I was typing in another thread and it made me recall with a faint smile my first linux install. It was RedHat 6 that I got with a huge book at a very discount price. WinME had just finished a round of its usual 4-month-self-destruct-song-and-dance and was currently unusable....again. Since I was quite tired of this, I decided to give this "Lihn-ucks" thing a shot. I popped in the RH cd, installed, and 10 minutes later found myself staring at X for the first time (as a side note, I managed to accidentally hose my ME partition during the install...silly silly newbie). I was excited with it, but totally useless. RH6 didn't like my NIC (this was back in the 2.2 days when you had to download the driver and insert it yourself...good luck explaining that to a rook), so it took me a good 6 months to warm up to it. But the good folk over at what used to be LNO got my NIC up and running after a week of troubleshooting or so, and I finally started using the thing full-time. I upgraded to Mandy 7.2 soon after and fell in love. That was really the beginning of my linuxing.
So what about everyone else here? I'm really interested to know how everyone got started. What was your first distro? When was it? What made you try it? Any story behind it (boring like mine or otherwise)? Other tidbits?
i first time using linux was like a 1 1/2 years ago, on mandy 7.1 that i got with a book labeled Learn Linux in 24 Hours, what a rip off, its been 1 1/2 years and im still trying ot learn linux hehe, needless to say it scared me a bit because i had no idea how to use it, i couldnt play games on it, and the only modem i had to work with on it was an old externel 14.4, but i liked using it when stuff worked. i soon upgraded to mandrake 7.2, and thats when i started using linux more than i used windows. so far the longest time ive gone without rebooting windows was a week, because i had installed a new memory chip and i missed my games. then a year later i found slackware and have been using it since 8.0. this weekend i might try gentoo, im holding the burned iso in my hand right now, just contemplating how terrible i could screw the install up ;D
I had RH 5.2 on my old laptop because a friend of mine had been telling me all about how great it was... I used it for a few weeks, but then decided to go back to just Windows.
First real Linux install was MDK 7.0 which really made me like Linux - and once I tried Progeny Linux (Debian based) I went 100% Linux, Debian taught me alot.. then I went with LFS for sometime and now Gentoo.
I had a friend who was really into Linux and he tried to install an old copy of Slackware on my computer unsuccessfully (not certain which version). I started tracking the comings and goings of linux in the computer press and came away quite impressed with it's underdog, never say die attitude. Then I talked my wife into letting me buy Caldera OpenLinux 2.2. I was in nerdvana for the first time. Unfortunately, my winmodem didn't work so I couldn't do anything really fun or useful with Linux. I've enjoyed running various and sundry versions of various and sundry distros for the last several years and I constantly think about how hard/easy it would be to switch to Linux only. Maybe...just maybe...
I first installed Linux about 5 years ago. I saw Mandrake 6.5 at Walmart, got curious, and bought it. It installed and worked, but much of my hardware wasn't supported. I mainly used it to play with Unix commands while reading hacker tutorials.
About 2 years later (December 2000, when I signed up at LNO) I saw SuSE and talked my friend into buying it. I believe everything was supported except sound. The rpm manager ended up pissing me off, but my yearn for Linux had grown.
Soon after, I saw FreeBSD 4.0 at Best Buy. I had heard it was better than Linux and was hardcore so I decided to buy it. I probably would've stuck with it too if I had bothered to read the book that came with it, but I was too impatient. It stuck me with a console, and I didn't even know the command to start X.
Finally vvx sent me a pair of Debian cd's. It was everything I had heard and more. It was quite intuitive. (I had only heard of apt-get, and it only took me two tries to figure out how to install software.) It was really love at first site. And it was Debian that eventually gave me the courage to delete my Windows partition. About a year later, I switched back to FreeBSD, but I still use Debian on my laptop. So really Debian is what took me away from Windows.
In 1998, I first went on the internet with my 386 "Baby Blue", running DOS 4.0 and a number of text-based UNIX browsers, ending up with a good DOS app. At that time, Corel, based in Canada where I live, was talking about selling computers with Linux pre-installed. Not wanting M$ anything because I didn't agree with their marketing schemes, I tried to get more info but ran into a dead-end; Corel was having problems. Not knowing anything about installing an OS, I gave up the internet for nearly two years and checked the ads in the local newspaper placed by computer technicians new to the area [the others weren't interested; M$ ruled, but a few of them installed the various UNIX browsers for me], until August 2000 when I saw an ad placed by a new technician who had Linux experience and was a devoted Linux user. I bought a new computer and hired him to install Mandrake 7.1 [which I still use] and he has become a very good friend as well as Linux mentor. The warranty with the computer required that Win98 not be tampered with and so for a couple of years I dual booted. Last summer, a friend was setting up Win98 the way he liked it [I refused to even look at it] and in the process managed to nuke Linux. 3-year warranty notwithstanding, my "Pandora's" box now is running Linux only.
I started with Slackware 7.1 many years ago. I have no idea how I heard about it but I think I must have seen it mentioned somewere on the internet. A friend of a friend sent me a copy. It was a real mission getting it working because I had no idea what I was doing and the guy who sent it to me came online very infrequently (and also was a bit slow to answer e-mails as he was a real busy guy).
I played around with it for a few months, upgraded KDE to 2.0 (Which I was really blown away by) but it wasn't enough for me to change. (It was also the family computer so its hard to get other people to use Linux just because you like it).
Then I got a hold of Mandrake 8.0. It was much better but it still wasn't quite there for me. But I played around with it for a couple of weeks and tried to use it as my desktop. I then received a copy of Mandrake 8.2. This was the first distro that made me think that it was possible to use Linux on the desktop.
Since then, I've been using Linux from Scratch and I really do enjoy it
Well, it was probably almost two years ago now that I got bored one day with my 68k mac so I decided to install debian on it. It was a IIvx, 68030 @ 33 mhz, but that didn't stop me from running X ;D it was slow, not even useably really, so I didn't touch it for a while. Then at school I installed Redhat 7.2 to learn about servers and networking, my interest was sparked once more, I then installed netBSD on my IIvx which was a little faster than debian, but still couldn't really do anything. A friend pointed me at LNO and I checked that out for a while, but then when it started to die I came here, bought a SparcStation 5 from the fleamarket forum, and installed netBSD on that. That was kinda fun, but I still had a lot of troubles with it.
Then About 6 months ago I bought my own computer (just a 450), now I could really play. I started installing Distro's (Slackware first, then LFS, the LR's, then Knoppix, then Slackware again, then Knoppix again, then Gentoo) and used Linux for pretty much everything except games ever sice. Now I'm extremely happy with Gentoo think I'll stick with it for a while, or at least till I find something new