Glossary Edit


An applet is a small, interactive application that resides within a panel, for example the CD Player. Each applet has a simple user interface that you can operate with the mouse or keyboard.


The part of the GNOME Desktop where there are no interface graphical items, such as panels and windows.

desktop background

The image or color that is applied to your desktop.

desktop object

An icon on your desktop that you can use to open your files, folders, and applications. You can use desktop objects to provide convenient access to files, folders, and applications that you use frequently.

DNS name

A unique alphabetic identifier for a computer on a network.


A drawer is a sliding extension to a panel that you can open or close from a drawer icon.

file extension

The final portion of a file's name, after the last period (.) in the name. For example, the file extension of the file picture.jpeg is jpeg.
The file extension can identify the type of a file. Nautilus file manager uses this information when to determine what to do when you open a file. For more on this, see Section 6.4 ― Opening Files.


To format media is to prepare the media for use with a particular file system. When you format media, you overwrite any existing information on the media.

GNOME-compliant application

An application that uses the standard GNOME programming libraries is called a GNOME-compliant application. For example, Nautilus file manager and gedit text editor are GNOME-compliant applications.

IP address

A unique numeric identifier for a computer on a network.

keyboard shortcut

A keyboard shortcut is a key or combination of keys that provides an alternative to standard ways of performing an action.


A launcher starts a particular application, executes a command, or opens a file. A launcher can reside in a panel or in a menu.


A menubar is a bar at the top of an application window that contains the menus for the application.

MIME type

A Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (MIME) type identifies the format of a file. The MIME type enables applications to read the file. For example, an email application can use the image/png MIME type to detect that a Portable Networks Graphic (PNG) file is attached to an email.


To mount is to make a file system available for access. When you mount a file system, the file system is attached as a subdirectory to your file system.


A pane is a subdivision of a window. For example, the Nautilus window contains a side pane and a view pane.

preference tool

A dedicated software tool that controls a particular part of the behavior of the GNOME Desktop.

shortcut keys

Shortcut keys are keystrokes that provide a quick way to perform an action.

stacking order

The stacking order is the order in which windows are stacked on top of each other on your screen.


A statusbar is a bar at the bottom of a window that provides information about the current state of what you are viewing in the window.

symbolic link

A special type of file that points to another file or folder. When you perform an action on a symbolic link, the action is performed on the file or folder to which the symbolic link points.


A toolbar is a bar that contains buttons for the most commonly-used commands in an application. Typically, a toolbar appears under a menubar.

Uniform Resource Identifier

A Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) is a string that identifies a particular location in a file system or on the Web. For example, the address of a web page is a URI.

Uniform Resource Locator

A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is the address of a particular location on the Web.


A Nautilus component that enables you to display a folder in a particular way. For example, Nautilus contains an icon view which enables you to display the contents of a folder as icons. Nautilus also contains a list view which enables you to display the contents of a folder as a list.


A workspace is a discrete area in the GNOME Desktop in which you can work.
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