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I tried Corel Linux and Redhat 6.0 back in 1996 but wasn't able to do much. Then after spending a year with WinXP on my laptop I got fed up with Microsoft to the point I was ready to switch and learn Linux. I chose Slackware 9.1 and have been a happy Slacker since July 2001.
I've heard that some of the early versions of Redhat were kind of scary. But probably most early versions of Linux were kind of scary.
I used Mandrake years ago (well, when it was still Mandrake) and that's where I started, did a little here and there but never really got into it. Started using Windows again for a few years and am totally back to Linux again, didn't have an option for that since I don't think I qualify as a long-term user so I put that I've been using it in the last few years.
I'm with kc3. I used Linux (read: thought I was cool because I had an OS I couldn't comprehend) back about 12 years ago. Since then I dabbled aimlessly with Mandrake, Red Hat, Debian, and Slackware, picking up whatever I could but never really "getting it". I've only been really using Linux to my best for the past 5 or 6 years, near-exclusively for 4. I don't think that really qualifies as a long time, at least in my case, so I voted "a few years".
There was never really a time before Linux had a GUI. X=GUI. XFree86 was ported immediately for Linux, so this poll element is a bit strange. I was in on the ground floor of Linux, circa 1991/2, and I just do not recall not having X.
True - I voted for this option largely because I came along when most people didn't bother to use XFree86
No sound, bad video, poor mouse support, using startx when you felt like going to a CDE/Motif type environment. You started Linux a few years earlier than me - so I imagine it was really bad in 91. I was still very much in BSD/Unix land at that point.
But I'm one of those old VMS/Unix types
I first professionally supported Linux-based systems with SAP running on RedHat 6.5 in a demo lab. Before that I was all Unix/BSD/VMS (SunOS and IRIX/HPUX to be specific)
Okay, I guess I need to touch on the "before the GUI" component of the poll, since my poll is so brilliantly composed and precisely worded in all other respects (*snicker*).
Possibly where I originally got the idea was Wikipedia, which indicated in the "History of Linux" article that the XFree86 project contributed a GUI to Linux in 1994, but does not provide any references. Another timeline I found online indicated that the X386 project (later XFree86) started working with Linux in 1992, and XFree86 itself was actually released in 1993. On the XFree86 web page it is indicated that the project has been "producing" an implementation of the X windowing system since 1992, though they are not more specific on that page about how much they accomplished at that time.
So if Torvalds starts putting Linux together in 1991, and really brings it together in 1992, then I guess there isn't /much/ time where Linux doesn't have a GUI. But there is some time... and if you used Linux that far back then you really were an _early_ adopter.
Maybe Torvalds will take another look at this thread and clear things up for us...
I started using linux about 2years ago,
my first linux distribution was Slackware 12.0 and I stuck with it, Ive tested other distro's like ubuntu/kubuntu, openSuSE, Fedora, Arch but nothing is as awesome as slackware! xD
I bought my first computer in 2001 and read about and installed Mandrake Linux (kernel 2.4.18) less than a year later. Thrown in the deep end getting a Winmodem to work. Got static across the screen when the hard drive moved. Found a Debian CD, same problem, but reinstalling on the option it gave for an earlier kernel solved it. Its been plain sailing since then.
Dabbled with some other distros, including Crux, which has no dependency checking, but apt-get is just too sweet to pass by. Torvalds and Stallman are heroes, and Murdoch.