Your First Linux Distro?

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Your First Linux Distro?

Postby realityDroid » 15 Nov 2013 09:50

Does anybody remember their first Linux distro? I mean, the first full fledged Linux distro that they installed and used (this excludes distros that are meant to be live-cds only)?

My first one was Ubuntu 7.04. And just to remind myself of the experience, I installed 7.04 in a VM.


I managed to get the 7.04 live CD shipped to me when I was in high school and I managed to install it and use it, even on a dial up internet connection. I remember how long it took me to successfully compile and install a winmodem driver, and how happy I was when I succeeded (I literally cried tears of joy). That was freshman year of high school. Things have changed so much in the Linux world since then.

Please feel free to share. I'd love to hear everyone's first Linux experiences.
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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby drc » 15 Nov 2013 18:29

Slackware in late '94. Then, the next month, I found FreeBSD and the decidedly immature Linux was forgotten for more than a decade :)

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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby Deleted User 2763 » 15 Nov 2013 18:54

Debian Woody

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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby matt267 » 16 Nov 2013 01:19

My first was Mandrake Linux back in high school. I used it to experiment and test the linux water. From there I moved to Linspire and Debian while in college then to Ubuntu after graduating. Now I have Mint 13 xfce on my desktop and solydx, lmde, and mint10 on my netbook.

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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby rokytnji » 16 Nov 2013 02:10

Puppy Linux dual booter with Windows 95

Bought motorcycle parts with it on Ebay.


I have moved on since then

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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby Omega » 17 Nov 2013 20:52

Redhat Linux 5.2 in 1998

I was 14 years old, and I was really proud that I was able to get all my hardware working properly. I even was able to install KDE 1.0 (I think they provided rpms and instructions on how to install).


I was really proud of myself, but I quit it like after 1 month because there wasn't any games like on Windows 98. The other problem I had was that anytime something cool and new came out, I ran into dependency hell, and browsing the web sucked because everything at the time pretty much required Internet Explorer for it to look right.

My second one was SuSE Linux since it had like 4 discs, and I installed everything, and I didn't have dependency issues, but I had a much harder time getting my hardware to work, and I had to pay for an OSS license since that was the only way I could get it to work (The discs came with like a 30 day trial of OSS).

I had a Sound Blaster AWE64, and I didn't know why Redhat was able to detect and configure my sound card easily without OSS and SuSE couldn't do it, but I bit the bullet and bought it since I didn't want to go back to Redhat since dependency hell sucked.

So I tried SuSE for a while, and then I quit Linux all together until Windows Vista came out, and tried out Ubuntu Feisty Fawn (I quickly switched to Kubuntu, since my preference has always been KDE over Gnome), and it was simply awesome.

No more dependency hell, it was a slim 1 disc install, a huge repository of everything I wanted, my hardware worked out of the box. Adobe Flash came out for Linux, and everything was good with the exception of gaming which at this point I became more of a console gamer anyway.

I've stuck with Ubuntu, but I went into a distro hopping frenzy where I tried them all because the grass always looked greener when reading up on them.

Gentoo, Arch, and Debian Testing were in my interest since rolling release and having an updated system without having to re-install is what I've been hoping for, but then there is a lot of breakage with this system that continues to this day.

I think that SolydXK, and Manjaro all have the right idea with an update pack system that is synced with upstream, tested and released. I understand that things can still break, but I think it brings a happy medium of being edgy but not on the bleeding edge.

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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby helmsdeeper » 19 Nov 2013 10:52

Xandros 2.5

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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby ulusu » 19 Nov 2013 20:09

Slackware 3.6.0 (1998)

Yes...I'm that old 8-)


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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby ane champenois » 23 Nov 2013 08:25

matt267 wrote:My first was Mandrake Linux back in high school. I used it to experiment and test the linux water.
:lol: Funny! Just the same as me!
They did not know it was impossible so they did it.

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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby Fletch » 17 Jan 2014 20:31

That depends on what you mean by first. I bungled up my first attempt at a Debian install when all there was, was dial up. After I actually got it installed I didn't have a clue how to make the dial up part work and then found out 'nix hadn't quite made it that far yet. :oops:

I don't recall the year but when I read that linux had whooped JRE and flash I gave it another try and after about a week figured out how to partition and finally got Debian installed,,, kind of. Then I found out one had to go outside of Debian and figure out how to get JRE and Flash to work. :x

At about the time I figured out I had gotten the worst end of the stick by springing for Win Vista when it came out I actually got serious about learning 'nix and stuck with Slackware for several years. 8-)

Since then the only thing I haven't had on my box is Gentoo [the real deal, not the spin offs] and Source Mage. For some reason I've never had any luck at installing either of them. Arch and Slack are a breeze compared to installing either of those two. :?

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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby Orbmiser » 17 Jan 2014 20:56

My computer Desktop using linux Ubuntu 6.10 "Fiesty" + Beryl 3d Desktop.

My Beryl-Ubuntu Desktop New Display by Orbmiser, on Flickr

As of Jan. 30th 2007 so looks like coming up on 7th Linux Birthday.
Tho left Linux in 2008 due to lack of mature apps for Video & Image editing.
And Came back in Nov. 2012 to see the progress made.

SolydK - Kernel 3.16-2-amd64 - KDE 4.14.1 Update Pack: 2014.10.15

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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby Night Wing » 17 Jan 2014 23:23

My first linux distro was Zorin OS 6, but I only used it for 5 days. My second linux distro was Linux Mint 14 (XFCE) and I've been using that for a year on two of my desktop computers.

Since I dual boot with 2 hard drives in each desktop computer with Windows 7 and a linux combo, in one desktop's hard drive is Linux MInt 16 (XFCE) and in the other desktop's hard drive is SolydX.

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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby kobros » 18 Jan 2014 00:09

My first Linux distro was Red Hat Linux 5.1, also called Manhattan. Release date 22 May 1998; kernel 2.0.34-0.6. Bought the CD in the USA and a 400+ page book that came with it.
RH wasn't really a success for me at the time. But I remember that I -sort of- abandoned the computer with RH 5.1 on it and used my PC with Windows. 6 weeks later I accidentally pressed a key on the RH machine keyboard and RH came back to life - just like I left it 6 weeks before. I had never seen that level of stability in DOS/Windows - from 1982 onward.
I decided to switch permanently to linux (as my main OS) after going into retirement early 2003. And so I did.
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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby wyrdoak » 18 Jan 2014 00:25

I tried Ubuntu back when I was looking for a 32bit OS to replace Win3.11 because I couldn't find a IP that would support a 16bit system anymore. I ended up getting a laptop with WinME on it. :mrgreen: I don't know what was worst. :lol: Changed it to WinXP even though the laptop would only see 190MBs of RAM it was still better than WinME. :?

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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby patzy » 18 Jan 2014 07:57

My first one was Fedora 3 which I gave up due to RPMing horrors, and went back to XP.

Later I installed Kanotix and when that got too out of date, went to Ubuntu 7.10 plus KDE, didn't bother with any further buntus and switched to Mepis.

Now I'm here, permanently I hope.

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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby Fargo » 18 Jan 2014 23:09

Hmmm thats a tough question. I think my first exposure to Linux was an early Mandrake and Corel Linux that I talked a friend into buying. He was more computer Geek than me at the time. We played with the live cds a bit but I don;t think we ever installed them. I think my first installed Linux was Xandros 2.0 around 2003. I really liked it but I was pretty disappointed when the included CrossOver Office didn't run all of my Windows software flawlessly. I was under the impression I could completely replace Windows with Xandros. It didn't quite work out that way. I spent a lot of time playing with Xandros until the company sold out and made the license deal with Microsoft. I knew that would be then end of them. And it was. Although the forums lived on until just recently. After Xandros I moved to PCLinuxOS around 2006 and this was the first version of Linux I installed and used for daily work on my home PC. Due to maintenace issues with the rolling release philosophy, I left PCLOS and I moved back to a Debian base with Mepis 11. I used that until SolydK BE was introduced.

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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 22 Jan 2014 00:33

The very first Slackware. I didn't "do" much and I couldn't figure it out so I gave up - only for awhile. Then later tried the next version and next. Eventually I found Red Hat and Mandriva (before it was called that) and was experimenting with those.

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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby Swamper » 01 Feb 2014 02:06

RedHat...and I paid for the CDs (15 years ago?). The install was easy, but I couldn't figure out how to configure Internet access or the printer. When I called RedHat for help, the customer service rep more or less told me to pound sand. Shortly afterward, a friend helped me install and configure OpenSUSE, which I ran for about a year.

Fast forward to 2009, when I managed to dual-boot Ubuntu on a MacBook, then it was Mint, and then the distro hop.... :lol:

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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby whatsvictory » 04 Feb 2014 09:20

LinuxMint 5 XFCE (2007/8?). Tried to do Ubuntu at first but couldn't even manage to get dial-up to work. Found Mint and everthing went super smooth. Wanted to get deeper into Linux so switched up to LMDE and now I'm here. I run every distro I come accross in a VM though. I used to have a TON of iso's before I scaled back.

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Re: Your First Linux Distro?

Postby Robsteady » 05 Feb 2014 23:33

I recall buying a set of Mandrakesoft discs from CompUSA around late 2001 or 2002. My dad had purchased a set of Suse disks at the time (he probably still has them, knowing him). My dad played with it for a few hours as far as I remember. I had thrown another hard drive in the machine and tried playing with it for a few days. I couldn't get any video or internet drivers working so I gave up on that until about three years ago.

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