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Story: What Was Your First Linux Distro?Total Replies: 17
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Jun 24, 2013
11:20 AM EDT
The listed were all recent distro's. My first Linux was .9 something or another, given to me by a customer on a floppy disk. My first real Linux was Slackware around 1995, though I didn't know it was Slackware, I just knew it as Linux. Downloaded from Vax VMS machines to floppy disks. Installing X from floppy, now that was fun.

Jun 24, 2013
11:40 AM EDT
> Installing X from floppy, not that was fun.

Finding the right audio driver was fun, too.

Creating a working modline in X, THAT was NOT fun.


Jun 24, 2013
11:43 AM EDT
Slackware was also my first install. I installed it on a machine at work in February of '94.

Jun 24, 2013
12:31 PM EDT
Same here with Slackware. Can't remember how many floppies, but version 0.99 seems to ring a bell. Wow, that was a *long* time ago.

Jun 24, 2013
1:16 PM EDT
Mine was Fedora Core 5 on 5 CD's.

Jun 24, 2013
1:30 PM EDT
My first distro was Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn. However, I soon switched to Kubuntu with KDE 3.x.

And what drove me to give Linux a try in the first place? Vista! In a way, I'm thankful to MS for this, as I since found so many other reasons why Linux is the best OS available for those who do not want their computers controlled by third party interests.

Jun 24, 2013
2:19 PM EDT
My first Linux was a HJ Lu boot/root floppy pair. I was a Fidonet sysop at the time, and seem to remember that someone here in the US had gotten the disk images, and I downloaded it from their system. It's been over 20 years, I don't remember that early stuff very well, now.

As far as real distributions, my first was Slackware. Somewhere around here I have a copy of the Yggdrasil beta CDROM, but I never used it much.

Jun 24, 2013
4:17 PM EDT
My first Linux distro was Red Hat Linux 3.something. No, not Red Hat Enterprise Linux, I mean the original Red Hat circa 1995. I also picked up a copy of Slackware at the same time from the same store. Yes, we bought distros back then because there was no broadband and yes, Slackware was in stores. Yggdrasil was on the shelf back then too but I never did try it.

Jun 24, 2013
5:47 PM EDT

I got the install to work in early February 1997 on a 486, 75 Mhz pc.

Jun 24, 2013
7:43 PM EDT
Slackware on god knows how many floppies sometime in 94 or 95 dates get a bit vague, as I had a cr@ppy but fun lifestyle back then.

Bought it from Lasermoon along with a copy of Dr.Linux as my first attempt to get away from MS.

Jun 24, 2013
9:20 PM EDT
Actually, I didn't migrate to Linux as my primary OS until 1998. I had to use it at work in late 1995. (I've told that story before.) As I was now sink or swim supporting HP-UX and had to do it from a Linux box I thought I had better learn pronto. I also didn't migrate from Windows. I hated Windows long before it was popular to do so. I was an OS/2 user.

Jun 25, 2013
3:18 AM EDT
My first two Linux distributions were Mandrake and Knoppix. They were the featured distros on a magazine cover disc.

With Knoppix nothing worked with the hardware I had at the time (think it was a Compaq presario). Mandrake faired quite well though.

I didn't really get enthusiastic with Linux until I tried openSUSE though a year or two later.

Jun 25, 2013
9:25 AM EDT
I forget. RH, probably. I remember buying a six-pak o' distro CDs from a vendor at the 1st or 2nd LinuxExpo in San Jose. It included debian, rh, slackware, yggdrasil, caldera (sco), and one other (mandrake?). The caldera and rh were the only two I could manage to install. Later tried obsd, unixware, and solaris. I stuck with rh until 7.0, then switched to slackware. I've tried a few liveCD (knoppix) and flash boot distros like unbuntu nbr and slax, but slack is still my main vein. I may try plain ol' debian, shortly. I need a full featured multimedia distro for arts and entertainment (play dvds). I don't wanna copy 'em, jes watch 'em.

Jun 25, 2013
2:15 PM EDT
My first was a custom Slackware spin for "The Linux Bible," a printed collection of HOWTO's and a few introductory essays. A couple of the HOWTO's were just plain ignorant.

It was the first time I actually sat down with pencil and paper, and drafted a plan of attack. If I hadn't done that, I'm sure I would have had plenty more than 2 failed installs before a successful boot and login.

Jun 26, 2013
11:46 AM EDT
My first was Slackware 4 in a college course. At home I ended up with Mandrake 6, which I liked, because Slackware wasn't available in the stores I found Linux in (though I learned later that buying the right book could have gotten me a Slackware disc). I moved on to Slackware 7 at home a bit later (remember that Patrick skipped the 5 and 6 version numbers), while using Debian 2.2 'Potato' at work (which I remember particularly for working perfectly with a parallel port CD burner that would only burn one CD per boot on Windows NT). Of course I've branched out a lot during the years since.

Jun 26, 2013
9:59 PM EDT
I'm I really that unusual, to have started with Debian (Debian 2.1, "Slink") ?

When I was deciding which distro I would try first, it eventually became clear that it would be either Debian or Slackware, simply because my testing hardware (a garage sale "Cast-off") wasn't really up to running Mandrake or SuSE (and even the "middle of the road" Windows box I'd bought a year earlier would probably have found them somewhat heavy).

As I recall, the really BIG stumbling block back then was configuring X, (and maybe worries about blowing-up one's monitor if one made a bad choice of mode-settings) and half the reason that Linux Install Fests were so popular seemed to be the promise of expert help getting X Window System set up on your box. Fortunately, I had no trouble to speak of, and in fact never made it to a Linux Install Fest myself :-( Oh well...


Jun 28, 2013
12:10 AM EDT
SLS here... It was nice not having to pull stuff together yourself after the boot-root startup. Flirted with the Manchester setup but stayed with SLS until Slackware took over. It did make one concious of the limitations of floppy disks. Finding wholesale suppliers and getting together a group order was sometimes a real challenge.

Jun 29, 2013
10:06 PM EDT
I'll add that while it wasn't my first distro, Caldera OpenLinux, back in the day, was the first really user friendly ready for the desktop distro I found. It's a crying shame what happened to Caldera. (For the few who don't know there was a management change. They bought a software company and adopted it's name: SCO.)

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