A file which is in machine executable, compiled form: hex data (as opposed to a source code file).


A distribution is usually the way in which some "vendor" ships operating system CDs (usually mentioned in the context of Linux). A Linux environment can be shipped in lots of different configurations: e.g. distributions could be built to be suitable for games, scientific applications, server operation, desktop systems, etc.


A DLL (Dynamic Link Library) is a file that can be loaded and executed by programs dynamically. Basically it's an external code repository for programs. Since usually several different programs reuse the same DLL instead of having that code in their own file, this dramatically reduces required storage space. A synonym for a DLL would be "library".


An editor is usually a program to create or modify text files. There are various graphical and text mode editors available on Linux.

Examples of graphical editors are: nedit, gedit, kedit, xemacs, gxedit.

Examples of text mode editors are: joe, ae, emacs, vim, vi. In a terminal, simply run them via:

$ editorname filename
Environment variable

Environment variables are text definitions used in a Shell to store important system settings. In a bash shell (the most commonly used one in Linux), you can view all environment variables by executing:


If you want to change an environment variable, you could run:

export MYVARIABLE=mycontent

For deleting an environment variable, use:


Git is a fast version control system, originally written for use with large repositories, such as the Linux Kernel source. See the Git chapter in the Wine Developers Guide for detailed usage information.


A package is a compressed file in a distribution specific format. It contains the files for a particular program you want to install. Packages are usually installed via the dpkg or rpm package managers.


root is the account name of the system administrator. In order to run programs as root, simply open a Terminal window, then run:

$ su -

This will prompt you for the password of the root user of your system, and after that you will be able to system administration tasks that require special root privileges. The root account is indicated by the


prompt, whereas '$' indicates a normal user account.


A shell is a tool to enable users to interact with the system. Usually shells are text based and command line oriented. Examples of popular shells include bash, tcsh and ksh. Wine assumes that for Wine installation tasks, you use bash, since this is the most popular shell on Linux. Shells are usually run in a Terminal window.

Source code

Source code is the code that a program consists of before the program is being compiled, i.e. it's the original building instructions of a program that tell a compiler what the program should look like once it's been compiled to a Binary.


A terminal window is usually a graphical window that one uses to execute a Shell. If Wine asks you to open a terminal, then you usually need to click on an icon on your desktop that usually shows a big black window. Wine assumes you're using the bash shell, so if your terminal happens to use a different shell program, simply type bash in the terminal window.