Glossary of Terms

These are some technical terms used throughout this guide.


Pronounced like the word antics, which means playful behavior. antiX is a fast, lightweight and easy to install Linux live CD distribution based on Debian Testing for Intel-AMD x86 compatible system. [Home page].


Another Union File System. It combines a read-only file system (often linuxfs) with a read-write file system (often tmpfs) so that the bulk of the storage is (usually) taken care of by the read-only system while all changes are stored in the read-write system. [wikipedia]

boot loader

A small program that runs right after the power-on self test (POST) that then loads a boot strap program or the operating system you want to run. Common boot loaders include: Grub, Grub2, Lilo, and isolinux. Boot loaders usually show you a menu that lets you decide what system to boot into or what boot options to use.

boot partition

This is normally the partition that holds the linuxfs file when booting live media. When booting fromiso it is the partition that contains the ISO file.


From the BusyBox website: BusyBox combines tiny versions of many common UNIX utilities into a single small executable … BusyBox provides a fairly complete environment for any small or embedded system.

BusyBox is


A small unit of computer storage. One byte is roughly the amount of memory used to store one ASCII character or punctuation mark so 1,000 bytes could hold roughly 1,000 characters. [wikipedia]

frugal install

A frugal install is the same thing as creating a LiveUSB on an internal hard drive. Like a LiveCD and a LiveUSB, the entire file system is stored in a linuxfs file. This takes up much less disk space than a normal install which is why it is called "frugal".


One gigabyte is a billion bytes (1,000,000,000 bytes). [wikipedia]

label, disk

Hard drives, partitions, and removable discs (cds, dvds, and blurays) can all have an optional digital label. This is not an adhesive label! Often it is limited to a handful of characters. It can very convenient but no effort is made to ensure labels are unique.


Stands for "initial ram disk". It is an optional feature when booting Linux. It is a small file system that get mounted in RAM and it provides a very limited environment for paving the way for the full Linux system. It is required if the main root file system requires drivers to be loaded before it can be accessed. It is more often used for LiveCDs (and LiveUSBs) which need extra preparation in order to mount a linuxfs and tmpfs and use them to create an aufs which is used as the root file system. The program that does this work is called linuxrc. [wikipedia]

ISO image file

An ISO image (also called an "ISO file" or "iso file") is a single file that contains all the information in the file system on a data CD or a data DVD. The filename extension is .iso by convention. These files are usually used to create a data CD or a data DVD. They can also be mounted directly as a read-only filesystem:

# mount -t iso9660 -o loop,ro some file.iso /mnt/iso


When an initrd file is used, this is the first program run in Linux. For then antiX LiveCD/USB, this file sets up the AUFS, which makes it appear that Linux has a real read-write file system over two times larger than the space used on the CD or USB.


A LiveCD is a bootable CD that contains a fully functional operating system, often with a graphic desktop environment. Uses include:

  • "test drive" a new operating system or distribution

  • Install a new operating system or distribution

  • As a rescue "escape hatch" to fix a broken or unbootable system.

Before the advent of LiveCDs people would have to go through an often lengthy install procedure before they would be able to try using Linux. Now, almost every Linux distribution offers a LiveCD. [wikipedia]


A LiveUSB is like a LiveCD. It contains the entire antiX GNU/Linux operating system. It has several advantages or LiveCDs. See the LiveUSB page for more details. [wikipedia]


One megabyte is one million bytes (1,000,000 bytes). [wikipedia]


Random access memory. The main system memory in a computer. It is faster than hard drives, cds/dvds, and USB flash sticks. On newer system the amount of RAM is given in Gigabytes. On older systems it is usually given in hundreds for Megabytes. [wikipedia]


Ramastering involves making a new linuxfs file that is a clone of your current system after it has been modified, usually by adding or deleting packages or by changing settings.


Linuxfs stands for "(squashed) linux file system". It is an entire file system packed into one file and highly compressed. This is the magic that makes it possible to store an entire GNU/Linux system on a CDROM. The downside of linuxfs is that it is read-only. You can create a new linuxfs file but this involves re-compressing the entire file system which consumes time and resources. This is process is called remastering. [wikipedia]


A filesystem that is created in RAM. It is very fast but it consumes RAM that could be used for other things and it is only temporary. It is similar to a ramdisk but there are some technical differences. [wikipedia]


Universally unique identifier. A 16-byte number usually expressed as 32 hexadecimal digits. It is used to uniquely identify disk drives and partitions. [wikipedia]