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I am just starting a thread in general to know at what distribution people thought its time to fall in love with Linux.
Mine very first Linux distribution was RedHat 5.1. The next one was Suse-6.0. I really liked Suse because I was able to configure my graphics card with correct resolution with it and was working on Gnome GUI without any glitches. Though my sound card was not detected with anyone of those.
I first got started with RedHat 9, but didn't like it. So I tried Debian Woody and it was the perfect fit. Been on Debian ever since. I've done a dist-upgrade straight through and used dd to move to newer hardware, but never had to reinstall yet.
Introduced to Slackware in `99. At that time I never heard of Linux, and essentially had a triple boot system. 98se/NT4 and Slackware (4?). Mostly at that time I worked only in NT4. After that pretty much left Linux, upgraded from NT4 to 2000pro. Tried Linux again with Mandrake 9.1, played with Slackware again. Didn't really plunge into Linux until a few years later. This time Slackware 10.0 (which was the sweet spot for me), and stayed with Slackware ever since.
I tried Debian long ago. I think Debian was new at the time. I Struggled with it and managed to do many things, but I never liked it, never was comfortable with it, never was effective with it and then dropped Linux for a long time.
Much later, I had to do some things on existing Centos systems at work. I did fairly little, learned fairly little and needed support for an on site Centos expert.
Then I tried Debian again (some people never learn). It was a lot better, of course, but I still struggled, I still couldn't get either comfortable or effective with it.
Then I tried Mepis. That not only made me comfortable and effective in Mepis itself. It made me comfortable and effective in Debian and Centos as well. It's a great shame that KDE4 (and maybe other factors as well) have destroyed the beginner friendliness in Mepis 8.5, so there is no longer (so far as I know) a Linux distribution as beginner friendly as Mepis 7 used to be (Mepis 8.0 isn't bad, but even without KDE4 it wasn't a step in the right direction).
Must have been 1994 that I downloaded, floppy by floppy, Slackware, don't remember what version it was, but the kernel was close to 1.0. Other things besides computers occupied me, then skipped ahead to the CDs for Slackware 3.5; I think the kernel was 2.0.3something. Then again the real world interrupted and I got back into "modern" linux in the last few years. Tried Fedora - too bleeding edge, tried Ubuntu, didn't play nice with my hardware and I couldn't figure out how to modify the system initrd easily, plus the auto updates were killing me... and so forth with some others, Debian, SUSE... went back to Slackware.
It just shows how new I am to linux: my first linux system was 64-bit. It was Fedora Core 4 in 2005. Then I triple-booted for a few years (Fedora/Debian/Centos) with occasional distro-hopping (Ubuntu/PCLinux/Slackware) It was not until I finally got through all the configuration of Slackware 12.1 that I settled down with one distro. Now if I dual-boot, it's only between slackware versions. Recently, I've installed FreeBSD, but I'm not having fun with it
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS; in days past Fedora, Solaris, SunOS, 4.2BSD, 4.3BSD, SVR4, AIX, HP-UX
I started with some Red Hat version from the mid 1990s. I bought boxed versions in bookstores. I was a long time Unix user, but it wasn't long before I preferred Red Hat Linux to SVR4, 4.3BSD, or Solaris.
Slackware 10.0 or 10.1. Late '04, early '05. Read about Linux online, sounded interesting. Bought two magazines, one gave away Knoppix, which I used to resize my XP. The other had Slack on 2 CDs. It was the last release of Slack that included Gnome.
I started with RHEL 4.0 64, loooong ago... then used Fedora for a while Fedora Core 4 and 5... then came OpenSuse 10.x, then came the *buntuz, starting with 7.04, then again came Debian, then Came Slackware ( the first I used was 13 64 ), and then Arch.
Currently I use Slackware and Arch in all my machines.
I started with computers in '76 or so on a Wang (don't remember the model, but I do remember it had a punch card reader, that's how I wrote my first program ) at the local community college where my dad was a math prof. Our first home computer was a commodore PET in '81 or '82. We progressed to the SuperPET and had a Commodore 64 and a VIC20 along the way. I didn't get to try a Unix-like OS until I went back to school at Iowa State in '93, where they used Ultrix on the Silicon Graphics workstations (they also had Windows and Mac machines).
I never really liked windows, but struggled with it until '07, when microsoft told me online that I was using an invalid copy of windows (I wasn't, it was installed on the machine when I bought it), but for only $100 or $150 they would happily validate it for me. I threw a fit, d'loaded and burned a copy of OpenSUSE, wiped my HD clean and haven't looked back.
Nowadays I prefer Debian or Debian-based distros with Slackware coming in a close second. I run both of these on my main machines, but always like playing around with other distros. I have yet to find a distro that beats out these two for my purposes, but it's a lot of fun taking others for test drives.
I have a server, two desktops and two laptops in the house and have one HD in one of my desktops that has windows XP pro (installed in the last year) on it for the very few things I can't do easily with Linux. I've booted my windows HD about three times since I've installed it.
EDIT: I use peppermint ice on this laptop for now, that explains the Mint logo to the left.
Last edited by brucehinrichs; 08-27-2010 at 03:42 PM.
From the thread title, it sounds like it's asking a historical question, like "what was the first complete, usable operating system with a working UI (i.e. shell), based on the Linux kernel, that was ever used?". But I see it's more like "what was the very first Linux distro you ever used?".
I started with Ubuntu...I've grown up quite a bit though: I'm posting this from Arch. I've gone from WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus, and Pop-ups) to KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).
Yeah, started with Ubuntu 9.04 on my main desktop, got a sort of "freebie" computer later on, tried various distros on it before settling with Arch (IIRC I tried Ubuntu and Fedora first, whose LiveCDs wouldn't even boot on that machine w/ 256 MiB of RAM , then Puppy, which I got bored with, then Arch). Then I got this laptop and immediately decided to put Arch on it since I figured that all the hardware would work out OOB (and it does: NVIDIA graphics, Atheros WNIC, etc. all worked OOB ), and I'd already learned how to set up a base Arch system on the "freebie" machine, so I figured it wouldn't be too different for this laptop...it wasn't.
Everything's been pretty much smooth sailing since. I've scrapped Ubuntu on my main desktop, replacing it with Arch (), but it seems to be unusually slow compared with Ubuntu, but that might just be because I need to do more tweaking to make it happy.
EDIT: Wow, I must have some kind of obsession with emoticons...I just pushed the 6 image limit with this post alone!