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When did you start using Linux and why?

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Re: When did you start using Linux and why?


Post by JayM » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:18 pm

I started with Linux back in the early 1990s. I was working in a Unix shop at The Phone Company at the time but didn't know a whole lot about Unix, so I was looking for a version that would run on a standard Intel PC so I'd have it available to learn on at home. The only thing I found was either Xenix or Minix, I forget which, which at the time was commercial software and was too expensive for my budget. Then I heard about something called Linux, probably on comp.os.unix in Usenet. Where I worked I had an old 286 IBM PS-2 PC at my desk but no Internet access, just the company's internal WAN. While browsing text files on the WAN I discovered a phone number in one of our offices in the next state that gave dial-up access to a system that could access the Internet, low speed only though, with a genuine Hayes modem required to connect. This was back when typically only the government, universities and certain large corporations had Internet access, not most end-users (I did however subscribe to a combination BBS and Unix timesharing system that offered dial-up access too, which is how I was able to read Usenet.) I found a live phone jack under my desk and an old Hayes 1200 modem in the junk room, and spent weeks FTPing all of the Linux components and apps then burning them to 3.5" floppies, probably 4 or 5 boxes worth. It took me a day to get one disk's worth, then I'd start another FTP session before I went home and let it run overnight, then another when I got to work the next day, etc. I had to actually partition and format my hard disk then create the Unix directory structure myself: /bin, /dev, /etc. and all that, then copy things into them from the floppies and un-tar them there. I also had to compile a lot of the OS myself. Very manual, such wow. Anyway, I was finally able to get it to work. That's kind of an extreme example of the adage that Linux is only free if you don't place a value on your time, huh?

My first actual distro was Slackware 1.0 which I got on a CD from a company called Morse, which among other things sold Linux CDs. They were about to release an updated version for sale and still had a dozen or so of their old CDs left, so in the spirit of free software they offered to just give them away to whoever asked for one on a first-come first-served basis. They even paid the postage. I got the next to the last one. It was pretty cool, having everything to run Linux on one disk along with an installer that would set up the system for you.

All of these early Linuxes were command-line only at first. Xwindows hadn't been ported to open source yet (XFree86), and when it did it was a bugger to configure. If you were lucky enough that your particular make and model of monitor was listed in its configuration file, great, but of course mine never were. I had to find the technical specs including its various clock rates and manually configure my X server, getting them exactly right or else I could destroy the monitor, which I actually did to one once. All that to get a very primitive-looking GUI with Neko and X-eyes. :) (I kind of miss little Neko, having a cute kitten chase my mouse cursor around the screen.) Now that I'm an old curmudgeon I don't have much patience for the CLI anymore, plus I always keep new users who've always had Windows and never used DOS in mind, so I'm mostly a GUI-only guy now. (Linux is so much nicer now that we have window managers that run on top of X11.)

So that's how I started, just getting ahold of a free Unixlike OS to play with so I could learn more about Unix commands. I almost always kept a Linux on my PC in a dual-boot configuration along with Windows ever since so I'd still have it available to play with, but I decided to cut the Microsoft cord about ten years ago. I got tired of having to pay more than I could afford for an operating system and software that sucked when I could just download them for free instead. :) (It's the old sysadmin mantra: "All hardware sucks, all software sucks, all operating systems suck.") It probably took 6 months before my wife stopped grumbling but she eventually got used to it too. (I did discuss it with her first and she agreed to let me switch from Windows, but she'd never used anything else so she had more trouble transitioning than I did. I ended up giving her a Windows XP installation on a virtual machine so she could still run MS Office and Photoshop but I don't think she ever even used it.)
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Re: When did you start using Linux and why?


Post by bakedcookie » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:53 am

To making this on linux


If nobody make it I'm gonna make it.
Once that happen I'll be the first person in the world that make linux counterpart.
I don't know what tool should I start with but I've Synfig, Tupi, Pencil, openshot, kdenlive in my sleeves.

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Re: When did you start using Linux and why?


Post by dphn » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:00 am

First I've tried Linux with Suse. Only Suse was the name in 2000 or so. It was a very popular distribution in Germay. But only a try for me. I'm going back to Windows. Windows XP and Windows 7 are good systems for daily use. With both systems I've made unattended install setups with software included.

I'm a Linux-only user since 2017 but I started directly with creating own systems and I'm interesting in such distributions like Arch and minimal systems. I want only install what I need. But the administrative tasks on Arch are too "bleeding edge" for me. In my opinion it is better to use a stable base and tested software, I don't need a system for an 'updates-scenario' daily and brandnew kernels weekly. So I start building systems first with the Ubuntu mini.iso and than on debian and finally with debian and mx-sources.
Last edited by dphn on Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
for those with an eye for the finer details...


Re: When did you start using Linux and why?


Post by zorzi » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:54 am

I got my first computer in 2000. I came to Linux in 2010, I was growing tired of Windows Vista...

Following friend's advice, I started with Ubuntu 10.04 in dual-boot with Vista. But because my wife was often the first to turn it on (and because I was still a gamer at this time), our PC rarely booted on Ubuntu... My Linux partition slept until 2013.

Then I tried again end-2013, installing Ubuntu 12.04, still in dual-boot with Vista. With the Ubuntu 14.04 release wait, I prepared my mind to definitely leave Windows. The only software I needed for my work was working with WINE. So... Then, I deleted WIndows, installed Ubuntu 14.04, tried XFCE, KDE flavours...

Then I briefly tried a few rpm distros (OpenMandriva, ROSA...)

In 2015, I wanted to learn and understand Debian. I switched to Jessie, then Stretch... And I discovered (and installed) MX in April 2018.
Last edited by zorzi on Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: When did you start using Linux and why?


Post by malspa » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:12 am

I was using open source software like Firefox and OpenOffice with Windows XP, and that's when I found out about Linux. I picked up a cheap notebook with Linspire pre-installed, started playing around with that back in early 2005. Found Mepis about a year later, and the world changed. :)

At the time, I was attracted to Linux because it seemed very interesting, and because I saw that I could use it on old, used computers and avoid having to pay for Windows software. $$ was definitely a motivating factor. I was thrilled about being able to use a Mepis CD for installations on multiple computers at no extra cost to me.

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Re: When did you start using Linux and why?


Post by kc1di » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:44 am

I started out in Linux with Slackware in 1994 - Back then you installed it using about 30 floppy disks. I then went through a series of Distros stayed with Red Hat Until they split and Did Suse and Mandrake for awhile Used Mepis for awhile and finalluy settled on Debian /Ubuntu/Mint for many years. Thought I would give MX a try and it's working well for me. Always Liked Mepis but Was just distro hoping in those days. Hope I can be of help here from time to time. Linux of all flavors has come a long way since the early days. Can install and have a desktop up and running in about 15 to 20 Minutes now. Back then it took a week sometimes to get everything working right, maybe longer.

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Re: When did you start using Linux and why?


Post by JmaCWQ » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:44 am

I first used Linux with the Dapper Drake release of Ubuntu, whenever that was, mid 2000's I think.
That was a bad experience & I ended up going back to XP for a while.
Then I tried Ubuntu again after getting some sort of rootkit/malware crud on XP I couldn't get rid of, 8.04 Hardy Heron this time, found it ok.
After that I went to 10.04 & really liked it until an upgrade to 12.04 forced/introduced me to Unity which I'll probably hate until the day I die.
Haven't touched Ubuntu since.
Distro hopped through a lot of Ubuntu based systems & stayed with Linux Lite for a while until one lot of updates broke my system & most of the dozen or so systems I was admining for aged pensioners at the time.
I decided then instead of using something based on Ubuntu, which was Debian based, I'd try using the base system of Debian itself.
Started with Debian 8 Jessie & Xfce it was ok, though I'm not a fan of Systemd so I looked around for a Debian based system that wasn't Ubuntu based & didn't have Systemd as the default init, found MX-14 & been using MX ever since.

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Re: When did you start using Linux and why?


Post by Pierre » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:25 am

from memory- it was Mandriva & it came on one of those UK based Linux-magazines.
& then I'd discovered SimplyMepis - - still got a copy of V3,3 - - must have an ISO, too, I'd assume.
- it was all downhill, after that.

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Re: When did you start using Linux and why?


Post by svx_biker » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:13 pm

I cannot remember when I started using Linux for the first time as I used AIX (IBM unix) even before. I definitely switched to linux in 2014 at home when support for Windows XP was dropped and (more importantly) I no longer needed special windows-only applications like lotus notes and others.
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Re: When did you start using Linux and why?


Post by bbfuller » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:24 pm

Back in 1998 a UK computer magazine was reviewing Windows 98 and said that Microsoft had now made networking so easy that if you had two machines it was pointless not connecting them.

So I did that. (Co-axial cable, t-pieces and terminators anyone)

Then I thought, two machines could be a special case and I wanted a third machine.

I had most of a computer in the spares box but didn't want to fork out for a copy of Windows.

About that time the same magazine carried a cover disk with a copy of SuSE on it. I think it was version 5.3.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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