use in school labs and Internet cafes. Brutalware Linux 1.1 is a libc5 based 2.0.36 Linux distribution. A floppy-based distribution. From LWN Distribution List


A progamming error that casuses to a program or a computer system to perform erratically, produce incorrect results, or crash. The term bug was coined when a real insect was discovered to have fouled up one of the circuits of the first electronic digital computer, the ENIAC. A hardware problem is called a glitch. From QUECID


Capable, because of high fault tolerance, of resisting external interferance and recovering from situations that would crash other programs. From QUECID


An internal electrical pathway along which signals are sent from one part of the computer to another. Personal computers have a processor bus design with three pathways. The data bus sends data back and forth between the memory and the microprocessor divided into an external data bus and an internal data bus. The addrss bus identifies which memory location will come into play. The control bus carries the control unit's signals. From QUECID

Bus Master DMA

A technology for increasing the speed of hard disk data transfers which requires support from the motherboard and the BIOS, and at least some support from the drive. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


A set of Bits that represent a single character. Usually there are 8 Bits in a Byte, sometimes more, depending on how the measurement is being made. From Matisse


A single computer character, generally eight bits. For example, the letter "G" in binary code is 01000111. From Glossary of Distance Education and Internet Terminology


is a relatively new algorithm for compressing data. It generally achieves files that are 60-70% of the size of their gzipped counterparts. From Bzip2 mini-HOWTO


An icon editor in Perl-Tk Babygimp is an icon editor in Perl-Tk. It can edit and save files in .xpm format. From Debian 3.0r0 APT

back door

A hole in the security of a system deliberately left in place by designers or maintainers. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux

back door

n. [common] A hole in the security of a system deliberately left in place by designers or maintainers. The motivation for such holes is not always sinister; some operating systems, for example, come out of the box with privileged accounts intended for use by field service technicians or the vendor's maintenance programmers. Syn. trap door; may also be called a `wormhole'. See also iron box, cracker, worm, logic bomb. Historically, back doors have often lurked in systems longer than anyone expected or planned, and a few have become widely known. Ken Thompson's 1983 Turing Award lecture to the ACM admitted the existence of a back door in early Unix versions that may have qualified as the most fiendishly clever security hack of all time. In this scheme, the C compiler contained code that would recognize when the `login' command was being recompiled and insert some code recognizing a password chosen by Thompson, giving him entry to the system whether or not an account had been created for him. Normally such a back door could be removed by removing it from the source code for the compiler and recompiling the compiler. But to recompile the compiler, you have to use the compiler -- so Thompson also arranged that the compiler would recognize when it was compiling a version of itself, and insert into the recompiled compiler the code to insert into the recompiled `login' the code to allow Thompson entry -- and, of course, the code to recognize itself and do the whole thing again the next time around! And having done this once, he was then able to recompile the compiler from the original sources; the hack perpetuated itself invisibly, leaving the back door in place and active but with no trace in the sources. The talk that suggested this truly moby hack was published as "Reflections on Trusting Trust", "Communications of the ACM 27", 8 (August 1984), pp. 761-763 (text available at http://www.acm.org/classics). Ken Thompson has since confirmed that this hack was implemented and that the Trojan Horse code did appear in the login binary of a Unix Support group machine. Ken says the crocked compiler was never distributed. Your editor has heard two separate reports that suggest that the crocked login did make it out of Bell Labs, notably to BBN, and that it enabled at least one late-night login across the network by someone using the login name `kt'. From Jargon Dictionary

back up

to make a copy of important data onto a different storage medium. Backing up to tape is essential system maintenance. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


Processing that a system performs without requiring interaction with the user. In Linux, append an ampersand (&) to the command line to request background processing. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


n.,adj.,vt. [common] To do a task `in background' is to do it whenever foreground matters are not claiming your undivided attention, and `to background' something means to relegate it to a lower priority. "For now, we'll just print a list of nodes and links; I'm working on the graph-printing problem in background." Note that this implies ongoing activity but at a reduced level or in spare time, in contrast to mainstream `back burner' (which connotes benign neglect until some future resumption of activity). Some people prefer to use the term for processing that they have queued up for their unconscious minds (a tack that one can often fruitfully take upon encountering an obstacle in creative work). Compare amp off, slopsucker. Technically, a task running in background is detached from the terminal where it was started (and often running at a lower priority); oppose foreground. Nowadays this term is primarily associated with Unix, but it appears to have been first used in this sense on OS/360. From Jargon Dictionary

background process

A process that runs without interacting with a terminal. Because each user in a Linux system is allowed to have a number of background processes running simultaneously, Linux is called a multitasking system. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


n. 1. In a regular expression or pattern match, the text which was matched within grouping parentheses 2. The part of the pattern which refers back to the matched text. 3. By extension, anything which refers back to something which has been seen or discussed before. "When you said `she' just now, who were you backreferencing?" From Jargon Dictionary


A character (\) that is used in shell statements to quote another character (that is, to remove its special meaning to the shell). For example, if you want to use a dollar sign as a dollar sign, rather than as a symbol for end of line, enter \$. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


A copy of a file (or a group of files) that is stored off-line in the event that a computer system fails, losing or damaging the original file or files. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux

backward combatability

/bak'w*rd k*m-bat'*-bil'*-tee/ n. [CMU, Tektronix: from `backward compatibility'] A property of hardware or software revisions in which previous protocols, formats, layouts, etc. are irrevocably discarded in favor of `new and improved' protocols, formats, and layouts, leaving the previous ones not merely deprecated but actively defeated. (Too often, the old and new versions cannot definitively be distinguished, such that lingering instances of the previous ones yield crashes or other infelicitous effects, as opposed to a simple "version mismatch" message.) A backwards compatible change, on the other hand, allows old versions to coexist without crashes or error messages, but too many major changes incorporating elaborate backwards compatibility processing can lead to extreme software bloat. See also flag day. From Jargon Dictionary


search a device for bad blocks From whatis


GNOME email client Balsa is a e-mail reader. This client is part of the GNOME desktop environment. It supports local mailboxes, POP3 and IMAP. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


1. n. Common spoken name for ! (ASCII 0100001), especially when used in pronouncing a bang path in spoken hackish. In elder days this was considered a CMUish usage, with MIT and Stanford hackers preferring excl or shriek; but the spread of Unix has carried `bang' with it (esp. via the term bang path) and it is now certainly the most common spoken name for !. Note that it is used exclusively for non-emphatic written !; one would not say "Congratulations bang" (except possibly for humorous purposes), but if one wanted to specify the exact characters `foo!' one would speak "Eff oh oh bang". See shriek, ASCII. 2. interj. An exclamation signifying roughly "I have achieved enlightenment!", or "The dynamite has cleared out my brain!" Often used to acknowledge that one has perpetrated a thinko immediately after one has been called on it. From Jargon Dictionary


Denoted by the ! character. The C shell command !!, which repeats the last command, for example, is pronounced "Bang!Bang!". From Linux Guide @FirstLinux

bang path

n. [now historical] An old-style UUCP electronic-mail address specifying hops to get from some assumed-reachable location to the addressee, so called because each hop is signified by a bang sign. Thus, for example, the path ...!bigsite!foovax!barbox!me directs people to route their mail to machine bigsite (presumably a well-known location accessible to everybody) and from there through the machine foovax to the account of user me on barbox. In the bad old days of not so long ago, before autorouting mailers became commonplace, people often published compound bang addresses using the { } convention (see glob) to give paths from several big machines, in the hopes that one's correspondent might be able to get mail to one of them reliably (example: ...!{seismo, ut-sally, ihnp4}!rice!beta!gamma!me). Bang paths of 8 to 10 hops were not uncommon in 1981. Late-night dial-up UUCP links would cause week-long transmission times. Bang paths were often selected by both transmission time and reliability, as messages would often get lost. See Internet address, the network, and sitename. From Jargon Dictionary


Many text-based protocols will issue text banners when you connect to the service. These can usually be used to fingerprint the os or service. Key point: Many banners reveal the exact version of the product. Over time, exploits are found for specific versions of products. Therefore, the intruder can simply lookup the version numbers in a list to find which exploit will work on the system. In the examples below, the version numbers that reveal the service has known exploitable weaknesses are highlighted. Example: The example below is a RedHat Linux box with most the default service enabled. The examples below show only the text-based services that show banners upon connection (in some cases, a little bit of input was provided in order to trigger the banners). Note that this is an older version of Linux; exploits exist for most these services that would allow a hacker to break into this box (most are buffer-overflow exploits). Best practices: It is often recommend (and required in some government areas) to display a banner warning off unauthorized users. It makes the legal case stronger if you can show that the attacker saw a banner that indicated that they were unauthorized. Best practices: All version information should be supressed in the banners. See the product documentation for more information on this. An example on Solaris is to edit the configuration file /etc/default/telnetd and added the line: BANNER="" This will remove the Solaris login banner, making it more difficult for an intruder to determine the type of operating system. From Hacking-Lexicon

banner page

A way to separate printing jobs which often indicates the owner of the file that has been printed. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


/bar/ n. 1. [very common] The second metasyntactic variable, after foo and before baz. "Suppose we have two functions: FOO and BAR. FOO calls BAR...." 2. Often appended to foo to produce foobar. From Jargon Dictionary


Creates barcodes in .ps format GNU barcode can create printouts for the conventional product packaging standards: UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN-13, EAN-8, ISBN, code 39 code 128 (b and c), and interleaved 2 of 5 . Ouput is generated as either Postscript or Encapsulated Postscript. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Deletes messages on the spool dir depending on their age. Barrendero is intended to limit the disk space wasted at the spool directory. It deletes mail messages depending on their age, and has the ability to send warnings and reports to the users, to make full and partial backups, and to have different allowed ages on a per-user basis. Warning and report messages are cusomizable and can be translated easely in order to make this package useful in any environment. This way of handling mail as an advantage over the traditional 'quota' system: quotas make the end user loose NEW mail, barrendero deletes OLD mail, so the new mail is always available. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Parse pathname components From whatis


strip directory and suffix from filenames From whatis


the name of a file minus any extension that may be included in the full name. For example, if the full name of the source file for a C program is combine.c, its basename is combine. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


Bash is a GNU project sh-compatible shell or command language interpreter. Bash (Bourne Again shell) incorporates useful features from the Korn shell (ksh) and the C shell (csh). Most sh scripts can be run by bash without modification. Bash offers several improvements over sh, including command line editing, unlimited size command history, job control, shell functions and aliases, indexed arrays of unlimited size and integer arithmetic in any base from two to 64. Bash is ultimately intended to conform to the IEEE POSIX P1003.2/ISO 9945.2 Shell andTools standard.Bash is the default shell for Mandrake Linux. You should installbash because of its popularity and power. You'll probably end up using it. From Mandrake 9.0 RPM


The GNU Bourne Again SHell Bash is an sh-compatible command language interpreter that executes commands read from the standard input or from a file. Bash also incorporates useful features from the Korn and C shells (ksh and csh). Bash is ultimately intended to be a conformant implementation of the IEEE POSIX Shell and Tools specification (IEEE Working Group 1003.2). From Debian 3.0r0 APT


report a bug in bash From whatis


A PHP (both PHP3 and PHP4) and IMAP based webmail application powered with MySQL database server. It has a nice user-friendly interface and its HTML files are easy to be changed/edited. 0.7.6 includes WAP-Support. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Security hardening tool Bastille Linux is a security hardening program for several Linux distributions. If run in the preferred Interactive mode, it can teach you a good deal about Security while personalizing your system security state. If run in the quicker Automated mode, it can quickly tighten your machine, once a default profile is selected. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


adj. 1. Non-interactive. Hackers use this somewhat more loosely than the traditional technical definitions justify; in particular, switches on a normally interactive program that prepare it to receive non-interactive command input are often referred to as `batch mode' switches. A `batch file' is a series of instructions written to be handed to an interactive program running in batch mode. 2. Performance of dreary tasks all at one sitting. "I finally sat down in batch mode and wrote out checks for all those bills; I guess they'll turn the electricity back on next week..." 3. `batching up': Accumulation of a number of small tasks that can be lumped together for greater efficiency. "I'm batching up those letters to send sometime" "I'm batching up bottles to take to the recycling center." From Jargon Dictionary


queue, examine or delete jobs for later execution From whatis


a soccer game played with tanks or helicopters BattleBall is essentially the game of soccer, played with military vehicles rather than with people. Each player drives a tank or flies a helicopter, and tries to move the ball down the playfield to the other team's goal. Relatively unlimited number of human or computer players can compete in teams or head-to-head. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Battery status applet for GNOME Battstat is a battery status applet that monitors the battery charge level on a laptop. It displays different icons depending on the state of the power subsystem, and will warn if the power drops below a user configurable level. It uses the standard GNOME event system to play user configurable samples at certain events. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


measures of the rate at which signals are transmitted over a telecommunications link. It is equivalent to the number of elements or pulses transmitted in one second. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


An ASCII-art demo BB is a high quality audio-visual demonstration for your text terminal. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Date tool for the blackbox window manager bbdate is a simple blackbox tool for displaying the date in your blackbox slit. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


The Insidious Big Brother Database (email rolodex) for Emacs BBDB is a rolodex-like database program for GNU Emacs. BBDB stands for Insidious Big Brother Database, and is not, repeat, *not* an obscure reference to the Buck Rogers TV series. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


application to handle key bindings in Blackbox In the Blackbox window manager version 0.60 and higher, a separate application is needed to handle key bindings. This is such a program. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


launch windows with manipulated attribs under blackbox A program which allows the user to control the launching of applications under the Blackbox window manager. The user can launch applications with or without decorations, shaded, on a specific workspace or maximized horizontally or vertically. Requires that you be running the Blackbox window manager or a derivative. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Mail Utility for X This is a small mail utility for use with the Blackbox window manager. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Pager for the Blackbox window manager A pager tool for the Blackbox window manager. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


displays an image, and changes it every few seconds (from the README) If you've ever used the GNOME applet "fish," or Wanda, then this is an app very similar. In fact, that's where I got the idea for bbpal (since you need GNOME to use Wanda). When you run bbpal, is displays an image, and changes it every few seconds. Exciting, eh? It's fond of using up CPU cycles, and making your friends wonder what the heck it's used for. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


PPP tool for the blackbox window manager bbppp is a blackbox tool to control and manage your PPP link. It can start up /shut down your ppp connection (by running pon/poff), and displays rx and tx via a modem-lights style PPP load, and also the PPP link uptime. Note that you don't actually need blackbox for this program to work, but it won't look as good in any other window manager. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


System load tool for the blackbox window manager bbsload is a blackbox tool to display your system load. It can show simple system bar graphs, including load averages for 1, 5 and 15 minute periods, memory usage, swap usage, total system usage, as well as CPU loads for user, nice and system processes and idle time. Note that you don't actually need blackbox for this program to work, but it won't look as good in any other window manager. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Time tool for the blackbox window manager bbtime is a blackbox tool to display the system time in your blackbox slit. It can also display other times as an offset of your local time in a menu. Note that you don't actually need blackbox for this program to work, but it won't look as good in any other window manager. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


The GNU bc arbitrary precision calculator language GNU bc is an interactive algebraic language with arbitrary precision which follows the POSIX 1003.2 draft standard, with several extensions including multi-character variable names, an `else' statement and full Boolean expressions. GNU bc does not require the separate GNU dc program. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


16-bit C compiler This is a C-compiler for 8086 CPUs which is important for the development of boot loaders or BIOS related 8086 code. It is possible to run 8086 code under i386 Linux using an emulator, `elksemu', also included in this package. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


A CD image format converter from bin/cue to iso/cdr/wav The bchunk package contains a UNIX/C rewrite of the BinChunker program. BinChunker converts a CD image in a .bin/.cue format (sometimes .raw/.cue) into a set of .iso and .cdr/.wav tracks. The .bin/.cue format is used by some non-UNIX CD-writing software, but is not supported on most other CD-writing programs. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Bezier Clock Bezier Clock, looking somewhat different than usual clocks. This very funny clock uses a Bezier curve to draw the hands of the clock. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


The bdflush process starts the kernel daemon which flushes dirty buffers back to disk (i.e., writes all unwritten data to disk). This helps to prevent the buffers from growing too stale.Bdflush is a basic system process that must run for your system to operate properly. From Mandrake 9.0 RPM


Resize BDF Format Font Bdfresize is a command to magnify or reduce fonts which are described with the standard BDF format. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


convert X font from Bitmap Distribution Format to Portable Compiled Format From whatis


generate truncated BDF font from ISO 10646-1-encoded BDF font From whatis


A stock portfolio performance monitoring tool This package provides beancounter, a tool to quantify gains and losses in stock portfolios, as well as the BeanCounter Perl module that underlies it. Beancounter queries stock prices from Yahoo! Finance server(s) around the globe and stores them in a relational database (using PostgreSQL) so that the data can be used for further analysis. Canned performance reports are available. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


GTK+ Graphical network system to generate sound BEAST/BSE is a plugin-based system where you can link objects to each other and generate sound. This is still an ALPHA version of the upstream. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Binary Editor And Viewer (beav) beav is an editor for binary files containing arbitrary data. Text file editors, on the other hand, expect the files they edit to contain textual data, and/or to be formatted in a certain way (e.g. lines of printable characters delimited by newline characters). With beav, you can edit a file in HEX, ASCII, EBCDIC, OCTAL, DECIMAL, and BINARY. You can display but not edit data in FLOAT mode. You can search or search and replace in any of these modes. Data can be displayed in BYTE, WORD, or DOUBLE WORD formats. While displaying WORDS or DOUBLE WORDS the data can be displayed in INTEL's or MOTOROLA's byte ordering. Data of any length can be inserted at any point in the file. The source of this data can be the keyboard, another buffer, or a file. Any data that is being displayed can be sent to a printer in the displayed format. Files that are bigger than memory can be handled. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


An Early AdVanced EditoR Beaver is a text editor that is lightweight but full of features for programming from web authoring to C programming. It is based on the GTK+ toolkit, supports tons of languages through config files (compatible with UltraEdit 'wordfile.txt') and offers functions such as automatic indentation, correction and completion, or syntax highlighting. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


An open source C library of cryptographic algorithms. BeeCrypt is an open source cryptography library that contains highly optimized C and assembler implementations of many well-known algorithms including Blowfish, SHA-1, Diffie-Hellman, and ElGamal. Unlike some other crypto libraries, BeeCrypt is not designed to solve one specific problem, like file encryption, but to be a general purpose toolkit which can be used in a variety of applications. There are also no patent or royalty issues associated with BeeCrypt, and it is released under the GNU LGPL license, which means it can be used for free in both open source and closed source commercial projects. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Advanced pc-speaker beeper beep does what you'd expect: it beeps. But unlike printf "\a" beep allows you to control pitch, duration, and repetitions. Its job is to live inside shell/perl scripts and allow more granularity than one has otherwise. It is controlled completely through command line options. It's not supposed to be complex, and it isn't - but it makes system monitoring (or whatever else it gets hacked into) much more informative. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


screen saver From whatis


/bay't*/, /be't*/ or (Commonwealth) /bee't*/ n. 1. Mostly working, but still under test; usu. used with `in': `in beta'. In the Real World, systems (hardware or software) software often go through two stages of release testing: Alpha (in-house) and Beta (out-house?). Beta releases are generally made to a group of lucky (or unlucky) trusted customers. 2. Anything that is new and experimental. "His girlfriend is in beta" means that he is still testing for compatibility and reserving judgment. 3. Flaky; dubious; suspect (since beta software is notoriously buggy). Historical note: More formally, to beta-test is to test a pre-release (potentially unreliable) version of a piece of software by making it available to selected (or self-selected) customers and users. This term derives from early 1960s terminology for product cycle checkpoints, first used at IBM but later standard throughout the industry. `Alpha Test' was the unit, module, or component test phase; `Beta Test' was initial system test. These themselves came from earlier A- and B-tests for hardware. The A-test was a feasibility and manufacturability evaluation done before any commitment to design and development. The B-test was a demonstration that the engineering model functioned as specified. The C-test (corresponding to today's beta) was the B-test performed on early samples of the production design, and the D test was the C test repeated after the model had been in production a while. From Jargon Dictionary

beta software

Development copies that are released prior to the full version. They are released to aid debugging of the software and to obtain real world reports of its operation. An expiry date is often built into the software. See alpha software. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


Brute Force Binary Tester BFBTester is great for doing quick, proactive, security checks of binary programs. BFBTester will perform checks of single and multiple argument command line overflows as well as environment variable overflows. BFBTester can also watch for tempfile creation activity to alert the user of any programs using unsafe tempfile names. While BFBTester can not test all overflows in software, it is useful for detecting initial mistakes that can red flag dangerous software. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


nonblocking 8-bit-clean pipe buffer bfr's purpose is to buffer data. It buffers from its standard input and/or a list of files of your choosing, and allows this data to flow to its standard output at whatever rate that end can handle. It's useful for any situation in which its beneficial to have I/O occur in a detached yet smooth fashion. Also contained is bfp, a buffering /dev/dsp writer. Pipe your raw PCM data to it, for skip-free bliss. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Big-5 wide-characters rectifier Bg5cc converts `\' in Big-5 wide-characters that appear in source programs to `\\'. This ensures programs that contain Big-5 characters can be compiled correctly. Bg5cc should have little use to end-users. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


A utility to print Chinese Big5/GB documents using TrueType fonts Bg5ps is a utility to output a Postscript file from a Chinese Big5 or GB2312 encoded document by using TrueType fonts. Postscript files produced by Netscape and mpage that contain Big5 or GB2312 characters can be filtered by bg5ps so that the Chinese characters within can be printed correctly. If you want to use the configuration tool 'bg5psconf', make sure you have the package python-gtk installed. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Fast lookup in BibTeX bibliography data bases bibindex converts a .bib file to a .bix file, which is a compact binary representation of the .bib file containing hash tables for fast lookup, as well as byte offset positions into the corresponding .bib file. biblook provides an interactive lookup facility using the .bix and .bib files. It verifies that the file version number and bibindex version number match its own values, and also compares the file time stamps so that it can detect whether the .bix file is out-of-date with respect to the .bib file. In either case, execution terminates. This Debian package features a command line history mechanism through the GNU readline library. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


A bible study tool for KDE BibleTime 1.1 is a free and easy to use bible study tool for UNIX systems. It requires a working KDE2 environment and SWORD 1.5.3 or later. BibleTime provides easy handling of digitized texts (Bibles, commentaries and lexicons) and powerful features to work with these texts (search in texts, write own notes, save, print etc.). From Debian 3.0r0 APT


make a bibliography for (La)TeX From whatis


BibTeX to HTML translator and BibTeX filter tool Collection of tools for filtering BibTeX data bases and for producing HTML documents from BibTeX data bases: - aux2bib extracts a BibTeX database consisting of only the entries that are refereed by an aux file. - bib2bib is a filter tool that reads one or several bibliography files, filters the entries with respect to a given criterion, and outputs the list of selected keys together with a new bibliography file containing only the selected entries; - bibtex2html is a translator that reads a bibliography file and outputs two HTML documents that are respectively the cited bibliography in a nice presentation, and the original BibTeX file augmented with several transparent HTML links to allow easy navigation. See the bibtex2html homepage http://www.lri.fr/~filliatr/bibtex2html/index.en.html. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


A tool for manipulating BibTeX data bases. BibTeX provides an easy to use means to integrate citations and bibliographies into LaTeX documents. But the user is left alone with the management of the BibTeX files. The program BibTool is intended to fill this gap. BibTool allows the manipulation of BibTeX files which goes beyond the possibilities -- and intentions -- of BibTeX. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


X11 Bibliography database tool bibview is a tool to let you set up and maintain BibTeX bibliography databases. LaTeX can then use these automatically in citations and bibliographies in your documents. From its README: It [bibview] supports the user in making new entries, searching for entries and moving entries from one BiB to another. It is possible to work with more than one BiB simultaneously. bibview is implemented with Xt and Athena Widgets. There are six types of windows in bibview: The main window contains menus for customizing bibview and for working with BiBs on the file level. The bibliography window (one for every open BiB) contains commands for manipulating the BiB. The list window (at most one for every open BiB) shows a list of entries. It displays the fields author, title, type and year. The card window (at most one for every entry) helps editing an entry. It contains boxes for each field of the entry (according to the type). The fields can be edited by putting the mouse cursor into the field. Macros in fields and the symbol for concatenation ('#') are marked with a preceding '@'. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Bisqwit's identd Bisqwit's identd is an Identification Protocol (RFC 1413) daemon. It works like an ident daemon is supposed to work. Masquerading is supported, and works recursively. Works only under Linux, due to the use of /proc filesystem. A typical case for using Bisqwit's identd: - Alpha has the internet connection. It has an ip in internet. - Beta is masqueraded by Alpha. - Gamma is masqueraded by Beta. - Somebody in Gamma starts irc, and the irc server (in internet) gets the username of the user in Gamma, correctly. All of these computers would be running bidentd (from inetd), although Gamma could have any ident daemon, as it does not masquerade further. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Tool for watching and bidding on eBay auctions Bidwatcher is a tool for eBay users (eBay is a giant internet auction site). It is a stand alone application that can track auctions and perform automated bids. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


console hex viewer/editor with disassembler BIEW (Binary vIEW) is a free, portable, advanced file viewer with built-in editor for binary, hexadecimal and disassembler modes. It contains a highlight PentiumIII/K7 Athlon/Cyrix-M2 disassembler, full preview of MZ, NE, PE, LE, LX, DOS.SYS, NLM, ELF, a.out, arch, coff32, PharLap, rdoff executable formats, a code guider, and lot of other features, making it invaluable for examining binary code. DOS, Win32, OS/2, Linux, BeOS, Unix versions are available. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


a mail notification tool biff is a small little program that tells you when you get mail. Most standard .bashrc files include 'biff y' at the start to enable notification. The included biff server is notified whenever new mail arrives. From Debian 3.0r0 APT

biff /bif/ vt.

To notify someone of incoming mail. From the BSD utility biff(1), which was in turn named after a friendly dog who used to chase frisbees in the halls at UCB while 4.2BSD was in development. There was a legend that it had a habit of barking whenever the mailman came, but the author of biff says this is not true. No relation to B1FF. From Jargon Dictionary


It describes the order in which bytes of a word are processed. Many RISC computers and 68000 processors use big-endian representations where the high-order byte is stored at the lower address. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


A practical Scheme compiler Bigloo is a Scheme system which includes a compiler generating C code and an interpreter. Bigloo is conformant to IEEE Scheme and is mostly conformant to Revised^5 Report on the Algorithmic Language Scheme with many extensions: - Rgc, a lex facility. - Match, a pattern-matching compiler. - Foreign languages interface. - Module language. - Extension package system. - An LALR facility. - An Object system. - DSSSL support. - Unicode characters and strings. - Process, Pipe and Socket support. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


A billard game using OpenGL Play a game of billard against the computer or a friend. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


16-bit assembler and loader This is the as86 and ld86 distribution written by Bruce Evans. It's a complete 8086 assembler and loader which can make 32-bit code for the 386+ processors (under Linux it's used only to create the 16-bit boot sector and setup binaries). From Debian 3.0r0 APT

binary file

a file that contains codes which are not part of the ASCII character set. A binary file can contain any type of information that can be represented by an 8 bit byte - a possible 256 values. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) is an implementation of the DNS(Domain Name System) protocols. BIND includes a DNS server (named), which resolves host names to IP addresses; a resolver library (routines for applications to use when interfacing with DNS); and tools for verifying that the DNS server is operating properly. From Redhat 8.0 RPM


Internet Domain Name Server The Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) implements an Internet domain name server. BIND is the most widely-used name server software on the Internet, and is supported by the Internet Software Consortium, www.isc.org. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Support for extra binary formats The binfmt_misc kernel module, contained in versions 2.1.43 and later of the Linux kernel, allows system administrators to register interpreters for various binary formats based on a magic number or their file extension, and cause the appropriate interpreter to be invoked whenever a matching file is executed. Think of it as a more flexible version of the #! executable interpreter mechanism. This package provides an 'update-binfmts' script with which package maintainers can register interpreters to be used with this module without having to worry about writing their own init.d scripts, and which sysadmins can use for a slightly higher-level interface to this module. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Empirical stochastic bandwidth tester Bing is a point-to-point bandwidth measurement tool (hence the 'b'), based on ping. Bing determines the real (raw, as opposed to available or average) throughput on a link by measuring ICMP echo requests' round trip times for different packet sizes at each end of the link. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


FidoTech TCP/IP mailer Binkd is a FidoTech mailer designed for use over TCP/IP. This program is NOT an internet mail transfer agent. If you don't know what it is, you don't need it. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Statistics tool for installed programs A utility to aid the tidying up of binaries, interpreted scripts, and dynamic libraries. It can find the number and identity of a.out and ELF binaries, plus their debugging symbols status, setuid status, and dynamic library dependence. It can count the number of Java bytecode programs, tally up the main types of scripts, and look for unidentified executable text files. Also it is able to find any duplicated executable names, unused libraries, binaries with missing libraries, statically linked binaries, and duplicated manual page names. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Binutils is a collection of binary utilities, including ar (for creating, modifying and extracting from archives), as (a family of GNU assemblers), gprof (for displaying call graph profile data), ld (theGNU linker), nm (for listing symbols from object files), objcopy (for copying and translating object files), objdump (for displaying information from object files), ranlib (for generating an index for the contents of an archive), size (for listing the section sizes of an object or archive file), strings (for listing printable strings from files), strip (for discarding symbols), and addr2line (for converting addresses to file and line). From Redhat 8.0 RPM


The GNU assembler, linker and binary utilities. The programs in this package are used to assemble, link and manipulate binary and object files. They may be used in conjunction with a compiler and various libraries to build programs for Linux. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


[Biology] An Emacs mode to edit genetic data biomode provides you several interesting commands to take the antiparallel of a region, convert it using readseq, runs blast on it, etc. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


[Biology] Perl tools for computational molecular biology The Bioperl project is a coordinated effort to collect computational methods routinely used in bioinformatics into a set of standard CPAN-style, well-documented, and freely available Perl modules. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Internet Routing Daemon Supports OSPF, RIPv2 (No v1), BGP both IPv4 and IPv6 and redistribution between the protocols with a powerful configuration syntax. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Display information about pending events on login Given a list of the dates of various different events, works out and displays a list of those which will come up in the next couple of weeks. This was originally designed for birthdays, but can equally be used for reminders about yearly events, or for a running diary. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


A parser generator that is compatible with YACC. Bison is a general-purpose parser generator that converts a grammar description for an LALR(1) context-free grammar into a C program to parse that grammar. Once you are proficient with Bison, you may use it to develop a wide range of language parsers, from those used in simple desk calculators to complex programming languages. Bison is upward compatible with Yacc: all properly-written Yacc grammars ought to work with Bison with no change. Anyone familiar with Yacc should be able to use Bison with little trouble. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Bison is a general purpose parser generator that converts a grammar description for an LALR(1) context-free grammar into a C program to parse that grammar. Bison can be used to develop a wide range oflanguage parsers, from ones used in simple desk calculators to complex programming languages. Bison is upwardly compatible with Yacc, so anycorrectly written Yacc grammar should work with Bison without any changes. If you know Yacc, you should not have any trouble using Bison. You do need to be proficient in C programming to be able to use Bison. Bison is only needed on systems that are used for development.If your system will be used for C development, you should install Bison. From Redhat 8.0 RPM


n. [from the mainstream meaning and `Binary digIT'] 1. [techspeak] The unit of information; the amount of information obtained by asking a yes-or-no question for which the two outcomes are equally probable. 2. [techspeak] A computational quantity that can take on one of two values, such as true and false or 0 and 1. 3. A mental flag: a reminder that something should be done eventually. "I have a bit set for you." (I haven't seen you for a while, and I'm supposed to tell or ask you something.) 4. More generally, a (possibly incorrect) mental state of belief. "I have a bit set that says that you were the last guy to hack on EMACS." (Meaning "I think you were the last guy to hack on EMACS, and what I am about to say is predicated on this, so please stop me if this isn't true.") "I just need one bit from you" is a polite way of indicating that you intend only a short interruption for a question that can presumably be answered yes or no. A bit is said to be `set' if its value is true or 1, and `reset' or `clear' if its value is false or 0. One speaks of setting and clearing bits. To toggle or `invert' a bit is to change it, either from 0 to 1 or from 1 to 0. See also flag, trit, mode bit. The term `bit' first appeared in print in the computer-science sense in a 1948 paper by information theorist Claude Shannon, and was there credited to the early computer scientist John Tukey (who also seems to have coined the term `software'). Tukey records that `bit' evolved over a lunch table as a handier alternative to `bigit' or `binit', at a conference in the winter of 1943-44. From Jargon Dictionary

bit bang

n. Transmission of data on a serial line, when accomplished by rapidly tweaking a single output bit, in software, at the appropriate times. The technique is a simple loop with eight OUT and SHIFT instruction pairs for each byte. Input is more interesting. And full duplex (doing input and output at the same time) is one way to separate the real hackers from the wannabees. Bit bang was used on certain early models of Prime computers, presumably when UARTs were too expensive, and on archaic Z80 micros with a Zilog PIO but no SIO. In an interesting instance of the cycle of reincarnation, this technique returned to use in the early 1990s on some RISC architectures because it consumes such an infinitesimal part of the processor that it actually makes sense not to have a UART. Compare cycle of reincarnation. From Jargon Dictionary

bit bashing

n. (alt. `bit diddling' or bit twiddling) Term used to describe any of several kinds of low-level programming characterized by manipulation of bit, flag, nybble, and other smaller-than-character-sized pieces of data; these include low-level device control, encryption algorithms, checksum and error-correcting codes, hash functions, some flavors of graphics programming (see bitblt), and assembler/compiler code generation. May connote either tedium or a real technical challenge (more usually the former). "The command decoding for the new tape driver looks pretty solid but the bit-bashing for the control registers still has bugs." See also bit bang, mode bit. From Jargon Dictionary

bit bucket

n. [very common] 1. The universal data sink (originally, the mythical receptacle used to catch bits when they fall off the end of a register during a shift instruction). Discarded, lost, or destroyed data is said to have `gone to the bit bucket'. On Unix, often used for /dev/null. Sometimes amplified as `the Great Bit Bucket in the Sky'. 2. The place where all lost mail and news messages eventually go. The selection is performed according to Finagle's Law; important mail is much more likely to end up in the bit bucket than junk mail, which has an almost 100% probability of getting delivered. Routing to the bit bucket is automatically performed by mail-transfer agents, news systems, and the lower layers of the network. 3. The ideal location for all unwanted mail responses: "Flames about this article to the bit bucket." Such a request is guaranteed to overflow one's mailbox with flames. 4. Excuse for all mail that has not been sent. "I mailed you those figures last week; they must have landed in the bit bucket." Compare black hole. This term is used purely in jest. It is based on the fanciful notion that bits are objects that are not destroyed but only misplaced. This appears to have been a mutation of an earlier term `bit box', about which the same legend was current; old-time hackers also report that trainees used to be told that when the CPU stored bits into memory it was actually pulling them `out of the bit box'. See also chad box. Another variant of this legend has it that, as a consequence of the `parity preservation law', the number of 1 bits that go to the bit bucket must equal the number of 0 bits. Any imbalance results in bits filling up the bit bucket. A qualified computer technician can empty a full bit bucket as part of scheduled maintenance. From Jargon Dictionary


Advanced Internet Relay Chat client This is the bleeding edge of IRC software -- the most common functions normally done by scripts are coded into the client itself. It contains dozens of features such as: * Built-in ANSI color (this is probably the biggest feature) * Ease of use -- dozens of useful command aliases to reduce typing * Built-in notify, protection, and bot lists * Built-in mass commands and tools * Extended set of DCC commands and built-in CDCC offering * Extended scripting functionality, including unique functions * Code is based on ircII-Plutonium and more recent ircII-EPiC Online linux help is available at irc.debian.org. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Collects bitprint and other information from files for bitzi.com Think of it as a really big file hash database on the internet with constant contributions from others of metadata on files. Bitcollider is a small program to reliably identify and describe files on your machine. When run with a specific file as input, this program does two major things: * It examines the file, calculating a distinctive digital fingerprint, or bitprint, and taking note of some other identifying information that can be extracted from the file, like file length and the local filename. * It launches your web browser to do a lookup at our website, submitting this identifying information as the search terms. At bitzi.com you'll see what - if anything - others have said about your file, and have a chance to contribute descriptions or comments yourself. If your automatic submission included information useful to our database, that new information will be contributed to the database under your screen name. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Define a new bitmap from a Tcl script From whatis


bitmap editor and converter utilities for the X Window System From whatis


pl.n. 1. Information. Examples: "I need some bits about file formats." ("I need to know about file formats.") Compare core dump, sense 4. 2. Machine-readable representation of a document, specifically as contrasted with paper: "I have only a photocopy of the Jargon File; does anyone know where I can get the bits?". See softcopy, source of all good bits See also bit. From Jargon Dictionary


Utility to turn bookmarks into Yahoo/Slashdot like pages bk2site will transform a Netscape bookmarks file (use xbel-utils to convert other formats) into a yahoo-like website with slashdot-like news. You can see an example website created with it at http://MultiAgent.com. The program has several nice features: Includes hit-counter and display feature (see which URLs are popular). Includes integrated cgi-bin search.pl program. Nice-looking output. Powerful customization. Inserts navigation information into the top of each page. Puts a "new" icon next to new entries. Supports any other icon(s) (e.g., cool.gif, hot.gif) you might want to show. Puts New Additions on the front page. Puts News Items on the front page. Supports URL and directory aliases. Use PRIVATE keyword to keep some URLs/folders from appearing. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Blink Keyboard LEDs. bl blinks the keyboard LEDs: the Num Lock, the Caps Lock, and the Scroll Lock. bl is a very helpful monitor of server's state. Blinking speed could tell about CPU load. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Find the crystals There's a black box. You can shoot in and watch, where the shot leaves the box. In the box, crystals are reflecting the shots. You have to guess where the crystals are hidden, by watching your shots. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Window manager for X This is a window manager for X. It is similar in many respects to such popular packages as Window Maker, Enlightenment, and FVWM2. You might be interested in this package if you are tired of window managers that are a heavy drain on your system resources, but you still want an attractive and modern-looking interface. The best part of all is that this program is coded in C++, so it is even more attractive "under the hood" than it is in service -- no small feat. If none of this sounds familiar to you, or you want your computer to look like Microsoft Windows or Apple's OS X, you probably don't want this package. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


A feature rich ircII based IRC client IRC (Internet Relay Chat) provides a way of communicating in real time with people from all over the world. It consists of various separate networks (or "nets") of IRC servers, machines that allow users to connect to IRC. The largest nets are EFnet (the original IRC net, often having more than 32,000 people at once), Undernet, IRCnet, DALnet, NewNet and OPN. Generally, the user (such as you) runs a program (called a "client") to connect to a server on one of the IRC nets. The server relays information to and from other servers on the same net. The ircII program is the first widely used IRC client. IrcII has spawned several other clients in modern times, all of which keep the basic ircII command set and add to it in various more or less useful ways. Blackened is an enhanced ircII based IRC client that offers a variety of features not found in other clients, including commands designed for IRC server operators and administrators. Normal users also benefit from additional functionality. See also the Official Blackened Website at http://www.blackened.com/blackened/. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Basic Linear Algebra Communications Subprograms The BLACS project is an ongoing investigation whose purpose is to create a linear algebra oriented message passing interface that may be implemented efficiently and uniformly across a large range of distributed memory platforms. You can choose between an implementation based on MPI or PVM. This package uses MPI. There also exist implementations on HP Exemplar, IBM SP Series, Thinking Machines CM-5, SGI Origin 2000 and some Crays. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Basic Linear Algebra Subroutines, shared library BLAS (Basic Linear Algebra Subroutines) is a set of efficient routines for most of the basic vector and matrix operations. They are widely used as the basis for other high quality linear algebra software, for example lapack and linpack. This implementation is the Fortran 77 reference implementation found at netlib. This package contains a shared version of the library. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Basic Linear Algebra Subroutines, testing programs BLAS (Basic Linear Algebra Subroutines) is a set of efficient routines for most of the basic vector and matrix operations. They are widely used as the basis for other high quality linear algebra software, for example lapack and linpack. This implementation is the Fortran 77 reference implementation found at netlib. This package contains a set of programs which test the integrity of an installed blas-compatible shared library. These programs may therefore be used to test the libraries provided by the blas package as well as those provided by the atlas packages. The programs are dynamically linked -- one can explicitly select a library to test by setting the LD_LIBRARY_PATH or LD_PRELOAD environment variables. Likewise, one can display the library selected using the ldd program in an identical environment. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Vent your frustration with programs by blowing holes in them Blast lets you vent your frustration with programs by blowing holes in them. With this program you can blast holes any window in X. Holes become permanent unless you repair them before you quit. You may move permanently "damaged" windows and enjoy the view behind the holes. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Basic Local Alignment Search Tool The famous sequence alignment program. This is "official" NCBI version, #2. The blastall executable allows you to give a nucleotide or protein sequence to the program. It is compared against databases and a summary of matches is returned to the user. Note that databases are not included in Debian; they must be retrieved manually. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


a powerful text markup and transformation language A blatte document can be translated into a Perl program that, when executed, produces a transformed version of the input document. A Major emacs mode for editing Blatte source is also included. Many users will be interested in Blatte's ability to serve as a high-level language for writing web pages. This requires the module blatte-html which is included. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Blinks keyboard LEDs for an answering machine or fax machine. Blinkd is a client/server pair, that lets the keyboard LEDs blink, indicating things like the number of incoming voice calls in the voice box or incoming faxes in the spool. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


C++ template class library for scientific computing Blitz++ offers a high level of abstraction, but performance which rivals Fortran. The current version supports arrays and vectors. This package includes libraries and headers for compiling programs with blitz++. Homepage http://oonumerics.org/blitz/ From Debian 3.0r0 APT


n. [common] Software that provides minimal functionality while requiring a disproportionate amount of diskspace and memory. Especially used for application and OS upgrades. This term is very common in the Windows/NT world. So is its cause. From Jargon Dictionary


v. [common; from process scheduling terminology in OS theory] 1. vi. To delay or sit idle while waiting for something. "We're blocking until everyone gets here." Compare busy-wait. 2. `block on' vt. To block, waiting for (something). "Lunch is blocked on Phil's arrival." From Jargon Dictionary

block transfer computations

n. [from the television series "Dr. Who"] Computations so fiendishly subtle and complex that they could not be performed by machines. Used to refer to any task that should be expressible as an algorithm in theory, but isn't. (The Z80's LDIR instruction, "Computed Block Transfer with increment", may also be relevant.) From Jargon Dictionary


call block device ioctls from the command line From whatis


Sliding-blocks puzzle (glotski written in perl) Bloksi is a sliding-blocks puzzle : blocks should be pushed around until a "goal" position is reached. This is nearly a clone -written in perl- of glotski, whose files can be loaded. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


a severely modified infobot for IRC This bot is based upon infobot-0.44.2 by Kevin Lenzo. The basis of infobot is still there but _many_ wild features have been added. Along the way, a couple of typos were spotted in the original infobot source and fixed in this version. Without infobot, there would be no blootbot so all thanks to kevin for bringing infobot in the first place. FEATURES * Additional information stored with factoids. (factinfo) * Wide range of statistics for Bot, Factoids, IRC, Debian. (status, factstats, ircstats, chanstats, cmdstats) * Advanced topic management. (the first cool feature) * Improved factoid search, allowing search by key or value. * Freshmeat support (freshmeat.net) * Debian Contents and Packages, search and info. * much more... From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Shared libraries for blt This is the shared libraries for BLT. You should only need this if you are using programs which are linked to blt, or are developing programs in BLT. BLT is an extension to the Tk toolkit, adding new widgets, geometry managers, and miscellaneous commands. It does not require any patching of the Tcl or Tk source files. An attempt is being made to unify the BLT libraries so that the package is independent of whatever tcl/tk library (e.g. 8.0,8.2,8.3) you are using. This will be via the tcl stubs interface. As part of this process, blt8.0 is obsolete and this package dynamically chooses the correct version of BLT library to match your situation. This makes is a lot bigger than if you choose the library versions yourself, but means that you always have the version you need (not always the case under the old system) From Debian 3.0r0 APT


A Gtk+ HTML editor Bluefish is a GTK HTML editor for the experienced web designer. It is currently in alpha stage, but still usable. Its features include nice wizards for startup, tables and frame; a fully featured image insert dialog; thumbnail creation and automatically linking of the thumbnail with the original image; and configurable HTML syntax highlighting. For validation to work you need weblint. For preview to work, you need a web browser that can view local files given to it on the command line. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


blueflops is a Linux distribution that fits on two floppy disks, and includes a graphical Web browser (links 2.1pre9 using svgalib 1.4.3) and a popular IRC client (BitchX 1.0c19). The kernel is 2.4.20 with most of the Ethernet drivers compiled as modules. The C library is uClibc 0.9.16, busybox is a slightly modified version of 0.61.pre. The 'links' and 'BitchX' binaries are statically linked and compressed with UPX 1.90. The distinguishing feature of blueflops is its configuration procedure. The scripts are all accessible through a 'setup' script, and they all have a nice 'dialog' front-end. Version 1.0.0 was released April 15, 2003. A floppy-based distribution. From LWN Distribution List


The installer and configurator of the Smart Boot Manager The Smart Boot Manager is a program which runs at boot time, and give you the ability to select which OS you want to run. It has a lot of functionality which haven't implemented by other boot managers, like scheduled default, boot from other hard disk than first, good privilege system with encrypted passwords, online configuration, etc. In this package you can find an installer and a configurator program too. With installer you can easily install the SBM, but the configurator may be complicated, and to end-users I think the online configuration is better. The configurator is good if you want to configure the Smart Boot Manager from scripts. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


bitmap editor and converter utilities for the X Window System From whatis


PostScript viewer for SVGAlib BMV is a frontend for GhostScript. Using BMV you can now preview your PostScript files comfortably. You can also use it for viewing rawPBM image files. It uses SVGAlib and it is intended for Linux users who cannot run X. It is particularly suitable for previewing PS files from dvips. It is small and fast. The Debian version of bmv is patched to include a rotate option and further keybindings. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


IRC Session Bouncing Proxy BouNCe is a daemon designed to allow some people who do not have access to the net in general, but who do have access to another pc that can reach the net, the ability to BouNCe though this pc to IRC. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Battle.Net server for Unix like systems The server currently implements most of the same functionality as the real Battle.Net servers. You can chat, play games, use / commands, and things like account passwords, user icons, add banners, and channel operators work too. It is by no means complete, though. More information can be found at the bnetd web site http://www.bnetd.org/. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


A multiple precision mathematics library. Assembly language routines are used to make this library very fast. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Lightweight and High Performance WebServer Boa is a single-tasking HTTP server. That means that unlike traditional web servers, it does not fork for each incoming connection, nor does it fork many copies of itself to handle multiple connections. It internally multiplexes all of the ongoing HTTP connections, and forks only for CGI programs (which must be separate processes.) Preliminary tests show boa is capable of handling several hundred hits per second on a 100 MHz Pentium. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Publish Python objects on web servers (command line version) From whatis


An IRC bot with scripting features. bobot++ is a robust IRC bot with many common bot features such as flood control, userlist and channel control, logging, but also intelligent ban/deban and channel mode settings. It also provides Scheme scripting features using Guile. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


IA-32 (x86) PC emulator Bochs is a highly portable free IA-32 (x86) PC emulator written in C++, that runs on most popular platforms. It includes emulation of the Intel x86 CPU, common I/O devices, and a custom BIOS. Currently, bochs can be compiled to emulate a 386, 486 or Pentium CPU. Bochs is capable of running most Operating Systems inside the emulation including GNU, GNU/Linux, Windows. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Bootstrap-only compiler kit for a subset of Java(tm) BOCK is a prototype native compiler, originally intended to enable a Java(tm) development environment to be bootstrapped from a C-only environment. It was envisioned that its sole purpose in life would be to compile the forthcoming "Jackal" Java compiler. BOCK has, since then, gained functionality, and should soon be able to compile most non-graphical Java programs. Its lack of anything resembling error checking means that it won't be of much use for development, but it might be able to generate a reasonably fast binary version of your program. That said, BOCK is still very much in the pre-alpha testing stage. It is therefore unlikely to be of use to anyone except dedicated hackers and developers. Also included is "jcomp", a slightly more friendly front-end for bock, which compiles programs against the BOCK mini-library and compiles BOCK's C output to native code in one step. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Ben's Own Graphics Library - graphical terminal Ben's Own Graphics Library is a small framebuffer library, including basic widgets, support for text in multiple languages, and mouse handling. This package contains bterm, a utf-enabled framebuffer terminal. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


sorts or doesn't sort files or standard input bogosort sorts files or its standard input using the bogo-sort algorithm. It can also simply randomize lines in a file for you. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


The GNU Bombing utility This game is the same as the old bombardier game on Commodore Plus 4. This version supports hall of fame and more cities. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


A bomberman clone for GNOME, for 2-4 players It is a multiplayer action game in which players run around in a square-grid maze while dropping bombs and collecting power-ups. The bombs explode after a short time delay, taking out any nearby bricks and players. For maximum effect, bombs can be arranged so as to cause a chain reaction of explosions. The last player left is the winner. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Hard drive bottleneck testing benchmark suite. It is called Bonnie++ because it was based on the Bonnie program. This program also tests performance with creating large numbers of files. Now includes zcav raw-read test program. A modern hard drive will have more sectors in the outer tracks because they are longer. The hard drive will have a number (often more than 8) of zones where each zone has the same number of sectors (due to the need for an integral number of sectors per track). This program allows you to determine the levels of performance provided by different zones and store them in a convenient format for gnuplot. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Bonobo is a library that provides the necessary framework for GNOME applications to deal with compound documents, such spreadsheet and/or graphics embedded in a word-processing document. From Redhat 8.0 RPM


The GNOME Bonobo System. Bonobo is a set of language and system independent CORBA interfaces for creating reusable components (controls) and creating compound documents. The Bonobo distribution includes a Gtk+ based implementation of the Bonobo interfaces, enabling developers to create reusable components and applications that can be used to form more complex documents. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


The famous Mozilla CVS query tool by web interface The Mozilla team made this tool to help following the life of CVS modules. Here is the Debian version of this tools. WARNING: This tool will not work out of the box. You will need to complete the install procedure according the /usr/share/doc/bonsai/README.debian.gz document. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


WWW based bookmark management, retrieval and search tool Bookmarker is a nice tool for people who have too many bookmarks, in too many different browsers, on too many different computers. It helps manage bookmarks throw categories and allow other people access or extent your bookmark database through a really simple http based interface. More information can be found at the bookmarker web site http://renaghan.com/bookmarker/ . From Debian 3.0r0 APT


The Debian bookmark collection This package is a large collection of bookmarks (weblinks), and shall constantly be updated and improved with your help. The German link collection for example is already very complete. The numerous links are most useful to everybody, but of course especially for newbies to find their way to the vast Internet resources. Although this bookmark collection lists all kind of resources (e.g. search engines, links to online dictionaries, etc), the majority of them are still computer and Linux oriented. This package also includes the Perl script bookmarks-convert that can convert different bookmark formats (netscape, lynx, html). From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Tcl/Tk based NDTP(Network Dictionary Transfer Protocol) client. BookView is a NDTP (Network Dictionary Transfer Protocol) client written in Tcl/Tk. It requires Tcl8.0jp/Tk8.0jp (`jp' means `Japanized version'). From Debian 3.0r0 APT


To 'boot' a computer is to start the operating system. A boot can be a "hard boot" or a "soft boot". A restart may be to the lowest level of the CPU's control program (BIOS), or slightly higher, depending on whether it is a hard or soft boot and the design of the computer system. In any case, the "operating system" is restarted from the beginning. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


v.,n. [techspeak; from `by one's bootstraps'] To load and initialize the operating system on a machine. This usage is no longer jargon (having passed into techspeak) but has given rise to some derivatives that are still jargon. The derivative `reboot' implies that the machine hasn't been down for long, or that the boot is a bounce (sense 4) intended to clear some state of wedgitude. This is sometimes used of human thought processes, as in the following exchange: "You've lost me." "OK, reboot. Here's the theory...." This term is also found in the variants `cold boot' (from power-off condition) and `warm boot' (with the CPU and all devices already powered up, as after a hardware reset or software crash). Another variant: `soft boot', reinitialization of only part of a system, under control of other software still running: "If you're running the mess-dos emulator, control-alt-insert will cause a soft-boot of the emulator, while leaving the rest of the system running." Opposed to this there is `hard boot', which connotes hostility towards or frustration with the machine being booted: "I'll have to hard-boot this losing Sun." "I recommend booting it hard." One often hard-boots by performing a power cycle. Historical note: this term derives from `bootstrap loader', a short program that was read in from cards or paper tape, or toggled in from the front panel switches. This program was always very short (great efforts were expended on making it short in order to minimize the labor and chance of error involved in toggling it in), but was just smart enough to read in a slightly more complex program (usually from a card or paper tape reader), to which it handed control; this program in turn was smart enough to read the application or operating system from a magnetic tape drive or disk drive. Thus, in successive steps, the computer `pulled itself up by its bootstraps' to a useful operating state. Nowadays the bootstrap is usually found in ROM or EPROM, and reads the first stage in from a fixed location on the disk, called the `boot block'. When this program gains control, it is powerful enough to load the actual OS and hand control over to it. From Jargon Dictionary

boot sector (boot record)

The first sector on a driver where the operating system will bootstrap from. Key point: Until macro viruses came along, boot sector viruses where the most common variant. They spread through companies via floppy disks. Users would leave floppy disks in the drive and when the computer restarted, it would attempt to boot from the floppy. This would run the virus, which then infected the boot sector on the hard drive. Any further floppies plugged into the system would then be infected by the virus. Countermeasures: I worked at a company with anal anti-virus procedures (anti-virus on all desktops, regular wiping of floppy disks). It was never able to completely free itself from the boot sector virus problem; one of the viruses was never successfully eradicated from the company. My own personal policy is to disconnect the floppies on 90% of the machines, and disable floppy bootup on the remaining machines. From Hacking-Lexicon

bootE Linux

bootE Linux is yet another minimalist (i386) Linux distribution and is contained entirely on a single floppy disk. It supports only single user mode, and is intended as a repair/rescue/emergency distribution. Initial version 0.10 was released April 18, 2002. Version 0.20-r1 was released February 19, 2003. A floppy-based distribution. From LWN Distribution List


run your system from cd without need for disks. Copy your running Debian System on CD with the command bootcdwrite. If your system has no CD-Writer you can build a bootcd via NFS on a remote System with CD-Writer. When you run your system from CD you do not need any disks. All changes will be done in ram. To reuse this changes at next boottime you can save them on FLOPPY with the command bootcdflopcp. If booting from your CD-drive is not supported, booting from FLOPPY is possible. It is possible to install a new system from the running CD with the command bootcd2disk. Bootcd2disk can also find a target disk, format it and make it bootable automatically. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


a miniature, self-contained Linux system on a floppy diskette. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


bootp/DHCP server This is a server for the bootp protocol; which allows network administrator to setup networking information for clients via an /etc/bootptab on a server so that the clients can automatically get their networking information. While this server includes rudimentary DHCP support as well, we suggest using the dhcp package if you need DHCP support, as it is much more complete. From Debian 3.0r0 APT

bootp (boot protocol)

This relative ancient protocol facilitates booting devices ("clients") from a network server rather than their local hard-disks (such as diskless workstations). In this configuration, the bootp protocol configures the diskless device with its IP configuration information as well as the name of the file server. At this point, the client shifts to TFTP to download the actual files it will use to boot from. Key point: DHCP is simply an extension on top of bootp. This is important because without an IP address, clients cannot reach bootp servers that reside across routers. Virtually all routers have an extension for bootp forwarding that fixes this issue. Since DHCP had the same requires, the designers just stuck it inside bootp packets rather than requiring yet another change to the routing infrastructure. From Hacking-Lexicon


Boot parameter server. bootparamd is a server process that provides information to diskless clients necessary for booting. It consults the /etc/bootparams file to find the information it needs. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


bootp client This is a boot protocol client used to grab the machines ip number, set up DNS nameservers and other useful information. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


This package contains the scripts and pictures visible when booting a Mandrake kernel. They are automatically installed when an initrd is generated by mkinitrd. From Mandrake 9.0 RPM


The ROM routine used to load the OS is often known as the 'bootstrap', from the old expression "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps". From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


an IRC or MUD user who is actually a program. On IRC, typically the robot provides some useful service. Examples are NickServ, which tries to prevent random users from adopting nicks already claimed by others, and MsgServ, which allows one to send asynchronous messages to be delivered when the recipient signs on. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


Utility to control X10 Firecracker devices A command-line utility to interact with the Firecracker version of X10's home control devices. Also included is rocket launcher, a graphical frontend to bottlerocket. If you want this functionality you should have wish installed From Debian 3.0r0 APT


This describes the action of an undeliverable email message being returned to the sender. In the popular pine program the term bounce actually refers to the redirection of an email. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


A tcl/tk text-reader that formats the file in boustrophedon This is a tcl/tk text-reader that formats the file in boustrophedon (a reading- / writing- style that alternates direction every line). Unlike conventional left-to-right styles of reading/writing, boustrophedon does not require the eye (or the hand) to whip back to the margin whenever the end of a line is reached. In boustrophedon, the horizontal position does not change; one simply goes down to the next line and continues. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Textmode box- and comment drawing filter. Boxes is extremely configurable filter for adding and removing ASCII art (comments, for example) around chunks of text. Most modern text editors support filtering text through external filters. Boxes is such a filter. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


login client for the Telstra Bigpond Cable Network (Australia) bpalogin is an open source login client for the Telstra Bigpond Cable Network in Australia. It is neither written nor supported by Telstra or Bigpond. It is both simple to use and stable. Unlike the standard client it does not crash, reconnects when there is a network problem, is available for most operating systems, can run as a service on WinNT/2k and comes with source From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Buffered audio file player/recorder The bplay package provides a simple command-line utility for playing and recording audio files in raw sample, VOC and WAV formats. To use this program you need a soundcard of some kind and the appropriate driver configured into your kernel. When run the program creates two processes which share a memory buffer. It does reading/writing on the disk and the sound device simultaneously, in order to be less liable to `pause' because the disk is too slow or too busy. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


monitor UPS status for Best Patriot power supplies bpowerd is used to monitor a serial port for the status of a Best Patriot power supply. It runs as a daemon and sends status information to the system log. bpowerd can detect powerfail, battery-low, and power-restore condi- tions. The status is communicated to init via /dev/initctl. bpowerd can also send a signal to the power supply's inverter by using the -k switch. From Debian 3.0r0 APT

bps (Bits-Per-Second)

A measurement of how fast data is moved from one place to another. A 56K modem can move about 57,000 bits per second. From Matisse


Graphical music editor and MIDI sequencer Brahms is a multi-track graphical music editor. It allows score and piano-roll notation, multi-part tracks and drum-tracks. Brahms is part of the KDE project. It uses the KDE sound daemon (aRTs) for MIDI input and output. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Brazilian Portuguese verb conjugator This package contains a interactive program (conjugue) capable of conjugating portuguese verbs, as spoken in Brazil. The upstream version is numbered 1.0, but as it is distributed together with the Ispell dictionary for Brazilian Portuguese, it has the same version number as the ibrazilian package for Debian. See http://www.ime.usp.br/~ueda/br.ispell/ for more information. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


buffered sound recording/playing From whatis


Any device that connects two physically distinct network segments, usually at a lower network layer than would a router. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


Utilities for configuring the Linux 2.4 bridge. This package contains utilities for configuring the Linux ethernet bridge. The Linux ethernet bridge can be used for connecting multiple ethernet devices together. The connecting is fully transparent: hosts connected to one ethernet device see hosts connected to the other ethernet devices directly. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Access software for a blind person using a soft braille terminal BRLTTY is a daemon which provides access to the Linux console (text mode) for a blind person using a soft braille display. It drives the braille terminal and provides complete screen review functionality. The following display models are supported: * Alva (ABT3xx/Delphi) * BrailleLite (18 or 40) * BrailleNote 18/32 * Tieman CombiBraille * EcoBraille displays * EuroBraille displays * HandyTech * LogText 32 * Tieman MultiBraille * MDV braille displays * Tieman MiniBraille * Papenmeier * TSI (PowerBraille/Navigator) * Vario Emul. 1 (40/80) * Vario Emul. 2 * Videobraille * Tieman Voyager 44/70 (USB) * VisioBraille From Debian 3.0r0 APT


The term "broadcast" is generic and is used in many different area. The origin of the term obviously means to cast out broadly, such as a radio broadcast. Subdefinition: Ethernet has broadcast domains, allowing you to partially sniff some data from your neighbors, and possibly subvert it. Typical protocols that can be sniffed and subverted in this manner are: ARP, NetBIOS, MSBROWSE, rwho, bootp/DHCP, SNMP. An Ethernet broadcast address is "FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF". Subdefinition: The Internet protocols TCP/IP support a feature known as a directed broadcast, which allows a remote person the ability to send a single packet to an entire subnet. This will then take advantage of the Ethernet broadcast domain once it reaches its destination. Attacks like smurf take advantage of this. A directed broadcast address looks something like, where the last integer "255" means "all devices on subnet 192.0.2.x". Subdefinition: The special IP address of "" is the local broadcast, and causes the packets to be sent to everyone locally, but not across the Internet. From Hacking-Lexicon


a type of communication between hosts (or computers) on a network where a computer can talk to all computers. See multicast and unicast. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux

broadcast domain

A local network where broadcasts can be seen. Typical broadcast domains include cable-modem networks, colocation facilities, and Ethernet networks. The problem with broadcast domains is that a passive packet sniffer can discover vast amounts of information about the structure of the network. Attackers on the same broadcast domains can also broadcast packets that break into their neighbors, such as in ARP redirects. From Hacking-Lexicon

brown-paper-bag bug

n. A bug in a public software release that is so embarrassing that the author notionally wears a brown paper bag over his head for a while so he won't be recognized on the net. Entered popular usage after the early-1999 release of the first Linux 2.2, which had one. The phrase was used in Linus Torvalds's apology posting. From Jargon Dictionary


A period of low-volatage electrical power caused by unusually heavy demand, such as that created by summertime air-conditioner user. Brownouts can cause computers to operate eractically or crash, either of which can result in data loss. If brownouts frequently cause your computer to crash, you may need to buy a line-interactive uninterruptible power supply to work with yout machine. From QUECID


n. A program specifically designed to help users view and navigate hypertext, on-line documentation, or a database. While this general sense has been present in jargon for a long time, the proliferation of browsers for the World Wide Web after 1992 has made it much more popular and provided a central or default techspeak meaning of the word previously lacking in hacker usage. Nowadays, if someone mentions using a `browser' without qualification, one may assume it is a Web browser. From Jargon Dictionary


User daemon that tracks URLs looked at and logs them. Browser-history came from the will to overcome a Netscape bug: there is no global history, and if you close a window, its whole history is lost. For people browsing lots of sites, having the possibility of backtracking to where one has been before means that you don't have to put everything in your bookmarks file. If you are not sure if a site may be worth remembering, don't add it in your bookmarks. If you need it later, just browse your history files. It works with: Netscape Navigator, Arena, and Amaya. Support for `browser-history' can easily be added to other browsers, provided you can program and have the browser sources. A manual page and simple documentation will be installed in /usr/share/doc/browser-history/browser-history.html, along with a simple CGI interface to grep the history log and display the result. The optional CGI program requires `cgiwrap' or Apache configured with `suexec'. From Debian 3.0r0 APT

brute force

adj. Describes a primitive programming style, one in which the programmer relies on the computer's processing power instead of using his or her own intelligence to simplify the problem, often ignoring problems of scale and applying naive methods suited to small problems directly to large ones. The term can also be used in reference to programming style: brute-force programs are written in a heavyhanded, tedious way, full of repetition and devoid of any elegance or useful abstraction (see also brute force and ignorance). The canonical example of a brute-force algorithm is associated with the `traveling salesman problem' (TSP), a classical NP-hard problem: Suppose a person is in, say, Boston, and wishes to drive to N other cities. In what order should the cities be visited in order to minimize the distance travelled? The brute-force method is to simply generate all possible routes and compare the distances; while guaranteed to work and simple to implement, this algorithm is clearly very stupid in that it considers even obviously absurd routes (like going from Boston to Houston via San Francisco and New York, in that order). For very small N it works well, but it rapidly becomes absurdly inefficient when N increases (for N = 15, there are already 1,307,674,368,000 possible routes to consider, and for N = 1000 -- well, see bignum). Sometimes, unfortunately, there is no better general solution than brute force. See also NP-. A more simple-minded example of brute-force programming is finding the smallest number in a large list by first using an existing program to sort the list in ascending order, and then picking the first number off the front. Whether brute-force programming should actually be considered stupid or not depends on the context; if the problem is not terribly big, the extra CPU time spent on a brute-force solution may cost less than the programmer time it would take to develop a more `intelligent' algorithm. Additionally, a more intelligent algorithm may imply more long-term complexity cost and bug-chasing than are justified by the speed improvement. Ken Thompson, co-inventor of Unix, is reported to have uttered the epigram "When in doubt, use brute force". He probably intended this as a ha ha only serious, but the original Unix kernel's preference for simple, robust, and portable algorithms over brittle `smart' ones does seem to have been a significant factor in the success of that OS. Like so many other tradeoffs in software design, the choice between brute force and complex, finely-tuned cleverness is often a difficult one that requires both engineering savvy and delicate esthetic judgment. From Jargon Dictionary


Port of the OpenBSD FTP server This is a GNU/Linux port of the FTP server from OpenBSD. Consequently, it is believed to be quite secure. Other interesting features are support for IPv6 and an internal ls. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


collection of text games from BSD systems This is a collection of some of the text-based games and amusements that have been enjoyed for decades on unix systems. Includes these programs: adventure, arithmetic, atc, backgammon, battlestar, bcd, boggle, caesar, canfield, countmail, cribbage, fish, gomoku, hangman, hunt, mille, monop, morse, number, pig, phantasia, pom, ppt, primes, quiz, random, rain, robots, sail, snake, tetris, trek, wargames, worm, worms, wump, wtf From Debian 3.0r0 APT


More utilities from FreeBSD. This package contains lots of small programs many people expect to find when they use a BSD-style Unix system. Included are: banner, ncal, cal, calendar, col, colcrt, colrm, column, from, hexdump, look, lorder, ul, write. This package used to contain whois and vacation, which are now distributed in their own packages. Also here was tsort, which is now in the "textutils" package, version 2.0-1 and later. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Basic utilities from 4.4BSD-Lite. This package contains the bare minimum number of BSD utilities needed to boot a Debian system. You should probably also install bsdmainutils to get the remaining standard BSD utilities. Included are: logger, renice, replay, script, wall From Debian 3.0r0 APT


A Java scripting environment. BeanShell is a small, free, embeddable, Java source interpreter with object scripting language features, written in Java. BeanShell executes standard Java statements and expressions, in addition to obvious scripting commands and syntax. BeanShell supports scripted objects as simple method closures like those in Perl and JavaScript(tm). You can use BeanShell interactively for Java experimentation and debugging or as a simple scripting engine for you applications. In short: BeanShell is a dynamically interpreted Java, plus some useful stuff. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Corruption & intrusion detection using embedded hashes This package embeds secure hashes (SHA1) and digital signatures (GNU Privacy Guard) into files for verification and authentication. Currently, target file types are all ELF format: executables, kernel modules, shared and static link libraries. This program has functionality similar to tripwire and integrit without the need to maintain a database. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Batched SMTP mailer for sendmail and postfix This package adds a new "mailer" named bsmtp to sendmail or postfix, which allows you to use batched SMTP as protocol. BSMTP is used in UUCP environments and allows to transport many mails as a (compressed) batch instead of transporting every single mail. So bsmtp is an alternative to rmail. Special features of this bsmtp package: - Completely written in C. - Configurable batch size (automatically sends batch to uux when a defined size is reached). - Creates backups of all outgoing batches (and removes them regularly) - Works with sendmail and postfix. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Backtracking parser generator based on byacc btyacc is a hacked version of the original Berkeley "byacc". The main change to byacc is the addition of backtracking code, allowing you to try both alternatives in case of shift-reduce or reduce-reduce conflicts. As long as no backtracking takes place, speed is comparable to bison. Additional features: - enhanced support for storing of text position information for tokens - closes the potential *yacc/bison memory leak during error recovery - preprocessor directives like %ifdef, %include - C++ friendly Related packages: bison, byacc, antlr From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Bubbling Load Monitoring Gnome Applet A GNOME panel applet that displays the CPU + memory load as a bubbling liquid. From Debian 3.0r0 APT

bucky bits

/buh'kee bits/ n. 1. obs. The bits produced by the CONTROL and META shift keys on a SAIL keyboard (octal 200 and 400 respectively), resulting in a 9-bit keyboard character set. The MIT AI TV (Knight) keyboards extended this with TOP and separate left and right CONTROL and META keys, resulting in a 12-bit character set; later, LISP Machines added such keys as SUPER, HYPER, and GREEK (see space-cadet keyboard). 2. By extension, bits associated with `extra' shift keys on any keyboard, e.g., the ALT on an IBM PC or command and option keys on a Macintosh. It has long been rumored that `bucky bits' were named for Buckminster Fuller during a period when he was consulting at Stanford. Actually, bucky bits were invented by Niklaus Wirth when he was at Stanford in 1964-65; he first suggested the idea of an EDIT key to set the 8th bit of an otherwise 7-bit ASCII character). It seems that, unknown to Wirth, certain Stanford hackers had privately nicknamed him `Bucky' after a prominent portion of his dental anatomy, and this nickname transferred to the bit. Bucky-bit commands were used in a number of editors written at Stanford, including most notably TV-EDIT and NLS. The term spread to MIT and CMU early and is now in general use. Ironically, Wirth himself remained unaware of its derivation for nearly 30 years, until GLS dug up this history in early 1993! See double bucky, quadruple bucky. From Jargon Dictionary


A temporary storage space which holds data for future processing. The data may be stored on a hard disk, in RAM or on specialised chips such as UARTs. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


Buffering/reblocking program for tape backups, printing, etc. Buffer implements double buffering and can be used to keep backup tapes streaming or printers printing. It can also be used to convert a data stream to a given output blocksize. Buffer uses shared memory to convert a variable input data rate to a constant output data rate. It is typically used in a pipe between a backup program and the tape device, but there are also other applications like buffering printer data in lpd's input filter. From Debian 3.0r0 APT

buffer overflow

Common coding style is to never allocate large enough buffers, and to not check for overflows. When such buffers overflow, the executing program (daemon or set-uid program) can be tricked in doing some other things. Generally this works by overwriting a function's return address on the stack to point to another location. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux

buffer overflow

n. What happens when you try to stuff more data into a buffer (holding area) than it can handle. This problem is commonly exploited by crackers to get arbitrary commands executed by a program running with root permissions. This may be due to a mismatch in the processing rates of the producing and consuming processes (see overrun and firehose syndrome), or because the buffer is simply too small to hold all the data that must accumulate before a piece of it can be processed. For example, in a text-processing tool that crunches a line at a time, a short line buffer can result in lossage as input from a long line overflows the buffer and trashes data beyond it. Good defensive programming would check for overflow on each character and stop accepting data when the buffer is full up. The term is used of and by humans in a metaphorical sense. "What time did I agree to meet you? My buffer must have overflowed." Or "If I answer that phone my buffer is going to overflow." See also spam, overrun screw. From Jargon Dictionary

buffer overflow (buffer overrun, input overflow, unchecked buffer overflow) . . . . .

Username: This form limits input to 10 characters; the browser won't let you type more than that because the form was programmed with a maxlength=10 parameter. However, when this form is submitted, it will actually be sent as a URL that looks something like http://www.robertgraham.com/pubs/test.html?username=robert. Lazy programmers know that browsers will never submit more than 10 characters, and write code that will break if the user submits more. As a hacker, you could simply go to the top of your screen and edit the URL to look something like http://www.robertgraham.com/pubs/test.html?username=robertxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. This may crash the target system or allow you to bypass password checks. A classic attack that inputs too much data. The excess data "overflows" into other areas of memory, frequently allowing an attack into insert executable code along with the input. This allows the atacker to break into the computer. Buffer overflows are one of the most common programming errors, and the ones most likely to slip through quality assurance testing. They are therefore one of the most common ways of breaking into computers. Analogy: Consider two popular bathroom sink designs. One design is a simple sink with a single drain. The other design includes a backup drain near the top of the sink. The first design is easy and often looks better, but suffers from the problem that if the drain is plugged and the water is left running, the sink will overflow all over the bathroom. The second design prevents the sink from overflowing, as the water level can never get past the top drain. Example: Programmers often forget to validate input. They (rightly) believe that a legal username is less than 32 characters long, and (wrongly) reserve more than enough memory for it, typically 200 characters. The assume that nobody will enter in a name longer than 200 characters, and don't verify this. Malicious hackers exploit this condition by purposely entering in user names a 1000 characters long. Key point: This is a classic programming bug that afflicts almost all systems. The average system on the Internet is vulnerable to a well known buffer overflow attack. Many Windows NT servers have IIS services vulnerable to a buffer overflow in ".htr" handler, many Solaris servers have vulnerable RPC services like cmsd, ToolTalk, and statd; many Linux boxes have vulnerable IMAP4, POP3, or FTP services. Key point: Programs written in C are most vulnerable, C++ is somewhat less vulnerable. Programs written in scripting level languages like VisualBasic and Java are generally not vulnerable. The reason is that C requires the programmer to check buffer lengths, but scripting languages generally make these checks whether the programmer wants them or not. Key point: Buffer overflows are usually a Denial-of-Service in that they will crash/hang a service/system. The most interesting ones, however, can cause the system to execute code provided by the hacker as part of the exploit. Defenses: There are a number of ways to avoid buffer-overflows in code: Use programming languages like Java that bounds-check arrays for you. Run code through special compilers that bounds-check for you. Audit code manually Audit code automatically Key point: The NOOP (no operation) machine language instruction for x86 CPUs is 0x90. Buffer overflows often have long strings of these characters when attacking x86 computers (Windows, Linux). Key point: In a successful buffer overflow exploit, hackers force the system to run their own code. Since most network services run as "root" or "administrator", the exploit would give complete control over the machine. For this reason, more and more services are being configured to run with lower privileges. See also: stack frame From Hacking-Lexicon


A bug is a flaw in design, coding or manufacture of software which causes all -- or some portion -- of a program to not perform as expected. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


Bug Reporting Tool interfacing with the Bug Tracking System A script to ease the reporting of bugs. Automatically figures out version numbers of the package reported and all depending packages. Adds config files etc to the bug report. A script for easily accessing the bug database in the WWW is also included. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


The word "bug" describes some sort of programming mistake. Common programming mistakes related to security are: buffer-overflows, format-string bugs, race conditions. From Hacking-Lexicon


n. An unwanted and unintended property of a program or piece of hardware, esp. one that causes it to malfunction. Antonym of feature. Examples: "There's a bug in the editor: it writes things out backwards." "The system crashed because of a hardware bug." "Fred is a winner, but he has a few bugs" (i.e., Fred is a good guy, but he has a few personality problems). Historical note: Admiral Grace Hopper (an early computing pioneer better known for inventing COBOL) liked to tell a story in which a technician solved a glitch in the Harvard Mark II machine by pulling an actual insect out from between the contacts of one of its relays, and she subsequently promulgated bug in its hackish sense as a joke about the incident (though, as she was careful to admit, she was not there when it happened). For many years the logbook associated with the incident and the actual bug in question (a moth) sat in a display case at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC). The entire story, with a picture of the logbook and the moth taped into it, is recorded in the "Annals of the History of Computing", Vol. 3, No. 3 (July 1981), pp. 285-286. The text of the log entry (from September 9, 1947), reads "1545 Relay #70 Panel F (moth) in relay. First actual case of bug being found". This wording establishes that the term was already in use at the time in its current specific sense -- and Hopper herself reports that the term `bug' was regularly applied to problems in radar electronics during WWII. Indeed, the use of `bug' to mean an industrial defect was already established in Thomas Edison's time, and a more specific and rather modern use can be found in an electrical handbook from 1896 ("Hawkin's New Catechism of Electricity", Theo. Audel & Co.) which says: "The term `bug' is used to a limited extent to designate any fault or trouble in the connections or working of electric apparatus." It further notes that the term is "said to have originated in quadruplex telegraphy and have been transferred to all electric apparatus." The latter observation may explain a common folk etymology of the term; that it came from telephone company usage, in which "bugs in a telephone cable" were blamed for noisy lines. Though this derivation seems to be mistaken, it may well be a distorted memory of a joke first current among telegraph operators more than a century ago! Or perhaps not a joke. Historians of the field inform us that the term "bug" was regularly used in the early days of telegraphy to refer to a variety of semi-automatic telegraphy keyers that would send a string of dots if you held them down. In fact, the Vibroplex keyers (which were among the most common of this type) even had a graphic of a beetle on them (and still do)! While the ability to send repeated dots automatically was very useful for professional morse code operators, these were also significantly trickier to use than the older manual keyers, and it could take some practice to ensure one didn't introduce extraneous dots into the code by holding the key down a fraction too long. In the hands of an inexperienced operator, a Vibroplex "bug" on the line could mean that a lot of garbled Morse would soon be coming your way. Further, the term "bug" has long been used among radio technicians to describe a device that converts electromagnetic field variations into acoustic signals. It is used to trace radio interference and look for dangerous radio emissions. Radio community usage derives from the roach-like shape of the first versions used by 19th century physicists. The first versions consisted of a coil of wire (roach body), with the two wire ends sticking out and bent back to nearly touch forming a spark gap (roach antennae). The bug is to the radio technician what the stethoscope is to the stereotype medical doctor. This sense is almost certainly ancestral to modern use of "bug" for a covert monitoring device, but may also have contributed to the use of "bug" for the effects of radio interference itself. Actually, use of `bug' in the general sense of a disruptive event goes back to Shakespeare! (Henry VI, part III - Act V, Scene II: King Edward: "So, lie thou there. Die thou; and die our fear; For Warwick was a bug that fear'd us all.") In the first edition of Samuel Johnson's dictionary one meaning of `bug' is "A frightful object; a walking spectre"; this is traced to `bugbear', a Welsh term for a variety of mythological monster which (to complete the circle) has recently been reintroduced into the popular lexicon through fantasy role-playing games. In any case, in jargon the word almost never refers to insects. Here is a plausible conversation that never actually happened: "There is a bug in this ant farm!" "What do you mean? I don't see any ants in it." "That's the bug." A careful discussion of the etymological issues can be found in a paper by Fred R. Shapiro, 1987, "Entomology of the Computer Bug: History and Folklore", American Speech 62(4):376-378. [There has been a widespread myth that the original bug was moved to the Smithsonian, and an earlier version of this entry so asserted. A correspondent who thought to check discovered that the bug was not there. While investigating this in late 1990, your editor discovered that the NSWC still had the bug, but had unsuccessfully tried to get the Smithsonian to accept it -- and that the present curator of their History of American Technology Museum didn't know this and agreed that it would make a worthwhile exhibit. It was moved to the Smithsonian in mid-1991, but due to space and money constraints was not actually exhibited for years afterwards. Thus, the process of investigating the original-computer-bug bug fixed it in an entirely unexpected way, by making the myth true! --ESR] From Jargon Dictionary


A graphical bug reporting tool for GNOME The goal of bug-buddy is to make reporting bugs very simple and easy for the user, while making the reports themselves more useful and informative for the developer. It can extract debugging information from a core file or crashed application (via gnome_segv). It currently supports the bug tracking systems of Gnome, Helix, KDE, and Debian. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Bugs are trying to suck blood out of your arm! "Bug Squish" is an action game not unlike light gun arcade games, but played with a mouse. It's loosely based on a MacOS game whose name I can't recall. Bugs are trying to suck blood out of your arm! Squish them with with your fly swatter before you run out of blood. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


evolve biomorphs using genetic algorithms buugsx is a program which draws biomorphs based on parametric plots of Fourier sine and cosine series and let's you play with them using genetic algorithms. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Mozilla bug tracking system Bugzilla is a web-based tool that lets you: * report bugs * assign bugs to the appropriate developers * prioritize bugs * set bug dependencies * arrange bugs by product and component With these features, you can also use Bugzilla as a to-do list manager. Bugzilla is a web application that lets users report and look up existing bugs. Changes made to a bug's status are automatically sent to users concerned with it. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


attractive desktop clock As clocks go, Buici satisfies the basic need of representing the time accurately and attractively. I wrote it when I began to use X as my primary desktop environment and wanted to have a decent looking clock on my desktop. I loathe digital clocks. This release has limited configurability. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Informational list of build-essential packages If you do not plan to build Debian packages, you don't need this package. Moreover this package is not required for building Debian packages. This package contains an informational list of packages which are considered essential for building Debian packages. This package also depends on the packages on that list, to make it easy to have the build-essential packages installed. If you have this package installed, you only need to install whatever a package specifies as its build-time dependencies to build the package. Conversely, if you are determining what your package needs to build-depend on, you can always leave out the packages this package depends on. This package is NOT the definition of what packages are build-essential; the real definition is in the Debian Policy Manual. This package contains merely an informational list, which is all most people need. However, if this package and the manual disagree, the manual is correct. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Interactive spelling checking From whatis


1 or 2 players race through a multi-level maze. In BumpRacer, 1 player or 2 players (team or competitive) choose among 4 vehicles and race through a multi-level maze. The players must acquire bonuses and avoid traps and enemy fire in a race against the clock. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


a block-sorting file compressor, v1.0.2 From whatis


Avoid evil foodstuffs and make burgers. This is a clone of the classic game "BurgerTime". In it, you play the part of a chef who must create burgers by stepping repeatedly on the ingredients until they fall into place. And to make things more complicated, you also must avoid evil animate food items while performing this task, with nothing but your trusty pepper shaker to protect you. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


An internal communication network in a computer system. A typical system includes an address bus, a data bus, and a control bus. The width of the address bus determines the amount of memory that can be addressed by the system. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


Tiny utilities for small and embedded systems. BusyBox combines tiny versions of many common UNIX utilities into a single small executable. It provides minimalist replacements for the most common utilities you would usually find on your desktop system (i.e., ls, cp, mv, mount, tar, etc.). The utilities in BusyBox generally have fewer options than their full-featured GNU cousins; however, the options that are included provide the expected functionality and behave very much like their GNU counterparts. This package installs the BusyBox binary but does not install symlinks for any of the supported utilities. You can use /bin/busybox --install to install BusyBox to the current directory (you do not want to do this in / on your Debian system!). From Debian 3.0r0 APT


copy all but the first few lines Copy all but the first N lines of standard input to standard output. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


A binary file editor The bvi is a display-oriented editor for binary files, based on the vi text editor. If you are familiar with vi, just start the editor and begin to edit! If you never heard about vi, maybe bvi is not the best choice for you. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Generates text and graphical readout of current bandwidth use. This program will output a PNG and a text file that can be used in scripts or be included in web pages to show current bandwidth usage. The amount of total bandwidth can be customized. The PNG output appears as a bar graph showing maximum possible usage with the current inbound or outbound usage shown as a differently colored bar. An example of this can be seen at http://www.kernel.org/ From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Bywater BASIC Interpreter The Bywater BASIC Interpreter (bwBASIC) implements a large superset of the ANSI Standard for Minimal BASIC (X3.60-1978) and a significant subset of the ANSI Standard for Full BASIC (X3.113-1987) in C. It also offers shell programming facilities as an extension of BASIC. bwBASIC seeks to be as portable as possible. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


A set of extension widgets for Tcl/Tk The BWidget toolkit is a high-level widget set for Tcl/Tk. It contains widgets such as progress bars, 3D separators, various manager widgets for toplevels, frames, paned or scrolled windows, button boxes, notebooks or dialogs as well as composite widgets such as comboboxes, spin boxes and tree widgets. The BWidget toolkit is completely written in Tcl so no compiled extension library is required. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


BandWidth Monitor This is a very tiny bandwidth monitor (not X11). Can monitor up to 16 interfaces in the in the same time, and shows totals too. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Disk Image Creation Tool for Bochs This tool is part of the Bochs project. Its purpose is to generate disk images that are used to allocate the guest operating system in Bochs environment. It can be useful for other programs that also make use of disk images, like Plex86. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Byacc (Berkeley Yacc) is a public domain LALR parser generator which is used by many programs during their build process. From Redhat 8.0 RPM


The Berkeley LALR parser generator Yacc reads the grammar specification in a file and generates an LR(1) parser for it. The parsers consist of a set of LALR(1) parsing tables and a driver routine written in the C programming language. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


/bi:t/ n. [techspeak] A unit of memory or data equal to the amount used to represent one character; on modern architectures this is usually 8 bits, but may be 9 on 36-bit machines. Some older architectures used `byte' for quantities of 6 or 7 bits, and the PDP-10 supported `bytes' that were actually bitfields of 1 to 36 bits! These usages are now obsolete, and even 9-bit bytes have become rare in the general trend toward power-of-2 word sizes. Historical note: The term was coined by Werner Buchholz in 1956 during the early design phase for the IBM Stretch computer; originally it was described as 1 to 6 bits (typical I/O equipment of the period used 6-bit chunks of information). The move to an 8-bit byte happened in late 1956, and this size was later adopted and promulgated as a standard by the System/360. The word was coined by mutating the word `bite' so it would not be accidentally misspelled as bit. See also nybble. From Jargon Dictionary


Eight bits in a row. That is a series of eight pieces of information, each of which can be either 1 or 0. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux

byte ordering

This refers to the order in which bytes that are ordered in memory as n,n+1,... are ordered when a computer considers multiple bytes as one integer. Big-endian computers use bytes with lower addresses for the bits with higher powers of two. PowerPC, m68k, HP-PA-RISC, IBM-370, PDP-10, most other computers use this. Little-endian computers use the opposite convention. i86, PDP-11, VAX, uses this. From Linux Guide @FirstLinux


decompresses files to stdout From whatis


compare bzip2 compressed files From whatis


compare bzip2 compressed files From whatis


search possibly bzip2 compressed files for a regular expression From whatis


search possibly bzip2 compressed files for a regular expression From whatis


a 3D first person tank battle game BZFlag is a 3D multi-player tank battle game that allows users to play against each other in a networked environ- ment. There are five teams: red, green, blue, purple and rogue (rogue tanks are black). Destroying a player on another team scores a win, while being destroyed or destroying a teammate scores a loss. Rogues have no team- mates (not even other rogues), so they cannot shoot team- mates and they do not have a team score. There are two main styles of play: capture-the-flag and free-for-all. In capture-the-flag, each team (except rogues) has a team base and each team with at least one player has a team flag. The object is to capture an enemy team's flag by bringing it to your team's base. This destroys every player on the captured team, subtracts one from that team's score, and adds one to your team's score. In free-for-all, there are no team flags or team bases. The object is simply to get as high a score as possible. From Debian 3.0r0 APT


search possibly bzip2 compressed files for a regular expression From whatis


A high-quality block-sorting file compressor - utilities bzip2 is a freely available, patent free, high-quality data compressor. It typically compresses files to within 10% to 15% of the best available techniques, whilst being around twice as fast at compression and six times faster at decompression. bzip2 compresses files using the Burrows-Wheeler block-sorting text compression algorithm, and Huffman coding. Compression is generally considerably better than that achieved by more conventional LZ77/LZ78-based compressors, and approaches the performance of the PPM family of statistical compressors. The archive file format of bzip2 (.bz2) is incompatible with that of its predecessor, bzip (.bz). From Debian 3.0r0 APT


Bzip2 compresses files using the Burrows-Wheeler block-sorting text compression algorithm, and Huffman coding. Compression is generally considerably better than that achieved by more conventional LZ77/LZ78-based compressors, and approaches the performance of the PPM family of statistical compressors.The command-line options are deliberately very similar to those of GNU Gzip, but they are not identical. From Mandrake 9.0 RPM


Bzip2 is a freely available, patent-free, high-quality data compressor that uses the same command line flags as gzip. From Redhat 8.0 RPM


a block-sorting file compressor, v1.0.2 From whatis


Libraries for applications using the bzip2 compression format. From Redhat 8.0 RPM


recovers data from damaged bzip2 files From whatis


file perusal filter for crt viewing of bzip2 compressed text From whatis


file perusal filter for crt viewing of bzip2 compressed text From whatis