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Your First Time
When did you first install Linux and what distro was it? What were the hardware specs? How different was it than installing today?

For me it was 1999 (I was dreaming when I wrote this, excuse me if it goes astray). The distribution was an early Red Hat version that came with a Linux book I got. I was in university and talked my professor into giving me extra credit for installing Linux on a lab system that was sitting around. It was an older computer (circa 1995'ish) as I recall. It was a totally confusing, frustrating, and time consuming process. I had to learn about partitioning, find out the refresh rate of the monitor, and hunt for drivers. It was fantastic Big Grin
(08-10-2019, 09:44 PM)Cthulhu Wrote: When did you first install Linux and what distro was it?

The first I ever tried was some version of Zorin, which I only ever used via the live USB. I still remember the funny spinning start menu icon (I wonder what desktop that was...).

The first I seriously used was Ubuntu 16.04. I was one of the few people who seriously liked Unity.

(08-10-2019, 09:44 PM)Cthulhu Wrote: What were the hardware specs?

Back then I used to be a gamer, so I had a gaming latop by alienware. Surprisingly it worked rather well with Linux. Only WiFi wasn't completely stable. The really nice thing about that laptop was that it had two different sound cards: One for the integrated speakers and headphone jacks and one for the HDMI output. It also had the absolute best keyboard I ever witnessed on any laptop, even better than thinkpad keyboards (at least in my opinion). You could also easiely swap that laptops drive, so I never dual booted but instead simply kept the other drive as well as a screw driver in my backpack. I never really used proprietary graphics drivers, so the automatic switching between integrated and dedicated graphics worked perfectly.

(08-10-2019, 09:44 PM)Cthulhu Wrote: How different was it than installing today?

Back then I used the automatic installer of Ubuntu. Nowadays I use Parabola, where the installation is completely manual. Now I know what happens during installation, back then it was basically black magic to me.

The main thing that changed is that Linux after some time gets kinda boring. At first I was really excited whenever I learned something new, but at some point you realise that basically everything you can imagine is possible, given you have the knowledge. You know what I mean when you are the type of person who doesn't see the point of "distro reviews" or similar things. Desktop environments and preinstalled applications or themes just can not excite me any more.

I also switched from configuring applications to writing my own. I have written countless status fetchers, small utilities, a battery monitoring daemon as well as a window manager (which is somewhat incomplete). Currently I am writing a Wayland compositor which lets you manage and view windows like tabs in a web browser.

I also use less scripts now than back then. Most of my scripts used to contain only a single complex command, like 'xrandr'. Now I usually know how to use the commands and how to look up what I don't know, so I retired these scripts.
1.  The Prince reference made me laugh, Cthulhu.  I think he was underappreciated for his technical ability because of his many eccentricities.  Check out his guitar work on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" during the tribute to George Harrison at the 2004 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions as just one example.  

2.  I still love Unity, leon.p.

I don't have any interesting Linux stories.  My computing needs are so basic and I don't use any complex or interesting software.  I also guess I've just been really lucky when it comes to installs and hardware compatibility.

I first played around with Linux on an Ubuntu installation my friend had in 2010.  (Maybe Maverick Meerkat?) 

I started using Linux as a daily driver around 2011 with an Ubuntu 11.04 install on a new Toshiba netbook.  I don't remember the netbook's stats, but they had to be unimpressive even by 2011's standards because it was a netbook.  I don't remember having any difficulty with the default installation.

Since then, I've played around with other distros, but I still use Ubuntu 16.04 with Unity as my daily driver.  See boring.  But after reading some of the difficulties with basic installation, hardware, drivers, etc...  that I see individuals post here, I feel really fortunate.
(08-10-2019, 09:44 PM)Cthulhu Wrote: When did you first install Linux and what distro was it? What were the hardware specs? How different was it than installing today?

It was a SuSE Linux that my friend gave me in 2004 (I basically got an illegal copy of a Linux distro from him Big Grin), it was 6 CDs, and I don't remember what all the CDs were for.
I installed it to dual boot with Windows XP on our brand new family computer that was coming with an AMD Athlon XP 2400+ and some ATi Radeon graphics. I played a lot with a puzzle game called 'Enigma', tried to do something in Blender, but I couldn't even move the cube that's in the new project, and the media player sometimes went silent while playing my MP3s.
My dad was not impressed that he had to select Windows manually whenever he wanted to work on the PC, and I was off to high school living in a dorm anyways, so it got nuked off the system, leaving us with Windows.

Now I'm exploring Linux with Arch, so... how different it is now? Very Big Grin
My top 10 reasons to still use Arch after 2 months on my main PC at home.
It was Debian Sarge on a Gateway tower filled with various components I had lying around. It was my first Web server which I named, appropriately, FrankenWeb because it was built from parts from different systems. A couple years later, I created Frankenweb Jr. and installed Ubuntu 4.04 on it.

Back in the mid-90s I unsuccessfully tried to install Slackware from floppies. I can't recall what I tried to install that on, probably a 286 or something.
Rick Romig
"It's never wrong to introduce a child to Linux."
Rick's Tech Stuff
Hello all. I purchased a Bonobo from System 76 on December of 2014. When it arrived it had Ubuntu 14.10 on it. That was my first experience with Linux. I might also add that my Bonobo has been great with no problems. When I replace it I will buy another one from System 76. Prior to that I was running Mac.

Butch Owens
I believe my first would be Solaris 2 from 1992 and as I recall it was all manual install, as for what it was installed on I could not even begin to remember.

PS: Went on to try redhat and mandrake and caldera.
My first Linux install was 95/96 using SuSE bought from CompUSA.  I don't recall the version but something like 6.x.

The computer was an AMD K6-2 (500 Mhz I think) on a PC Chips mainboard.  I can't remember the RAM (16 to 32 MBs I think).  I know I custom built it.

As for my first Unix that was FreeBSD bought from CompUSA too.  I think that one was FreeBSD 4.x.  It was around the same time using the same machine.  No virtual machines back then but nuke and pave.  I also know I tried BeOS and OS/2 Warp on that same hardware.  I honestly like OS/2 Warp the best and in some respects still like it better than Linux.

A few years later I started on my Solaris journey and abandon Linux totally for many years seeing it as the poor man's Unix.  I was quite the Linux basher (no pun intended) those days.  I was all in on Solaris although not for workstations that was still Windows.
Jeremy (Mr. Server)

* Desktop: Ubuntu MATE
* Windows are for your walls, Apple is for your health, Linux is for your computer
I switched from Windows 3.1 to Windows NT 4 back about 1997. (95 and 98 were pure crap.) Then came Windows 2000. I loved Windows 2000. But Win XP? Why was XP three times the size of Win 2000? What was all that bloat for? All of that additional code? What did it do (that I wanted done)? And XP had security holes you could throw your mother-in-law through.
That was when an engineer friend turned me on to Ubuntu. Linux was not user friendly in 2004, but then, NT 4 wrote the book on non-user-friendly, so I did have some experience.
Nowadays, having Apple or Microsoft on your computer is like having a six-foot rattlesnake living in your bedroom closet. You have to wonder all the time, what is he up to now?

When did you first install Linux and what distro was it? 

One of my co-workers gave me some tar files to create floppies to install Linux.  I think the kernel was .90.  Distro, I have no idea if it was anything you would call a distro, and it was more like a hack than a distro.   After the installation I attempted to install some additional software and encountering the "dependencies hell" scenario.  I quickly came to the conclusion this was meant for developers who knew the dependencies and more importantly where to get them.  Out of frustration I tossed it aside, and after that experience Linux was shelved.

What were the hardware specs?
I think it was a 386 PC.

How different was it than installing today?

The Linux distros today are a true desktop alternative with a refined installation process ideal for most users.  Installing additional software is much easier than the "dependencies hell" from the past.
Idea Give a person a fish, and you feed them for a day. Teach a person how to fish, and you feed them for a lifetime. ✝️ Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.  (Linux Mint 19 XFCE)

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