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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
...Linux, MS-DOS, and Windows NT (also known as the Good, the Bad, and
the Ugly).
by tespio August 17, 2006
47 24
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
13 9
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.
by restin256 December 22, 2003
31 28
Linux is one of three major operating sysems (windows,mac, linux)
Linux is Free opposed to the others making pre installed laptops much much cheaper.
Linux also has no known viruses, is much cheaper, works MUCH FASTER and is barely exposed to crashes.
However it involves using other versions of everything such as MSN, Word and excel.
Many debate it bad and many debate it better.
YOU: ew why can't you nudge on msn?!
ME: *rolls eyes* linux version of msn...
by tamara10 February 16, 2009
5 3
Linux is NOT an OS (Operating System). Linux is the actual kernel from which the platformed distribution runs and obtains directions. The Linux kernel is an open source system which falls under the GNU General Public license. In essence, Linux is a compressed, open source platform of UNIX. The actual OS's (distributions or flavors) are gentoo, red hat, unbuntu, slackware (Although very similar to straight UNIX), mandrake, arch, debian, mandriva, etc.

The Linux kernel was designed and constructed by Linus Torvalds to provide a free, open source kernel for all computer lovers.
i.e. Microsoft XP is an OS. Microsoft also has a kernel which makes it run. Linux is the actual kernel for distributions like S.u.S.E. etc.

1. Hey, do you use Linux?
- What?

2. Hey, do you use Linux?
- I love that OS
You're stupid.

3. Hey, do you use Linux?
- Yes, why yes I do.
Righto, Chap. Well done.
by MeK 1 November 16, 2005
18 16
the best 0S ever
1. its free
2. its powerful
3. its not mac OS X
Man linux is just the best

tux the penguin owns your a$$
by sneaker December 04, 2003
32 30
The OS equivalent of a hybrid car.
Steve: Have you heard about Bob? He uses Linux.
Dave: What a douchebag.
by Kriyze January 29, 2014
1 0
Linux is a free operating system like free UNIXes. The most popular is Ubuntu(still), yet the even more stable Memphis Linux is what you really should have. The Russians and Chinese prefer Linux over Windows all the time. Most servers is either Ubuntu Server or CentOS. The WWW runs 60% Linux servers, because less viruses.

The most stable Linux ever created is usually always Slackware, yet no one heard of it (distro created back in 1994)

UNIX is obsolete in comparison.

Easier to operate than 2 years ago.
Person 1: I run Ubuntu Linux Server for my web server
Person 2: I run Cent OS, because its a free Red Hat Enterprise Linux OS.
Person 3: I'm a hardcore Linux user and I run Memphis Linux
by hellads2 November 09, 2010
3 2