a background process (pronounced "demon") that carries out tasks on behalf of every user. Daemons spend most of their time sleeping until something comes along which requires their help. A UNIX system has a lot of daemons.

database concepts

a database is the name given to the combination of a program that can manipulate data, together with the data that it acts upon.

a record is a set of data about a person or item. Name, telephone number and postcode is an example of such a set.

a field is one part of that record; the postcode for example.

a delimiter character separates each field from the field preceding it and the field that follows it. A colon (:) is often used as a field delimiter.

a key is the field or part of a field that the program uses when it acts on the data.


a value to which some variable is automatically set, unless an alternative value is provided by the user.


a part of a hierarchical naming scheme.
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