Tell us your Linux story


I started out as an electronics technician in the army. Prior to then I had not had much exposure to anything IT related bar the ageing BBC micros we used at school. As I had the (military) qualifications necessary to write off equipment I was seconded to the equivalent of the IT department to assist in reconditioning old computers. Whilst there I quickly started picking up IT related skills which at the time were mainly Windows NT and Solaris (6 I think, it was a long time ago) It was around this time I met a Linux enthusiast who extolled the virtues of Linux and open source. Shortly after this my boss recommended that I re-train as an Information Systems Engineer, which I did.

On completion I was deployed to Kosovo as a systems administrator. Whilst there I decided to look into Linux a little deeper and decided that on my return I would be building system and installing Linux on it. At the time Suse Linux (9.1?) had been released with support for the very new AMD 64 processors which I planned on building my system around.

I stuck with Suse in one form or another until about 2006ish when following the Microsoft-Novell cross patent deal I felt I would be better trying other distros. After a significant period of distro hopping I eventually settled on Mepis. I had tried many other distros including Sabayon and Ubuntu but found that compiling everything from source on Sabayon was a right pain in the plebs and Ubuntu was too, well, brown.

Mepis taught me the joys of the apt packaging system and so I eventually decided to move to Debian. I have pretty much stuck with Debian ever since. I have occasionally flirted with the later versions of Ubuntu and was really impressed by 10.04 but unfortunately Unity in later versions was not for me.


What app did you use to make it. That is teh awesome!


Loving that timeline up there^^

Mine is not too dissimilar. Had heard of Linux way back, and it just happened that a friend ran a dial-up BB (and later webhosting), and he had a spare InfoMagic “Developer’s Resource” 4 CD boxset (March 1995 edition), which I borrowed, and kept, and still have (it’s on my desk right now).

From that, I deduce that my first ever install was Slackware 2.2 with Kernel 1.2, and I may have taken a look at Debian 0.91/3 but memory is a bit hazy.

After that, it must have been various Slackwares, then RedHat, then a German colleague made me defect to SuSe (have various boxsets there), then defected back to RedHat 4+5 (iirc), all the early Fedora Cores, then a defection to Ubuntu (Dapper? up to about Karmic), and after that a mix of Xubuntu, Arch, Mint, depending on which one I feel like on the day, and what it’s being installed on. Been 100% Linux since about the time of Fedora Core 1.


Just how awesome was Slackware? I remember downloading all the disk sets on to floppies in the labs at uni ( for those interested) and taking them home to install on my dad’s 486SX25 with 4MB RAM, and being gutted that one of the disks was corrupt (might have been one of the D set). Heady times.


This is it. Unfortunately it is not in Debian. I expressed my wish to have it packaged for Ubuntu.


IS Slackware…


My Linux origin story is unremarkable: I started playing around with Red Hat in the mid 1990s, but it represented a curiosity rather than an alternative to the Windows 95 that I was familiar with. Fast forward to 2000 and I was working in Beijing. I’d started to build my own Windows boxes for use at home, and had enough spare parts lying round to build a dedicated Red Hat box. I still remember the day we moved out from the inner city to “suburban” Beijing, and 4 (yes “4”) China Telecom employees turned up to activate our ADSL line. The look of awe and wonder on their faces when they realised I wasn’t using Windows… (It almost matched the look on my face as I counted the number of China Telecom engineers entering our house!)
A period of heavy Windows use followed our departure from China, and then several years later I wanted a media PC to plug in to the stereo. This is when I became reacquainted with Linux, and Ubuntu specifically. That relationship has strengthened over time, and today we have 4 Ubuntu desktops, 1 Ubuntu laptop and (currently) 2 Raspberry Pis in our household. Less than 6-months ago I decided to switch from using my iMac to one of the desktops as my “main” machine; these days my iMac is just used for synching video to my iPad. I think it’s fair to say I’m almost totally converted to Ubuntu (though I retain the iMac and one WIndows 7-based machine which hosts Sonar X3 for music production).


Potayto, potahto … :wink:


I dabbled a bit with Linux in a programming class in high school but didn’t run it on my own until I started college in 2001. I went to the university book store and purchased (yes, purchased) a boxed copy of Mandrake Linux (yes, Mandrake) and dual-booted that with Windows for a while.

I was never quite satisfied with the mandrake experience so I bounced around a bit wit Red Hat and Slackware until I ended up on Gentoo. I stuck with that for a good while until my girlfriend at the time got tired of waiting around while I watched compilation messages scroll by :smile:. It was about that time that the first Beta for Ubuntu Warty came out so I gave that I try. I’ve been using Ubuntu ever since.


Mine was simple

I got a new laptop and it was running Windows 8, at college I had to install a really old version of Ubuntu on the computer, but it looked cool, I looked it up on my computer when I got home and it looked interesting, I wanted to install it, but didn’t want to regret it, (Theres no windows 8 disk with my computer so I couldn’t reinstall) Anyways, one day I tried to play this online racing game with a friend who wasn’t very well mentally, she was really excited to play it with me, so I tried to install and play it, I kept getting the error and couldn’t fix it and thats when I just gave up with windows 8, It’s confusing GUI, lack of compatibility with .EXE files and big people saying that its getting more closed and locked down!

I put Ubuntu 12.10 on a disk, installed Ubuntu over windows, (Never done any disk management other then on a Mac, so I had no idea, I just went with the flow) I booted up the computer hoping that Ubuntu would work, I was greeted to “No Operating System Found” one of the reasons I didn’t jump to Ubuntu earlier was the BIO’s, but I knew I could mess around with them, I rebooted pressing F12 and messed around with the boot menus until I got it running!

I knew nothing, but it was amazing, I thought it was much more visually pleasing, just as stable, and easier to use!

It took me a little while to get my feet in Ubuntu, Some people say take it a step at a time, with my experience, No jump into it, find out about it from there, If I installed it but then had an issue with this or that, I would have switched back, but not having the ability ment that I had to solve my problem, this let me discover things and stay, I mean if I didn’t jump from windows directly to Ubuntu I don’t think I’d ever of found out about Jupiter broadcasting, Jono, Richard Stallman, Linus torvolds and many more amazing people, nor would I know how much Linux means to the world, I would have been so much more blind to the world, and wouldn’t bother trying to learn about this because I’d have no interest if I’m always running Windows!

When you’re a Mac user, Windows vs Mac felt much more better then it would to a windows or linux user, it feels good and worth it, you could feel more powerful, and like yeah this is what my system can do, where as if your using linux, you’re like ‘I’ve been using that tab in the files for years now’ and its the same with linux, if you use Linux you care more about the community and the things surrounding it!

Sorry I kinda got rambling, but I just wanted to say that some people need to be thrown into the deep end, or at least the middle, gawd don’t start people on arch!


neuro, it’s okay. I hear that all the time, especially from the gray beards in my local LUG. I just accept my fate.


It was around 2003, I had learned about Asterisk pbx. It had to run on Linux. I had an old box running FreeBSD that was for experiments with software that would later go on FreeBSD rented servers, such as Real Audio Server. In order to install Asterisk, I need Linux and at the suggestion of a friend, I downloaded and installed Slackware. I liked what I thought to be a simple project, and used it entirely in command line, no windows. It served as our company pbx for several years. That old box is long gone, but I remember it with a smile. I made a humorous video about the installation showing the real hardware and setup:


It was 2002 and I was a young lad in south west England, writing some basic PHP and using IRC over mIRC on Windows… A guy called Adam I’d met in #megatokyo (channel for webcomic suggested that if I’m interested in programming I should try out Slackware Linux and Perl.

There’s a second player in the story too. At home I only had a 56Kb/s connection, but at my school we had dual ISDN - super fast! So I asked my ICT teacher if I could use the school connection to download Linux and burn it onto a CD. His response: “uhh, are you sure this is legal?” … but I convinced him it was and a day or so later I had my Slackware disk.

Flash forward to 2014 and I’m CTO of a startup and I’m using Linux and Perl every day! :slight_smile:


Holy crap, Megatokyo, there’s a blast from the past. I used to work with Largo at Linden Lab back in the day, still poke him regularly on Friendface :slight_smile:


I really had fun putting this together


I just sort of gravitated in too it, getting more and more fed up whit Windows. Went on-line and read some stuff, nuked my new laptop and tossed some Ubuntu 8 on it. Had a rough ride for some time, every time something went tits up I would learn something new, unlike my experience from that other OS that just drove me insane.


I know that I knew about Linux before what I am mentioning here, but the first I do remember is reading a column by John C. Dvorak in PCmag about a new os called Lindows that one would be able to run MS Office on. So, that got me interested. To be honest, although I have run Linux for many years, I am still a green novice. I could be the poster boy for Ubuntu. I would try live cd’s of different distros but Ubuntu was the only one that would run the wifi on my old Dell laptop straight out. I have no idea how to go make it work otherwise, and don’t have the time to figure it out. So, when the discussion gets technical, I’m lost. And envious.

So, let the ridicule begin! :smile:


[quote=“oldgeek, post:59, topic:163”]
So, let the ridicule begin![/quote]

Relex you don’t have to be a techno-geek to use Ubuntu or any other Linux; though to be fair a lot of us are.

I’d hope that in this community we are able to extract a little piss from each other, in the sense that friends do, without anyone feeling too upset.

As for myself, I started computing with a Sinclair ZX-80 in 1980, bypassed the ZX-81 and Spectrum, with a brief daliance the Acorn BBC model-B computer in around 83, before being seduced by the darkside “Microsoft” with MS-DOS 3.3 and later Windows which I still use from time to time.

I discovered Linux with Debian in 2004 and moved to Ubuntu in 2008 with Hardy (8.04) since moving to Ubuntu it has been my OS of choice but that doesn’t stop me using Windows if I am writting software for Windows users or if the tools for the job I am doing are are worse in Linux or don’t exist. For example updating the maps on my sat nav.


Absolutely. As mentioned elsewhere, sarcasm, bad language, and ribbing is all welcome. We just don’t want people being dicks to each other.


Thank goodness for that! However, I do wonder about your statement with regards to Arch. And that is because I have never tried it for it always being presented as hard-core, nuts and bolts Linux. Like I said, Canonical should get a picture of me, plaster it on a billboard and say “If this guy can run Ubuntu, so can YOU.” :smile:

I commend all the community members for the spirit they have shown, even on very divisive issues. And I commend the swiftness of action against an undesirable presence that showed up recently. I, personally, have no fear of expressing my views, except the fear of, inadvertently showing disrespect. But, the community, in that regard, has shown an excellent self-policing ability. And, commendably, the individual members are willing to apologize when necessary.

So, to sum it up, I say that I’m not too embarrassed to be here. :smile:

Please respect our code of conduct which is simple: don't be a dick.