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The Word “LINUX” is inappropriate in XBOX Live

September 3rd, 2007 · 71 Comments

I love Linux and the XBOX 360, so yesterday I tried to include the word “LINUX” in the motto section on XBOX Live. I was stunned when I got a message saying “Your motto contains inappropriate language. Please try again”. Come on Microsoft is that really inappropriate? Maybe only to you guys.

Here is the screenshot:

LINUX is inappropiate language

Try it out and check it for yourselves !


Tags: Tech

71 responses so far ↓

  • 1 luke // Sep 3, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    now try “nintendo”

  • 2 WrongWay // Sep 3, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    Linux is my religion.. MS is therefore violating my freedom of religion. They allow Jesus and Ali but not my religion…

  • 3 Kint // Sep 3, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    It’s because you didn’t type ‘GNU+Linux’.


    OK I’ll shut up now.

  • 4 JKfan // Sep 4, 2007 at 1:45 am

    wrongway…you do realize that freedom of religion, speech, etc. applies only to GOVERNMENT, right? So even your joke is lame.

  • 5 chris // Sep 4, 2007 at 1:49 am

    nintendo works! i tried “linux lol” and it wouldn’t allow it. :(

  • 6 Anonymous // Sep 4, 2007 at 1:53 am


    Which religion is “Ali” part of?

  • 7 AnDDean // Sep 4, 2007 at 1:54 am

    what was the whole sentence though?

  • 8 Marv // Sep 4, 2007 at 1:55 am

    Did you try ‘Stallman’?

  • 9 bigjohn // Sep 4, 2007 at 1:56 am

    oh snap… if u try Apple i bet the 360 will blow up!

  • 10 Robert Aitchison // Sep 4, 2007 at 1:58 am

    Forgive me if I’m skeptical of your story since you elected not to tell us what you tried to change your motto to.

  • 11 nick // Sep 4, 2007 at 1:59 am

    It’s probably b/c LINUX is a copyrighted word, idk

  • 12 bob // Sep 4, 2007 at 2:06 am

    Go make your own multi-million (billion?) dollar online gaming service and then you can allow whatever you like.

    Stop crying.

  • 13 Of Little Consequence // Sep 4, 2007 at 2:08 am

    It’s a total joke.
    The production crew of XBOX Live probably thought it would be funny if they included “Linux” along with other vulgarities.

  • 14 The Gimp // Sep 4, 2007 at 2:11 am


  • 15 Eric // Sep 4, 2007 at 2:11 am

    Microsoft sucks

  • 16 Baabaablacksheep // Sep 4, 2007 at 2:15 am

    “Microsoft” is blocked as well. Gee, I wonder why?

    They still let you profess your love for BSD (any flavour) or Apple/MacOS in your motto though.

  • 17 a // Sep 4, 2007 at 2:16 am

    It doesn’t allow Windows or Microsoft either. What’s your point?

  • 18 James // Sep 4, 2007 at 2:19 am

    They don’t allow “Microsoft” either nor many other company names. You do know you don’t have to bash Microsoft at every occasion don’t you? It just makes us Linux users who DON’T have something against Microsoft (yes, there are some of us) look as immature as you.

  • 19 Goober // Sep 4, 2007 at 2:27 am

    “Includes” Linux? What else did it include?

  • 20 Anonymous // Sep 4, 2007 at 2:31 am

    Wow, Microsoft is really getting lame.

  • 21 Amlynch // Sep 4, 2007 at 2:33 am

    try Lindows, maybe it’ll meet you half way ;)

  • 22 Malachi // Sep 4, 2007 at 2:35 am

    Is it just me or did the linux fanboy levels just hit an all-time high?

    They also censor “Microsoft” as an inappropriate term. Let’s not jump to conclusions, Geek-sauce.

  • 23 Matt // Sep 4, 2007 at 3:04 am

    Ali? Like Muhammad Ali? Damn straight they allow that. Also, just throwing the idea out there, but calling Linux a religion is stupid. The question, of course, can you put the phrase “twatwaffle” in your motto. My hunch says yes

  • 24 mig // Sep 4, 2007 at 3:24 am

    I put Linux with an “!” at the end, it worked for me. B)

  • 25 Spacechip // Sep 4, 2007 at 3:43 am

    You guys. You guys. Dude probably just thought it was funny. He doesn’t have to have a point, and it doesn’t make him a linux fanboy. It’s just funny. You know, like ha-ha, funny.

  • 26 Ian Smith // Sep 4, 2007 at 4:06 am

    Type in “Steve Jobs”, see if it bans you from XBL.

  • 27 Josh // Sep 4, 2007 at 4:49 am

    Hahahahaha. “Twatwaffle” Classic!!

  • 28 Gabriel // Sep 4, 2007 at 4:54 am

    If someone wants to make a video of this please send it to me at gabriel82(at)gmail.com I will post it here. Thanks

  • 29 JALbert // Sep 4, 2007 at 5:10 am

    Also not allowed is fab, or f a b, and at one point on Xbox 1, money was blocked as inappropriate language.

    Also, ih8jews is perfectly acceptable.

    It’s a pretty terrible text filter.

  • 30 :) // Sep 4, 2007 at 5:19 am

    What religion is “Ali” belonging to?

    @ JKFan, good job knowing your essential rights of living in most 1st world nations. If a company or person violates your right to free speech, free press or choice in religion, you can go to court. If you live in a lesser off nation, my apologies for coming on so strong.

  • 31 jake // Sep 4, 2007 at 5:33 am

    All the non-sense us GNU/Linux users have to put up with in a Microsoft world it isn’t surprised this person jumped to conclusions. In any case I really don’t think anybody was going to seriously complain over this. However, with Microsoft having a monopoly it may be a justifiable complaint. It is similar to how Microsoft has strangled competition by putting up barriers in Microsoft Windows. It has also used it’s monopoly on operating systems to create a monopoly on instant messaging (unsuccessfully in the united states, but successfully in South America), web browser, and soon-to-be security add-on’s like anti-virus and anti-spyware.

    It doesn’t end with this… In the US it sold licenses to PC manufactures on a per CPU basis regardless if the PC was bundled with Microsoft Windows. This made it impossible for competitors to enter the market. This is illegal as a monopoly. What might be a commodity today costs $300 and the price is rising. Microsoft continues its dominance by offering the major manufacturers discounts. If any company started selling non-Microsoft computers seriously Microsoft can use dirty tricks to ruin that company. By giving a competitor a better deal for example or providing that company the operating system closer to launch then the competition. This would cost a PC seller huge amounts of money as they would then be at a disadvantage to the competition who would have the new OS out on computers sooner.

    People use Microsoft Windows as a result of it being the only offering reasonably available that has good support from third party software developers. Since nobody can sell non-Microsoft computers it makes little sense to develop for third party operating systems. While you might argue that Apple has good support for its Mac it is clearly disadvantaged and surviving even now only by a hair. A Mac can’t replace the Microsoft Windows PC in most situations any more than GNU/Linux can.

  • 32 This Guy // Sep 4, 2007 at 5:41 am

    I used to work on Passport. I suspect XBL is using the same “inappropriate” list that Passport uses when you create a Passport. This included all the Microsoft product names, plus several copyrighted names (MS didn’t want to get sued), plus a bunch of “nuisance” names (admin@hotmail.com, support@hotmail.com, etc), plus words that people had complained directly to Microsoft about (an odd collection of swear words, insults, etc)

    We did a lot of work to try and clean that list up before I left. The text matching was “partial”, so plenty of legitimate names and words were originally blocked.

  • 33 RunJun // Sep 4, 2007 at 6:23 am

    Is this all that shocking?

  • 34 Nitz // Sep 4, 2007 at 7:48 am

    Haha, my motto is “Twenty-two characters”… which is the limit, 22 characters :]

  • 35 ? // Sep 4, 2007 at 8:29 am

    @ “:)”

    Sure, JKFan was a bit off, there, but censorship on a system like XBL certainly does not constitute a violation of free speech rights.

    XBL belongs to Microsoft. It is their right to moderate and/or censor it as they see fit (within reasonable bounds).

    Apologies if that’s not what you meant, but I felt that needed clearing up.

  • 36 ? // Sep 4, 2007 at 8:30 am

    @ “:)”

    Sure, JKFan was a bit off, there, but censorship on a system like XBL certainly does not constitute a violation of free speech rights.

    XBL belongs to Microsoft. It is their right to moderate and/or censor it as they see fit (within reasonable bounds).

    Apologies if that’s not what you meant, but I felt that needed clearing up.

  • 37 Random Dude // Sep 4, 2007 at 8:38 am

    Ali is probably a reference to the Shi’a sect of Islam, since they believe that Ali followed Muhammad as a spiritual leader.

  • 38 twatwaffle // Sep 4, 2007 at 8:42 am

    I AM THE TWAT-WAFFLER! With my griddle of justice, I will save the day!

    Golden Crispy, Bad guys are history!


  • 39 (: // Sep 4, 2007 at 9:03 am

    @ “:)”

    Sure, JKFan was a bit off, there, but censorship on a system like XBL certainly does not constitute a violation of free speech rights.

    XBL belongs to Microsoft. It is their right to moderate and/or censor it as they see fit (within reason).

    Apologies if that’s not what you meant, but I felt that needed clearing up.

  • 40 John // Sep 4, 2007 at 10:32 am

    You know it’s probably something simple like not letting you use a known company name so other people think you work for them.

    However, it’s still damn funny!

  • 41 Marko // Sep 4, 2007 at 10:37 am

    Ali was the son-in-law of mohammed and is the prophet of a muslim confession called Alevis.
    See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alevi

  • 42 Aleksandar // Sep 4, 2007 at 11:13 am

    That’s very cool

  • 43 Quaat // Sep 4, 2007 at 11:27 am

    It seems it doesn’t accept ‘UNIX’ either :-)

  • 44 Zombie Kid // Sep 4, 2007 at 11:44 am

    I like turtles.

  • 45 Anonymous // Sep 4, 2007 at 11:51 am

    For the Shias, Ali is the first Imam and a sacred figure.

  • 46 yardman // Sep 4, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    Oh you LINUX fags!!!!

  • 47 nathan // Sep 4, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Come on now seriously, they do this for only one reason. If you own a multi billion dollar corp. Would you let Hacking communities or even individuals for that matter communicate about the possibilities of using Linux distro’s on there products to take money from your pocket. (On your on network no less)? Of course not. But on the other hand we all know that Microsoft is nothing more than a bunch of scared puppies fearful of using there edge on the market. Vi va la linux.

  • 48 Travo.Cadavo // Sep 4, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    Technically speaking Ali was an anarchist, but then again so was Jesus and Gahndi. Now maybe I shouldn’t mention this, but they where all terrorists too, AND that would make our terror alert go ape shit.

  • 49 Roy // Sep 4, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    It lets me do it just fine.


  • 50 j // Sep 4, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    The fact that any speech can be banned at the flip of a switch shows you a lot about the world we current are living in (and are moving more toward)

  • 51 Destro T. Calavicci // Sep 4, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    “It just makes us Linux users who DON’T have something against Microsoft (yes, there are some of us) look as immature as you.”

    It’s too late, James. The Linux fanatic fanboys have already made you all look stupid. I am saddened that non-fanatics like you are included in the stupidity, but the silence of the non-fanatics hasn’t helped.

    Sorry, manG. Collateral damage sucks.

  • 52 md2000 // Sep 4, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    To :)
    Wrongo. A private company has no obligation to alow your freedom of expression or anything else on their private site/medium/ publication/ property or whatever.

    Where you are confused - in most 1st world countries - a private individual or citizen may not discriminate against an individual on the usual grounds - race creed colour religion sex and -except in the land of the free - sexual orientation. if they bar you from anything they offer solely on those grounds, then both civil lawsuit and usually the human rights commission come into play.

    That does not appear to apply here. I suspect they have a short list of most popular trademarks and swear words that will be disallowed.

    If you were to plead religion, you’d have to show how LINUX satisfied the trappings of religion for you - worship ceremonies, previously claiming it as religion in your writings, etc. Actually, see if it allows “Allah” or “Jesus”. Odds are MS prohibits anything controversial.

    An acquaintance once tried to get her nickname embroidered on those mouse ears at Disneyworld. they wouldn’t do it - because “Kool” was trademarked by a cigarette company. In the litiginous USofA, best to avoid any hint of lawsuits. Same reason Walmart will avoid printing photos they think might be copyright. It’s easier to just say “no” than to pay a lawyer.

    Doesn’t mean I like Microsoft.

  • 53 waiting4linux // Sep 4, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    Long had “linux” in my username and everywhere else in XBL; apparently MS’s awareness of Linux users on their system is a recent phenomenon. Bogus either way.

  • 54 cawpin // Sep 4, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    @JKfan - Actually, religion is a protected category just like age or sex.

  • 55 Verlier // Sep 4, 2007 at 4:50 pm


  • 56 custangro // Sep 4, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    I have “cat /dev/null” as my motto…

  • 57 floyd // Sep 4, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    just say -Linux Rules!-

  • 58 RW // Sep 4, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    Microsoft wont let you say anything bad about Halo too.

    Try it. :P

    (Halo sucks btw)

  • 59 JTK // Sep 4, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    I had “For Unlawfull Carnal Know (ledge)” up there for some time and I finally got a temp ban put upon myself…
    stupid knowledge!

  • 60 Ken // Sep 4, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    Okay - it is obvious Microsoft is not against linux here but i fully understand. Linux rocks and should never be put down. Those who do - think - microsft has uncountable viruses etc. Linux … less than two figures probably. Leave the penguin alone.

  • 61 David Greiman // Sep 4, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win. Then they ban your keywords.

  • 62 Arthur Anybody // Sep 5, 2007 at 12:58 am

    I say fuck Linux. Have tried many different distros over the years and have always gone back to using Windows. Linux users spend far too much time denouncing Microsoft instead of focusing on improving Linux. Linux users always go on about how the OS and the software they use is free - so what? What’s the point when it’s permanently in a state of Beta or something just barely useable.

    Even freeware on Windows is usually better, more user friendly, and doesn’t require editing some obscure config file to get working. As I said at the start fuck Linux. I hope it never is the year of Linux on the desktop.

  • 63 FeistyFawn // Sep 5, 2007 at 3:17 am

    I have had for some time “Ubuntu FeistyFawn 7.04″ as my motto. So far no problems…

  • 64 Joshua // Sep 5, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Definitely a trademark issue, certainly nothing else going on here.

  • 65 billy rich boy gates // Sep 6, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    wow ms is much of stupid morons i guess..
    try ms-sux or linuxpwns
    inappropriate… seriously.. ( lol funny name i got there :P )

  • 66 spotto // Sep 7, 2007 at 3:45 am

    there’s a lot of spam here and it’s nearly upto 100 posts so i thought i’d take a snap..

    microsoft need to get their heads checked if they are blocking words like linux and unix and microsoft i mean come on we should be able to pretend to be bill gates or sir arthur linux or unix of the round table i mean dear god what do we have here is that a purple turtle orange poka dotted slimey huge mofo racky sacky want some seafood mumma

  • 67 nathan // Sep 7, 2007 at 10:36 am

    Maybe I wasn’t clear enough.

    Well in one opinion obviously among many. I don’t think this is a rival hate thing. “Tho I’m sure Microsoft seriously dislikes Linux as well as the users of said free OS’s.” For reason obvious to many. But, for tho’s not in the know and i won’t mention any names cough*ARtHuR anNYB0Dy*. “No, I don’t dislike you or anything” but, I feel perhaps you hate it for both the right/wrong reasons. Linux can be loved like cake to a fat kid or hated like the word diet to the fore mentioned. It’s all about perspective. Let me explain. Since I have the time and perhaps maybe at least one person will learn something.

    If your addicted to gui (graphical user interface). because of the easy in the learning curve then Linux is not for you. Before you get bent out of shape this isn’t always a bad thing the gui is a very useful tool which is why in the past years your seeing it more and more in the linux home front. Windows is user friendly because it’s meant to be point and click which is great. But you have to realize that windows was originally intended for the use of individuals that just want it to do what ever there trying to accomplish and not be bothered with how it’s done. With linux the same can be achieved but it requires it to be done manually on the command level. Windows does much the same thing only it has a premade scripts or a predetermined course of action programed by an individual and activated by a pretty picture with a shortcut attached to it which starts the fore mentioned line of commands or script. Because of this windows has to follow it line for line even if it may not be the best decision now due to someone finding a flaw/loophole that was not thought about when it was written. Due to this windows has many flaws and has to be updated frequently. With linux because everything is manually entered at one point or another many fewer errors can be made by and experienced user. Unlike windows which is locked down so you can’t figure out how things are done (easily). Linux is only limited by your imagination and your programming skill. Plus, point of fact because there isn’t so much flashy stuff to load it also runs faster.

    But I seriously digress.

    To the subject, I’m sure your thinking finally. lol me too. I don’t believe the word ban is entirely due to the hatred of linux but due to the facts of what linux can do to with the machines that Microsoft owns the rights to. by now we all know that using linux you can (and I hate the word), “hack” the machine and get it to do things Microsoft never intended because it wasn’t in there best interest as a corporation.Or fare to other players if it’s used for cheating. As a consumer these are things we want. As for human nature we find ways to get what we want.

    And So really think about it. Does it really surprise anyone that they would try to control the exposure of such practical uses of there hardware?

    P.S. For the record is use both windows and linux some thing are just better on other OS’s.

  • 68 leo_on // Sep 7, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    jaja…. nice…

    Try GNU or EULA…

  • 69 Arthur Anybody // Sep 7, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    To Nathan,

    firstly I’d like to apologise for using the “F” word, it’s just that I’m a little disillusioned with Linux - let me explain:

    I have been dabbling with Linux since around the time Mandrake (now known as Mandriva) was current with version 7, over the years since then I have installed - or in the case of Debian tried to install - quite a number of distros with varying degrees of success.

    The last distro I tried several months ago was PCLinuxOS on my secondary PC - the install went fine and after booting into the OS everything seemed to be ok until it came to setting the display resoultion. The graphics card in the machine was an nVidia Geforce FX 5600 which I knew was capable of running at around 1600 * 900 to take advantage of my 22″ widescreen monitor. I download via Synaptic the relevant drivers for my card, reboot and set the display to 1600 * 900 and it seemed to be ok. But everytime I reboot, the display has gone back down to 1024 * 768, this results in me having to set it to 1600 * 900 every time I log on and judging from other user’s posts on the forums I am not the only one having this problem.

    Around this time I aquired through work an older PC which had a Geforce 2 MX graphics card in it. I install PCLinuxOS on this machine and lo and behold when I boot into the OS it’s running at 1600 * 900 or thereabouts (can’t remember exactly) without any intervention on my part and it stays at that setting everytime I boot into the OS on that machine. What the hell is going on? Why can’t the OS utilise the capabilities of the Geforce FX 5600?

    A few years ago I tried Fedora when it was one of the more popular and seemingly up and coming distros. Imagine my horror when I boot into it to discover that the the entire display is shifted left about half an inch!!! The solution - fire up some obscure app called XVidTune from the command line, use it’s controls to adjust the display, output the settings to a text file, then copy the relevant part into Xorg.conf and hope you haven’t messed it up . Come on you Linux fanboys, get your act toghether, why would any average computer user put themselves through that or similar just to avoid using a proprietary OS. Nobody in this day and age should have to mess around by directly editing a configuration file to get their display centred on screen. With all the millions of man hours put in by talented Linux coders why are such fundamental things like these ignored? If that’s what “Linux on the desktop” looks like I don’t want any part of it.

    In contrast to the above my main PC is running XP Pro and I have no problem at all with it’s display settings.

  • 70 nathan // Sep 8, 2007 at 4:29 am

    I would have to agree with Some of your following issues as there are some “bugs in the machine soda speak”. Do to the some hassles attributed to the extra freedom you gain extra time is required. I will have to say one thing tho. pertaining to you resolution problem. this is due mostly to the drivers of said graphics cards. I have in my experience (which doesn’t mean it’s always the case.) figured out that ati has much better compatibility with linux. As to why this is the case your guess is as good as mine. Also in my experience I’ve noticed that with nvidia the older cards work better. i will also make this statement , If windows could ever be as controllable as linux it most likely would take over all but mac. But you all know as well as i do it’ll never happen so there you go, left with the real question ( or catch 22 if you will). Will linux ever get up to par with graphic intensity. (most likly not less it isn’t free anymore). Will you truly ever gain the freedom that come free on linux with your window OS’s again most likly not till they figure out what we as consumers really what.

  • 71 Chris // Sep 24, 2007 at 9:41 pm



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