When you installed first time linux?

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When you installed your first linux?

We all have installed linux (I think). When and why you installed linux?

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  • Under week ago0%0 votes
  • Under month ago0%0 votes
  • Under year ago9.68%3 votes
  • 1 to 5 years ago9.68%3 votes
  • 5 to 10 years ago3.23%1 vote
  • 10 to 15 years ago22.58%7 votes
  • 20 or more years ago54.84%17 votes
  • This topic has 36 replies, 16 voices, and was last updated Apr 1-4:01 pm by Brian Masinick.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 37 total)
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  • #111599
    Member
    RJP

      We all have installed linux (I think). When and why you installed linux?

      #111609
      Member
      bci

        This one’s a bit tricky for me, because (technically) the first time I installed Linux was Ubuntu (2005, IIRC). I also ran Knoppix as a daily driver at that time. However, shortly after that, I stopped using computers for a while; I then started working with Linux installs again by 2015.

        Hence, I’m tempted to put down the “20+ years” selection, since it’s quite close to that.

        #111615
        Member
        Xunzi_23

          S.u.S.E. Linux 4.2 1996 it came as a box of floppy disks.

          Windoze 95 was broken one time too often, actually compared to TOS on
          my souped up Atari ST which I had used up to then it was absolutely awful.

          A friend gave me the SuSe disks and told me learn linux. I suppose in a
          way I have done so. Used pretty much all major and some minor distros.

          AntiX is top of my best of the best list.

          #111616
          Moderator
          christophe

            I enjoyed piecing together old computers from old parts. I realized I didn’t want to buy Windows for each one, so around 1999, I searched for a free os. I eventually bought a book that included a free install disk for red hat 5.1 (I believe). I played with that for a while. And zipslack later off and on. But I couldn’t do all I wanted with it, so I only experimented with it now & then. Then I’m 2008, I got a netbook & tried Ubuntu. That was when I realized that Linux was ready for me to switch finally to it. Soon I left Windows for good. (The last version I used (except at work) was XP.)

            • This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by christophe.

            confirmed antiX frugaler, since 2019

            #111620
            Moderator
            Brian Masinick

              There MAY be someone who has used it as long or longer than me because I didn’t get my hands on a personally owned computer until 1995. I first used Slackware in the Fall 1995, the very same Fall that Microsoft purchased the right to advertise with the Rolling Stones song ‘Start Me Up’; Windows 95 advertising slogan was Start Me up!

              Though Windows was famous for security issues, that old version was actually fun to see, as was Slackware. In 1995 it took a significant amount of work to install the entire system. I installed an older version from a CD contained in a book. As a result I was lacking up to date video drivers. It took additional research to locate and install them. As a developer and hobbyist I didn’t mind doing it but this was WAY TOO MUCH for the average individual. Slackware has incredibly improved over the years and it’s still an emotional favorite, though I don’t use it very often anymore.

              I think my second distribution was Caldera open Linux eDesktop 2.4. After that I got a desktop with two drives and started booting 5, then 10, got up to 12-13 concurrent systems on one computer, a very solid Dell Dimension 4100 that I had for many years. One of the first, if not the very first, place that I ran antiX was that Dell Dimension 4100; I also ran antiX on various Dell D600 series and IBM Thinkpad T series – T42, T60…

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              Brian Masinick

              #111622
              Member
              RJP

                I installed linux about 20 years ago. It was Red Hat. It installed, but it did not work, because it was wrong architecture. About 18-years ago I got computer where Lineox Linux worked (Red Hat fork), and after that I have used different distros (Ubuntu, openSUSE, Mandriva, Debian, Mepis, Mint, Fedora, antiX, etc …).

                I installed linux, because I am curious … and I had badly worked Windows 95.

                • This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by RJP.
                #111626
                Moderator
                Brian Masinick

                  By the way I was much younger when I got in with UNIX. I first heard about it as an undergraduate student in Computer Science during the 1970s and one laboratory computer, a PDP 11/45 actually had some old test version of UNIX on it. Back then UUCP, Unix to Unix Copy was one mechanism for exchanging files, a command called dd was another.

                  In 1982 I got my hands on several UNIX systems, went to an AT&T training center in New Jersey and got familiar with the system. I remember using ed, the simple command editor to write simple tools and then learned that the system also had the Berkeley editors ex and vi available so I got an introduction to them and soon became reasonably proficient in their use.

                  I also supported a very old but flexible hourly personel system hosted on the very cool and expensive MULTICS operating system and I got my first use of a Carnegie Mellon University implementation of Emacs, which predated GNU Emacs by many years.

                  So in 1995 when I finally got to use Linux I had over a decade of UNIX experience and by that time several GNU projects were available, for example I was already using GNU Emacs, GNU tar and I also started to use early versions of the Bash (Bourne Again) shell. Needless to say using it was like using a few of the other early systems; they lacked the fancy features of today but they were so much snappier even on much less powerful hardware.

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                  Brian Masinick

                  #111631
                  Member
                  blur13

                    Ten years ago I installed Linux Mint on an asus eee pc netbook with win XP on it. It turned it from an unusable brick into a computer worth using. A very enjoyable experience. Did the same with another asus eee pc two years later. Went into the apple ecosystem for a few years (a nightmare). I retained windows 7 on my desktop computer until about four years ago. I thought I needed it for MS Office etc. Installed linux as a dual boot on that system. Linux Mint, because that was what I was familiar with.

                    I discovered antiX because Linux Mint on the netbook was starting to feel slow. I had the Mint xfce edition because that was supposed to be “lightweight”. I installed antiX and was blown away by how efficient it was. Minimalism all the way. A much tougher learning curve. Now I run antiX on ALL my systems. I still retain my windows 10 partition on one computer “just in case” but I never ever use it.

                    Using antiX got me into the “game” of finding efficient applications that can do what the usual “flagship” applications can do, but in a fraction of the memory and CPU usage. It has been an interesting journey.

                    Linux has brought the joy of using computers back. I now feel that I actually “own” my systems, I can shape them any way I want.

                    #111635
                    Moderator
                    Brian Masinick

                      I installed linux about 20 years ago. It was Red Hat. It installed, but it did not work, because it was wrong architecture. About 18-years ago I got computer where Lineox Linux worked (Red Hat fork), and after that I have used different distros (Ubuntu, openSUSE, Mandriva, Debian, Mepis, Mint, Fedora, antiX, etc …).

                      I installed linux, because I am curious … and I had badly worked Windows 95.

                      Red Hat Linux, Mandrake, SUSE, and a Canadian Debian-based distribution called Libranet were four of the dozen or so distributions I had installed on that old Dell Dimension 4100. I authored a four distribution review of those four for Ziff Davis in their Extreme Tech publication; it was entitled, “Linux: The Time is Now!” and many have questioned if there ever was or ever will be a “time” for Linux. I say it’s had “time” for well over two decades, it has achieved a great deal on corporate server environments and in the Google configuration with a Linux kernel and custom free and proprietary blends of software, it has also flourished for years in Android and Chrome OS configurations.

                      Freely available software has also flourished in the Apple ecosystem; Steve Jobs created NeXT computers using a GNU Mach-based microkernel architecture and roots that come from the University of California at Berkeley in their complete rewrite of the Berkeley Standard Distribution of Unix (which has been produced in AT LEAST three major variations – FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD), not quite positive which of these NeXT was based but today’s iOS is a descendant of NeXT, which Jobs brought BACK to Apple after he regained control of the company from the temporary leader – read about him here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sculley

                      Note how Apple used BSD licensing in their stuff, which has no words or restrictions about use, sharing, or mixing with free and proprietary software. As a result, they have a tightly integrated hardware and software stack that is NOT shared, is sold mostly at premium prices and many people get it, apparently from the reputation and “prestige” it brings. As a person who lives in a senior citizen community I can tell you that MANY seniors have Apple products and they have a low degree of understanding how to use them.

                      I’ve gotten my hands on a few of them. The products are well constructed, but their office suite in particular is TOO complex; in my opinion, based on actual use, I find the Google office suite, Docs, Sheets, etc. to be easy to use for things of moderate complexity and though I also have access to LibreOffice and other alternatives I frequently choose Docs over other options just because it’s simple when you’re only really adding a very modest set of features beyond “plain text”. (bold, underline, fancy fonts, images).
                      No need for Microsoft Office, even in Cloud form or the others when a simple tool gets the job done.”

                      Then of course there’s the arguments about information privacy. I say if you get on the Internet, the likelihood of achieving “good privacy” is a dubious and questionable thing. Back when Java first came out critics complained about security issues, but back then, computers with Windows or fancy mobile devices were not yet everywhere. As Windows 95 brought networking to the masses – NOTE they did NOT invent it, they merely popularized it – just like “Al Gore did NOT INVENT the Internet; he was the first politician to speak about it…”

                      Anyway, this essay mentions several different events, rambles a lot, but hopefully fills in some historical moments for the reader.

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                      Brian Masinick

                      #111679
                      Member
                      RJP

                        I tested my first computer (Digital Venturis) in this summer, but its hard drive had died. 🙁

                        #111681
                        Member
                        techore

                          Fun topic!

                          1996, Red Hat Linux.

                          #111729
                          Moderator
                          Brian Masinick

                            @techore of the people who have answered you’re right behind me 1995 vs 1996; did anyone actually run Linux before Fall 1995?

                            I think it was either 1991 or 1992 when I first read about the Linux kernel and I was definitely interested but personal computer systems were really expensive back then. 1995 was the first time I saved enough extra money to devote to my own personal computer, though I used microcomputers in the late seventies in college labs and shortly after the first IBM PC was used I got my hands on one I’m 1981-82 and then I got out of every day software maintenance programming to lead a proof of concept with PC’s, tower minicomputer systems and Enterprise mainframe computer systems.

                            This was a cutting edge prototype of what eventually became known as client – server computing – our prototype had various brands of MS/DOS personal computers, UNIX tower minicomputer systems and IBM mainframe systems running either MVS or VM/CMS. I was fortunate to use all of them and it led to a nice career in software engineering.

                            • This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by Brian Masinick.

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                            Brian Masinick

                            #111756
                            Member
                            techore

                              @masinick, I cannot speak to everyone and everywhere else, but I agree with you that the use of Linux was fairly uncommon in my area prior 1995/6. There wasn’t nor would there be a Linux user group in my area for more than a decade.

                              As I recall, I went back to college after a seven year hiatus in 1992. I built an Intel based machine for the expressed purpose of taking Computer Information Science courses and hated DOS. I had come from Commodore 64 –> Amiga 500 –> Amiga 2000 but foresaw the coming demise of Commodore in 1994. Besides, as much as I loved my Amiga 2000 and it could run circles around Microsoft’s operating system, I believed it wasn’t going to help me with my course work. I was right. So experimented with other operating systems including Linux and OS/2. OS/2 Warp was very good. It just didn’t have a wide adoption and freely available software for a starving student.

                              My initial forays into Linux were very challenging. There was very limited device support and the introduction of PnP (plug and play) in ~1995 just made Linux device support so much worse. I don’t believe that I had a solid installation until late 1996 or 1997 and only after buying a specific network interface supported by the Linux kernel. It would be a couple years before I had audio.

                              The sense of discovery was exhilarating. Finally being able to connect to a dumb network hub and ping another computer felt really good. That was the beginning of my adventures in networking beyond dialup, too.

                              • This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by techore.
                              #111761
                              Moderator
                              Brian Masinick

                                One other thing I can tell you – until Mandrake Linux arrived, most of the installations were pretty complicated. Caldera and Mandrake were the two easiest to handle during those early days. Red Hat and SUSE eventually improved, but it was through adopting the ideas of other distributions; Caldera and Mandrake were two of the first to bring the first hints of usability to Linux.

                                I don’t know if you remember SLS or any of the others but they were a real nightmare to work with. Slackware was once a big challenge; it’s far easier to install today, even though the installation program looks just like the original; the differences are the ability to use modern media, especially USB, and also the presence of desktop environments in addition to simple window managers. Since both of us obtained advanced studies in this area, it put us in a position to use this software at a time when most people wouldn’t have a clue!

                                Another thing to point out, and Microsoft “haters” will enjoy this one – sometimes people get the impression that Windows is somehow easier to obtain, use, and manage. I would only concede one item here – Windows, over the course of it’s history, has been easier to obtain, simply because the majority of personal computers to this day come pre-installed with a copy of Windows. How many of you have ever installed it, or managed entries in its registry? I have, and the overall reliability and security of Windows has tremendously improved over the years; the versions I used in corporate environments, especially Windows servers, were rock solid and rarely failed. But they’ve become very complex, just as Linus Torvalds himself has complained about how complicated the Linux kernel has become!

                                So even in that point, to be fair, a LOT of what’s available today is complex in order to support the wide array of hardware components that are produced from handheld devices to powerful servers.

                                I just thought of one other thing I encountered within the first few months I worked at Digital – in order to load software on one of our old PDP 11 models, I had to enter several octal boot codes, beginning at address 200! How many people have ever done that or even know what we’re talking about? That’s a bootstrap loader, the only level lower than that would be entering 100% binary codes!

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                                Brian Masinick

                                #111766
                                Member
                                Vincent17

                                  I fall in the gap in your survey: between 15 and 20 years ago,. I had Red Hat on a server in my lab, but I was afraid of it and always called a CS student for help 🙁 So I wanted to learn Linux, and I was fascinated by the FOSS movement. I used Puppies 4 and 5, Fatdog for a long time, now AntiX and Artix. I’m grateful for all of them!

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