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View Poll Results: What Was Your First Linux Distro?
Arch 1 0.08%
Bodhi 0 0%
CentOS 18 1.50%
Damn Small 5 0.42%
Debian 59 4.92%
Fedora 55 4.59%
Gentoo 9 0.75%
LFS 0 0%
Knoppix 31 2.59%
Lindows 3 0.25%
Mageia 0 0%
Mandrake 115 9.60%
Manjaro 0 0%
MEPIS 10 0.83%
Mint 22 1.84%
Novell 3 0.25%
openSUSE 21 1.75%
Other 47 3.92%
PCLinuxOS 12 1.00%
Puppy 9 0.75%
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 13 1.09%
Red Hat Linux 216 18.03%
Sabayon 0 0%
Scientific 0 0%
Slackware 231 19.28%
SLS 11 0.92%
Sorcerer 1 0.08%
SuSE 82 6.84%
Turbolinux 6 0.50%
Ubuntu 178 14.86%
Vector 1 0.08%
Yellow Dog 5 0.42%
Yggdrasil 13 1.09%
Zorin 2 0.17%
Conectiva 4 0.33%
Linspire 3 0.25%
Mandriva 12 1.00%
Voters: 1198. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-24-2013, 11:27 AM   #1
Registered: Jun 2000
Distribution: Debian, Red Hat, Slackware, Fedora, Ubuntu
Posts: 10,311

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What Was Your First Linux Distro?

While we run an annual set of polls called the Members Choice Awards, I thought it might be fun to run some semi-official polls periodically throughout the year. Unlike the MCA's these polls will have no set end date and you can see the results real-time. First up, what was your first Linux distribution? Feel free to post, but do make sure to vote as well. If you'd like a distribution added, let us know (although do keep in mind it's simply not possible to include every distribution). If you have any suggestions for a future poll, feel free to post in this LQS&F thread.

Old 06-24-2013, 11:43 AM   #2
LQ Veteran
Registered: Sep 2003
Posts: 10,532
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Slackware 3.0 (1995)
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:50 AM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: London
Distribution: CentOS, Salix
Posts: 2,953

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Mine was Shoestring, a port of Red Hat to the Motorola 68000 architecture. That was on a Q60 with the M68060, when the Mac was only using the 68040!
Old 06-24-2013, 12:08 PM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2009
Posts: 2

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I tried red hat. It wouldnt see terminals on the serial port. Got a bunch of versions on cd and tried. Slack ware was awesome. 8 terminals on rs232, ip terminals, local terms all worked. Ran a web and file server for over 5 years on it. only rebooted 3 times when had to move machine. Windows requires a daily reboot.
Old 06-24-2013, 12:11 PM   #5
Registered: Mar 2008
Location: Where ever I am.
Distribution: Various
Posts: 173
Blog Entries: 135

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Mine was Slackware from the 90's. First distro as a real linux user was Redhat pre-Fedora. Had to install RH7 on the computers in a lab at the two year college where I used to work. Install was via lilo with RH7 and Messywindows. Made a basic image and then ghosted the lab. Had to rerun lilo on odd sized drives.
Old 06-24-2013, 12:14 PM   #6
m.a.l.'s pa
Registered: Oct 2007
Location: albuquerque
Posts: 192

Rep: Reputation: 26
Lindows, Inc. transferred the Lindows trademark to Microsoft and changed its name to Linspire, Inc. The first Linux distro I ran here was Linspire, back in 2005. Came "pre-installed" on a cheap notebook from Walmart. Debian-based.
Old 06-24-2013, 12:16 PM   #7
Senior Member
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Prince Rupert, B.C., Canada
Distribution: Slackware, OpenBSD
Posts: 4,138

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My first distro was Caldera OpenLinux 2.3. Caldera later morphed into SCO.
Old 06-24-2013, 12:28 PM   #8
Registered: Jan 2008
Location: North Carolina
Distribution: Pclinuxos, Slackware, Mint, Vector
Posts: 129

Rep: Reputation: 26
The first distro I tried was Knoppix live cd back around 2005. I was blown away by how advanced something that booted from a cd and ran in ram alone could be and I really loved the Kde desktop. I never tried to install it and don't think there was even that option at the time. I voted for PcLinux because it was the first I installed in early 2007 and used exclusively everyday. I found it on a website I believe was called the "live cd list". I can say it was the most flawless distro I ever used until the switch to Kde4 then not so much. I still use Pclinux as my anchor system on my multiboot system but mostly run Slackware currently.

Last edited by itsgregman; 06-24-2013 at 12:29 PM.
Old 06-24-2013, 12:48 PM   #9
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Registered: Sep 2006
Posts: 2

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SLS - 45 floppy disks downloaded using a 2400 baud modem over a weekend. 8-)
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:20 PM   #10
Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Hanover, Germany
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 15,399
Blog Entries: 2

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Got the first install CD of SuSE Linux 7.3 from a magazine, shortly after that 8.0 was released, I bought the professional version, with 7 CDs, 1 DVD and a nice handbook. Sadly, I don't have that package anymore.
Old 06-24-2013, 01:21 PM   #11
Registered: Dec 2007
Distribution: Centos
Posts: 5,051

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I intentionally answered a slightly different question than you asked. I answered "Mepis", which was the first Linux distribution in which I successfully used a Linux computer as a tool for getting other things done, rather than just as a means of learning Linux.

I had used Linux several years before, even successfully modified device drivers, but I never got to the point that Linux was effective as a means of doing other things. Before I found Mepis for my home use, I also used Linux many times at work (with lots of on site help from a Linux expert) to port code AFTER developing that code very portably on Windows. Then I tried many Linux distributions at home, in some cases getting them semi usable.

But Linux as a tool for Linux centric goals has always seemed lame to me. An OS should be easy enough to use, that you are thinking about whatever you are using the computer for and rarely thinking about the OS itself. I reached that point quickly with Mepis, after never really getting there with any other distribution.
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 06-24-2013, 01:34 PM   #12
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: $RANDOM
Distribution: slackware64
Posts: 12,928
Blog Entries: 2

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I chose Fedora Core 4 even tho my first distro was Linspire, because Linspire didn't work and I kept it for less than 24 hours.

Last edited by H_TeXMeX_H; 06-25-2013 at 02:58 AM.
Old 06-24-2013, 01:48 PM   #13
Senior Member
Registered: Jun 2011
Location: Montpezat (South France)
Distribution: ElementaryOS, Ubuntu LTS, Slackware
Posts: 1,497

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Slackware 7.1 CD bought from the local bookstore.
Old 06-24-2013, 02:34 PM   #14
John VV
Registered: Aug 2005
Posts: 12,663

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You forgot

MinGW and CygWin
i used those before installing Fedora 4
Old 06-24-2013, 02:38 PM   #15
Registered: Jan 2006
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 796

Rep: Reputation: 157Reputation: 157
My first was a retail boxed version of Red Hat Linux from the late '90s, I think it was version 6.0.


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