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Your First Linux Distro

There may have been similar posts in the past,
but I'm sure everyone has an initial linux story to be told...

Here is your chance, What was your first distro
and how or why did you try linux?To answer my own post...

My first Linux Distro was RedHat 5.1 Manhattan boxed set (floppies) around 1997 or 1998.
It took me hours to figure out the "startx" command and an additional
2 days to compile the driver needed to connect to the internet.

I jumped for joy when my new mozilla browser (recently released Netscape source code)
connected to the internet.

I have to thank a young American Indian co-worker for introducing me to Linux.
He offered me a 5.0 disk Hurricane of which I did some research before taking the plunge.
By the time I was ready, 5.1 Manhattan was released, after that there was no looking back :wink:


  • SeanSean Registered
    Wow! You've been around for a good while...

    I started with Ubuntu 10.04 when I was 13 because I wanted to try something new, but I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. I installed it onto my netbook and thanks to all the videos I watched from the OSGUI Tech Show, installation wasn't that hard and I haven't looked back since!
  • nakanutnakanut Registered
    I started with Gentoo in 2003 thanks to being made paranoid by Steve Gibson of
    Switched to Red Hat for a while when Ubuntu was still in it's infancy.
    Have used various Ubuntu distros since Jaunty.

    I will NEVER use Windows again. Mac maybe.....
  • Teddy5090Teddy5090 Registered
    Here is my story,

    I first heard of Linux in 2007 when I was 8 in a Windows Vista PC book (Yup, no kidding, Vista sucked). I haven't tried Linux, until 2011, with Ubuntu 11.04 (when I was 12) with a WUBI install (not a real partition install). I still have the Memorex CD-R of Ubuntu 11.04, in my desk somewhere. I did however in 11.10 switch my installation to the regular partitioned way, by erasing the WUBI one and installed the full thing from scratch with a CD (back when I made a ton of CD install discs for Linux distros). At the time I had a crappy 2008 Toshiba 17-inch Laptop, with a AMD Turion X2 Dual Core @ 2.0Ghz, 3GB of DDR2 RAM, 250GB Hard Drive, and ATI Radeon Xpress X1250 Graphics and had Windows Vista pre-installed. Since then I haven't really used any other distros but Ubuntu, except for Linux Lite and Mint. Now I have a Dell Laptop that I have been using Ubuntu on since 12.04 LTS. This Dell has a Quad Core AMD A8-3500M APU Processor @ 1.5Ghz but can boost to 2.4Ghz when needed, AMD Radeon HD 6620G Integrated Graphics, 500GB Hard Drive, and 6GB of RAM (originally had 4GB). I couldn't install Ubuntu 11.10 on this Dell because the Laptop screen wouldn't turn on whatsoever. 12.04 LTS fixed that. Most of my computers run Ubuntu now, except my old Toshiba I started with, it happily runs Linux Lite, because all other distros (Even Linux Mint 15 XFCE) had extremely choppy graphics performance with that ATI Radeon Xpress X1250 Graphics. I will soon install Linux Lite on a couple of old similar 2005 Dell Desktops, one a Dell OptiPlex GX 280 with a Intel Pentium 4 and a Dell Dimension 5100C Slim Desktop that has a Intel Pentium D. Both have crappy integrated graphics, and both are hooked up via VGA to my 2 Televisions, one is 1080P and the other is 720P.

    That sums mine up.
    Theodore Thorpe,
    Member of the Cup Of Linux, Linux Distro Community & Linux Lite Forums.
    OS: Manjaro XFCE 64-Bit & Linux Lite 64-Bit
  • bartosbartos DonatorDonator
    My first which I still have the box and disks.
    Caldera OpenLinux with KDE 1.1

    Downloaded and tried Red Hat and Mandrake and others but never really used until Mepis. Mepis has great basic scripts for things. Like I had to load a windows DLL into ndiswrapper for wireless( you kids have it so easy now).
    From ther I went into Ubuntu and oall the other popular Linux's now.
    Been using Linux straight for 8 years now.

    Arch with KDE4 and Openbox curently on main machine
  • For me, it was Ubuntu 10.04. I'd known about Linux and the GNU project for a while before then, but it was more along the lines of 'well, that's an amazing concept, it's a shame that it has no real practical purposes yet'. Then I ran into a friend who was running it and he showed me that it was actually quite a bit better suited to my purposes than my current setup was. I dual-booted for a while, then made the switch and never looked back.

    It's a shame that the very nature of the GNU project means it doesn't really have the cash for a good ad campaign. It's about time people realized that there -are- viable alternatives.
  • binbin Registered
    SUSE 5.8 off a PC mag cover disk, as I recall it was October 1998. OS/2 Warp was my main system at the time.
    Followed very shortly by Caldera with KDE 1 - that was on a disk that came with a Linux How to book I bought in W.H Smiths I think. I actually bought and paid for a Boxed Caldera 2.2 set!!!!!!
    It wasn't easy to get X working properly on machines with miniscule Trident graphics chips - having to fiddle around with mode lines to try to get an 800x600 display centred on the screen - could only drive as 640x480 reliably.
    Laptop??? trying to get PCMCIA cards recognised to get some network access - yes ndiswrapper was the answer but boy was it a PITA
    Moved on to Slack and Debian and Mandrake - which was very good back in '99/'00. Played with all sorts breaking and learning along the way.
    PCLOS and Mepis figured in the equation somewhere, as did Peanut too.
    Tried various BSDs and Solaris 8 - or was it 7....
    These days Uberstudent (12.04 XFCE) and LL.
  • setkehsetkeh Administrator
    my first linux os was around 95-96 just before distro's was a thing :P when i was about 5.

    i was born and bred on linux about 95-96 was when i first learnt how to compile a kernel and put it all together :P


    One does not Simply Deploy into Production.

  • ChompjilChompjil Registered
    Started when I was 10 on Kubuntu 11.04!
    I had fun fooling around, and since I was using Wubi at the time I could do fresh installs when I wanted
  • noaonoao Registered
    My first distro was Ubuntu 10.10 when I was 12 back in 2010. I installed it on my laptop and used it everyday. When I built my new PC I dualbooted Windows and Linux because of gaming reasons and now I'm going full time Linux.
  • Ubuntu 10.04. I had heard about it in my school's list of Operating Systems and I had remembered that my dad tried to show it to me the previous year. I did research on it, heard it was faster, virus-free, and can play my windows games and apps. All this and the compiz effects I saw on various youtube videos drew me in. It wasn't 'till a year or so into it that I decided to take the plunge to more manual distros. Working my way to Arch from Chakra, I then tried FreeBSD, Gentoo, Slackware, etc. It wasn't untill a year or so after all my tests of various distros that I learned about, and wanted to support, GNU and Freedom. Right now I run a GNU'd Gentoo on my laptop (because I require non-free firmware >.<) and Parabola GNU/Linux on my desktop.
  • c_smithc_smith Registered
    First distro was Ubuntu 10.04 (what was the codename? Maverick Meerkat wasn't it?) back in my junior year in High School, stuck that on a dual-boot setup until about a year later when I found out a lot of the games I played (mainly Starcraft 2 and World Of Warcraft at the time) ran pretty well under Wine, though suffice it to say I wasn't getting stellar framerates with the GPU I used at the time (Intel GMA 4500M HD, what a crappy laptop that was, budget laptop from over 5 years ago, and is on it's last legs), then about a year later in 2012, I decided to start toying around with more advanced distros, tried Arch for a while, liked it, then at the beckoning of Armageddon, I tried Gentoo, was fun for a while, but got to be too time consuming to be a daily driver with how I change desktops often. so now I'm back to Ubuntu bases (and contributing what I can to the Ubuntu project, be it getting the word out about it, or submitting byte-size bug fixes), kinda happy with Ubuntu GNOME, wish I had the time to put into one of the vacant positions they have on their team, though.
  • robgravesrobgraves DonatorDonator
    Technically my first linux distro was Red Hat 8 or 9 I think back in 2003-ish I was working a lot of extra hours back then and also starting college again. I spent hours, no days setting up a dual boot Windows XP and Red hat system cause I wanted to try linux having heard about it from a friend. I tried it used it a little, But when it came to I cant do x in linux, but i know how to do x in windows, id just go back to windows so I never learned anythign and eventually removed Red Hat in a month or two.

    My first real distro that I actually used through and through, was Ubutnu 10.04 and I've used every Ubutnu from then until 12.04 (the one I still use, I haven't tried 12.10, 13.04, or 13.10) And I bascially moved on to Arch and Gentoo as my main linux distros, but as of right now I have machiens running Ubuntu 12.04, Arch, Gentoo, and Windows 7 and 8.
  • I inherited an old (at the time, rather ancient now) sony laptop. I wanted to breath some new life into the thing. My Dad had been after me to try Red Hat, but it seemed like overkill for a desktop. I had heard about this new distro, ubuntu, making the scene, so I tried that. I started with ubuntu 6.10. It was so heavy, I had to install with the "alternate installation cd" method, an ncurses based installer with no live environment. I had to compile the drivers for the wireless card (ralink add-on) for a OLDDDD sony notebook. When I found i could type faster than the screen would update, I tried xubuntu 6.10, and stuck with that for a while, switching to a fluxbox desktop because I could still out-type the display in xfce. I went to MEPIS, but KDE was WAAY too heavy for that machine. So I tried antix (v. 7 I believe) and I've been there ever since.

    It sounds like a long time, but its only been since 2006.
  • So way back in 2010, When I was 10, i still used windows 7. So what make me change to Linux is that i had a blue screen on my computer. So after my system recovered, I googled "different operating systems other than Windows or Mac" so i tumbled across a article that said : Linux, the 2nd option to the computing world. So i found out about ubuntu so i used Lucid Lynx till Precise Pangolin. After that, i installed Linux mint on my system. So I used that OS for 6 Straight months! So like in the finals of the year of 2012, i installed fedora. So a week later, i hated fedora so i came back to Ubuntu. I used Ubuntu 13.04 and 13.10 and 1 month after the release date of 13.10, I switched to manjaro linux. At first, i used manjaro openbox, but then i switched to xfce because openbox lacked features! But, so far, i've liked the experience with manjaro. So that was basically my Linux story.
  • My first Linux was Corel Linux back in 1999. I quickly moved onward to Red Hat then SuSE and even LFS. Since those days I have tried just about everything under the sun at one time or another. I have been on Gentoo for almost a year now though and I do not see myself changing. I still have other computers to fulfill my distro testing addiction :) The only one I can honestly say I have not tried is Slackware... I don't know why lol, I always wanted to.
  • SeanSean Registered
    My first Linux was Corel Linux back in 1999. I quickly moved onward to Red Hat then SuSE and even LFS. Since those days I have tried just about everything under the sun at one time or another. I have been on Gentoo for almost a year now though and I do not see myself changing. I still have other computers to fulfill my distro testing addiction :) The only one I can honestly say I have not tried is Slackware... I don't know why lol, I always wanted to.

    how did LFS work out for you?
  • Sean wrote:
    My first Linux was Corel Linux back in 1999. I quickly moved onward to Red Hat then SuSE and even LFS. Since those days I have tried just about everything under the sun at one time or another. I have been on Gentoo for almost a year now though and I do not see myself changing. I still have other computers to fulfill my distro testing addiction :) The only one I can honestly say I have not tried is Slackware... I don't know why lol, I always wanted to.

    how did LFS work out for you?
    In so far as I was able to boot into it, I did not spend alot of time with it. I started to work on a new one last year, but with a recent move and all of my time spent with KDE work I have set it aside for now.
  • sprocketsprocket Registered
    My first Linux install was a Ubuntu Netbook Edtition 9.04 . Was faster , more satble than Windows that was factory installed on a Acer Netbook .

    On Linux distros since .
  • DanDDDanDD Registered
    edited June 2015
    Since I have a MAC computer, I wanted to try a Linux distro that reminded me of MAC, and a friend suggested Elementary OS. I didn't like Midori though, I downloaded Firefox from the web but couldn't figure out how to install it, I didn't know anything about software centers at the time. I used it for about a week, then another friend suggested Bodhi, and I was immediately in love with Enlightenment. I know that Bodhi also uses Midori, but he showed me how to get other applications on it. Then I became a distro hopper for the majority of last year, but finally settled on Bodhi Linux 3.0.0.  However, at the moment I am using Q4OS as my main Distro, and LMDE Betsy (MATE), as a back up Distro.<br>
  • irishluck83irishluck83 Administrator
    My fist distro was Mint 14..a nice version. GOod to learn stuff on.
  • L0aD1nGL0aD1nG Registered
    If I remember correctly it was, Zorin OS. But I was installing again and again different distros when I found out what "Linux" word means to found out what fits on my needs...
  • Redhat 8
  • Um, none. There were no "distros" when I started using Linux. When distros became a thing, I used Slackware and then rode the distro-hopping train until a little while after Arch came out, then stuck with that.
  • RyhizukeRyhizuke Registered
    I started with Ubuntu 12.04. A classmate learned me a few things how to work with the terminal etc. ( how to install stuff ). After that I started distro hopping for a year ( Whe had serveral projects on school about linux ). So I started looking into RPM-based distro's and eventually came to Arch Linux and stopped there.

    I even convinced my classmate who learned me how to use linux to switch to arch linux.
  • kantoquadkantoquad DonatorDonator
    My first one was Ubuntu 10.4. I had never seen Linux and knew no one who used it. I decided I wanted to build a computer and I did, then I saw the price tag on the windows 7 box at best buy. I remembered reading somewhere about Ubuntu and it being free. So, I downloaded it and was shocked when it worked, never looked back. I have run several distros. All but 2 Deb based. I am back on Ubuntu Gnome now.
  • preecherpreecher Registered
    One of the first "out of the box" distro's I ran across and certainly the only one I have ever purchased in a retail outlet (Office Depot) was in 1998 I bought a copy of Linux Mandrake for $34.00 and at the time it was a "blessing" for me anyway at the ease of installation it offered- dual booted between it and Windows until 2003 when installed Slackware 9.1 I think and dual booted between Slackware and Windows until sometime in 2005 to try Ubuntu 5.10 because all my friends were making such a big fuss over Ubuntu, which worked with no complaints but I was still dual booting until 2006 when my pc had a virus and I was forced to yet another harddrive format and I decided to hell with it I am going Linux only and installed another newcomer to the "out of the box" line up, PCLinuxOS- which did everything I needed/wanted in a operating system and had some of ,if not the best printer support at the time (thank you Bill Reynolds "texstar") but eventually bounced back to Ubuntu.
    Now I run Antergos and sometimes Arch but have had a pleasant experience with all of the distro's I have used as my daily drivers and hope everyone else's has been as pleasant.

  • ViperViper Registered
    My first Distro was Ubuntu 12.04, I used it for about a year and then got bored of it so then I installed Zorin OS 8, after about a year I got bored of Zorin OS 8 and installed Elementary OS Luna, I still use Elementary OS Luna now
  • MadmanRBMadmanRB Registered
    Mepis Linux, a Debian based distro.
  • When I started using GNU instead of Windows, it was in the forms of Ubuntu 9.04 on my better desktop and Puppy Linux 4.2.1 on my ancient desktop.

    Now I use Trisquel 7.0 on all current machines.

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what is for lunch.  Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote.

  • lumnilumni Registered
    My first distro was Slackware 3.1 (circa 1997)
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