The Lino framework is defined by a set of source repositories : the Lino core, the Extensions Library, a series of Lino applications maintained by the core team, a series of front ends, the technical docs and this Community Guide.

client device

Any device used by an end user to access a Lino site.

This can be a desktop or notebook computer, or a mobile device.

Lino core

A source repository containing core functionality used by every Lino application.

Extensions Library

A plugin library with shared plugins that are used by many Lino applications and maintained by the Lino Software Foundation.


A module or logical part of an application which potentially can be shared among several applications.

plugin library

A collection of plugins grouped into a single source repository and maintained by a given development provider.

front end

A plugin which defines the web interface for an application.

A same database can be exposed on different sites, using the same application but different front ends.

source repository

A set of source files that implements a given set of functions.

For example we have different repositories for the Lino Core, the Lino Extensions Library the Lino Book* and the Community Guide.

source code

Content to be edited by a developer and to be built (compiled) into an executable program file or consumable content (e.g. text, image, sound or video).

source file

A file which contains source code.

Some source file formats commonly used for building executable program code are .py, .js and .rst.

Some consumable content file formats commonly used in a Lino project are .html and .pdf.

configuration file

A file that contains configuration settings to be read by a program.

database application

A computer program used by humans for entering and retrieving information from a database.

customized database application

A database application which is tailor-made to the needs of an application carrier.


A suite of software tools used by developers who write and maintain applications for their employer or their customers.

end-user documentation

Documentation targeted at end users of a given Lino application. Written in the language requested by the site operator.

technical documentation

Documentation written for developers and motivated site experts. Only in English. Includes tested source code snippets and part of the test suite.

test suite

A set or source code files that don’t add any functionality and is used only for running automated tests.

automated tests

A part of the development process which verifies that a change in the software doesn’t break any existing functionality.

preview site

A copy of the production site as it would look when using some newer version of the software.

It is made available to end users so they can preview and test their coming version before a site upgrade.

The primary goal of a preview site is to help the site operator to test new features and to reduce stress caused by unexpected results after an upgrade.