I've spent quite alot of time to read all the definitions gave by one or another. I'm both a linux & windows user and in the same time admin. I'm so much afraid i'll start to do devil's advocacy here for linux, but from my point of view i'm pretty much entitled to.
I'm in charge for about 400 workstations and something like 170 servers. Both types (wks & srv) runs either linux or windows. Do you folks have any ideea which is the % of the wks's suffering from sudden death like about 2 or 3 months of intensive work on them? Take a wild guess!. So, as i'm sure you already guessed what i'm talking about, i come and say: "Why in the name of God i would waste my time and my nerves on reinstalling friggin MS stuff like every 2 - 3 months", when i could just simply just check them once in a while and have them running for 1 year +. Of course it's not my call. Just as some of you like MS and some of you Linux, my users have their preferences too, therefore i got Norton Ghost to work for those bloody Windows wks's. But then again, happy people coming to work are those working on linux workstation. Debian or Gentoo powered (dont remind me of RedHat/Fedora/CentOS as they are Windows's cousins lately), my workstations are rocking from simple text files editing (OpenOffice rules by the way) to Multimedia rich applications (if you dont know there is SDL - Simple DirectMedia Layer linux alternative of DirectX as well as TransGaming's new DirectX 8 API's support in linux for latest Remedy Enterprise's Max Payne with 3D acceleration). However .. going to the server side of my story all my servers are running Linux or various flavours of BSD. I used to have some NT and 2000 or 2003 servers that i got rid off due to their instability and inconsistency plus extremely bad memory management. Benchmarking the systems it came up that on two hardware identical servers, one with linux and the other with windows 2000 advanced server, each of them with two processors and 4 GB DDR2 memory, under a stress test with 300 simultaneous clients each of them sending 1000 (one thousand) simultaneous queries to their respective localhost databases (mysql for linux and msql for windows) the windows machine bent over kneeling in front of linux. I'm sorry to dissapoint you Windows fans but Linux is better, or you would prefere to say GNU/Linux since it's widely accepted as a name for this awsome OS. And Yes, it's an OS even if at origins Linux was the name of a MINIX based free OS with a monolithic kernel, created by Linus Torvalds. Do you even know that the name "Linux" was a mistake?. By the time Linus Torvalds finished his first version of what we know today as Linux he named it Freax, but when he asked his friend Ari Lemmke (at that time the FTP admin at funet.fi) to put the new OS online for public access, his friend gave him a directory on ftp with the name Linux. And for you ignorants i repeat: Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system. It's not the name of the kernel. And also i saw many of you stating Linux is an OS accepted by geeks and nerds. Righty .. then IBM, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, Novell are all some cheap-azz companies ran by nerds and geeks. If you say so ...
Also news for you cool guys from geeks like us .. Sony Playstation 3 will be running Linux too as confirmed by Sony's CEO Ken Kutaragi. So judging by this news Linux still not being a proper gaming environment right?.. Duh!. Take care with what you wish as the OS for your computer.

Over & Out
Andy
...Linux, MS-DOS, and Windows NT (also known as the Good, the Bad, and
the Ugly).
by tespio August 17, 2006

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An open source operating system that is for more stable than windows. The only time I use windows is to play a few games. I dual boot linix and windows on the same computer. And linux connects DSL about three times faster than windows. Linux plays my TV card without crashing. Linux does not let me change system settings without being logged in as root. While in windows, I accidentally changed the name of a system file and wasn't able to fix it for hours. Windows and Linux both have their pros and cons. Weigh them both and choose for yourself. Don't dis someone if they choose one over the other.
Linux is for those who choose not to use windows
Windows is for those who don't know they have a choice
by krypton knight December 31, 2003

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A kernel that many operating systems called "linux distros" are based off of. Linux is known mainly for being open source, and in most cases, also free to use. Many linux distros are do-it-yourself operating systems, and some come with a full GUI, and many automatic features, which makes it easier for normal people to use. These easy-to-use linux distros are commonly used as a price-effective and useful platform for public and private access to computers, and on servers. Many people criticize this operating system for not being able to run most applications, specifically games. Linux is somewhat limited to which applications it can run, but many people have made alternatives to those applications, and even ways to run those applications inside linux. In fact, many popular games can run on linux, contrary to the packaging of the game. Overall, linux is a great kernel that formed many popular and useful operating systems, which are in use by millions of people today. Linux is also available in a liveCD format, which lets users try linux before they fully install it.
"Hey, can you help me with my computer, windows crashed on me again."

"Oh, I'm sorry, I use linux, and I'm not too fond of microsoft products."

"Dude, linux sucks! It can't even run games!"

"Actually, unless you're planning to install every game on the market that was ever made, linux is actually a pretty good gaming platform. The only advice I can give you is to use linux. Here's a LiveCD"

"Okay, I guess I could try it."

2 days later.....

"What the hell man, when I tried to instal your stupid linux, it erased my windows!"

"Did you read the back of the CD? It clearly says that by default it'll erase all existing software, unless you partition your drive or install it inside windows. See, it says it right here on the CD."

"Well, it should've warned me!"

"Dude, maybe you should've just RTFM"
by 0per4t0r August 13, 2009

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An alternative operating system to that of windows or mac. Can be used for servers, mobile phones and digital tv recievers. Can be customised to suit the user. Is based on Unix, Written by Linus Torvalds.
There are about a hundred different versions of linux distributed to millions of people on billions of computers-so you can bet your ass that one os will be different from the next. Linux allows the user to re-program the software to suit them-this is how many software glitches are sorted out with one person programming one part of the system while another person focusses on another part. Windows only allows this to an extent (ie changing a user name or startup sounds or desktop background etc) so for this reason many software bugs cannot be fixed and hence windows being so unstable. Linux is good for driving mobile phones or powering servers but is impractical for use with the average computer gamer/secretary/photo editor. In other words, a person with programming experience would opt for Linux as they can customise it to suit them, whereas a person wishing to read email or surf net would opt for Windows or Mac as they will not have to know anything about programming first.
Newer versions of linux can make applications (ie Windows media player or Mac video editor) run with Linux.

Note: A particularly bad combination is: Dell computer, Pentium 4 CPU and Windows XP. Try switching the combination (ie fit an AMD Athlon CPU)-this i am pointing out as many unstabilities are rooted to the CPU and combination of hardware components, rather than the actual software itself.
by Stevie RC July 21, 2005

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Simply put, it's an operating system that you can download (legally.) I's most commonly used by experienced computer users because it doesn't hold your hand as much as Windows does. It also requires emulators to run Windows programs. The source code for the kernel is available somewhere. The kernel was written in the early 90s by one Linus Torvalds in Finland, and is released under a "General Public License."
How's that? No airline suff, just the real definition.
by Utz89 June 27, 2005

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A half-finished piece of shit for an operating system that's a pain in the ass to install, a pain in the ass to use, and a pain in the ass to remove from the hard drive.

On the bright side, Linux makes an excellent disk partitioning tool.

If Linux was designed primarily for network servers, then it doesn't make any sense to market it as a desktop replacement, especially if the applications suck, and hardware detection is nonexistent.

I wasted half of a 14 CDRs of a 25-CD spindle on 9 variants of Linux. 6 of them didn't work because the computer shut down when the installation detected my video card. 2 variants wouldn't detect my soundcard, modem, USB scanner, and USB drive. Driver installation didn't do jack shit to solve the problem. The ninth variant detected my modem and USB drive, but kept playing this wierd, chaotic, repeating tune through my soundcard. Unfortunately, there were no sound drivers to resolve the issue.

Windows 98 beta detected all my hardware, and driver installation was a cakewalk.

Thank GOD I bought my CDRs cheap from Big Lots. But still that was a waste of CDs that I could have filled with MP3s and the best freeware programs available for Windows.

May the Linux programmers burn in Hell.
An everyday example of how Linux dependency/lib file Hell prevents people from using Linux:

1) You download libkmidiplayer2.2.4 for Linux, but to install it, you need :
libmidi.so.1
libsound.so.2

2) You download the two libfiles, but in order to install libmidi.so.1 you need;
libc.so.6
libkernel.so.3
libsynth.so.0
alsa2.1.3
libfm.so.0

3) To install libfm.so.0, you need:
libkmidiplayer2.2.4

4) What the fuck?
by Bert March 17, 2005

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At least linux isn't backing up the TCPA, fuckheads. If microsoft were in control all you could do on computers is sit on your ass and play your little games all day.
PENGUIN POWEr.
by restin256 December 22, 2003

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the best operating system for people who really want to use a computer
man... this new linux server is fast.... it only installed in a few minutes and it dont hog RAM like windows server 2003 did.... and you can completly customize the kernel!

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