Linux Nostalgia

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

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When did you start with linux?

Don't use linux (yet?)
14
16%
2009
13
15%
2008
10
11%
2007
14
16%
2006
9
10%
2005
5
6%
2004
4
5%
2003
4
5%
2002
4
5%
2001
3
3%
2000
1
1%
1999
3
3%
1998
0
No votes
1997
1
1%
1996
0
No votes
1995
1
1%
1994
0
No votes
1993
0
No votes
1992
0
No votes
1991
1
1%
 
Total votes: 87

Random832
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Linux Nostalgia

Postby Random832 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:15 pm UTC

I realized recently that it's been some ten years since that fateful day when I first tried Linux. (The version? Some version of TurboLinux - the version number I have forgotten, but I remember it was a "workstation" version, and that it was an actual retail box - I wasn't adventurous enough yet to try downloading and 'burning' fifteen floppy disks. The box was in a garish black and yellow color scheme, as was the default [AfterStep] desktop.)

I've probably used dozens since then - I believe I went from there to Mandrake, then Corel, and then Debian for a long time. Then Gentoo for a while in college, then back to Debian, then FreeBSD, and now Ubuntu. Okay, so not dozens (definitely dozens of window managers, though)

So I've been recently trying to recapture some of the magic, as it were. So far my attempts to get a working copy of an old version of linux [namely, Debian 2.2 "Potato"] have failed. I'm considering giving up on the virtual machine route and just setting up a chroot.

So, that brings us to this thread. What year, and what version of Linux, did all of you first start with? Anyone else remember XFree86, or themes.org, or any number of other open source things that have now mostly gone away [XFree86 is still around but not even packaged in recent distributions; themes.org is now a redirect to freshmeat.net, which no longer hosts a themes archive at all]

EDIT: Redid the poll, sorry everyone.
Last edited by Random832 on Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:44 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Axman » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:19 pm UTC

Solaris and Red Hat were nothing to be nostalgic about. I'm pretty sure we spent more time playing card games waiting for Noah's latest kernel to compile than actually getting any work done. At one point we built a computer on the ceiling, since the tiles were asbestos and real sturdy. "Guys, I got USB 1.1 working, so next year, when it comes out, we'll be ready." "What about X." "Huh?" "X." "Wait a minute, these terminals don't have USB." "Hey, I brought my token/ counter deck, wanna play?" "Why do you always make theme decks?" "Because they're annoying, they get in other people's heads."

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby pseudoidiot » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:23 pm UTC

The very first version of Linux I did anything with was Slackware in 97 or 98. I had it on dual-boot with Win 95 for a while.
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Zorlin » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:59 pm UTC

First was Ubuntu 6.06 LTS, in around October 2006. I've been hooked on and off since then and I just installed Kubuntu 9.10 Beta last night... which is kind of my first KDE experience.

I /almost/ miss the breakability sometimes. 6.06 didn't break much for me, but 6.10 and 7.04 broke all the time...

Right now I'm loving KDE, except for a "minor" bug in the package installer that makes it impossible to install packages or update without using the command-line. apt-get fun!
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Bobber » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:28 pm UTC

Never used Linux so no comment on that, but I think it's almost a shame that you put no "I don't use Linux" poll option, since that would just have given us one more interesting result :wink:
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Random832 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:30 pm UTC

That's called the "After 2007" option :mrgreen:

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby You, sir, name? » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:32 pm UTC

Like 2001, I think. Maybe 2002. The distribution was Red Hat something, looking at the version history, probably Red Hat 7.x. It didn't take terribly long until I moved to Slackware, though. I've been alternating between that and Gentoo ever since.
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby guale » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:38 pm UTC

I just started four days ago and am loving it! Ubuntu.

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby shieldforyoureyes » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:24 pm UTC

Late 90s, at work? I don't know. I'm remember watching and waiting for it to hit 1.0.

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Random832 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:45 pm UTC

I've considered the suggestions about the poll and decided to redo it. Sorry to everyone who already voted.

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby lu6cifer » Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:19 pm UTC

One of my friends introduced me to Linux around 2007--I remember it clearly, it was a cold, breezy November afternoon.....
Anyway, I remember being kind of put off; I was still a bit of a Windows fan-boy back then.

But then I saw a couple of videos, I saw all of the different environments one could create with Linux--KDE, Gnome, and many other Desktop Environments, the flashiness of Compiz, i.e., how customizable it was. I was entranced by the concept of installing an entire operating system on your computer and have it work so well. I loved how the user could just type something into a terminal window and have something happen.
Compared to Windows or Apple, Linux seemed revolutionary and exciting; while Windows or Apple systems are defined as having a specific desktop environment, a specific window manager, and a certain type of 'look', the very definition of Linux is that it's different, that you can't possibly describe Linux because there are so many versions of it, each one being unique. After that, I was hooked.


And I hate to do this, but shouldn't it be GNU/Linux? :)
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby You, sir, name? » Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:35 pm UTC

lu6cifer wrote:And I hate to do this, but shouldn't it be GNU/Linux? :)


GNU/Linux will become relevant when there is a widespread non-GNU userland for Linux. Until then, the GNU is implicit. Unless your name is GNU/Stallman.
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Magilla » Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:05 am UTC

It would have been around '97 for me - I got a copy of DragonLinux (off a magazine cover CD I think). I got to try it on the family computer, because it was UMSDOS based (anyone else remember that?) - I didn't get far with it at that stage, but it left me intrigued. The next distro I tried was RH6. Since then, I've used RH, FC, SuSE and now use Ubuntu as my main desktop OS.
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby WaterToFire » Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:29 am UTC

I started today! After recurring resolution issues, I've finally gotten Ubuntu 9.04 up and running.

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby mrcheesypants » Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:38 am UTC

First distro that I tried was Fedora Core. Then I went to suse, then ubuntu and now I'm running arch. It's funny seeing how much of a power user I've become in the past 4 years.
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Carnildo » Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:48 am UTC

I started running Linux in mid-1999, using a Slackware 4 derivative called "LoopLinux" (it would let you run Linux on a Windows system without re-partitioning). In 2002, I built a new computer, and since I planned to dual-boot from the beginning (and had partitioned the disks accordingly), I installed a source-based distro called Sorcerer. In 2004, after a disk failure wiped out the Sorcerer install, I installed Gentoo. At the rate I'm moving to easier-to-use distros, I'll probably be installing Ubuntu sometime around the year 2300 -- by then, I expect they'll have exhausted the Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Korean, and Japanese alphabets, and will be working their way through a Chinese dictionary to get their release names.

That computer I first installed Linux on? It's still running, but Slackware 4 to Slackware 13 was too large a jump to manage. It's not running a distro any more -- instead, I'm installing software by hand as needed.

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Squid Tamer » Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:48 am UTC

Wow... 2007 wasn't long ago, but it feels even shorter than that.
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Magilla » Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:05 am UTC

Carnildo wrote:I started running Linux in mid-1999, using a Slackware 4 derivative called "LoopLinux" (it would let you run Linux on a Windows system without re-partitioning).

Sounds like it was UMSDOS-based, like DragonLinux (also a Slackware derivative). It was a good way to start, back in the day ;)
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Giant Speck » Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:07 am UTC

Ubuntu 7.10 was my first try at Linux. I've been using Ubuntu alongside Windows Vista and Windows 7 ever since. It definitely hasn't replaced Windows in my life, nor do I really want it to, but I will say that it has become my primary operating system.
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby spi » Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:33 am UTC

Debian back in the late 90s. Probably 98/99 which I think was around the time that I bought my own computer.
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby videogamesizzle » Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:55 am UTC

I just started... this past summer I think? I was using whatever Ubuntu version was out then. Still use Ubuntu, but I may mess around with others if I ever get the time.
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Random832 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:33 am UTC

So I did manage to pop that old version of debian into a chroot and it mostly works.

Interesting fact: The version of gnome-session that shipped with potato isn't compatible with the version of windowmaker that shipped with it (could have sworn that it was icewm that was used by default, but I installed task-gnome-desktop and it tries to do windowmaker. Had to pull in icewm manually and update-alternatives)

No KDE... there were various license issues at the time that I'm now starting to remember.

Netscape 4.77 - how did people live without tabs? (myself, I had dozens of browser _windows_ open before I ever heard of tabs)

In unrelated news, both Xnest and Xephyr in Ubuntu 9.04 somehow manage to screw up the key mappings for arrow keys page up page down etc. Nothing to do with the old debian stuff, happens equally if I just run modern stuff in it.

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Jorpho » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:18 am UTC

While we're on the subject, does anyone here remember the Linux Developer's Resource?
http://www.amazon.com/Linux-Developers- ... B000LCH712
http://cgi.ebay.com/Linux-Developers-Re ... 3ef0e64ae8
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InfoMagic seems to have vanished into oblivion. I am left wondering as to what the story is behind this little grey guy and his funny hats.

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Carnildo » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:38 am UTC

Magilla wrote:
Carnildo wrote:I started running Linux in mid-1999, using a Slackware 4 derivative called "LoopLinux" (it would let you run Linux on a Windows system without re-partitioning).

Sounds like it was UMSDOS-based, like DragonLinux (also a Slackware derivative). It was a good way to start, back in the day ;)

The early versions (like the one I used) were image-based: the kernel, initial ramdisk, and the main disk image all sat on the Windows filesystem. LoadLin.exe would decompress the initrd into memory and boot the kernel, and the minimal system on the initrd would mount the Windows drive and then the main image. This lets you use it with kernels that don't support UMSDOS (some of the early 2.2 kernels or anything after the 2.4 series) and doesn't spew Linux metadata onto the Windows filesystem. It also doesn't let you access the Linux filesystem from Windows.

Random832 wrote:No KDE... there were various license issues at the time that I'm now starting to remember.

Qt (the toolkit that KDE is based on) wasn't under a free license at the time. It was under a "free as in beer" license for projects on Linux, but the Windows version was only available under a paid commercial license. A truly free version of Qt didn't become available until 2005.

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:03 pm UTC

Some time around 2001, but I didn't really use it seriously until 2004.
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Random832 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:22 pm UTC

Carnildo wrote:
Random832 wrote:No KDE... there were various license issues at the time that I'm now starting to remember.

Qt (the toolkit that KDE is based on) wasn't under a free license at the time. It was under a "free as in beer" license for projects on Linux, but the Windows version was only available under a paid commercial license. A truly free version of Qt didn't become available until 2005.

Not exactly. Also, the FSF wasn't entirely blameless, either, with their bizarre interpretation of what dynamic linking means.

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby rubber314chicken » Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:02 pm UTC

A few years ago, 2005 if I remember correctly. Fun stuff. I'm waiting for the new version of unbuntu then I'm thinking its going on My computer, since I've pretty much stopped with playing games and stuff.
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Darkscull » Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:38 pm UTC

I got my eeepc with Linux on just before easter. I've still got windows on my desktop, but only because of games and I can do everything else on the eee, so I'm keeping XP on that for the moment.

The eee comes with a customised version of Xandros, which is a fork of Debian.
I instantly fell in love with everything Linux, and it became a full on hobby for a while (still is sort of, but I can't put as much time in). A few weeks after I got it I had gotten annoyed enough at how Asus had built their version to want to start from scratch, so I put straight Debian onto an SD card.
I thought that would be perfect for me, since I'd realised that I wanted complete control over what was on my computer and wanted a clean, efficient, KISS setup. As anyone that's watched Debian install can tell you, I was in for disappointment. It works fine, and is now my stable backup OS, but it's a bit bloated for my tastes at the core level.
Fortunately as I watched the installation (well, after several times watching the installation, it kept not working on the card) I realised it wasn't the final step, and so looked around online.

One distro I saw was Arch, and just reading the wikipedia page quite literally turned me on after a few paragraphs. It's taken a while to get around to installing that since I just haven't had the time, but Arch has now replaced the Asus-Xandros abomination on the SSD and I can't wait to get a chance to explore it and learn it and get the whole thing set up exactly as I want. :D

I thought I'd tell the story of my linux progression rather than just list it, I'm like some sort of religious convert praising the new faith wherever I go :P
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby shieldforyoureyes » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:18 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:Netscape 4.77 - how did people live without tabs? (myself, I had dozens of browser _windows_ open before I ever heard of tabs)


There was a Unix/X version of MS IE-5 that I fire up every once in a while for a laugh.

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Random832 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:42 pm UTC

shieldforyoureyes wrote:There was a Unix/X version of MS IE-5 that I fire up every once in a while for a laugh.

Really? Is it still available somewhere? (I think I remember this... wasn't it only for Solaris?)

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby shieldforyoureyes » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:02 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:
shieldforyoureyes wrote:There was a Unix/X version of MS IE-5 that I fire up every once in a while for a laugh.

Really? Is it still available somewhere? (I think I remember this... wasn't it only for Solaris?)


Yeah - Solaris and... HP-UX apparently?

Download it here:

http://browsers.evolt.org/?ie/

evolt.org has copies of every old browser imaginable. (Including the very first, but you'll need a Next box to run it...)

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby kernelpanic » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:19 pm UTC

Ubuntu 7.04 for me. I remember having less than 384 MiB RAM (The min. for runnung the LiveCD), and having to use the alternate install.
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby shieldforyoureyes » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:02 pm UTC

kernelpanic wrote:Ubuntu 7.04 for me. I remember having less than 384 MiB RAM (The min. for runnung the LiveCD), and having to use the alternate install.


Hah. The first real *nix machine I had at home ran very nicely in 2 meg. (Maxed-out at 4.)

(3B2/300, mid-80s. Was the reference platform for early System-V.)

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby AJR » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:25 pm UTC

My first was Mandrake, in 2001, followed by Red Hat, Fedora, Ubuntu, and Debian. I also remember using Tom's Root Boot ("Linux on a floppy disk" - the command-line only, barebones predecessor to live CDs) to get back into a nearly-dead system - just remember kids, having backups and records of root passwords are both Good ThingsTM

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Joeldi » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:48 pm UTC

Started with Ubuntu Dapper. It was quite buggy. Now I'm using the latest Ubuntu, and I don't think I've had a problem I could really blame on the OS since I upgraded.
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby kernelpanic » Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:53 am UTC

shieldforyoureyes wrote:
kernelpanic wrote:Ubuntu 7.04 for me. I remember having less than 384 MiB RAM (The min. for runnung the LiveCD), and having to use the alternate install.


Hah. The first real *nix machine I had at home ran very nicely in 2 meg. (Maxed-out at 4.)

(3B2/300, mid-80s. Was the reference platform for early System-V.)

Well, my first computer was an Apple Performa with 16 MiB of RAM, and running System 7 (so technically UNIX)
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby shieldforyoureyes » Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:00 am UTC

kernelpanic wrote:Well, my first computer was an Apple Performa with 16 MiB of RAM, and running System 7 (so technically UNIX)


Do you mean MacOS 7? That is in no way related to Unix. Or was there some Mac port of 7th Ed Unix that I'm not aware of? (A/UX was mostly SVR2.)

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby JayDee » Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:50 am UTC

The first time I actually used Linux was probably before it, but the first distro I installed on my own computer as a serious attempt to switch was Mandrake 7, which would have been ~2000 as far as I can tell. Chosen because it was released as four disks on the cover of a magazine, and that was the best way for me to get my hands on it.

Even back then it was kind of a pain in the arse to do without to install and get all working nicely without an internet connection. I'm honestly surprised I still try after nine years.

Don't think Mandrake 7 lasted long, but more because the computer died (and I probably went back to dos 6.22.) Tried Slackware 10 when that came out. Had lots of fun with various versions of Knoppix and DSL (and later Puppy Linux). Been using ubuntu on my laptop and new computer for the last couple years.
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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Carnildo » Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:18 am UTC

shieldforyoureyes wrote:http://browsers.evolt.org/?ie/

evolt.org has copies of every old browser imaginable. (Including the very first, but you'll need a Next box to run it...)

No, it doesn't. There's no sign of NCSA Mosaic for Linux (a browser which, incidentally, I still use. It's probably the only 64-bit copy of Mosaic in the world).

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Re: Linux Nostalgia

Postby Hit3k » Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:39 am UTC

I was 12 and my mums co worker gave me his Red Hat CDs. I was in love. I then moved on to bigger fish like gentoo and slackware. I stayed up all night to install gentoo once. Those were the days.
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