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What was your first Linux distro?

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Re: What was your first Linux distro?


Post by richb » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:11 pm

Adrian wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:44 pm
richb wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:34 pm
About 18 years ago I tried Red Hat first, or whatever the non-commercial version was. Then Xandros which I used for some time. Them found Mepis in 2003 and I have been with Mepis and now MX continuously since then
Why Linux? I wanted to learn something new.
Wow, such a similar path, the difference is that I tried Red Hat 20 years ago but not on my computer that's why I said Xandros was my first distro. Also wanted to learn something new...
Wow indeed.
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Re: What was your first Linux distro?


Post by Eadwine Rose » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:18 pm

ProMEPIS 2005 Beta 4 is the one I started out with.

I guess I came, I saw, I sat down, and never left :laugh:
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Re: What was your first Linux distro?


Post by rasat » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:49 pm

I got my first computer in 1989 with MsDOS and loved it until Windows versions started (3.0, 3.1, 95, etc.). Purposely with each version, obvious features where missing to create desire to get next one. And the maddening part, you had to accept whatever MS offered. No means to tailor your own.

in 1996, one of my friends forgot his CD on my office table (I was working in Nairobi, Kenya). When asked, he told its a new operating system Linux, made in Finland (I am Finnish) :) The CD didn't work and week later I got hold on SUSE Linux. After Mandrake Linux, uninstalled Windows from my machine. In 2002 Arch Linux, 2014 Manjaro, 2015 NetRunner, and 2017 MX Linux. Luckily MX repos are flexible, was able to change to buster running Gnome 3.30. Otherwise Ubuntu until MX 19, which would have been embarrassing. :)

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Re: What was your first Linux distro?


Post by j2mcgreg » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:32 pm

Back in the mid nineties when I finally decided to crawl out of the bottle, I needed a project to keep me occupied. Caldera was the first one that actually sort of worked on my hardware, but it went belly up in a hurry. I then moved over to Mandrake and then Suse. I moved to Mepis mainly because my Samsung laser worked out of the box while Suse refused to recognize it. I've been here ever since.
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Re: What was your first Linux distro?


Post by Artim » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:37 pm

When Windows XP got really slow and too resource-hungry for my computer, I wanted to try a Mac - until I saw the price tag! YIKES! Before resigning myself to a slow death by a thousand cuts, I Googled around for how to keep an aging computer running at reasonable speed and found some stuff about Linux. An online "distro chooser" helped me pick the "best" one for my hardware and level of expertise (zero). I ran Ubuntu 8.10 and it expired a month after I installed it, so up to 9.04, which was okay but clunky. So I tried the different "flavors" and settled on Xfce for it's simplicity. I was a Xubuntu fanboy for a couple of years and just wanted to see what I missing, so I hopped a bit: PCLOS, SalixOS, Mepis, Mint, back to Xubuntu, my comfort zone. Maddened by updates breaking things, I tried straight Debian Xfce. Very vanilla, very complex for me. It took two days to install properly, and two weeks to configure it like I wanted. I thought, geez, I just spent two weeks getting this the way I want it, and Xubuntu was already that way, and installed in 20 minutes! But darn those updates! So I looked at MX because it was Debian Stable (no update issues) and hopefully easier to install than vanilla Debian.

I now have MX on my main desktop and Linux Lite (derived from Xubuntu but with very cool newbie tools for technophobic users like me who need a "kiddie distro" and hand-holding) on the laptop I take to classes and for showing friends how easy Linux has become.

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Re: What was your first Linux distro?


Post by MAYBL8 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:46 pm

I am going to link to my previous post on this discussion from a different thread:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=47889&p=478764&hili ... va#p478764

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Re: What was your first Linux distro?


Post by JayM » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:00 pm

I can't remember now whether it was Slackware or Mandrake (edit: it was SLS, Soft Landing Software) but it was their 1.0 release on a CD, some time in the early 1990s. That was my very first Linux on one disk. I got it for free from a company that sold Linux disks because it was one of a handful of 1.0 ones left and they were about to announce the next version anyway, so they just gave the leftover 1.0 ones away.

Before that it was a roll-your-own installation: ftp the kernel, ftp all the GNU components, libs, headers, etc., create your own directory structure (I can't even remember what the filesystem was in those days but it was long before journaling.) It took 4 or 5 boxes of 3.5" floppies to hold that ftp'd Linux and took me about a month to get all of it. It was command-line only from a terminal. Xwindows hadn't yet been ported to Linux.

In those days, one of the first things you did was recompile your kernel to customize it for your PC and improve performance. That was before there were modules and everything was inside the kernel, so drivers for things you didn't have could be omitted to make your kernel lean and mean. I kind of miss those days in a way, but Linux was more of a toy Unix, not something you could use every day (unless you were a C programmer for Unix/Linux.) I still had to boot into Windows to get real work done. At first it was due to the lack of a decent GUI, then after Gnome and KDE came out it was lack of apps that did what I needed.

I think Linux finally caught up to Windows around 8 to 10 years ago, to the point where people could cut the M$ cord and still do everything they needed or wanted to do on their computers, with a very few exceptions that is. Except for perhaps a virtualbox Windows installation (which I don't even have right now) I've been Microsoft-free since I think 2012.
Last edited by JayM on Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:46 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: What was your first Linux distro?


Post by figueroa » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:52 pm

Slackware downloaded onto 24 720 3.5" diskettes over a couple of days by dial-up modem.
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Re: What was your first Linux distro?


Post by BV206 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:57 pm

Sometime around 20 years ago somebody gave me a Slackware CD. It booted to a prompt and I had no idea what to do next.

About 10 years ago I learned how to partition a hard drive and dual boot Linux and Windows. I had various *buntu distros, Linux Mint or Fedora installed most of the time but never used linux very often.

For the past 3 years I have been using Xubuntu exclusivley because Win10 would not work on this machine. Last year I learned about MX and have it on a USB that I use sometimes.
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Re: What was your first Linux distro?


Post by malspa » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:42 pm

gbhollr wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:52 pm
What was your first distro? Why did you decide to try Linux? Why start with this distro in particular?
When did you start off? How knowledgeable of Linux were you then? What was your experience with your first distro?
I started playing around with Linspire and Knoppix in 2005, then Xandros and "SimplyMepis" in 2006. :)

I found out about Linux after using some open source apps with Windows XP; thought it sounded like something I might like. I didn't know anything about Linux then. At first, I kept XP on my main computer. I ran live sessions of Knoppix, and ran Linspire on another computer (it came preinstalled on a cheap notebook), for about a year, when I had some spare time.

That first year with Knoppix and that Linspire notebook opened the door to Linux for me. Linspire wasn't the greatest distro, but it was easy to use for a newbie. Later, I discovered Mepis and things took off from there.

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