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> The OSx86 Dictionary
pater
post Mar 8 2009, 03:49 AM
Post #1
The OSx86 Dictionary
To jump to a term press Control-F (Windows/Linux) or ⌘-F (Mac OS X)


Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) - This system controls how power is distributed throughout the computer
Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) - One of the newest drive controller standards for SATA host adaptors (aka host bus adaptors), this is a non-implementation/chipset specific standard, meaning it should work the same across all chipsets.
Boot132 - a bootloader created by Apple during the x86 transition era used for booting OS X on "beige-box" PCs — http://www.opensource.apple.com/darwinsour...boot-132.tar.gz
DFE 146 - a modified/improved version of the original boot-132, specifically optimized to be able to boot the full retail OS X disc on an ordinary PC — http://tgwbd.org/darwin/downloads/boot-132_dfe_r146.patch.gz
Chameleon - is a fork of DFE's boot-132 aimed to provide extra functionality, the current version as of the time of this writing is 1.0.11, with 1.0.12 being much anticipated with new features (including graphical booting similar to Boot Camp on a real Mac, and larger than 64k size — http://chameleon.osx86.hu/file_download/6/...11-build.tar.gz
chipset - The collection of components on your motherboard that connect to one another. Made up of the northbridge and southbridge. Often the motherboard itself is referred to as a chipset
northbridge - the hub for the GPU, CPU, RAM and other high-speed interfaces
southbridge - the hub for PCI, IDE, USB and other peripheral devices
Darwin - an open source operating system from Apple which forms the basis on which Mac OS X is built
device ID - a hexadecimal number for a piece of hardware that specifically identifies that hardware and that hardware only. A vendor & device ID together can be thought of as a barcode for your piece of hardware. Vendor and Device IDs are commonly used to allow kernel extension to recognize or interact with hardware (see vendor ID)
Differentiated System Description Table (DSDT) - DSDT is a part of the ACPI specification and it supplies configuration information about a base system. ACPI capable computers come with a preinstalled DSDT from the manufacturer. A common linux/OS X problem is missing ACPI functionality (fans not running, laptop screens not shutting off, etc.)
Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) - The current standard for hardware integration on PC platforms, still not widely used in the PC world, but standard on all Intel Macs. It essentially replaces the BIOS with something more capable and flexible. There is at this time no widely applicable use of EFI in OS X on PCs, although some small-scale experiments have been successful, so there may be in future. In the OSx86 community many things (such as PC_EFI or EFI-X) are given "EFI" names. None of these are actually related to EFI in any way other than that they do some of the work that EFI does in real macs in order to get OS X booting on non-Apple hardware.
extensions.mkext - a cache of loaded kexts that OS X loads together with the kernel. This file allows the system to skip checking the system every boot and loading each kernel one-by-one. Default behaviour is that this file is recreated before the boot sequence after any modifications to the Extensions folder
filesystem - the way data is stored on a hard disk or other media (filesystems relevant to OS X: HFS+, HFS, FAT32, NTFS, EXT2, EXT3)
Finder.app (Finder) - used for browsing the file system of media. Comparable to Windows' Explorer.
IDE - two definitions. 1 - Integrated Drive Electronics, the original term for what is currently referred to as Parallel ATA, a drive/disk controller interface standard, literally meaning the cable/socket a hard drive/dvd/whatnot drive can connect to. 2 - Integrated Development Environment, used for development in specific coding languages, a program with built-in tools to assist development such as a built-in shell or debugger.
kernel (mach_kernel) - the central, "core" component of any operating system. Manages the system's resources and communication between hardware and software among other things (located in /. Owner: root:wheel Octal: 644)
kernel extension (kext, KEXT, KMOD) - the equivalent of a device/hardware driver in Windows or kernel module in Linux (located in /System/Library/Extensions. Owner: root:wheel Octal: 755)
disabler kext - a kext which prevents another kext from loading or working properly. Used to prevent kexts that are harmful to osx86 installations from loading without having to delete them (useful during updating)
injector kext - a kext that injects certain values into the system in order to activate hardware drivers and hardware
legacy/plist-only kexts - specialty kexts made to modify the behaviour of existing, loaded kexts by passing them specific information

Kernel Panic - A kernel panic is a type of error that occurs when the core (kernel) of an operating system receives an instruction in an unexpected format, or that it fails to handle properly. A kernel panic may also follow when the operating system is not able to recover from a different type of error. A kernel panic can be caused by damaged or incompatible software or, more rarely, damaged or incompatible hardware — http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1392
Macintosh (Mac) - a computer designed and manufactured by Apple, Inc. made to run primarily their OS X operating system
OS X - a partly open source UNIX-based operating system made by Apple, Inc. Made by default to only run on proprietary Apple Macintosh computers
PC_EFI v9 - another bootloader made by Netkas similar to Chameleon. Allows for deep sleep or hibernation
PowerPC Architecture (PPC) - a type of processor architecture manufactured by IBM, based on the RISC instruction set (as opposed to x86). Used by Macintosh computers until the Apple Intel transition from IBM PPC to Intel x86 processors.
preboot - media (cd, usb, etc) used for the boot-132 or an alternative method of retail booting, the preboot media itself being populated with kexts necessary for the system to function properly.
property list (plist) - an XML based or binary file that are used as configuration files throughout OS X. Comparable to a Windows .INI file
redundant array of inexpensive disks (redundant array of independent disks, RAID) - RAID is an umbrella term that applies to storage schemes that divide and/or write data across multiple hard drives for purposes of redundancy (realtime backup of data) or faster access speeds
retail - using a real, purchased or otherwise acquired, OS X DVD to install OSx86
root - one of two meanings. 1. The super-user, all powerful admin account which can make any system changes. Some files have to be edited "as root" in order to be able to edited at all. 2. the "root" directory, where the OS X installation is set, comparable to the C:\ in Windows, typically represented as / . This is where the kernel, and bootloader files are found (generally).
SATA - Serial ATA, a newer interface for drive controllers, uses a smaller, thinner cable than IDE/PATA.
Terminal.app (Terminal) - an application used for interacting with a Bourne or other shell. Comparable to Windows' command prompt (cmd) and Linux's console (located in /Applications/Utilities)
vanilla - unaltered, original version. Typically refers to "vanilla installs," or "vanilla kernels" (unmodified OS X kernels)
vendor ID - A unique hexadecimal number for a piece of hardware that identifies the vendor (eg. nVidia, ATI, Creative) of that piece of hardware

Contributors: Hagar, mac_cute, macgirl, pater, realityiswhere, Sabr

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