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33.
Linux is a free (as in libre, not always as in gratis) kernel that, together with tools from the GNU project, forms a stable, high-performance, multi-user operating system.

Its advantages over Windows are mainly ideological; it's free, usually in both of the above senses of the word, and the license, the GNU GPL, prevents proprietary implementations from screwing you over (Linux "companies" sell support, not Linux itself, for this reason).

It's also much more stable than Windows, owing to its stricter memory management, access controls, and hardware abstraction policy, and its networking performance is better since it's really meant more for servers than for desktop usage. Linux has finer-grained access control at the user and device level, though to be fair, Windows has had Unix-style file permissions since NT. Reboot times for Linux, however, are measured in months, and the only reason you should ever need to reboot Linux is if you installed a new kernel.

The disadvantages of Linux compared to Windows are mainly issues of ease of use. Linux is hard compared to Windows, mostly because it tends not to detect certain devices. This is a circular problem, because the drivers tend to be written only for Windows to begin with. It also, despite what the makers claim, *does* require some work at the terminal in most cases, and this will scare away most Windows users who never worked with Dos and the 9x series. It shouldn't, because the terminal is much more powerful and easier to use than Dos ever was, but it does.

The other main issue is that, while there are a few hundred different flavors, referred to as "distros," most of them suck. There are a few big, well-supported distros, and many are based on them: RedHat, which is popular in the corporate world, Debian, which is minimalistic and tough by itself but forms the base for the popular Ubuntu, and Slackware, which is the oldest maintained distro and is closest to the "original" Linux philosophy. There are also a few oddballs like Gentoo, which is for experts only (forces you to compile *everything* but does the annoying work for you and gives you incredible performance), and Arch, which is a minimalist hybrid of Gentoo and Slackware.

Save yourself headaches: newbies should use Ubuntu, experts should use Gentoo or Slackware, purists should use Debian, and no one should use RedHat or any RedHat based distro unless you're corporate and need it, in which case you want CentOS (RedHat for free with no tech support). Just be prepared to get your hands a little dirty, and to search the web and your distro's forums for help. There is always, always an issue that pops up that will never be in the manual or installation docs.

Most of all, remember that Linux won't insult your intelligence, but it won't hold your hand either. You can't always breeze through a Linux install like you can with Windows (though Ubuntu and friends are changing that), but you will get a solid, stable, and working system. Linux rewards effort and inquisitiveness, and punishes laziness.
Linux is about choice. That means you're free to use it, or not to use it, but it will always be here for you.
by Hazuki April 22, 2007
 
64.
Linux Is Not UniX
A UNIX clone written by Linus Torvalds so people can have a UNIX-like OS which has no AT&T code for which you need to pay royalties. Known sometimes as GNU/Linux. Morons complain about compiling their software when the reason is for the software to be cross-compatible.
Linux is in NO WAY an alternative to Windows. Windows is intended as a multimedia and gaming OS and Linux is designed for server machines. They are two VERY DIFFERENT operating systems.
by Anonymous August 11, 2003
 
65.
You have two cows.

The city council demands that you disect one of them and allow the town citizens to do whatever they want to it.
The town citizens use genetic modification to enhance choice organs.
They take several days to re-animate the cow, until they finally have a working zombie-cow that produces SuperMilk (similar to Popeye's spinach) but random organs stop every 10 seconds, forcing the people to disect it again just to fix it.

You live happily on your regular milk while the town struggles.
No, this Linux diatribe isn't copypasta.
I'm just as astounded as you.
by DonZabu November 03, 2008
 
66.
A great OS that runs the only game a true gamer would ever play (counterstrike) fine and is much more stable. If you are tired of letting microsoft own your computer and tired of the utter lack of customizability that comes with winblowz, I recommend that you give this a shot. It is simple to learn I cannot believe anyone thinks it is complicated. If you dont feel like partitioning space on your comp to try it out, get a "live cd" of linux (such as knoppix or phlak) and just boot it up and take linux for a test drive.
I switched to linux 3 years ago. CS runs much better on my customized version of linux than it ever ran on my windows OS. I am so glad I found linux! Now I am the one controlling my comp!
by |_îÑ|_|>< |=4Ñ April 29, 2004
 
67.
Completely incomprehensible when in terminal form, comprehensible in graphic form. Users often feel a strange, all-consuming need to write microsoft as "M$" or windows as "Windoze". This behaviour has no been deciphered by psychologists yet, but it is suspected that they do it to "fight the man". Only the faggiest of users use these words, although regular linux users use them too.
Hardcore Linux user: "OMG M$ r releasing teir new windoze version lol BSOD evry 2 mins lol."
Windows user: "...the hell?"
by CWO01 May 29, 2009
 
68.
Linux - free, stable, open-source operating system - and that’s about it.

Not as good as people make it out to be, very undeveloped and bad compatibility weights this OS down.

The reason that Linux does not have as many viruses, trojans, spyware, etc as your precious "Windoze" is because it is not incompatible with these programs - Linux is not popular enough... yet.

"Linux-text-only" was a long time ago noobs, get with the times please.
Most noobs on urbandictionary haven't even gotten past burning their .iso image to a disk - too hard.

I bet they buy an APC magazine with a live-CD and call Linux slow because they don't even understand how RAM swap files work.

I myself prefer UNIX without any kind of GUI.
by Luigi9849 July 31, 2005
 
69.
What Windoze users should turn to since Windows is clearly crap, evil and bastardised in every way.
Linux runs the web (80% of all servers).
Linux is the base-station of most hackers (see 'Hackers Handbook' by Dr. K, ISBN 1-85868-943-0) because it is inherently secure.
'HOLY SHIT MAN DID YOU SEE THAT?!'
'Yeah dude you fux0red up that poor dudes windoze box'
'Yeah man, linux r0x0rz!!!'
'Yeah'

*cue beavis and butthead style laughter*
by Minigun_Fiend July 21, 2004
 
70.
Linux is a monolithic kernel. Most people don't get it. They say linux would never go mainstream and "average joes" will never use it?? Then what? Does linux need. linux is not making money even if it has more users. it works for us better than other alternatives and this is the biggest thing.
Linux is great.
by meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee* June 26, 2010