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What Was Your First Linux Distribution?

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  • ZipSlack circa 1996

    That quirky offshoot of Slackware that was designed to be operated entirely from a 100MB Zip disk. At the time, 1997, we were still using the 2.0 kernel. You could boot the kernel from DOS using LOADLIN. Good times...

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    • Mandrake , it was 2002.. nowdays archlinux

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      • First Distribution

        Ubuntu 5.04

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        • I'm really old ... SLS Linux

          I started off with the Soft Landing System, SLS Linux, way back in the 1991/1992 schoolyear sometime at University. I can't remember what version it was, but the kernel was down in the 0.7 version range. I gave it a whopping 5mb partition out of my 20mb RLL HD in my home built AMD 386-SX that had 4mb of RAM, a Trident VGA card, and a 1024x768 page white monitor with the worst refresh rates in the world. I sweated bricks after working out all of the X server timings by hand, and then praying I didn't blow up my monitor in the process. My Internet connection was a 1200 baud Atari modem, that I managed to run term through on the schools old Decstation's running Ultrix.

          I went with Linux because my crappy PC didn't meet the 386BSD requirements.

          Somehow I really miss that old box....

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          • Way back in 1993

            It was just before kernel 1.0 ... slackware in it's early incarnations. It took hold immediately and within a year our group was running it as the core server, and linux desktops were proliferating.

            From the unofficial history of slackware at http://slackdown.co.uk/history.html
            1993-08-04 1.01 0.99pl12A With: ksh, tcl, XFree86 1.3; Download from: ftp.cdrom.com.

            My first case of unfaithfulness was with Ubuntu 5.04 in 2005 which has lasted till now ... and am about to be unfaithful again and switch to Linux Mint. I still have a soft spot for slackware.

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            • SLS

              Not SLES, but SLS (soft landing systems) in 1993. Back when men were men, and first thing after installing linux was to spend 2 weeks downloading stuff and fixing stuff.
              Then this cool new distro called slackware came out and I switched. Made installation a snap. But you still had to know what you were doing - if you wanted sound with your doom, you had to recompile the kernel, telling it your soundblaster DMA channel, I/O ports and memory addresses. Then came redhat, then fedora. After that it was SuSE professional, then SLES and opensuse, then ubuntu and debian, and centos. What a long strange trip it's been.

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              • Originally posted by bantolph View Post
                I started off with the Soft Landing System, SLS Linux, way back in the 1991/1992 schoolyear sometime at University. I can't remember what version it was, but the kernel was down in the 0.7 version range. I gave it a whopping 5mb partition out of my 20mb RLL HD in my home built AMD 386-SX that had 4mb of RAM, a Trident VGA card, and a 1024x768 page white monitor with the worst refresh rates in the world. I sweated bricks after working out all of the X server timings by hand, and then praying I didn't blow up my monitor in the process. My Internet connection was a 1200 baud Atari modem, that I managed to run term through on the schools old Decstation's running Ultrix.
                Ah yes, how could I forget how much fun it was to set up X11? Put on a pot of coffee, sit down with the monitor specs, and calculate the modelines. Those were the days!

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                • Linspire right after they got sued and changed their name from Lindows around 2005.

                  Linspire was based in Debian, and it looked nice enough, but it was a for profit company and I don't think they were returning anything back to the Linux community before they started Freespire. I think I had to buy the disks off the shelf at OfficeMax, since my internet connection wasn't working well. I didn't feel like purchasing the kernel source through Linspire so that I could compile VMWare, so I changed it over to use Debian sources instead and had to make a few symlinks. I thought patching Linspire to use Debian was cool at the time, but I was at least a couple of years behind other people doing the same. I also tried Suse, but I had as many problems as with Linspire getting things to work, and it wasn't supported as well as Debian. I don't miss those days of trying to get everything to work --using the integrated Intel graphics until I could buy an nVidia card because ATI wasn't supported, and buying a dedicated sound card because the integrated sound card wasn't supported, etc.

                  And yes, Walmart once sold computers with Linspire, but I built my first from CompUSA parts the first time I had enough money.

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                  • Slackware 2.2
                    From floppy disk images downloaded via 28.8k modem. Ah the good old days..

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                    • Corel Linux 1.0

                      Another Corel Linux 1.0 user. I didn't have the internet those days so I was pretty much limited to what was on the cd. That lasted maybe a couple months then I went back to Windows for several years. Around 2005 I went to Debian (with the Internet this time).

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                      • Caldera Network Desktop

                        The user interface on X was called Looking Glass and it was from Visix.

                        Caldera did the promotion and marketing and a little bitty unknown firm called red hat put the distribution together.

                        That, along with the rest of Linux, changed pretty quickly.

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                        • my first linux distro was Suse 9.1. I was not aware that it was possible to download linux for free, so I bought it cheap with a short handbook at ebay And at this time Suse 9.3 was released already.

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                          • Red Hat 5.2 on a 486DX2/66 with 8 MiB of RAM. And I still remember the "fun" I had getting the double speed Matsushita CD-ROM drive to work...

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                            • Mandrake 8.0

                              ... but once I went Slack, I never went back.

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                              • At first, in the 80'
                                UNIX : Conversant -> SCO -> DEC Ultrix -> Minix -> BSD386

                                Then in the 90'
                                Linux : Slackware

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