What you installed as your first linux distros?

Forum Forums General Other Distros What you installed as your first linux distros?

  • This topic has 42 replies, 28 voices, and was last updated Jul 11-5:27 pm by masinick.
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  • #22148

    HI everyone,

    I was just curious as to what was the first distros everyone
    actually installed and used. As going through some old storage
    I came across mine 🙂 lol 🙂 that was a long time ago ….
    guess sometimes time and fun grows wings. 😉
    1: slackware 3.2 — amd-133 s3 video still have the machine
    2: redhat 6 — p-2-? I have hardware to recreate similar.

    Normal == 🙂
    depends on the surrounding crowd ?!


    Long ago in Fall 1995 I installed Slackware.
    Later I purchased a book: Volkerding, Patrick, and Reichard, Kevin, Linux in Plain English, MIS:Press, 1997, ISBN 1-55828-542-3 that provided good documentation and helped me figure out how to get a graphical X server implementation working at VGA and SVGA resolution.

    Brian Masinick


    The first “Linux” I installed that I really used was Mandrake, around 1998 or 1999, and I built a machine with a voice modem and wrote scripts using Vgetty to record phone messages, convert them to WAV files, attache them to email documents and mail them out to me at my Yahoo account. I still have the boot disk.

    Forum Admin

    I started with an early version of Red Hat in the mid-90s that I bought from a book store on Market Street in San Francisco. I was teaching and working part time as a sys-admin at Golden Gate University. We had an NT server set up that the students could use but the dang thing kept crashing.

    I ported all of our stuff to Linux and never looked back. I used news-group software to create forums for all the classes. This was back in the days when browsers dealt with newsgroups and newsgroup urls so once I got the news server up, I didn’t have to bother with build/buying forum software. It was vastly superior to any existing Web forums that were available back then.

    I splurged and got an 11″ LCD display. In two previous jobs I had to hump around large Sparc monitors and that got old fast. Having a thin monitor that was easy to move and gave me room in front of it on the
    desk was a dream. Soon the head of the department and the assistant head also had LCD monitors.

    Context is worth 80 IQ points -- Alan Kay


    First distro used was Zipslack8, it installed on top of W95, first bare metal install, was either RedHat 4.2/5.0, I had both CDs, quickly followed by Debian 2.1, which became my base distro, using Knoppix4/5, which was the first distro that I used a modem on, to go on the internet!

    My mainstay became Debian, & then I found #! (Crunchbang) Linux, & I used that until its demise, when I found AntiX, & have been using it ever since.

    Linux (& BSD) since 1999


    My first Linux boot was an early Knoppix disc. After that I installed Mepis 3.3.2 I think it was. Moved over to Ubuntu/Kubuntu for a bit starting with an early release but after several upgrades I grew tired of having to fix it all the time. Found it very unreliable/unstable. I tried to move back to Mepis, forget the version(7 maybe) but was having some hardware issues. Then I found Antix. At the time it was based on *buntu but that didn’t last. Been sitting on this side of the fence ever since.



    Ubuntu 4.10. I remember it vividly because my father was near death from cancer (treatment) at the time and I had moved my computer upstairs so I could sit with him. I was using a nice big black IBM-branded Trinitron and a Pentium 4 that was hotter than the sun. About 20 years ago, before Walmart sold groceries, I worked in the electronics department. We had Red Hat in stock, but I never bought it. One of my co-workers there got me in to Palm Pilots for a bit and he used to brag to me about his Gentoo setup. I was intrigued and checked it out but it was over my head at the time (maybe still is lol) I never owned a legit copy of XP but I used it til Vista came out. At that time I bid farewell to Photoshop, embraced the Gimp and began fulltime drinking Linux koolaid. Never went back.

    My main OS history pretty much goes like this:
    MSDOS/Win3.11/95/98/2k/XP → Ubuntu/Xubuntu/Debian/Devuan/antiX


    BobC mentioned Mandrake. I picked that one up in 1998 too, along with Red Hat about the same time. Just before that I was using Caldera OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4.

    All of these other distributions started coming in around the 1997 to 1999 timeframe. Prior to that I only used Slackware, and I’d use miniterm or some kind of terminal emulator to connect my system to a UNIX workstation over a dial-in acoustic coupler/modem.

    As soon as I got broadband in 1999 I started testing a lot of distributions, but it wasn’t until 2001 that I had success with Debian, and I thank that to a Canadian distribution called Libranet. Once Debian was installed, I never have been without at least one Debian-based distribution, and since MEPIS was introduced in 2003 and antiX afterward, I have used them and their descendants ever since.

    Brian Masinick


    MCNlive Toronto 2007
    Mandriva club Nederland.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by koolstofje.

    Back in December 1998 I “played with” Knoppix.


    Oh boy. Or Oi Vey. The very first Linux distro that I installed on a computer was one called Peanut Linux. That was back around 1994 or so. I remember Mandrake Linux but never really had it installed on a computer. Then around 1998-1999 I was given a 486DX33 computer that I did a jigdo install of Slackware. The hard drive died shortly after the install. Played with Knoppix some. Damn Small Linux. Feather Linux. Mepis back around the turn of the century got a look-see. Then came Ubu followed by Mint. Just now getting acquainted with AntiX.
    This auld Dawg is known for dogged persistence at learning new tricks.

    Regards and Thankye Kindly,


    Peanut Linux, wow, I have not seen that one in a long time!

    July 23, 1998 was when Gael Duval announced the release of the first version of Mandrake Linux. The first one was derived from Red Hat 5.1, but later was built independently.

    MEPIS’s first official release was on May 10, 2003.

    The first Ubuntu release was in October 2004.

    The Debian Project was established by Ian Murdock on August 16, 1993.

    History obtained from various Wikipedia pages.

    Brian Masinick


    I also believe my first official distro was a version of Mandrake. I’m pretty certain I purchased the cheapest cd version (on the shelf) at the old CompUSA (long gone now).

    I think I left Windows with Ubuntu 4.10 (Warty Warthog) in 2004 then to manjaro in 2011 (first release) and finally to MX/ antiX in 2018…. tada

    Pax vobiscum,
    Mark Rabideau - http://many-roads.com
    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken
    dwm on antiX19 & arch
    Reg. Linux User #449130


    Xandros. 2002 I was getting peeved at XP upgrades making my old computer slower to start and run. I did a search for ‘alternatives to Windows Operating System’ – I guessed there might be something – and found Linux. Xandros seemed to most sensible option at the time, I can’t remember why. I can remember the magic of using a live CD and later taking the big step in formatting the HD to install something.


    I remember using Xandros too, but my first distribution I ever used was Slackware in late 1995. I pulled the first copy from a book that I purchased back in the mid nineties. At that time I did not yet have a broadband network available at home. In fact, for a while the early Linux distributions were little more than glorified terminal server interfaces for me. However as soon as I had a broadband connection at home my daily use of Linux distributions expanded considerably and I began to create environments with several different distributions and other operating systems. That process began between 1999 and by 2001 was implemented with numerous systems and two disks.

    Xandros. 2002 I was getting peeved at XP upgrades making my old computer slower to start and run. I did a search for ‘alternatives to Windows Operating System’ – I guessed there might be something – and found Linux. Xandros seemed to most sensible option at the time, I can’t remember why. I can remember the magic of using a live CD and later taking the big step in formatting the HD to install something.

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by masinick.
    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by masinick.

    Brian Masinick

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