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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
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Is this a question?
If it is it is the most ridiculous one I've heard in a while. You cannot expect one of us to tell you all that. Linux is an operating system with multiple levels of complexity. It would take years to write it all down! I am not trying to be an ass, but really, buy a book already...
I would suggest "Running Linux" by Matt Welsh et al [O'Reilly]
Read for example the Rute tutorial, it will give you masses of information about your Linux system and ask again if you have special questions while reading. Your question is way to broad, as it has been stated already by others.
The thing with Debian (good or bad depends on perspective) is that stable (sarge) freezes it's package versions, that is to say that using the official repos with apt-get you won't get new versions of software, just bug/security fixes to existing ones. I use it on a file server as i have all the apps on there i need, it doesn't have to do much at all.
If you are learning software and playing around with it, or using as a general desktop, i would probably suggest the others simply because of the reason above (Debian is still a great distro though.
I use Fedora core and it has served me excellently so far, however with the approach of FC 5 i am looking for one with a longer life cycle.
"What is Linux all about"? The short answer: What you make of it. GNU/Linux is made to tinker with, change, and configure to your hearts content. It is a non-commercial (mostly) OS that YOU take charge of.
You don't like the way your program works? Under GPL, you can take the source code, change it as you see fit, and make it do as you want. You don't have to take only what is given to you. You can add to it, subtract from it, change the kernel itself to work with only the hardware and software you have, not what some commitee in a faraway place thinks you should have. GNU/Linux is a flexible/changable OS that is different for every distibution, and every distro is different for every user.
GNU/Linux is choice. You choose what you want to run. You choose the type of desktop enviornment you want. You choose if you want a certain service to be working. You choose what extras you want installed.
GNU/Linux is a alternative to Big Brother telling you that "That's the way it is". You see a security hole, let others know. The original devteam will probably have a fix for it soon. If you try that with the big OS's, they hem and haw, delay, them implement something after a long wait that causes more problems. Why? Because their names aren't on the programs. If a GPL programmer did that, the word will get around. This is the OS that scares the commercial guys, because it works, and nobody owns it.
Best advise was what was previously posted. Get a copy and install it. Try it. If you don't like it, change it. If you do like it, change it anyways. Let others know. Most of all, have fun with it.
If you want to know how the system works, assuming you know something about computers and the C language, download the latest kernel full version and read the source code at http://www.kernel.org/
That way you will know how the system works.
Actually you will see that it is more than 250 Mo of code and that makes a lot of stuff to read.
Maybe you are not interested in everything and you can ask for something more specific and we will be able to help you more on this.