What was your first Linux distribution and version of that distribution?

My first was Red Hat, based on a friends recommendation. At that time it was available by downloading six or so floppy discs. I was not tech savvy enough to get it sorted.
A while later I discovered Ubuntu. Dapper Drake 6.06 I think it was. That was the first Linux I was able to get installed and up and running.
It was beautiful !

I'd been told if I wanted to work with Unix I should try Linux. It was free and ran on PCs. This was in 1998. I was in a bookstore about a week later and found a book with Redhat linux 4.2 on a CD in a sleeve in the back. I bought it (and still have the book). I built my first PC so I could run it. I then went to town trying to learn to use it. The first time I used vi I couldn't figure it out (I didn't have the internet at home at the time) so I rebooted. lol
The first time I used vi I couldn't figure it out (I didn't have the internet at home at the time) so I rebooted.

You are not even remotely alone with that one. It's sometimes said that the only way to exit vi(m) is to power cycle the computer. My Vi skills are very rusty, but I can still remember how to exit. These days, I prefer Nano.
I had to google the name. I remember it was ubuntu back around 2012 or 2013. It was Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzl. I was a freshman CS major, I don't even remember what got me to install it but I remember wanting to use more CLI tools since I learned they were way more useful than all the normal GUI tools I'd always used before. I remember having so many driver issues and editing lots of config files, but I enjoyed it. Used ubuntu for a long time and learned a lot about general linux usage. Which was great for when I started my career and we used fedora as our dev systems. I actually started to dislike linux then because it would break every now and then I didn't like spending time dealing with linux issues when I wanted to code. But I've found trying to code on windows to be a much bigger PITA. Eventually I evolved to arch, but the laptop died a couple days ago and now I've upgraded(?) to gentoo.
Oh, I love the threads that allow me to tell the world how old we are haha!

My first Linux version was a Red Hat 5.1, not sure if late 1997, or early 1998. I was 17 and my elder brother, already at the uni, had to do some labs on it.

We squeezed it in a 400MB ext2 partition + 64MB Swap, as our disk was only 2GB on a Pentium 166MMX with 32MB of RAM.

We had to keep Windows 95 for the rest of the family and for the games, but our BIOS wasn’t somehow friendly to LILO on the hard drive, we had to have a boot floppy disk to boot on Linux.
My first Linux version was a Red Hat 5.1, not sure if late 1997, or early 1998.
Although this screenshot is from a 5.2, it’s essentially the same idea, as we were using Afterstep as our WM.
Although this screenshot is from a 5.2, it’s essentially the same idea, as we were using Afterstep as our WM.
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My first WM was fvwm95. I couldn't figure out how to get the configurations to save. When I found AfterStep, I was curious. Then I found WindowMaker. That was the UI of choice for me for years. It just seemed elegant to me.
Yeah, Window Maker was top notch. Fast forward to 2001 when I was doing my own labs that was the WM I felt most productive on.
Redhat. I think it was 6.0 (Hedwig) - I remember never getting around to moving to "Valhalla" (7.3) though I did download and burn the ISO's for 7.3. No graphics, as I was running it on a pretty low-end platform. Around 2005, I moved to Damn Small then in late 2008 moved to Tiny Core. I used Ubuntu at my workplace in 20019 but didn't really care for it.
Linux Lite 2.0 'Beryl'


My first experience with Linux several months after Windows XP had reached its end of life.
I had an old Emachines desktop with 2gig of ram and an AMD single core processor and ATI Radeon integrated graphics.
That little desktop ran forever with Windows XP and Linux Lite 2.0 and one day I heard a pop and a puff of smoke came out and that was it. :(
It was more than 5 years ago. Started with Linux Mint. I actually can't remember the version now.
Even after 5 years, I still use Linux Mint XFCE in my main computer and Devuan XFCE in my Thinkpad. For virtual machines, I use Artix LXDE. I don't think I'll ever distrohop again.

Edit: Actually, it's been 6 years now, started using Mint in 2017.
Linux Lite 2.0 'Beryl'
I thought I would never see this mentioned on this forum! But it's one of the few that I have avoided. I have tried MX Linux with XFCE but didn't like it. I have Debian XFCE "Bullseye" which is lightweight as possible. I don't know how Lite could differ from that.
I believe it's just the name it was given.
I don't think it's any lighter than any other Linux distro with XFCE.
If you really want a lightweight Linux distro download and install Puppy Linux.
Install it on a usb flash drive as a frugal install where it all loads and runs from the ram.
My complete Puppy Linux distro Upup Jammy64 only uses 2 gigabyte space on a flash drive.
My first Linux version was a Linux Pro v 4.1a with kernel 1.0
I was early 1998. I bought Bob Rankin's book "The No BS Guide t Linux" with CD.

I installed Debian shortly after
It was Debian Potato with kernel 2.2
Today I play with linux on old computers.
I have installed eight distros on my eeePC (Asus 1005PX).
However, dabian remained my favorite distro.
Must have been ubuntu, some years ago, don't remember what version. Just experimented a bit. Didn't do what I wanted at the time and that was that.

Then my wife wanted a computer. I was working for a computer shop back then so was able to repurpose old hardware on the cheap - that was a frankenPC, as mine typically are. Put Linux Mint on it rather than buy Windows. Worked ok actually, but the hardware let it down. Kept locking up. She got the snits with it and I just ended up sharing the main PC; Mrs Burt has never been very interested in IT so she hardly uses it anyway.

Played with other distros occasionally over the years since, mostly used Windows. Am having another go at the moment. Getting far more out of it this time around. Interestingly, the same "main PC" described above is now getting so old it blue screens regularly under Windows... reimaged it a couple times, analyzed BSOD dump files, root caused it to the old Mainboard's drivers and their sketchy relationship with later-version Windows 10. But it is running reliably on Pop! OS. How the tables turn! Also it's easier than I remember to get things done with Linux today, so things have been going better all around this time.
I have a jar with your face on it in my fridge, Barri (Queenslander - go the Maroons) - consider swinging over to Member Introductions when you get the time, and say Hi, we have enough Aussies to make you feel at home a little.

Chris Turner
I just came across this topic in another forum, I thought it would be a good one for here as well.
but I will add a new aspect to it. What is the first Linux distribution and version you ran on your desktop/laptop and also share the picture of the default wallpaper of that distribution's version?

I actually couldn't remember mine until I had a look at old Ubuntu versions.
I only remembered it because of the default wallpaper, I hadn't seen it in years but I will never
forget that wallpaper! My first Linux distribution was Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron).
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Backtrack 4
Backtrack 4
I remember Backtrack, even it installed at one point to see what the experience would be like but I can't remember though since it was a long time ago. I always thought the dragon logo look really cool!
That was the first one I ever installed on a computer I owned. I borrowed a couple machines that had ubuntu and learned tradecraft without all the tools. When I got that it was almost too easy.

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