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How about a quick poll to get some community feedback going on. I would like to know, what was your very first exposure to linux. What distribution, version and year?

As for me, my very first exposure was in 1998 with Slackware 3.5 that I downloaded over my 14.4 modem with the help of someone I met on IRC. I won't tell you how long it took because I know of animals with a shorter life span then how long it took to download that sucker. I followed the install step-by-step, without a problem ( i actually kinda understood it all ). Then i got to the login screen, and got totally stumped.

I later on purchased redhat 5.2 and Mandrake 5.3 from cheapbytes for my second try at linux.
i started with redhat 5.1 in 1996-7? somewhere around there.
bought a boxed set from best buy.

installed it...tried to configure my video card and monitor
ended up overclocking my monitor, eventually burning it up
and burning up my video card.

i can remember the days of the black checkered affect rolling
across my monitor.

i cant tell you how many times i installed and re-installed..
but it wasnt till redhat 6.0 that i actually started to really
learn linux.

and just like tourettes...i spent many days downloading linux
over 56k dialup....on a good connection i could download 650M in
2 days...but the thing was my ISP disconnected i was using
at the time had a connection limit of 5 i had to find
first a ftp client that resumed waste a weekend
re-connecting to my ISP every 4.5 hours......
some people dont know how lucky they are to have DSL/CABLE
to download linux.....or other software.....although i have DSL now and once had cable...i dont miss dialup for anything....although i have it as a backup connection.....

oh and another thing...i downloaded the basic install disks for debian
and tried to do a net install over dial just call me crazy

so there is the beginnings to my linux experience
Just this past few weeks. First I tried Mandrake 9.1. Liked it but did understand it.( using windows so long has fried my brain to anything new). Next I tried Red Hat 8.0. Wouldn't configure my network card and I couldn't get into the hardware manager.(kept closing on me). Now I am using Xandros and love it.(perfect for a noob). Just trying to figure out this little boot problem.
i have got my first bite of linux(redhat-7.3) in october 2002.i bought a pc.then i installed one senior even told me ,don't try to install it yourself, ur system will crash.(i am in 2nd year of (chemical engineering)).but
thank god i haven't paid much attention to his words.
one book redhat-linux in 24 hours was a great help for me at that time.i am yet struggling with the problem of my video card and sound card not in my college we have a good linux users group and i am a proud member of that group.just in the last meeting our group has decided to cover the whole city.(so it will not conduct its meeting in the college only).
well, i am yet learing and much i have to learn,but in the next semester i with my friend are going to do a project in device drivers for linux.
256 mb ram
intel extreme graphics-8mb
AC'97 ICH4
My first time with linux was around 1995 with Redhat 4.2. The very first time with Unix was in the 80's
*Clears the area*

Look out people, we got a senior citizen on our hands!
i start in 1998 using redhat 6.0 back then .i have a collection of linux redhat ver. 6.0 ,6.2 ,7.0,7.3, n 8.0. i also have suse but i hate it. but the easy linux to install for me was linux corel
Wow, do we wanna go into what distro's we have on cd?? Okay then, i'm at work, so I might be a little off, but here goes:

Redhat: 5.2, 6.0, 6.1, 6.2, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 8.0, 8.1beta
Mandrake: 5.3, 7.2, 8.0, 8.1, 8.2, 9.0, 9.1rc1
Slackware: 3.5, 7.0, 7.1, 8.0, 8.1
Debian: 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 3.0
Sorcerer: grimoire (i have no idea what version number it is)
Source Mage: grimoire (i have both sorcerer and sourcemage, don't know which is which right now)
SuSE: 8.0, 8.1
Gentoo: 1.2, 1.4
Corel Linux: 1.0, 1.2
DeMudi: 0.9beta
Knoppix: 3.1
LFS: 4.0 (packages and docs)
Yopper: 3.2.2rc4
Progeny 1.0
DAMP: 1.0 beta (This was project I was a part of for bit called "Distributed Athlon Mandrake Project" which was an athlon-optimized version of Mandrake 9.0. I'm not sure if the project got off the ground, but I got a cd of the beta)

So, there we go, that's a total of.....40 different Distro releases. Wow, i need a life.......

Oh yeah, and I also have other stuff like several releases of FreeBSD, Darwin X86 and more.
lol mandrake 9.0 , 2 hours ago
Redhat 5.4 on my Pentium 120 w/ 32mb ram. I remember i got everything installed and it took me 6 months of learning how to do everything before i got my ppp connection setup =).
ted, where have you been? Haven't seen you around in ages
i girl i dated back in my second year of high school....
her name was nicole

slack 3.5, then redhat 5.2, then slack 7 then slack 8.1 smile.gif
redhat 5.2??? a long while back from cheapbytes... couldn't understand a damn thing... picked I up again 2 years ago, and im just starting to pick it up.... still a mighty newbie though.
I had heard about Linux in high school but I'd never had any experiences with it until my friend convinced me to give it a try. My first experiences were challanging, but I think it's safe to say that using Linux can be very rewarding.

I spent a sleepless weekend surfing the internet trying to decide which distro to try first. I settled on Mandrake (I think mainly because all the distros with cool logos were for firewalls, servers, palm pilots, etc.).

Before I finally set my fingers to the keyboard to a functioning linux box I had crashed the install program twice and trashed my bootloader (why is fdisk /mbr not documented?!).

It ran slow, and because of the stupid winmodem I couldn't access the internet. I dug out the old 33.3 dial up, but the service provider would just disconnect me.

I cleared Mandrake off and tried Red Hat... but I didn't like the install program (too much red; I don't like red; I like blue smile.gif) and went back to Mandrake with a smaller install which seemed to work better.

At this point my friend wanted to try out some other distros ... which of course ment that I had to, too! I think it was at this point where Partition Magic actually overlapped two partions when I installed Peanut Linux.

So yes, Linux can be very rewarding ... I learned all about fdisk /mbr, got a new 2.26Ghz Computer, and once someone was kind enough to tell me about zero-writting a drive I actually ended up with my set up now... a WinXP box and my Mandrake Box sharing the cable connection through a router.
QUOTE (irishaussy @ Mar 4 2003, 07:13 AM)
lol mandrake 9.0 ,   2 hours ago

Welcome aboard!

March 18th 2003. RedHat Linux 8.0
RedHat Linux 6.2 2 weeks ago, Pink Tie (Cheapbytes) Linux 8.0 this weekend.....

Still hunting down a pesky monitor problem..

Computers as a rule.. since 1984... Starting out with a Commodoire Plus/4 (Remember THOSE 64K RAM dinosaurs?)

I started linux ~2001 (not quite sure). I bought a copy of Mandrake 7.1 from cheapbytes. Although there were newer version, I was going for the cheapest (which was a mistake) for $3. I got it installed and the video settings were all screwed up, so I abandoned, it, but came back to it just a couple of months ago. Since, I have gotten cable modem and am able to download ISO's in a reasonable amount of time. So now I'm running Redhat 8.0, but plan to switch to 9 as soon as the ISOs are available for free.


When I first wrote this post I think it was April, 2003... Since then I have gotten away from the becursed Redhat. I was running slack 9.0 for a while, just got slack 9.1 within the last couple of months, and am also running an LFS 5.0 system (which I think I might have already managed to screw up... SIGH). Anyway, I'm starting to like LFS a lot more than even slackware (which is my favorite distro) just because I can do whatever I want with it, plus it has standard boot procedures, unlike Slackware which has its own tweaked version of it.

Oh, and by the way, the first system I tried to run linux on was a 133Mhz Cyrix processor with 32Mb RAM, some ancient Matrox video card (PCI), and an even older Soundblaster (like AWE16 or something). Since I have gotten my new system, which is described in my signature below.
I started on a 486-25mhz with 8 megs of ram. i had windows 3.1 which broke, and i didn't have enough money to buy an operating system. At the time i was using a dos comm program comitcomm dialing in directly to bbses and the unix server at college. i found and downloaded minix over a 14.4 and got it installed. it was awesome since i did it all by myself, and i didn't have to use disks. I had previously owned a tandy 1000 and it was all graphical. cosmetically, it was a huge step back from the tandy to the 486, but since minix was free, it's all i would be able to afford. I found linux a few weeks later and i bought a magazine that had an old version of slackware and version 4.2 of redhat. I think the 2.0 kernel was just released. I messed up the install and eventually deleted everything on the drive (dos, comm program). i was then stuck in linux, without the internet. holy crap what a pain in the ass for a first-timer custom writing shell scripts and editing files on a newly installed system. about 2 weeks later, and about 8 skipped days in college, and i got it dialed up with minicom into the school's unix machine. it was cake after i got X installed a few weeks later. 8 years later, i'm a senior unix admin at an isp and providing the very service that i found in college. ironic that it's still my only major hobby, as well as my job. that means 14-16 hours a day in front of a computer.
Hello Friends,

I actually feel a little special, especially for a newbie. At least I'm the only person on this thread who hasn't used Mandrake, Redhat or Suse. wink.gif I foresaw a future where Microsoft might actually begin to control my computing experience and life. I felt alienated from my hardware. I felt I didn't have enough control over my computer, despite all the registry tweaks, programs and techniques I had mastered. As I became more of a poweruser and tweaker, Windows became less appealing to me.

I heard about Linux every now and then. It was when I actually read about the philosophy behind it that I got hooked. Most of the mainstream distribution looked like Windows clones, something I'm avoiding at all costs. I have to be honest, I think they are trying too hard at it. I spontaneously shyed away from them. I wanted to build my own operating system to my taste and make it do what I wanted it to do. Around two weeks ago, after a three day search, I found CRUX.

I think I spent the whole day reading the website and another two days reading the manual. They said the distribution is geared towards the experienced user, which actually made me giggle. Don't worry, the giggle actually turned into 2 harrowing weeks of depression, frustration, and almost tears. So in the month of March, 2003, I downloaded CRUX version 1.0 and during a short period version 1.1 was unveiled.

My objective was the get a simple distro, that will make me understand Linux the hard way. Boy was I in for the much needed challenge I yearned for. I had to manually compile, configure and install the Linux kernel; and of course configure every other file manually. That took me around a week to figure out. Several times I came close to given up. I've read more about Linux than I've ever read for an exam. And this is not actually leisurely reading, I'm talking about taking notes memorizing and the uncormfortable and unpopular cogs that come with scholarly pursuits. To cut the long story short, I just got the distro up and running yesterday. And believe me, there is still more to do.

You can't imagine the joy I felt yesterday after finally getting Mozilla up and running. The 'Mozilla glitch' took me two days to figure out. I must have compiled and recompiled the distribution at least 15 times. But I have really grown attached to it. I love it. CRUX is just blissful. This is how real computing should be. I haven't really tried any of the mainstream distros-Mandrake, Redhat, Susse, but I'm completely satisfied with crux and I've learnt more about Linux than I will ever had if I started with the mainstream distros.

Now I need to figure out whether to port KDE or Gnome. Hmmm...I'll go with KDE. Linux is fun and there is so much more to learn. I plan to completely switch over to Linux over the next few months. By then my customized version of CRUX will be the most powerful OS in the world, mwuhahahahahahaha... Okay, I got a little carried away. I can't control my excitement. Back to reading those Linux guides.


Well, it looks like quite an adventure you've been on. I had your attitude when it came to linux, my feelings were, "If I wanted something that look like windows, then i'd use windows". So, I used Slackware, debian, whatever. After a few years of manually configuring almost everything on my system, I sat back one day and said "You know, screw this, I want something that works out of the box, I want something that looks pretty, I want something that will make me (and friends) drool.", so I went out on my distribution hunt, and tried almost everything that I could find (ultimatly back to debian tho tongue.gif ). However, I haevn't tried CRUX yet, that might be my next venture.


Well it's nice to have such an experienced person around. I remember the ole dos days using bannanacom to dial up to the ole BBS's myself...ahh, nothing beats the ole crackling noise of the modem 1am in the morning (when the time banks rolled over on the BBSs of course). I hope you stick around, we could use some more hardcore people like yourself.
Hello friends,


Hey, thanks pal. I think you should give CRUX a try. Believe me after working with Windows for a while, I see MS spends quite a lot of there resourses on making the next OS more eye-candier than the previous, instead of really expending their time and resourses on performance, stability and security. Eye-candy is superficial. You get tired of it expecially when you realize how much of resource hog and impediment it is, and also the tradeoffs being sacrificed.

However, I'm not against a beautiful graphical interface. In fact I love them, as long as the trade off for such interfaces do not drastically affect perfomance, stability and security. For this reason MS fails, and Linux rules. I'm very impressed with KDE and I intend to compile it sometime this week. It will be my only window and desktop manager.

The good thing about CRUX is that you only get what you need, nothing more nothing less. It's a simple, sleam, sleek distribution. Over the next few weeks I'll be working even more on tweaking and trimming CRUX down, so that I only have packages I need and nothing more. I have no doubt you'll enjoy CRUX, even though it isn't debian. wink.gif

I see MS spends quite a lot of there resourses on making the next OS more eye-candier than the previous, instead of really expending their time and resourses on performance, stability and security.

I have to disagree with this point. Yes, microsoft spends a lot of time on their graphical eye candy making everything look like a fisher price toy, however, i challenge you to pop in a copy of Windows 95 and run it for two weeks, count the crashes, blue screen of deaths, and lock-ups. Then install WinXP and make the same count. My guess is that WinXP might lockup maybe once or twice during this time, and Windows 95 about 20-30. Wether we linux people like to admit it or not, WinXP is stable, may not be totally secure, but it is the most stable OS that Microsoft has put out to date. And you know what, WinXP crashed a hell of a lot less then my X-server.
Hello Tourettes,

Perhaps, I was little too general in my last post. I apologize for that. I really do agree with your post. Windows XP Professional, which I use, is one of Microsoft's must stable operating systems. However, the Windows9.X series were all pathetic cases. Yes, I mean all of them. The 9.X series were graphic overhauls and patched kernels. In fact, one wonders were MS summoned the guts to distribute each successive release of the Win9.X series as new operating systems, when they were in fact patches. The same applies to the WindowsNTs (i.e WinNT, Win2000, WinXP).

I only hope Microsoft's next attempt, Longhorn, is really a newly overhauled kernel with a much secure and efficient file system, as opposed to an XP patch and graphical upgrade (Longhorn is supposedly going to feature a 3D desktop environment). If it isn't and it isn't free, then I'll have one more reason to stick to Linux. My displeasure is not at the fact to I have to pay for Microsoft Operating systems. It is the fact that I have to pay for new patches that really bothers me. And even then, my security and privacy is not totally guaranteed. I will not even go into relative pricing of Microsoft products. It is just plain sad.

When I pay for a product or service, I expect an almost flawless performance. If a free version of Linux gave me more problems than any other operating system, it is understandable because it's free. Yes, I do agree XP is more stable and a little more secure. But when we compare XPs price/perfomance ratios, price/security ratios, price/stability ratios with that of Unix and its variants, XP is pretty lousy for an expensive operating system I paid for. smile.gif
Redhat 7.2 1999, but didnt touch it again until redhat 8.0 2002, now trying to get my network card working in Redhat 8.0.
chocolate lust boy
hmm... 1999 with SuSE 6.something on a DELL Inspiron 7000 (thanks to Lila and all those that put up their info on the net for how to get Linux running on this machine).
since then i've tinkered with Redhat and SuSE distros.

wasn't able to stick with it though: was working in IT with M$ Exchange and NT4 and was used to the nicely packaged M$ offerings. that was the only hindrance with Linux - M$ make it so easy. which is what they do well - clever marketing (all-be-it a little lacking in scruples to get what they want)!

but i guess that's the choice: pay the moolah for nice packaging and compatibility or invest the time and effort into open source and accept a few compromises. unfortunately my job couldn't take the compromises - had to have Win-compatible software. nice to see now that Linux is closing that gap - even Ximian makes the transition from M$ relatively easy. just need to sort out the problems with my hybrid pc (see the post re. LiLO returning L 01 01 01...)

it's a bit of a catch 22: would love to move away from M$ dependancies but then Bill's mates @ M$ are writing sufficiently dodgey code to keep me in business so can't bite the hand that feeds me just yet...
maybe a little nibble though!

tourettes - with all those distros you should have a nice wall of CD-clocks to cover every time-zone!!!


I couldn't see a beautiful thread go down the drain. smile.gif

My first experience was with Redhat (5?) back in the late 90's. A friend was a Linux fiend, never owned a windows box in his life. I asked him what the terminal was all about.
He summed it up as "Linux turns your computer into a toy. There is actually stuff to do besides reading your email and surfing the web."
So I ran out and picked up a copy of Mandrake 8 (didnt have net access) and played around with that. Also tried SuSE 6.3 but I c ouldnt even get that to intall on my old HP Vectra 120.
After a while I put together a newer system and ran windows again for the most part. Now Here I am with a win2000/redhat8 dual boot.
Im thinking of trying a new disro of linux.
Either Debian or Slackware. Any suggestions?
RedHat 9.0 and just installed it about a week ago.

I find red hat is cool .. runs well, and my system doesnt crash as much as it did with windows xp
Hiya everyone!

Just to say that 3 months ago someone installed some version of Debian on my old laptop. But nothinig worked

Last nite I sat down for about 20 hours in a row and tried getting it to work till little avail! I'm sat at a console without being able to use any GUI, no CD drive or network stuff to get it working.

So, the question I should be asking is . . .
Would my first be 3 months ago, 20 hours ago, or never?!?!

Is that a Chicken and an egg question related to actual events I'm not actually sure . . . but then I feel i'm not sure about a whole lot now!!!
Red Hat 7.3. I have moved on to 8.0 and now to 9.0, IM working hard to get to the point where I don't need windows anymore and I can run Linux as my primary/only computer. IM a long way off I fear.
That's great.

I'm trying to move to Linux as my main OS. I think it sucks that Microsoft can charge so much when there are people out there like Linux giving it away for free. This makes me mad, because I get irratated because it's people like me that cause this, just because we know no better. I'm tired of having to pay for an OS and worry about licences, so time to move on!

I thought I knew pretty much all there was to know about running on all OS's simply because I knew microsoft like the back of my hand, having tried to use Linux I show how little I really know, and that scares me.

I don't want to get into a stability arguement between new Microsoft OS's and linux stuff, but what gets my goat is that Microsoft's latest release makes it so you need to call Microsoft so you can get changing information to install it. It irratates me for two reason, 1. I work mostly at night where offices will be shut. 2. Out of choice, mostly, I reformat my windows machine every 6 months, when my friend phoned up to get the installation details a week after it being installed by the retailer they gave him so much hassle for 'messing' them around!!!!

Look what I drug up.... laugh.gif

I was searching for something else ... but this looks like a good question:

My first Linux distro install was RH 5.0 (I think in late 1997). My first UNIX was in the early 80's ... but only in school. My first real expierience with UNIX was 1988 (working with an AT&T server) and my first Network Admin UNIX job started in 1994 (AT&T 3B2 server).

Now I run a couple HPUX 11 servers (HP9000 K580 servers) with Oracle databases (as DBA and Unix Admin), several Linux Servers with Oracle, apache, snort, ethereal, etc..... and a 400 user Windows network (including a dual server citrix solution).
My first experience with linux was this year, my freshmen year at college. Being a Computer Science major all the labs are linux. It wasn't so much the labs that hooked me though. I decieded to help myself learn linux I would buy a copy of RedHat9 and play around. I installed it on my system and I was hooked. I don't even know why, maybe its just that its not Windows, but I love it. I haven't shed windows compleatly yet, but thats only because there are some programs you just can't run in Linux. What's really funny is that I love linux even though I have done nothing but fight it to get working right since I got it.
Hey girls and Guys,

have a look at this machine it's a beast!!!

1 AMD 3.0 64bit clip
1 Aopen motherboard
1 Gb of ram
1 200gb hard drive maxtor
1 sony dvd burner
1 1.44 fd
1 21 inch sony montior

And running dual booting with Red Hat 8.3 and Windows 95

you may asking why i running windows 95 well i couldn't dual boot from windows 3.11 because it needs ms-dos to run

Well it broken the speed record 3 seconds flat..... biggrin.gif
Slackware 3.1 way back in the fall of 1996.
Wow...I tried Redhat 5.2 years ago and was disappointed with the useability of it. BUT....what can ya expect from a Windows weenie ! So....I tried off and on for quite a while, different distros over the past 6 years.

For me, a very competent Windows user, my biggest gripe was the lack of *user friendliness*, and some of what I had grown accustomed to in Windows . Well, I've recently gotten back in the swing of it after having re-installed Winblows for the umpteenth time, and said f*ck it !! No time like the present to take another kick at the cat. I d/l'd the latest stable of Lycoris ( tried it quite a while ago...) and was impressed to see the steps they've made with it. Unfortunately NO 3D graphics ability for Radeon ( at least EASILY ! ), and I couldn't get a DVD to play w/o it being all matter what I tried, KDE2 ! So...cutting to the chase....I'm on Mandrake 9.2 and am happier than a pig in...well you know ! Oh...btb...I burned the Mandrake 9.2 cd's in Lycoris ! heheh !!

I watched Jackie Chan's Medallion in Linux the other night, and since finding the fix for UT2k3 install here in the forums....I'm about to install THAT !! I knew I had 3D hardware acceleration when I was asked if I wanted to setup FGLRX as my video driver !! WOOT !!! biggrin.gif Chromium looks killer and so does Tuxracer !! Can wait to frag !!

I'm FINALLY becoming a NON-Windows user !! But ya know...ya just gotta keep a dusty old install of the BSOD O/S on the drive should you need it ! (for what....who knows !)

Long Live Linux ! Screw M$ !!!
cagey cretin
2000. I purchased a partion commander utility that had a version of Turbolinux 6.
Mine was just over a year ago. I had saved enough money to have a new tower made, and a friend asked what OS I was going to put on. I said, "I hadn't really thought about it." I had spent years learning the care and feeding of Win 95, on a 486DX66 [on 13 floppies to install, no CD-ROM] which was no longer supported.
Win XP was just coming out, and I took a "virtual tour", and was thoroughly disgusted. Then I found out for the money I had to spend, I could afford either an Athlon chip OR Win XP. I had heard of Linux on USENET, and knew it was an OS - I used to think "Linux" and "Red Hat" were synonymous - so I did all night research on the web. By daybreak, I had joined a LUG, and a week later I had Mandrake 8.0 from a member.
When I went to pick up the machine, they asked if I wanted XP home or pro, and I said," neither." They said, "the computer won't work without Windows." I said, "I have Linux."
"What's Linux ?"
So I recited the virtues of the renegade open source OS to the salesmen, and got dumbfounded looks. I could hear laughing in the back, and the service tech brought out my box. He handed it to me and said, "Real Men run Slackware; have fun."
My first actual exposure was back when I was studying computer programming on an IBM System 36. The OS of that system, back in the post Hollerith card days, I now realize was UNIX.
I am a two week old newbie. Just installed Suse 9.0. I haven't heard to many people on here talk very highly of Suse but I LOVE IT. For someone who is trying to kick a severe long time windows habit Suse is the best. It was a very easy install, runs well. I may try something a little more hard core linux later, but for now I will stay with the Suse.
I have to say about 2 weeks off and on. I am the one that wanted to know how to delete it and finally found out and then I ended up installing again. I am hell bent to learn this stuff. I am running red hat 8.0. Now I don't know where the product code is.

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