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Ask Slashdot: What Distros Have You Used, In What Order? 867

colinneagle writes "Linux dude Bryan Lunduke blogged here about the top three approaches he thinks are the easiest for new users to pick up Linux. Lunduke's, for example, went Ubuntu -> Arch -> openSUSE. It raises a question that Slashdot could answer well in the comments: what's your distro use order from beginning to now? Maybe we could spot some trends."
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Ask Slashdot: What Distros Have You Used, In What Order?

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  • 75 floppy disks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by yagu ( 721525 ) * <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ugayay>> on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:18PM (#41467481) Journal
    Was it slackware? Can't remember for sure.

    Anyway, I remember downloading the dist, in "sections" (e.g., X11), each spanning a number of floppy disks with a grand total of 70+ floppies. Then from there I installed linux. If all went well, it usually took about a day to get it up and running, start (download) to finish (first full boot). (Keep in mind, this was in the day of ADSL.) Horrible.

    These days, I grab random different ones I've seen recent reviews for and download and boot just for fun. Typically I just download the iso's and point a virtual CD drive from vmware or some virtual pc and boot and install. Much nicer, usually less than an hour.

    Faves: Suse, Mandrake->Mandriva, Knoppixware (to save friends and family lost corrupted Windows data), Ubuntu (3 years ago, not today). Mint.

  • by drcagn ( 715012 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:20PM (#41467531) Homepage

    Mandrake -> Red Hat -> Xandros -> Gentoo -> OS X...

    I love Linux and all, but the mainstream support of OS X combined with UNIX under the hood made the Mac the best platform for me. Sure, it's much more expensive, but I don't mind the additional money... after all, I am on my computer all the time anyway. I might as well spend the cash for the one I like best.

  • Redhat - XP - Ubuntu (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Compaqt ( 1758360 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:28PM (#41467749) Homepage

    Used Redhat back in the day. Everybody did. Remember the ads in the Linux Journal with the guy in the red hat handing off an attache case to someone else in a trenchcoat?

    It was quirky, but worked. KDE had everything you needed: KMail, KOffice, Konqueror. nedit for editing files.

    Later I got a desktop that had XP already installed. And it was "good enough". So I used it, and continued to use it. I had a a lot of open source software installed: Firefox, putty, Cygwin, Gimp, OpenOffice, etc.

    After that I fell victim to some really hard to remove viruses, and decided that it was time to move on.

    By that time, Redhat had abandoned the desktop, so I checked out what everybody was talking about: the new distro with the funny name, Ubuntu.

    I installed 10.04, and stuck with it. I had read about Unity/Gnome3 and didn't like what I had heard. I thought that I would have to find another distro, which would probably be a pain since Ubuntu had enough momentum that you can usually always find a specific answer to a problem you might be having.

    Also, Ubuntu is highly useful on the server. You can't use RHell unless you shell out $$. And Centos doesn't have any back--it's so messed up that a guy left the project, and the rest of the guys had to beg him for the domain and donation account. Their versions come out much later than RedHat releases, and RHell generally is many versions behind Ubuntu in software releases, many of which have features that are sorely needed. Also, RHell repositories barely have any packages compared to Ubuntu. (True, there's a community effort called RPMForge, but if you want to go with that, why are you going with the "conservative" distro? Dissonance.)

    After Precise 12.04 came out, I decided to give it a try. By that time Unity had actually become a useful environment, making most power users/devs more productive. And so here I'll probably stay, both on the desktop and the server.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:30PM (#41467801)

    Slackware on Floppies (Oh so many floppies)
    Then Mandrake, and an assortment of "mini-distros" to run custom hardware like routers
    Then Redhat
    Then Debian
    Then back to Redhat
    Then Fedora
    Briefly Ubuntu, then back to Fedora
    Then CentOS
    Then a combination of Fedora, CentOS and Debian, depending on which system. The Clusters I work with are all CentOS, some of the infrastructure systems (ie: DNS, database server, ...) are Debian, end user workstations and my home system are Fedora.

  • Trends and Timing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cervesaebraciator ( 2352888 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:35PM (#41467879)

    Maybe we could spot some trends.

    I suspect that if there are any trends to be spotted, they'll have to do when people began to use Linux more than what they began with. The distros available to anyone with broadband today are far more numerous than those once available to us. My first exposure to Linux, e.g., was an early iteration of S.u.s.e. included with a magazine. I could not at that time (90s) have hoped to download a full distro on my ~28k dial-up.

    Here, however, is a trend I think we'll certainly find. Many seem to go through a stage where trying different distros for a couple months at a time is fun. Then they get sick of backing data up, tinkering with settings, and explaining to significant others why the computer isn't working at the moment. Whereupon they settle on whatever distro they feel like they'll have to fool with the least.

    Incidentally (IIRC): S.u.s.e. --> Redhat --> Mandrake --> Mandriva --> Arch --> Gentoo --> Ubuntu --> OpenSuse --> Ubuntu --> Mint --> Ubuntu

  • by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:37PM (#41467939)

    Pretty much the same. 1995ish was Slackware, followed by Red Hat sometime after 1997, followed by CentOS in the later 2000's. Fiddled with Debian, but no company I have worked for has ever used it, so my interest has been light.

    I generally don't use Linux for a desktop machine, so some of the more user friendly versions I haven't bothered much with, although I've installed many of them at one time or another to see what the fuss is all about.

    Windows is a piece of crap, but still much better for a desktop workstation than any Linux (or UNIX) I have come across. I do have a CentOS VM that I run things like Eclipse on for some coding, but that's about it. I much prefer coding on and for Linux. I'm probably going to get around to using Ubuntu a lot more at some point, but I don't see a point to ditching Windows until they start making a lot more games for it (here's hoping Valve succeeds). The office suites could use some work too.

  • Re:75 floppy disks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @04:03PM (#41468459)

    The trick was to down load the following groups.
    Core, Networking.

    Install those 2 groups from floppy.

    Then run Slackware and use networking to dial in and then download the Games

    Then the rest.

    While they are downling and installing. You play lastroids.

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10