| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 671, 25 July 2016
Welcome to this year's 30th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Change happens quickly in the world of technology, particularly in the field of open source software where releases and new features arrive frequently. In the fast flowing river of software updates, Slackware stands out as an unusually conservative project. The Slackware distribution stays consistent, rarely changed by fads, introducing new versions infrequently. This week we share a look at Slackware 14.2, the project's latest release. We doubled down on reviews this week, also sharing a look at Point Linux 3.2 from Ivan Sanders. In our News column we discuss OpenBSD removing the operating system's usermount feature and new features available in KaOS. This past week Fedora Magazine reported Fedora 22 has reached the end of its supported life and we link to upgrade instructions below. In our Opinion Poll we look to the past and ask what was your first distribution and how did you first get involved in Linux? Plus we share the torrents we are seeding and provide a list of the distributions released last week. Finally, we are pleased to welcome EasyNAS to our database. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (26MB) and MP3 (39MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
The saga continues with Slackware 14.2
Slackware is the oldest surviving Linux distribution and has been maintained since its birth by Patrick Volkerding. Slackware has a well deserved reputation for being stable, consistent and conservative. Slackware is released when it is ready, rather than on a set schedule, and fans of the distribution praise its no-frills and no-fuss design. Slackware adheres to a "keep it simple" philosophy similar to Arch Linux, in that the operating system does not do a lot of hand holding or automatic configuration. The user is expected to know what they are doing and the operating system generally stays out of the way.
The latest release of Slackware, version 14.2, mostly offers software updates and accompanying hardware support. A few new features offer improved plug-n-play support for removable devices and this release of Slackware ships with the PulseAudio software. PulseAudio has been commonly found in the audio stack of most Linux distributions for several years, but that is a signature of Slackware: adding new features when they are needed, not when they become available. In this case PulseAudio was required as a dependency for another package.
Slackware 14.2 is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 architecture. There is also an ARM build. While the main edition of Slackware is available as an installation disc only, there is a live edition of Slackware where we can explore a Slackware-powered desktop environment without installing the distribution. The live edition can be found on the Alien Base website. Both the live edition and the main installation media are approximately 2.6GB in size. For the purposes of this review I will be focusing on the main, installation-only edition.
Booting from the install media brings us to a text screen where we are invited to type in any required kernel parameters. We can press the Enter key to take the default settings or wait two minutes for the media to continue booting. A text prompt then offers to let us load an alternative keyboard layout or use the default "US" layout. We are then brought to a text console where a brief blurb offers us tips for setting up disk partitions and swap space. The helpful text says we can create partitions and then run the system installer by typing "setup".
On this text screen is a login prompt where we can sign in as the root user without a password. I found Slackware provides us with the fdisk and cfdisk command line partition managers. There is no desktop environment and no graphical partition manager present. After making sure I had two blank partitions set aside, I ran the setup command to begin the installation.
Slackware 14.2 -- Running various desktop applications
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Slackware uses a system installer with a text/ncurses interface. There are many screens and options we can explore. I have nearly two pages of notes on the various functions Slackware's installer provides and I will try to condense them down as best I can. While we can access the screens of the installer in any order we like using a menu, most people will probably want to start at the first item and work their way through sequentially. The installer walks us through selecting our keyboard's layout, setting up and activating a swap partition and selecting a partition to hold Slackware's root file system. Slackware's installer reports to support Btrfs, Reiserfs, XFS and ext2/3/4 file systems. The first time through, I opted to try installing the operating system on Btrfs, but could not get the LILO boot loader to boot Slackware on a Btrfs volume. After that, I stuck to installing Slackware on ext4, which worked well. The installer gets us to select where it can find software packages (CD/DVD, USB drive, local hard drive, network share or FTP/HTTP server). I found that if I went through most of the installer's steps once, selecting the CD/DVD option then the installer would comply. However, if I cancelled the installation and walked through the screens again, the installer would fail to locate the mounted DVD. Exiting the installer (or manually unmounting the DVD) and then re-running setup corrected the issue.
The system installer gets us to select which groups of packages should be installed. There are many, including international language support, the KDE and Xfce desktops, games, the base system, documentation, editors and kernel source code. I decided to install both desktops and most utilities. I omitted international language support and kernel source code. When Slackware has finished installing I had about 9GB of software on my hard drive, more than double what I usually get from installing other distributions.
The installer offers to install the LILO boot loader and gives us all sort of options as to where to place LILO and what kernel parameters to use. We then walk through configuring the network interface, enabling network services (such as CUPS, OpenSSH, Sendmail and network time synchronization). We are then asked to select our time zone from a list and choose a default window manager to use. We create a root password and then we can restart the computer to begin exploring our new copy of Slackware. I installed Slackware 14.2 four times, each instance took about an hour, a little more or less depending on which package groups I opted to install.
Slackware's boot loader, by default, waits for two minutes before starting the distribution. The system then starts up and brings us to a text screen where we can sign into the root user's account. The root account has a few e-mails in its inbox, which we can read by running the mail command. These e-mails explain a bit about Slackware and how to use the system and the package manager utilities.
While signed in as the root user we can create regular user accounts via the adduser command line program. Should we wish to access a desktop environment we can run startx. To get Slackware to boot to a graphical login screen instead of a text-based environment, we can edit the /etc/inittab text file and change the default run level to be the graphical interface. The inittab file is well documented, making this a relatively easy task in any text editor. Starting Slackware in its graphical run level brings us to a graphical login screen where we can sign into a variety of desktops and window managers, including Fluxbox, KDE, Xfce and WindowMaker.
Slackware 14.2 -- The KDE application menu
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While I confirmed the various session options worked, I spent most of my time logged into Slackware's KDE 4.14 desktop environment. The official edition of Slackware sticks to KDE's default settings which, to my eyes, looks a bit washed out. The live edition of Slackware boots to a graphical login screen and offers us a very similar KDE experience. The live edition offers three main differences from the official edition, the first being the live edition has no setup command. It does have an alternative installer called setup2hd which can be run as the root user. The second difference is the live edition features a KDE theme that provides a slightly higher contrast between foreground and background, making text easier to read and icons on the panel easier to see. The third difference I noticed is the live edition runs Network Manager to help us get on-line. The official edition ships with Network Manager, but the service is disabled by default.
I experimented with running Slackware in a VirtualBox virtual machine and on a physical desktop computer. When running on the desktop machine Slackware worked well. My screen was set to its full resolution, networking and sound worked out of the box and the KDE desktop was responsive. I found the distribution used approximately 430MB of memory when logged into the desktop. Slackware worked inside VirtualBox, but was not able to make use of my host computer's full display resolution and the desktop was sometimes sluggish to respond. Slackware does not provide VirtualBox add-on modules and the generic ones provided by the VirtualBox project failed to install on the distribution. I was able to find VirtualBox modules through the SlackBuilds website (more on SlackBuilds later), though installing the modules required hunting down about half a dozen dependencies in Slackware's software repository. In the end, I was able to get Slackware to use the VirtualBox add-ons and use my host's full screen resolution.
Slackware 14.2 -- The KDE System Settings panel
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The applications available to us will vary a great deal depending on which software groups we selected when we installed Slackware. Assuming we selected most of the bundles (as I tended to do) we end up with a massive amount of software, most of it useful, some of it less so, but each category in the application menu is filled. Firefox is included along with popular applications such as Thunderbird, Pidgin and the GNU Image Manipulation Program. I found KPPP was available to help us connect to dial-up networks and the KDE System Settings panel was present to assist us in changing the look and behaviour of the desktop. In fact, with the KDE group of packages installed, just about every application with a "k" in its name is present, from the Kleopatra security utility to the Ark archive manager.
One surprise I found was that Slackware does not include LibreOffice, in its place we find the Calligra productivity suite. LibreOffice (and OpenOffice) are not in the distribution's repositories either. We need to visit a third-party repository, like SlackBuilds, to find a copy of LibreOffice. Adobe's Flash player was not available either and once again we must visit a third-party repository to find it as Slackware does not offer Flash. Multimedia codecs are included though and I found video files would play in Xine and audio files played in the XMMS player. In the background, I found Slackware ships with the SysV init software (version 2.88) and the distribution runs on version 4.4.14 of the Linux kernel.
Looking through Slackware's collection of software I found some programs I rarely see anymore. XMMS for instance does not show up nearly as much these days as it did a decade ago. Likewise, Slackware allows us to install Python 2 (which most projects now consider obsolete), but I could not find a copy of Python 3 in the distribution's repositories. The applications included tended to work well and I experienced no crashes during my trial. I was able to get work done, set up a printer, watch videos, write documents and listen to music without distractions or additional work on my part. PulseAudio was one of the new features of this release and I found it worked smoothly.
Slackware 14.2 -- Installing software with slackpkg
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Should we wish to install additional software or upgrade existing packages there are a few ways we can approach the task. One is the slackpkg command line package manager. To use slackpkg we first need to edit the program's list of mirrors (/etc/slackpkg/mirrors) in a text editor and select which nearby repository mirror we wish to access. The slackpkg program uses a syntax similar to Fedora's dnf or Debian's apt-get. We can use slackpkg to refresh our software information, install or remove packages and perform software upgrades. We can also perform searches for packages using keywords. Occasionally, while performing upgrades, slackpkg paused and asked me if I wanted to overwrite my local configuration file with a new copy. This is not a problem, but worth noting as we may not want to leave slackpkg running unattended.
Slackware, as I have mentioned above, is missing several popular packages in its official repositories. Many users will want to seek additional software through third-party repositories such as SlackBuilds. The SlackBuilds repository acts a lot like a BSD ports tree where we can download scripts which will build packages for us. The SlackBuilds scripts build source code into a package for us which we can then install using the installpkg command. I found the SlackBuilds website to be easy to navigate and the project has useful documentation to help us get started. Unfortunately, scripts provided by SlackBuilds do not handle dependencies. This means any missing software needs to be manually located and installed and this can be a problem, especially if we did not install development tools during the initial setup of the distribution.
My first Linux distribution was a lightweight derivative of Slackware and so in some ways running Slackware in the past has felt like coming home. I may not use Slackware these days as my primary operating system, in fact I have not done so in a decade and a half, but every few years I have enjoyed returning to the distribution. Slackware is consistent, much the same today as it was five years ago, or ten years ago or even fifteen years ago. It is still stable, still stays out of the way, largely unchanged by fad or fancy.
But with each year that goes by, installing Slackware feels less like coming home and more like visiting an old, stone castle. It may be fun to look at, even educational, but not a place where I would want to stay. Getting settled in takes too long and there are no modern conveniences.
In this case, what I mean by that is the software in the official repositories feels out of date, the applications feel more like a wheelbarrow of software was dumped on my desktop rather than selected and integrated. Too many items need to be manually enabled, hunted down in third-party repositories and/or compiled from source code.
My main issue though was the lack of automatic dependency resolution. I know many long-time Slackware fans see dependency resolution as an unwanted feature or will point to tools which can be used to handle dependencies, and that made sense fifteen years ago. When tools like APT and YUM were young, there were package database glitches and extra software was pulled in unnecessarily. But these days package managers have matured a lot and Slackware makes us choose between dependency hell or installing everything up front (around 10GB of packages) to handle any possible dependencies. Neither is an attractive option. I probably spent more time this week hunting down dependencies to make my common applications compile through the third-party SlackBuilds scripts than I have spent fixing mistakes made by dependency-solving Linux package managers in the past ten years.
Slackware fans like to say that if something is not broke, don't fix it and I strongly agree. However, I think spending an afternoon tracking down dependencies one at a time to gain access to programs most distributions ship with by default borders on the definition of broke. On a similar note, I discovered this past week that if I switched slackpkg's configuration a new mirror that was behind my previous mirror (ie out of sync) I could make slackpkg remove my recent updates and install older versions of packages by running slackpkg upgrade-all. This is a potentially dangerous bug that can re-introduce out of date packages.
Putting aside my feelings about package management, I think Slackware 14.2 is a solid release. As usual, not a lot has changed. There are a few new features, which work as advertised, but otherwise Slackware remains the same as always. It is stable, reliable, constant. Fans of Slackware will probably continue to enjoy it, people who don't use Slackware will probably regard it as outdated. Though I have heard a handful of people, upset by the widespread use of systemd, talk about trying out Slackware as the distribution continues to run SysV init.
Slackware may not be attractive to a wide audience. Its lack of configuration tools, graphical package manager and small software collection will put off newcomers. But for people who want a "keep it simple" style of operating system and prefer slow-and-steady over latest-and-greatest, Slackware will appeal.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
OpenBSD disables usermount, KaOS releases significant updates and Fedora 22 reaches its end of life
The ability to mount removable media and encrypted containers is a convenient feature on any operating system, but giving users the ability to attach new storage devices to the system also introduces security holes. The OpenBSD team recently decided to remove the feature which allows non-root users to mount file systems. In the future, users who need to mount file systems will require special permission, possibly through the doas utility. A post on Undeadly reads: "The facility for allowing non-root users to mount file systems has been removed from OpenBSD-current due to security concerns. Specifically, the value of kern.usermount (as described in the mount and sysctl man pages) will be ignored in OpenBSD 6.0, and the kern.usermount system variable will be absent from later releases."
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The KaOS distribution offers its users a rolling release model where updates are regularly made available. The KaOS project has introduced significant new features which are available to new users through a fresh release of the distribution's installation media and to existing users via the pacman package manager. "KaOS is proud to present the 2016.07 ISO. The policy is, once a first pacman -Syu becomes a major update, it is time for a new ISO so new users are not faced with a difficult first update. With all the needed rebuilds for the move to GCC 5, most systems will see 70-80% of their install replaced by new packages so a new ISO is more than due." The project features KDE's Plasma 5.7 desktop, LUKS encryption is available through the system installer and the project has dropped support for Qt version 4. A full list of changes can be found in the project's announcement.
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Fedora Magazine would like to remind all Fedora users that version 22 of the distribution has reached its end of life and no longer receives security updates. People who are still running Fedora 22 are encouraged to upgrade to either Fedora 23 or the recently released Fedora 24. "As of July 19, 2016, Fedora 22 has reached its end of life for updates and support. No more updates, not even security fixes, will be provided for Fedora 22. Fedora 23 will be maintained with updated packages until approximately one month after the release of Fedora 25. Upgrading to Fedora 23 or Fedora 24 is highly recommended for all users still running Fedora 22. For more information on upgrading Fedora, check out the DNF System Upgrade page on the Fedora Project wiki."
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Distribution Review (by Ivan Sanders)
Point Linux 3.2
Point Linux released their newest version, 3.2, in June 2016. Their goal is, "To combine the power of Debian GNU/Linux with the productivity of MATE, the GNOME 2 desktop environment fork. Point Linux provides an easy-to-set-up-and-use distribution for users looking for a fast, stable and predictable desktop."
Point Linux aims to use MATE as their primary desktop environment, but also offers Xfce as an option. The Point Linux website is simple and professional. The download page is full of fresh and very nice options that allow the user to download the exact distro they require to fit their needs. Some of the options include 32- or 64-bit, torrent or direct download, and the location of the download server. I found using the website was effortless and the options available cut down on the download time (by giving the option to torrent or the location of the server) and lowered the install time by giving the consumer options before retrieving the whole file.
The MATE desktop environment (DE) is available in the standard Debian installation media, but the full Debian installer image is 4.7GB, overwhelmingly large, and has too many DE options to make the disc any smaller. This is the small void that Point Linux fills. They provide the MATE desktop environment (or Xfce) and a significantly smaller live OS / installation media. Even when selecting the full featured desktop from the options on their website, the Point Linux installer is only 1.00GB. The "Desktop with core components" option lowers this installation media size further to 772MB.
Point Linux 3.2 -- The MATE Applications menu
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I do not want to make Point Linux into something that it is not. It is Debian with MATE (or Xfce) and not much more. The full featured desktop includes Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, Pidgin, Remmina, Brasero, VLC, Transmission, non-free multimedia codecs and hardware drivers. The desktop with core components ships with free multimedia codecs and drivers only. The beauty of Linux, and Debian, is that I can usually make it into anything I want to. Debian can have a few more difficulties than Ubuntu when attempting to add software and find things, but that is because the developers at Debian maintain stability is the most important feature. All of this means that I could have done whatever I wanted to Point Linux to make it into a distro that matches my liking a little more, but then it would no longer be Point Linux at its core. I have a tendency to change a distro so much that it may as well be my own, and I think many Linux users probably do the same. With that being said, I aim to review Point Linux, not some monstrosity Franken-Linux that is of my own creation.
The full featured download had some programs that I did not want, namely Pidgin, Remmina, and Brasero, so I opted for the core (slimmed down) version of Point Linux. This is what made my experience so petite. I enjoyed the trimmed down experience very much. One small point that I liked a lot was that sudo was enabled by default. This is something that I did not even notice at first because you would not notice it if it did not give you any problems. In a Debian install, the user must set up sudo, but in Point Linux this was already taken care of.
Point Linux 3.2 -- Running the system installer
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I also really enjoyed the installation procedure. There is an "Install Point Linux" icon on the desktop, so you can't miss it, and it is very straight forward. I like to see a different installation process than the standard Debian and Ubuntu process, so that was a relief.
Point Linux uses the 3.16.0-4-amd64 Linux kernel by default. There is no easy process or option to upgrade that kernel to a newer version. I was able to upgrade the kernel to 4.7-rc7 but had some issues in the compilation, so went back to the 3.16 version Debian recommended. Although this is almost the same kernel that ships with Debian 8.0 Jessie, I was disappointed that Point Linux was built off of an older kernel (yes, I understand this kernel is LTS, updated, and still current). Debian Sid and Stretch use a newer kernel, but Point Linux is based off of Debian Jessie.
Point Linux 3.2 -- Checking version information
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There is also a positive aspect to this. This kernel was frozen by the Debian team at the time of Jessie development because it was deemed as stable, reliable, and the best choice for Jessie at the time.
Updates are easy with Point Linux. The control centre is the standard MATE control centre, which is versatile and easy-to-use. I was able to install Chrome from the .deb package through gdebi and watch all my streaming services. I was able to install Steam and play games available for Linux without any problems following Debian's Steam wiki page.
Point Linux 3.2 -- MATE's settings panel
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What else does a user need from a distro? How about when used as a server? It took me about 40 minutes to set Point Linux up as a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) server and run ZoneMinder (open source video camera monitoring software). This server setup ran without any problems for a couple of days at my own home, and I was able to view two cameras without any issues with ZoneMinder or with connectivity. Although there are other options, I think that Point Linux is a useful distro for a little home server and could easily replace any server that you may choose Debian for.
Point Linux 3.2 -- Software repositories
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Negatives? There are few. Point Linux is not "bleeding edge." It does not use the most up-to-date kernels, but that is not the point. One would be prone to choose Point Linux as an option when the Debian installer is too big and bloated. That means Point Linux may not have all of the features you want right out of the box (though as I wrote earlier, you can pretty much add anything you want to this). This is a simple distro; it is powerful, useful, and very stable. I loved the simplicity of this distro. It is a tall glass of fresh air.
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Summary of hardware used for this review
- ASUS Laptop K53E-BBR19-B1
- Intel Core i5-2450M CPU @ 2.50GHz (Sandy Bridge)
- Seagate Momentus 5400.6 ST9500325AS 500GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 2.5" Internal Notebook Hard Drive
- Intel HD Graphics 3000 Shared system memory Integrated Card
- 8GB (2x 4 GB) DDR3 RAM
- Internal SATA DVD±R/RW
- Qualcomm Atheros AR9485 Wireless Network Adapter
- Qualcomm Atheros AR8151 v2.0 Gigabit Ethernet
- HDA Intel PCH Internal Soundcard
- Memory (RAM) Point Linux used from my machine at rest after boot-up:
Used: 651MB; Free: 7110MB; Total: 7761MB
Bittorrent is a great way to transfer large files, particularly open source operating system images, from one place to another. Most bittorrent clients recover from dropped connections automatically, check the integrity of files and can re-download corrupted bits of data without starting a download over from scratch. These characteristics make bittorrent well suited for distributing open source operating systems, particularly to regions where Internet connections are slow or unstable.
Many Linux and BSD projects offer bittorrent as a download option, partly for the reasons listed above and partly because bittorrent's peer-to-peer nature takes some of the strain off the project's servers. However, some projects do not offer bittorrent as a download option. There can be several reasons for excluding bittorrent as an option. Some projects do not have enough time or volunteers, some may be restricted by their web host provider's terms of service. Whatever the reason, the lack of a bittorrent option puts more strain on a distribution's bandwidth and may prevent some people from downloading their preferred open source operating system.
With this in mind, DistroWatch plans to give back to the open source community by hosting and seeding bittorrent files. For now, we are hosting a small number of distribution torrents, listed below. The list of torrents offered will be updated each week and we invite readers to e-mail us with suggestions as to which distributions we should be hosting. When you message us, please place the word "Torrent" in the subject line, make sure to include a link to the ISO file you want us to seed. To help us maintain and grow this free service, please consider making a donation.
The table below provides a list of torrents we currently host. If you do not currently have a bittorrent client capable of handling the linked files, we suggest installing either the Transmission or KTorrent bittorrent clients.
Archives of our previously seeded torrents may be found here. All torrents we make available here are also listed on the very useful Linux Tracker website. Thanks to Linux Tracker we are able to share the following torrent statistics.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 217
- Total data uploaded: 40.5TB
|Released Last Week
The Korora distribution is a desktop oriented operating system built on Fedora. The Korora project has announced the availability of Korora 24 which is based on Fedora 24. The new version of Korora is available in four editions: Cinnamon, GNOME, MATE and Xfce. "Changes in Korora 24: Images are 64-bit only, 32-bit users can still upgrade. Over the last few versions the demand for 32-bit ISOs has markedly decreased to the point where we feel it's no-longer necessary to provide install images for the platform. Starting with Korora 24, images will be 64-bit (x86_64) only, however those who have 32-bit systems already are still able to upgrade to Korora 24. If you have been running 32-bit Korora on 64 bit hardware we strongly encourage you to install the 64-bit version instead. No KDE Plasma release yet. We would dearly love to have a KDE iso ready to go, but we ran into a number of issues and decided to not let this hold up the release of Korora 24. It is possible to upgrade a Korora 23 install of KDE to Korora 24 however there are some settings such as themes may need to be manually set up again. Pharlap has been deprecated. As previously announced, driver manager Pharlap will not be included in Korora 24." Additional details can be found in the project's release announcement.
Korora 24 -- Running the GNOME desktop environment
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Ubuntu DesktopPack 16.04
The Ubuntu DesktopPack distribution is a remix of the Ubuntu distribution by UALinux. The Ubuntu DesktopPack features software updates and multimedia support on the installation disc. The Ubuntu DesktopPack, version 16.04, is available in six editions for both the 32-bit and 64-bit x86 architecture. "Available to download images of Ubuntu*Pack 16.04 systems. Distributions are available in six independent systems with different graphic interfaces: Unity, Flashback, GNOME 3, the GNOME 3 Classic, MATE and Cinnamon. Images of all editions are prepared for the i386 and amd64 platforms. This release is based on the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS operating system that offers long term support and include all the innovations presented in the original." Additional information can be found in the project's release announcement.
Adam Conrad has announced the release of Ubuntu 16.04.1, the first maintenance update of the distribution's latest long-term support branch. This version is provided for users performing new installations of Ubuntu 16.04 (or any of the official Ubuntu flavours) while existing Ubuntu 16.04 users can gain the same package updates through their package manager. The release notes and change summary have details. "The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS (Long-Term Support) for its Desktop, Server, and Cloud products, as well as other flavours of Ubuntu with long-term support. As usual, this point release includes many updates, and updated installation media has been provided so that fewer updates will need to be downloaded after installation. These include security updates and corrections for other high-impact bugs, with a focus on maintaining stability and compatibility with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Kubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Xubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Mythbuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Ubuntu GNOME 16.04.1 LTS, Lubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Ubuntu Kylin 16.04.1 LTS, Ubuntu MATE 16.04.1 LTS and Ubuntu Studio 16.04.1 LTS are also now available."
The KaOS project, which provides a rolling release distribution with the latest available KDE software, has released a new snapshot. The new snapshot, KaOS 2016.07, provides fresh installation media for the rolling release distribution. The new snapshot features KDE's Plasma 5.7 desktop environment and packages built with version 5 of the GNU Compiler Collection. "KaOS is proud to present the 2016.07 ISO. The policy is, once a first pacman -Syu becomes a major update, it is time for a new ISO so new users are not faced with a difficult first update. With all the needed rebuilds for the move to GCC 5, most systems will see 70-80% of their install replaced by new packages so a new ISO is more than due." The new snapshot features encryption support in the system installer and version 4.6.4 of the Linux kernel. The release announcement and release notes contain further details.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
What was your first Linux distribution?
Most of us remember (with fondness or anxiety) the first time we booted up Linux for the first time and tried to navigate the alien environment. A person's first Linux distro shapes their early impressions of the GNU/Linux ecosystem and this week we would like to know where our readers got started.
Did you begin your Linux journey with the old and reliable Slackware, the enterprise-oriented Red Hat family, the user-friendly Ubuntu group of distributions, the great green gecko of openSUSE or something else? Please leave us a comment telling us how you got your first copy of Linux in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on full vs minimal distributions here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
What was your first Linux distribution?
|Slackware or a derivative: ||576 (16%)|
| The Red Hat/Fedora/CentOS family: ||639 (17%)|
| The Debian/Ubuntu/Mint family: ||1170 (32%)|
| Mandrake/Mandriva/Mageia/PCLinuxOS or related distro: ||599 (16%)|
| The Arch/Manjaro/Antergos family: ||48 (1%)|
| The green gecko - openSUSE/SLE/SuSE: ||384 (10%)|
| Gentoo or another source-based distro: ||38 (1%)|
| Other: ||217 (6%)|
| I have not picked a first Linux distro yet: ||15 (0%)|
Distributions added to the database
EasyNAS is a storage management system for home or small office. It uses openSUSE Leap as a base with the Btrfs advanced file system. EasyNAS is managed through a web-based interface and offers such features as on-line growing of file systems, snapshots and copy-on-write.
EasyNAS 0.6.2 -- Adjusting settings through the web interface
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Distributions added to waiting list
- Modern X. Modern X is a Linux distribution based on openSUSE Leap. The distribution attempts to offer an interface which will be easy for former Windows and OS X users to navigate.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 1 August 2016. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews/submissions, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, donations, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (podcast)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • first linux distro (by john on 2016-07-25 00:15:18 GMT from North America) |
knoppix 3.4 and 3.6
2 • First Linux Experience (by Feh Wah Woon on 2016-07-25 00:40:21 GMT from Asia)
Bought book: Dummy's Guide to Ubuntu (forgot version) which came with installation CD. Currently using Linux Mint on 2 notebook PCs.
3 • Red Hat 7.1 (by Roy on 2016-07-25 01:06:06 GMT from North America)
It was still free then; "As free as free used to be thought of". I thought it was cool.
4 • first, second, third (by linusista on 2016-07-25 01:07:25 GMT from North America)
My first was Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty, followed quickly be my first distrohops to Mint Gloria and Crunchbang (first release when it was still Ubuntu based). All excellent.
5 • 1st Linux Distribution (by Bobbie Sellers on 2016-07-25 01:22:51 GMT from North America)
I first used Mandriva 2006, after 2011 would not work properly on my Compaq,
I switched to PCLinuxOS, when that could not be installed on my Pavilion I switched
to Mageia then to PCLinuxOS 2016.03 when it became able to handle UEFI.
Along the way I have used many other distributions for experience and presently
have Open Mandriva 3.0 RC waiting for an installed try out as well as the early
images of Mandriva 6, and the preview version of PCLinuxOS 2016.07 with
KDE's Plasma 5,
Drakx tools forever! Up the Computer Control Center!
6 • Second Linux more important than first. (by Sidney Skinner on 2016-07-25 01:28:13 GMT from North America)
My first was Slackware 2.3 No applications of merit. After that I was off Linux until I downloaded Ubuntu 8.04 after finding this site. That was my real start as is Linux user.
7 • first distro (by Joe P on 2016-07-25 01:40:07 GMT from North America)
I went through several early distros. DemoLinux was my first download. I bought Turbo Linux and Corel Linux at a big box retailer. I also used Damn Small, Slax, Morphix and Mandrake. I still try various live boot Linuxes but have been using Mint 13 since the day of it's release. I can't imagine using Windows again on a personal machine.
8 • First distro (by rel on 2016-07-25 01:48:15 GMT from North America)
Corel Linux circa 2000
9 • Slackware / OpenBSD usermount (by Will B on 2016-07-25 01:57:48 GMT from North America)
- - - - - - - -
Slackware was my first distro. Back in 2000 I purchased the 'Linux for Dummies' book and Slackware was bundled with it. Back then, getting X to work properly was not very fun, but that was part of the learning process, I guess.
I do agree with Jesse about Slackware not being convenient. I know that's not what Slackware is about, and I applaud Pat for keeping things as simple as possible. I also agree about the somewhat stale package versions. And LILO? :-P I think GRUB legacy would probably be better. But hey, that's just me, and I'm not Pat.
OpenBSD and usermount
- - - - - - - -
I think OpenBSD is being a bit heavy-handed when it comes to disabling usermount. If FreeBSD disabled that, I'd be up a creek for sure. I mount some things using fuse, and without usermount enabled, none of that's going to work. I guess a workaround on OpenBSD is to use the FileZilla client, but last time I tried it on OpenBSD, it was not super-stable.
I like OpenBSD's 'culture', but usability suffers too much for OpenBSD to be a viable work operating system for me. No 'easy' virtualization, no command-line method for searching for packages and now no usermount. Pretty soon all you'll be able to do is boot OpenBSD but nothing else ;-)
10 • First distro (by Flavio Roseiro Cavalcanti on 2016-07-25 02:07:52 GMT from South America)
My first distro was Kurumin, made in Brazil over Debian + Knoppix + KDE.
11 • first linux distro (by aary on 2016-07-25 02:10:56 GMT from Asia)
Back in the 90's, being a Mac user, my first *nix were BSDs. Mac magazines at that time used to offer how tos to install BSDs on Macs. Then came BeOS which was amazing. I also tinkered with Red Hat, Slackware, Turbo Linux, Vine, etc. After a long blank, Ubuntu 4x happened and I installed it on my Windows PC. Became a real Linux user and a real distro hopper since then.
12 • Poll: 1st distro (by Jordan on 2016-07-25 02:13:50 GMT from North America)
Made me feel old. RH 5.2. And it and Mandrake and Suse were in the stores, boxed.
Wow. Way to go, Mr. Gates. Grrrrr...
13 • 'nother boxed distro back then.. (by Jordan on 2016-07-25 02:14:58 GMT from North America)
TurboLinux. Perhaps some more?
14 • first distro (by Wallace C Olson Jr on 2016-07-25 02:25:24 GMT from North America)
Slackware - too long ago, too many cds, too slow over dial-up
15 • h.o.l.y. (by florida georgia line on 2016-07-25 02:38:25 GMT from North America)
Slackware took a full day to install over 14.4 modem. But it ran well on a 486 DX4 with 12MB of RAM. 1MB of VRAM. It could only load 256 colors at a time, and once you hit 256 colors everything else would be washed out, so restart X if you wanted to look at a porn jpg. IceWM and fvwm were big back then, and Netscape was a 30 minute binary only download from netscape.com. We have come a long way.
These days I am an OpenBSD user. But good to see that Slackware is still kicking, and keeping it simple.
16 • first distro (by fox on 2016-07-25 03:00:49 GMT from North America)
My first distro was a boxed set of Suse Linux 6.5 for the PPC. At the time I couldn't believe that one could buy an OS plus software plus support (and a thick paper manual) for $50! I installed it on my Mac, played with it a few weeks and then removed it. Fun to play with but too limited at the time for any serious work. It didn't come back to Linux for 7 or 8 years and when I did it was Ubuntu 7.10. Much more functional. But it took another 8 years for me to switch in earnest.
17 • First distro (by Brian on 2016-07-25 03:06:00 GMT from North America)
After a lot of research went with Mint and my main distro since. After years of being a Windows fan boy haven't gone back since making the jump. Since have done Mageia (enjoyed a lot except for the pain of shorewall), FreeBSD (great as a server), CentOS, Puppy, some other live distros, and of course upstream Ubuntu and Debian. But Mint, that's my goto for desktop and have converted a numbef of folks, Debian is currently my server goto, but FreeBSD is running strong to take its place.
18 • First Distro (by RPQ on 2016-07-25 03:12:59 GMT from North America)
19 • first distro (by kleshas on 2016-07-25 03:17:14 GMT from North America)
Mint, and I moved to Arch pretty quickly.
20 • first Linux distribution (by BubbleButt on 2016-07-25 03:21:48 GMT from Europe)
I started early June of 2008. First try was Fedora, the KDE 4 looked interesting, but as I learned Fedora is considered more of a bleeding edge distro, and not for noobies, plus KDE 4 at this point was far from stable. I tried PCLinux OS, it was good. I ended on Mandriva Linux KDE 3.5.x, a great noobie friendly distro, I stayed with Mandriva for a few months. Then I became fond of Ubuntu 8.04.1 GNOME 2, and Kubuntu 8.04.1 KDE 3.5.x was nice as well.
After Ubuntu switched from GNOME 2 to Unity (I can see why not GNOME 3.), I gave Unity a honest go for about a year. Then switched and jumped around on Arch based distros, *buntu spins and Linux Mint. Currently most of the newer distros will NOT boot to live environment (strange enough). May have to go back to windows (shudders!?!?), but at least the majority that are based on *buntu boot to live environment without issue, why the others cannot is currently still a mystery, I have asked on different forums, only silence (is golden) so far. ;)
Have a great week.
21 • First Linux Distro (by John Lamb on 2016-07-25 03:56:47 GMT from North America)
Yggdrasil Linux/GNU/X with kernel 0.99pl13 back in 1995.
After that, Slackware then RedHat, Mandriva...and a looong list that ends in 2016 with Manjaro OpenRC/KDE that shares the primary computer with OS X (Hackintosh).
It's been a long winding road for the last 21 years in Penguintonia.
22 • First distro... (by Reaper on 2016-07-25 03:59:28 GMT from North America)
The first distro that I ever installed was Caldera. I can't even remember what version it was. But the first distro that I ran constantly was Debian 2.2 "potato" way back in 1999. Installing KDE over 56k was a nightmare. Now, and for the past 3 years I run Slackware.
Say what you want about Slackware, but it is the most stable, rock solid Linux distro out there, and if you take 5 minutes to read a little dependencies are not as big of an issue as most people like to make it out to be. AND, if you took another 5 minutes to figure out that you can run -current, which is just as stable and as solid as the release versions 99% of the time you can always have the latest and greatest software on top of it.
Hell, Slackware has everything that every other distro has, including KDE Plasma 5 and Cinnamon DE's. But those take another 5 minutes to install, so you point and clickers might not want to play with a true Linux distro like Slackware.
23 • First Linux Distro (by Zhain on 2016-07-25 03:59:56 GMT from Asia)
My first distro was : Red Hat 5.2
on the first installation, i ruin my 20GB HDD Data :D
24 • FirstLinux distro (by DaveW on 2016-07-25 04:09:55 GMT from North America)
Ubuntu, but soon afterwards, they switched to Unity, which I did not then and still do not like. So I jumped to Linux Mint Mate, where I have been ever since.
25 • FirstLinux distro (by Kevin on 2016-07-25 04:29:36 GMT from North America)
Slackware 1995, version 3.0. It was the first version on CD-ROM and not floppies so I tried it. I knew that OS/2 was on the way out and needed a replacement.
26 • First Linux Distro (by Johan on 2016-07-25 04:37:47 GMT from Europe)
My first distro was Redhat - It came on CD with at "Linux for dummies" book by John "Maddog" Hall back in 97 or so. (on a P 133MHz with 2GB hdd, 8Mb RAM and 4Mb dedicated graphics - My phone immensely more power now)
I wasn't quite ready for Redhat and soon moved on to Mandrake - the first distro I really liked.
Dualbooted with Windows (mostly for gaming) until sometime in 2006, when I finally decided to go all in an ditch Windows for good - No regrets.
27 • Poll (by 2damncommon on 2016-07-25 04:37:49 GMT from North America)
I marked Suse.
The first Linux distribution I installed was Mandrake 6.x "Linux For Windows". It allowed for installing Linux on Window 98 without repartitioning the drive. "Linux For Windows" did not have i810 drivers so the desktop had washed out colors and was twice the size it should have been.
Then I resized my hard drive and installed Suse 6.4. It worked great.
Alternated Suse & Mandrake for a while, also trying Storm (Debian based), Turbolinix, and Slackware.
28 • 1st Distro (by Marc Magi on 2016-07-25 04:55:59 GMT from North America)
Knoppix for a few years then Ubuntu when it first appeared for three years and finally OpenSUSE.
29 • First Disro (by M.Z. on 2016-07-25 05:26:23 GMT from North America)
My first distro was Mint 6 x64. It did alot of neat stuff in terms of customization that Windows lacked, I think I even got Compiz working on it. I had a terrible & unsuccessful fight upgrading it in a non recommend way & eventually switched to PCLinuxOS. I still use & recommend Mint & PCLOS as my top two choices, though I also like Mageia & really like pfSense for a dedicated firewall. I've been Linux/BSD only at home since 2011 & don't miss Windows.
30 • Slackware review (by bill on 2016-07-25 05:29:05 GMT from Oceania)
The Slackware review was like most other Slackware reviews of the last decade. That is, not researched well.
"My main issue though was the lack of automatic dependency resolution." Sigh. It is not an issue as it would be in RedHat or Debian. But if you must have dep resolotion, read the documentation and use sbotools.
" ... the software in the official repositories feels out of date, the applications feel more like a wheelbarrow of software was dumped on my desktop rather than selected and integrated." So don't install everything. Most of the useless stuff is part of KDE, including Calligra. If you want current stuff, then track current. It is just as stable as Debian texsting, that is, no problem.
Slackware has had "plug-n-play support for removable devices" for years.
PulseAudio was in 14.1, not sure how far back that goes.
31 • first distro (by Ken on 2016-07-25 05:41:20 GMT from Oceania)
My first distro predates all your choices. It was Softlanding Linux System (SLS) and I installed it from a handful of floppies. SLS sevolved into Slackware but I moved to Redhat next.
32 • First Linux distro (by Thomas Mueller on 2016-07-25 06:00:43 GMT from North America)
My first Linux distro was Slackware. One downside is lack of dependency resolution in package management. FreeBSD ports and NetBSD pkgsrc spoiled me in this regard, and there are also Linux distros with package management that resolves dependencies, Gentoo portage for one.
@25 : I was late in recognizing that OS/2 was on the way out. I didn't quit, OS/2 Warp 4 Fixpack 12 quit on me in early April 2001, crashed and CHKDSK on reboot ran amok and destroyed the hard-drive data. I was never again able to boot OS/2 even from the installation floppies. OS/2's successor, eComStation, has fallen way behind, not only Linux but FreeBSD and NetBSD as well.
33 • I with "Other" had a write-in box (by Paraquat on 2016-07-25 06:10:18 GMT from Asia)
My first Linux distro was Libranet, so I voted "Other." Later, it occurred to me that Libranet was in fact a Debian-derived distro, but I don't see any way to change my vote, so be it. Anyway, I wanted to fill in a box or something like that to say "Libranet."
It was actually a commercial Linux distro - you had to pay about $65 if I remember correctly. At the time (circa 1999), that was not a dumb idea, because Linux was rather difficult to use in those dark days, and Libranet was really easy by comparison. Libranet died in 2005, not long after Ubuntu came along, catering to the same market as Libranet but for free.
34 • first distro (by Andy on 2016-07-25 06:11:30 GMT from Europe)
Red Hat Linux until they discontinued it, then Slackware, Fedora and Debian for a short while, then several years of Kubuntu until KDE 4 appeared when I switched to Lubuntu which I still use.
If they switch to LXQT I might go to a minimal ubuntu installation + manually configured LXDE.
In parallel with Lubuntu which I use on my main stable systems I also use Arch Linux for development where I like to have a system that is bleeding edge, fresh, fast and easy to configure it exactly how I want it.
To bad that there is no Enterprise distribution based on Arch like Ubuntu is based on Debian because I would like to have all my systems Arch based.
35 • First distro (by Alexandru on 2016-07-25 06:11:39 GMT from Europe)
My journey through Linux started with Mandrake 8.0, then tried older SuSE 7.0 and then Debian Woody 3.0r2. Still then Debian forever.
In that time I was experienced with many distributions and OSes: different releases of Mandrake, SUSE, Debian. Tried Slackware, Knoppix, ASPLinux. From *BSD side there were FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD and DragonflyBSD. Other OSes were: Solaris / OpenSolaris / Indiana / OpenIndiana, BeOS / Haiku, MenuetOS / KalibriOS, Debian GNU/Hurd, Plan 9 and some more exotic I don't remember precisely.
Since I publish my software (https://sourceforge.net/projects/geomspace/) for all major OSes, I regularly use Debian Linux, OS X, OpenIndiana, PC-BSD / GhostBSD, MS Windows and also Haiku.
36 • first Distro (by A van der Tweel on 2016-07-25 06:13:18 GMT from Europe)
Had some experience with Unix (at work) and Minix (at home) in the early '90 s.
When Windows NT crashed quite fatally in 2008, I got the Linux Starter Pack from Linux Format, containing Ubuntu. Used Ubuntu 10 until it went out of support, then switched to Debian for my personal desktop and Mint for the family use PC.
37 • SLS! (by SuperOscar on 2016-07-25 06:21:00 GMT from Europe)
Why wasn’t the Soft Landing System (SLS) mentioned in the poll? Maybe it wasn’t yet a distro quite in the current sense of the word, but at least that was when I first tried Linux out.
38 • My first (by Gary W on 2016-07-25 06:24:05 GMT from Oceania)
@25 - thanks for reminding me! My first was Slackware, must have been 2.0, on a Compaq 386 laptop. It seemed like the easiest to install from floppies. Didn't bother with a GUI :-)
Moved on to Red Hat, Debian, then some of the "boutique" distros like PCLinuxOS, Ubuntu, and Mint. Currently on Antix. Had a whale of a time in the last 20 years!
39 • My first distribution ? Slack :) (by FredBezies on 2016-07-25 06:59:17 GMT from Europe)
Looks like there is a lot of old linux users which started with Slackware... For me, it was way back in 1996... And I switched to linux for good back in 2006 with ubuntu 6.06 LTS...
40 • First distro (by Microlinux on 2016-07-25 07:00:29 GMT from Europe)
Slackware 7.1 in 2001. Current distro: Slackware 14.0, 14.1 and 14.2.
41 • First linux distro (by slick on 2016-07-25 07:09:58 GMT from North America)
Left XP for Debian about 5 years ago, now run Devuan. Explored Ubuntu early on and found it too adolescent in appearance, lacked sophistication. Maybe a good children's distribution.
Devuan is systemd free and more Linux distributions also following suite and perhaps may explore them as well.
Debian was a great Linux distribution, just wished they didn't take that wrong turn!
42 • OpenBSD (by Chris on 2016-07-25 07:17:50 GMT from Europe)
seems to me that the next step for OpenBSD devs is to disable the login of any user except root..
43 • D-w VIRGINITY Results, atm (by Greg Zeng on 2016-07-25 07:24:16 GMT from Oceania)
There should be evolutionary data on which distros became "popular", and the Linux-virginity-tests. I lost my Linux-virginity to PCLOS (2003), despite trying the many versions before this release:, e.g. TurboLinux, June 1999, which like earlier releases, were CLI-noob-hostile, creating Linux-phobia .
All dates here are from today's Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not really accurate, because of its policy of dis-respecting its volunteer contributors, imho. Hence the many failed pioneers before PCLOS are not mentioned in the Linux Wikpedia entry. Any forthcoming Operating System marketing group would need to recognize the current noob-hostility of computer operating systems, until recently.
What is interesting are the birth, than the popularity of specific editions of a distro. The breakthroughs in software engineering creates the mass-loss of Linux-virginity. More Linux-recruits then creates more and better coders, more $$$-funds and more "discussion" (RTFM, trolls, heat, grumbles) But not enough awards & remuneration ... yet.
In the last few weeks, Linux has reached about TWO-PER-CENT (2%) of desktop users. It is losing its noob-hostile geekiness enough to join gadget-Mensa.
M$ Windows is losing, very, very slowly - to other Unix derivatives (Linux, the Androids and the BSD-derivatives). Red Hat and other Linux's are playing catch-up to the Buntus. Ubuntu and the Buntus are trying to catch up with IOS.
My interpretation of the results so far; Distrowatch survey results atm favors old-timers and professional users. FUTURE SURVEYS by Distrowatch and other agencies will have more Linux-virgins, created from FRIENDLIER releases than current Linux distros. These new distros will probably have systemd, Wayland, Snappy, etc.
WIKIPEDIA RELEASE DATES: (LINUX Initial release: October 5, 1991; 24 years ago)
1) OTHER: 23 years ago or more recent
2) SLACKWARE Initial release: 17 July 1993; 23 years ago
3) RED HAT Founded 1993; 23 years ago
4) DEBIAN Initial release: August 1993; 22 years ago
5) MANDRAKE Initial release: 23 July 1998; 17 years ago
6) ARCH Initial release: March 11, 2002; 14 years ago
7) GENTOO Initial release: 31 March 2002; 14 years ago
DISTROWATCH RESULTS, atm, in order of Linux-virginity-loss:
1) OTHER: 40 (5%)
2) GENTOO or another source-based distro: 5 (1%)
3) ARCH/Manjaro/Antergos family: 9 (1%)
4) GREEN GECKO - OpenSUSE/SLE/SuSE: 47 (8%)
5) SLACKWARE or a derivative: 114 (15%)
6) RED HAT/Fedora/CentOS family: 128 (17%)
7) MANDRAKE/Mandriva/Mageia/PCLinuxOS or related distro: 130 (18%)
8) DEBIAN/Ubuntu/Mint family: 237 (32%)
Apologies for the SHOUTING. "D-w Comments" atm, is not using industry-norms, which allows the options of "bold-italics-love-hate-edited".
44 • @30 Slackware and Pulseaudio (by Microlinux on 2016-07-25 07:25:46 GMT from Europe)
Slackware 14.1 did not ship Pulseaudio. It has been introduced in Slackware 14.2. Here's the corresponding ChangeLog:
Wed Jan 13 00:01:23 UTC 2016
Hey folks, happy new year!
After upgrading to BlueZ 5 recently, everything seemed to be working great,
but then it was pointed out that Bluetooth audio was no longer working.
The reason was that the newer BlueZ branch had dropped ALSA support and now
required PulseAudio. So with some trepidation, we began investigating adding
PulseAudio to Slackware. Going back to BlueZ 4 wasn't an option with various
dependent projects either having dropped support for it, or considering doing
so. After several iterations here refining the foundation packages and
recompiling and tweaking other packages to use PulseAudio, it's working well
and you'll likely not notice much of a change. But if you're using Bluetooth
audio, or needing to direct audio through HDMI, you'll probably find it a lot
easier to accomplish that.
Best of all, we're finally a modern, relevant Linux distro! ;-)
45 • Slackware and Pulseaudio (by bill on 2016-07-25 07:32:42 GMT from Oceania)
@44: Note the date of the ChangeLog you quote - well before Slackware 14.2.
I am typing this on a Slackware 14.1 installation - with Pulseaudio installed. I did not add it myself - nor would I - it came with the distribution.
46 • Slackware review (by Jura321 on 2016-07-25 07:35:41 GMT from Europe)
thank you for your review of Slackware 14.2, I have been looking forward it since 14.2 released.
You review is complex, comprehend and captures the main shapes very well. More over I'm share your depicted drawbacks and view that Slackware is more for "learning" than for daily usage, saying it although fact that this was my first distribution and has my endless love forever.
As you mentioned the main obstacles for using it daily are "dependency hell" and repository size of applications. Both issues can be mitigated by using 3th applications (http://docs.slackware.com/slackware:faq), here I would like to point to great slpkg software package manager(https://sourceforge.net/projects/slpkg/) for its stability, good documentation, easy to use approach and possibility to register more package repositories at the same time and use them together(so more packages). Perhaps by using it your conclusions would have been in slightly different colors.
But in general your points are very correct, perhaps some other distribution coming from Slackware shapes its rough corners and provide great distribution(because of great base from Slackware) plus more user friendliness - not talking about colors, icons and such things but more about package repositories, dependency handling, actual documentation etc.
47 • First disto (by M. Edward (Ed) Borasky on 2016-07-25 08:05:03 GMT from North America)
1. Red Hat 6.2 - 9 [KDE]
2. Debian "potato" [GNOME]
3. Gentoo [WindowMaker]
4. openSUSE 11+ [GNOME]
5. Fedora 17 - 22 [GNOME]
6. Debian "stretch" [GNOME]
7. Ubuntu 16.04 [GNOME]
8. Fedora 24 [GNOME]
48 • Yggdrasil (by Hans on 2016-07-25 08:18:34 GMT from Europe)
Yggdrasil Linux was my first Linux distro.
Released december 8, 1992. Kernel version 0.98.1
After that, all major distro's: Redhat, Suse, Gentoo.
About 16 years ago I switched to FreeBSD (for good).
49 • First *nix and Slackware (by jjthomas on 2016-07-25 08:28:01 GMT from North America)
Start out with SCO Unix, then installed Read Hat at work. From there I went to Slackware (and others) I always come back to Slackware. I'm not a fan of the *buntu's.
I have installed different OS's over the last 25 some years. I'm so old, I remember CP/M. And MS-DOS. :rolleyes:
I don't think Slackware's packages are that old. For instance, Slackbuild's is the only place I found Ardour 4. I think Fedora may have it, but I don't care for the rapid update cycle.
I like the stability of Slackware. NBD if I have to install my packages from the command line.
50 • What was your first Linux Distribution? (by Pauli on 2016-07-25 08:38:42 GMT from North America)
Puppy Linux 4.0, on a 512MB USB flash drive
51 • @45 Slackware and Pulseaudio (by Microlinux on 2016-07-25 08:52:52 GMT from Europe)
I do note the date of the ChangeLog.txt indeed. Pulseaudio has been added to Slackware on January 13th 2016. And Slackware 14.1 has been released on November 7th 2013, more than two years before. I'm running Slackware 14.1 on a couple hundred machines here, and there's no Pulseaudio, only ALSA.
52 • What was your first Linux distribution? (by bruno-legrand on 2016-07-25 09:00:34 GMT from Europe)
My first gnu-linux distro is Emmabuntüs ! :)
53 • First Distro (by kc1di on 2016-07-25 09:11:09 GMT from North America)
I Choose Slackware, though Had dabbled with linux before that but it could not have been called a distribution. Slack was install on my old 386 using floppies. seems like there were 50 or more in the set I bought from a Ham Radio site. Did stay with slack that long went over to redhat- which version I can't remember stayed with them until the fedora thing happened then went to debian for several years, Mint and PCLinuxOS have tried many distros over the years, and still keep coming back to mint and PClinuxOS for my day to day stuff. and others for fun.
54 • Slackware KDE review? (by Alex on 2016-07-25 09:11:56 GMT from North America)
It is true that Slackware is the oldest surviving Linux distribution, but it is not worth a review as it using an old KDE 4.14 desktop environment, while today we have KDE 5.7 desktop environment available in many other KDE based distros such as KaOS, OpenSuse, Tanglu (KDE 5.6) and of course KDE Neon.
Maybe you should review the Slackwarre XFCE version instead. The Xfce4 version might be 4.12 or at least 4.10.
>>Putting aside my feelings about package management, I think Slackware 14.2 is a solid release.<<
Maybe, but old.
>>As usual, not a lot has changed. There are a few new features, which work as advertised, but otherwise Slackware remains the same as always.<<
55 • Slackware (by luvr on 2016-07-25 09:35:07 GMT from Europe)
My first Linux encounter was with an early Slackware release, in 1995. It came on CDs, but I had to create boot and root diskettes since my PC couldn't boot off the CD drive. I was limited to the character-based interface, since X kept locking up, no matter what I tried. There was this booklet that came with the CD package, so I used the installed system to get acquainted with the command line, and even somewhat with the vi editor.
The first time that I could run something that looked like a somewhat graphical environment was with SuSE, though I could get no further than VGA, 640x480.
The first truly successful graphical environment was with Red Hat 9, which was however discontinued shortly after I discovered it.
I then kept dabbling on and off with Slackware and SuSE, until I installed Ubuntu 6.06. It wasn't until Ubuntu 10.04 that I finally dumped Windows (except for a stand-alone Windows XP system partition that isn't even connected to the network). I wasn't particularly thrilled about Ubuntu Unity, so I switched to Xubuntu.
I am now slowly moving off the 'Buntus, to XFCE under Debian testing, and I am also taking a new look at Slackware 14.2.
56 • Slackware and Pulseaudio (by bill on 2016-07-25 09:35:39 GMT from Oceania)
@51: My point was that Pulseaudio was added to 14.1 but I should have explained that earlier this year I downloaded 14.1 current and Pulse was included. You are correct that it was in the official release in 14.2 for the first time.
By the way, thank you for your awesome work with Microlinux.
57 • first distro (by Robilio on 2016-07-25 10:04:45 GMT from Europe)
It was Mandrake, but I don't remember the version.
Then I switched to Mepis Linux, Ubuntu and now Mint
58 • My first distro (by Andy on 2016-07-25 10:13:10 GMT from North America)
Slackware from source on an i386sx16 way back in 1996 IIRC. Those were the bad old days :)
59 • First Linux Distro (by Shawn on 2016-07-25 10:15:14 GMT from North America)
My first distro was in 1999 with Caldera and the incomplete 0.9 KDE desktop. I may be wrong, but I think that Caldera was it's own distro, though it may have been based on a very early itieration of RedHat. --Ayways, it's deaad now, I I can't say that I miss it at all.
60 • My first Linux distro... (by Marc Visscher on 2016-07-25 10:29:07 GMT from Europe)
My very first Linux distro was... Lindows. Once in a supermarket back in 2003 I saw a magazine with big letters saying: "Run a full operating system from CD". I was very curious about it and I bought the magazine. Once I got it running I immediately fell in love with it. Soon after trying out from CD I wanted to know more about Linux. And I started experimenting with Knoppix, Mandrake, SuSE, Fedora, SAM Linux, Feather Linux, DSL et cetera. In the fall of 2004 I got my hands on a bètaversion of a distribution with a strange name, called "Ubuntu". I downloaded the ISO, burned it on a CD and booted it from the live modus. Although I didn't like the brown colours of the distro, I found it a very appealing system. Soon after that I installed it as a dualboot next to my Windows XP. For three years I used both operating systems next to each other. On a cold tuesday night somewhere in 2007, while booting up Windows XP, the system collapsed without any reason, and XP wasn't responding to anything anymore. When I booted XP again, it did nothing. That made me so angry that I decided not to reinstall Windows again. From that point I was using Ubuntu exclusively, until the Unity desktop was introduced into Ubuntu in 2011. Since then I switched to Linux Mint with great satisfaction.
61 • first linux distro (by Nathan on 2016-07-25 10:40:07 GMT from Europe)
UHU linux 1.something rc
62 • First distro (by Linux Apocalypsis on 2016-07-25 11:17:32 GMT from Europe)
Mandrake 8 (KDE) here. From there I switched to RetHat, then Ubuntu (first release) and then Debian for many years until the systemd fiasco. Now I am on Ubuntu 14.04 until I find a sensible replacement. Probably AntiX.
63 • @62 First distro (by Linux Apocalypsis on 2016-07-25 11:18:39 GMT from Europe)
Where I wrote Ubuntu 14.04 I wanted to say Lubuntu 14.04.
64 • Point Linux (by jymm on 2016-07-25 11:26:01 GMT from North America)
I was a Point Linux user, but have moved on to Debian Mate. It is a good distro, but the forum is dead and the developer has been to busy to put much time or effort into the distro. Most of the active members of the forum have left for other distros.
As for first distros I had tried Xandros, then the original Solus, then Point. I now stay away from smaller distros and pretty much stick to Debian or Ubuntu.I don't want to boot up one day and see my distro no longer exists.
65 • My first Linux distro (by Peter on 2016-07-25 11:28:59 GMT from Asia)
Although I experimented a little with Suse during my university time, I stayed with Windows for a long time after.
I started experimenting with the *buntus in March 2015 to learn about the different desktop environments. Went on to Mint. I never got really happy with PPAs, and at the same time interested in the rolling release model. Which moved me to Manjaro, which I stayed with for quite a while (compared to the distro hopping I did before Manjaro). I got more confident with Linux. I removed Windows 8.1 from my HDD at that time and put it into a VirtualBox.
Being Arch based, I always looked at Arch during my Manjaro time. And one cold day in Winter 2015/2016, I decided to start the journey to get Arch up and running on my machine, which was supposed to be a long and hard journey. But, to my surprise, it was far easier than all the reviews I read before, suggested.
I am now very happy with Arch and will stay with it for now.
66 • First distro (by zhymm on 2016-07-25 11:50:29 GMT from North America)
The first distro I was able to successfully install and use was PCLOS 0.93 "Big Daddy" in June 2006. I had tried a few others prior to PCLOS without success (mainly due to my own ineptitude and ignorance). PCLOS simply "just worked" for me. I also remember that summer (July) as the time I wiped Windows from my hard drive once and for all. Caught "distro hopping" fever shortly afterwards (had to try them all) and often had as many as six different distros multibooting. Currently I've been using Manjaro as my "distro of choice". And no more multibooting.
67 • First Distro (by ken on 2016-07-25 11:55:14 GMT from Africa)
First distro Ubuntu 8.04 thanks to canonical for the live CD. Then I distro hoped to many distros till settling two years ago on Slackware and Debian stable, with Centos as my third option.
68 • About Slackware (by César on 2016-07-25 12:08:53 GMT from South America)
Slackware...i think is the distro most conservative of Linux world.
1) For the package management, is better install "slapt-get" (and Gslapt if you like the graphic interface), this fix dependency (but not from the base install).
2) For use Slackbuilds, you must install "sbopkg", is very simple to use.
3) For LibreOffice, see the page of Alienbob, you can download this and many other programs ready for install.
4) If you don't like Lilo, in the install disc is the Grub loader and the instruction for install.
Saludos desde Santiago de Chile.
69 • First Distro (by thomas giudici on 2016-07-25 12:13:04 GMT from North America)
My first distro was Fuduntu and I've never seen a distro as good as that since-and i've tried plenty.Currently use arch.
70 • First Distro (by Scrumtime on 2016-07-25 12:36:56 GMT from North America)
I Would say Mandrake was the First Distro I used !!!! though First 1 i tried to use was Free BSD....Failed miserably !!!!!
But I think i have tried almost all the early distros at 1 time or another as most seemed "different" sadly that has changed and most are clones of each other
Slackware....It is what it is and does what it always has done.... be a quality stable operating system that does everthing thats needed of it.
71 • First Distro (by mandog on 2016-07-25 12:36:57 GMT from South America)
Arch Linux still Arch Linux
72 • Opinion poll, which is actually a fact poll this week (by Kevin on 2016-07-25 12:40:28 GMT from North America)
The first Linux distribution I ran was Slackware, which is a fact, not an opinion. There wasn't many distributions to choose from back then. I forget the Slackware version, but it was somewhere in the 1.xx kernel days, before there were loadable kernel modules. I had a 486 at the time, and downloaded Slackware as floppy disk images.
73 • Mandrake 8.2 (by Lee on 2016-07-25 12:46:07 GMT from North America)
It was on a floppy from a Brit computer mag. My operating system was Win Me. I tried several times to install Red Hat from floppies in library books but they were all too heavy for my system.
Mandrake worked because it came with 5 DEs, some of which were very light.
I then progressed to XFLD (a live distro w/XFDE) and Ubuntu.
74 • Slackware 3.0 (by Chip on 2016-07-25 13:09:53 GMT from North America)
Circa 1995, using the 1.2.13 kernel, was my company's sole internet server for years. I did just one update along the way, to Slack 3.6, and there it stayed until we closed the doors in 2003. All on the same 386DX-40 minitower, which never missed a beat and went many months between reboots. After '03 I took a long hiatus from Linux, and have since started dabbling for personal use, mostly with various incarnations of Mint.
75 • First Distro (by Fronton on 2016-07-25 13:14:44 GMT from Europe)
I bought a magazine seen in a shop with Slackware but I never really could install it. Then, my real first Linux installed and used distro was the first Ubuntu.
Now, I am with Manjaro only on a Toshiba laptop, and Win10 only on an ASUS laptop.
For the moment... :)
76 • First Distro (by Jose on 2016-07-25 13:15:46 GMT from North America)
Slackware all the way! I think it was Slackware 2.1 and it was on a bunch of floppies. I went to Redhat, later Ximian Redhat, SUSE then Mandrake and back to Slackware.
Along the way I used Libranet, Mepis, Mandriva, Vector, Absolute, Kanotix, sidux and some others I forget, before settling on PCLinuxOS.
I used to love buying the distros from Best Buy (Redhat, Mandrake and SuSE) ceause it came on a CD and had books.
77 • First Distro -@25, 38, 39, 53, 55, 58 and so on (by marco71 on 2016-07-25 13:18:06 GMT from Europe)
Same here for 1st distro ... slackware 3.0.0 w/ kernel 1.2.13, back in '94 or '95 :)
since then, used in parallel the old redhat desktop (v4.2, ..., 8.0 'till 9.0 and fedora) and rhel/centos 4-6 ('till v7), also suse v7.x-9.3, opensuse 10.x-11.x (and sles v10-11 'till v12) and mandrake 7.x-9.x...
For short-term, tried linux-from-scratch, corellinux, adamantix, mepis, knoppix, sidux, siduction, turbolinux, damn-small-linux, deli, lycoris, netwosix, dynebolic, puppy, porteus, zenwalk, salix, vector, sms-linux (these are all I remember for the moment)...
Still using slackware after 20 yrs. and debian wheezy in parallel (but will drop it soon, because of systemd, although I used debian for many years, since v2.2r6 potato)
78 • First Distros (by waxlips on 2016-07-25 13:19:41 GMT from North America)
Yellow Dog Linux for PowerPC,
Linux Mint Gloria
79 • S.u.S.E. (by Frank O. Hodge on 2016-07-25 13:26:52 GMT from North America)
I bought S.u.S.E. 6.1 in a box. Never could figure out how to use it. Then, knowing nothing better to do, I bought S.u.S.E. 6.4. I quit dual-booting Windows 2K sometime during 2001, and have stayed with Linux (and the still inevitable Windows on virtual machines) ever since.
80 • First distro and... (by OstroL on 2016-07-25 13:32:27 GMT from Europe)
First: Ubuntu 5.10 Breezy Badger and stayed with Ubuntu since then, still checking out other distros, operating systems. Installed Arch, Gentoo and lately even Funtoo, the source based distros. Liked Unity at the beginning, but later dropped it finally for Ubuntu + Openbox, Debian + Openbox (Nelum) and Devuan + Openbox. Debian and Devuan are somewhat late with their packages, while Ubuntu is quicker.
I've made them leaner by not installing (or uninstalling) some applications such as web browser, office suite, Gimp etc and using my self-contained apps.
Lately, thinking of looking at Bodhi again, for it is the most leanest of all Ubuntu based distros. Awaiting the 4.0 release.
I still have some special old distros in working order, such as Meego, Moblin, EasyPeasy 1.6. They still work; can browse the web, use office etc, even though nothing gets updated.
81 • Slackware Virtualbox Guest integration (by Wing F Yuen on 2016-07-25 13:33:28 GMT from North America)
"Slackware worked inside VirtualBox, but was not able to make use of my host computer's full display resolution and the desktop was sometimes sluggish to respond. Slackware does not provide VirtualBox add-on modules and the generic ones provided by the VirtualBox project failed to install on the distribution."
I found installing the kernel source allows the Oracle VboxLinuxAdditions.run installer to run successfully.
82 • First Linux distribution (by bison on 2016-07-25 13:48:04 GMT from North America)
Other. My first experience with Linux was with an unknown distribution that someone else installed on a shared system at work from a set of Infomagic CDs in early 1995. I wish I still had the CDs, but I don't. The first one I installed myself was Caldera 1.1 in January 1998.
83 • First Linux Distro (by Abhijeet K Singh on 2016-07-25 13:52:27 GMT from Asia)
My 1st Linux distro was my first distro as well. Turbolinux 8 Workstation; Hands down the best overall linux distro at the time (2003), IMHO.
Closely followed by Mandrake PowerPack and SuSe Enterprise.
Tried Libranet, Debian, Knoppix, Red Hat, Yoper, BOSS, Lindows, Solaris, and a whole lot of other distros before (and after) using ubuntu.
Finally settled down with Kubuntu (barring once in a while experimentation).
84 • Opinion Poll (by Gerardo Tais on 2016-07-25 13:53:08 GMT from South America)
I first booted SuSE back in mid nineties. I bought a questionable "copy" that came with 7 cds. I was very happy i was able to install it, but like many distros that came afterwards, couldn't use it because the dreaded winmodem. Without internet, my box was incomplete so i always needed to switch back to another operating system. Things of the past, fortunately.
85 • First distro (by cykodrone on 2016-07-25 14:06:10 GMT from North America)
My first actual 'trial' was Fedora (or Red Hat, can't remember, one or the other) in the middle 00s, it was a total disaster, I barely reached the GUI desktop and it was ugly as sin, so I tried Mepis, which was Debian based, hence the Debian family vote. After a brief affair with Mepis, I wound up using PCLOS for quite some time. Now I'm back to the Debian family again, in the form of Devuan, if I win a lottery, Devuan will get a nice chunk of my winnings.
Slack and Pulse: More creep-ware from the Porg, OOOOoooohhhhh, (tests mic) 'tap tap, is this thing on?' I'll be here all week, don't throw bottles, just coins please, thanks. ;D The Slack assimilation has begun. :(
86 • first linux distro (by anon on 2016-07-25 14:13:20 GMT from North America)
Gentoo, back in 2006. I had heard it was the best, but couldn't install it myself due to inexperience. A friend helped me install it, but then I couldn't fix it when I broke the graphics driver.
Eventually switched to Kubuntu just to get my CS homework done. I have genuine respect for anyone who can get stuff done with Gentoo.
87 • First Distro (by Mike W on 2016-07-25 14:50:28 GMT from North America)
Simply Mepis was my first - I think version 8. Now using MX which is an offshoot of Mepis and Antix.
88 • early 2001 (by dmacleo on 2016-07-25 14:57:58 GMT from North America)
feb or so of 2001 bought the 5 (iirc) disc set of red hat linux and played with it.
could never get any modem to work correctly and since I had no other computer to look stuff up with while troubleshooting had to give up. 2003 or so started playing with opensuse, loved the compiz effects and beauty of the desktop.
I mess around still, mostly windows here but run laptop on mint (18 cinnamon now) and play with vm's checking new distros out.
fun to see how things look and work.
off premise servers (1 vps and 2 dedicated) are centos 6.8
89 • First Linux (by Jerry Nicholson on 2016-07-25 15:11:41 GMT from North America)
The first linux I tried was Red Hat, about 20 years ago. I thought it was the most primitive piece of crap I ever saw and I hated it even worse than OS/2! Fast forward a bunch of years, Ubuntu 7.04 was the next Linux I tried and I found it actually to be useful. I went through some years of trying everything but homed in on Mint. Linux became my primary operating system only 2 or 3 years ago but I still use Windows in dual boot and virtual box because Linux software does not meet all my needs, no matter what the Linux fanbois say.
90 • first distro (by Mike on 2016-07-25 15:27:06 GMT from North America)
Slackware in '98 or '99. Then Red Hat where I managed to blow up my monitor trying to get the resolution up to 800x600 from 640x480, heh, good times.
91 • first used linux version... (by tom joad on 2016-07-25 15:30:22 GMT from Europe)
I was given a copy of Dapper Drake but I never really used it as I was on dial up at the time. After a move and an upgrade in internet I downloaded a copy Edgy Elf. That was it for me. I have been linux ever since..
Sure there was a learning curve. But for me it was not a steep and long as it is for some. What blew me a way was the Terminal. It really, really does stuff.
Back in the gloom I was a DOS user. But over the years MS has completely destroyed the power of the Terminal or DOS box as we called it back in the day. Not so in Linux. I like that.
92 • Linux (by Jake Adams on 2016-07-25 15:47:26 GMT from North America)
Does anyone remember Redmond Linux?
RedHat was my number 2 try at linux.
I now use Zorin only.
93 • first Linux distribution (by Einar Gael on 2016-07-25 15:50:25 GMT from North America)
Caldera 2.3, bought by mail order in a cardboard box with CDs and printed manual, in 1999.
94 • First Distro (by Jim M on 2016-07-25 16:22:33 GMT from North America)
SCO Xenix in 1987. Don't remember 1st Linux distro about 3 years ago.
Currently using Mint 18 Mate on an Intel NUC5i5RYK.
95 • Slackware and Salix (by David on 2016-07-25 16:23:20 GMT from Europe)
That seemed like a fair review. If you don't install everything on the disk, there are going to be dependency problems. And the selection of programs available is weird. The answer is Salix: Slackware with 600 carefully-selected extra programs (including some configuration tools) and excellent dependency resolution. It's also one of the few distros where all the GUIs available seem to work equally well. How about a review some time?
96 • First Distro (by Jay on 2016-07-25 16:28:42 GMT from North America)
First distribution was Knoppix. I got a live CD that the university's Linux club was passing out when Bill Gates visited to speak. I kept it for a while before trying it where it miserably failed. However, I downloaded and burned a newer version (I was just too interested), and it worked! I was surprised how familiar the interface was and that it wasn't nearly as hard to move around as people made it out to be. I used to boot into it to watch videos (didn't want to install random codecs just to make Windows Media Player happy) and play Frozen Bubble. I think those two uses made Linux seem legitimate to me.
After that, tried an Ubuntu disc that epically failed and never have been pleased with it since (installs have failed for me a few times), but it led me to Mint. Also tried OpenBSD in a virtual machine just before I had decided I'd had enough of Windows and was going to switch to it. Fortunately, it was way over my head and I left XP intact (I learned several hours later what "mount" and such was for that day... I never realized how for granted I took C:\).
After that, I used Puppy for stuff to get used to Linux and eventually migrate to it (I also started using Firefox and ffmpeg/VLC for these reasons). And now I'm here and don't want to go back. systemd versus Win10 just hasn't been enough to give up all the cool stuff I now have.
97 • First distros (by Doug on 2016-07-25 17:20:56 GMT from North America)
I started out with Suse 8 or 9(I think) in 2004. A fellow student in my computer repair class gave me 2 linux discs. Suse and Mandrake. I did not care for Mandrake. After Suse I tried Fedora, Fox(Fedora offshoot), then I went to Source based distros which I found I liked better than rpm distros. Gentoo, Sourcemage, Slackware and many small distros I can't remember. Checked out several Debian based like Mepis, Zorin, Ubuntu(to brown) and a few others I can't remember.
And still after all these years and for the most part I don't care for rpm distros, I just have to check out OpenSuse every now and then.
98 • My first Linux was Ubuntu 08.40 (by Torsten on 2016-07-25 17:24:09 GMT from Europe)
My first Linux was Ubuntu 08.40 - my cousin Jan gave me a CD of that Ubuntu version, after I had so many troubles with Windows XP....since that time, I had so many other Linux distributions, but I never went back to Windows. ;-)
99 • ooops (by Torsten (again) on 2016-07-25 17:38:01 GMT from Europe)
I mean Ubuntu 08.04 - not 08.40....My fingers sometimes are faster than my brain. ;-)
100 • First Distro (by Charles Burge on 2016-07-25 17:44:11 GMT from North America)
My first distro was Mandrake 7.1, which came in a box that I bought at the store. Later, I ran Mandrake 9.1 for quite a long time. I soured on it around 2011, when the Mandriva team seemed to lose their direction. After trying many different options, I settled on Arch as my new favorite.
With regard to Slackware, thanks for the well-written review. I had long thought of giving it a try, due to its reputation as a distro for someone who is really interested in the nuts and bolts of Linux. After reading the review, I think I'll just stick with Arch.
101 • First Distro (by Joe User on 2016-07-25 17:51:11 GMT from Europe)
First Distro was S.u.S.E Linux 4.2 up to openSUSE 10.3
Second Distro was LinuxFromScratch 2.2 up to LFS 6.6
Third Distro was my own one used for nearly three years
Fourth Distro was Gentoo Linux 1.4 up to Gentoo 10.1
Several other Distros checked out over the last 18 years
Never used nor willing to ever use Debian and derivates
Happy FreeBSD Sysadmin since FreeBSD 7.0
102 • First Linux distribution (by Jay Speed on 2016-07-25 18:28:12 GMT from Europe)
my first Linux distribution was BeOS.
Amazing graphics and quick on a Celeron 300 with 128 SDram.
The modem was found direct and internet access was no problem in 1998.
Sad that it was gone and switched to Redhat 6, which was more work to get it working like BeOS.
103 • first distro (by m1 on 2016-07-25 18:40:18 GMT from Europe)
Ubuntu feisty. 2 years later to Crunchbang. Now I'm on BunsenLabs.
I also play with (X-,L-)Ubuntu(-Gnome) and vanilla Debian every now and then, besides testing other distros.
104 • My First Linux (by Shrek on 2016-07-25 18:56:32 GMT from North America)
Was OpenSuSE 8.1. I purchased it commercially at Best Buy. Since I had no idea about linux, I purchased the "Professional" version for $89.00. Came with all the documentation.
For the most part I've used openSuSE since. Occasionally distro hopping but always returning to the distro I cut my teeth on.
105 • first distro (by zykoda on 2016-07-25 19:25:50 GMT from Europe)
A Finnish nephew meticulously copied 7 SUSE 8.0 pro CDs in 2002 during a family sojourn.
Installation on a pentium 120 Mhz with 8 GB disk space proved workable.
106 • First distro (by anticapitalista on 2016-07-25 19:51:15 GMT from Europe)
Slax was the first distro I tried back in 2003 and then a bit later in the same year MEPIS
107 • @61 First distro (by Raksi on 2016-07-25 19:56:19 GMT from Europe)
UHU LInux 2.0
108 • first distro (by benson on 2016-07-25 20:18:57 GMT from Europe)
I had Caldera at first, can't remember how I got it, maybe it was attached on a CD in some magazine...it was sometime around year 1999
109 • The Debian/Ubuntu/Mint family (by Aleksy on 2016-07-25 20:34:00 GMT from Europe)
Even though my first Linux distro was Ubuntu 5.10, I wouldn't poll as there is no such thing as "The Debian/Ubuntu/Mint family." Mint wasn't even born at that time!
110 • Re: all the distros I ever ran and whether I liked it or not. (by Unny likes corn on 2016-07-25 20:39:14 GMT from North America)
1. First I ran Mandrake 10 or something but didn't like it. I had Windows XP too and I didn't like it.
2. Then I ran suse 9.1 pro and liked it. (I think I ran it but I can't remember for sure, but if I did I'm sure I would have liked it)
3. Then I ran suse 9.2 and liked it.
4. Then I ran suse 9.3 and liked it.
5. Then I ran Debian 3.0 and didn't like it. Later I would realize I should have liked it.
6. Then I ran Fedora 4 and didn't like it.
7. Then I ran FreeBSD 6.1 and liked it.
8. Then I ran Slackware at the same time as FreeBSD and liked it. I was also running Suse 10.0 at this time and I liked it. That was the only time I liked 3 different operating systems on my computer at the same time.
9. Then I only ran opensuse 10.1 and I didn't like it.
10. Then I panicked and ran Ubuntu 6.06 and thought I didn't like it. I later realized that I was being protective of my favorite suse 10.0. I was just jealous that it worked faster.
11. Then I ran Kubuntu and I didn't like it.
12. Then I ran Vector and I liked it.
13. Then I ran Yoper and didn't like it.
14. Then I ran Solaris and didn't like it.
15. Then I ran dynebolic and didn't like it.
16. Then I ran Zenwalk and I liked it.
17. Then I ran Pardus and didn't like it.
18. Then I ran Fox Desktop and didn't like it.
19. Then I ran open suse 10.2 and liked it.
20. Then I ran Ubuntu 7.04 and I liked it now.
21. Then I ran Debian and liked it this time. But now I was tired of configuring my computer.
22. Then I ran Ubuntu 7.04 and liked it again.
23. Then I ran opensuse 10.3 and liked it. But Firefox opened 0.4 seconds slower than Ubuntu so I didn't like it as much.
24. Then I remembered Firefox didn't open as fast on all my suse installations so I retroactively didn't like them as much. Except for suse 9.3 which I still liked.
25. Then I remembered I ran PCLinuxOs between 19 and 20 and I liked it a little but I was still protecting opensuse in my mind.
26. Then I remembered I ran Damn Small, Puppy, Frugalware, Xandros, SymphonyOS, and some other distros and some I liked and some I didn't like, but I mostly didn't like them.
27. Then I realized I was spending way too much time on the computer so I didn't like Linux anymore.
28. Then I installed windows xp on a spare partition and I kind of liked it again.
29. Then I contracted a virus on widows xp the next day and didn't like it anymore either.
30. Then I realized I tried to run plan 9 somewhere in the teens, and thought I would have liked it except I could get it to run.
31. Then I realized I had wondered occasionally about running Gentoo but was glad I didn't because of some off-the-wall humour site that poked fun at Gentoo users because they thought they were the coolest.
32. Then I realized that at one time or another I had thought about installing Netbsd, openbsd, dragonfly bsd, centos, sidux and a bunch of other distros and retroactively hated myself for spending way too much time thinking about linux and bsd's.
33. Then I thought about getting rid of my computer.
34. Then I decided to just run Ubuntu because I liked it.
35. Then I stopped thinking about linux so much and started living more day to day.
36. Then I realized that I didn't want to be a geek anymore.
37. I didn't like the name Iceweasel so that's why I liked Ubuntu better than Debian. But I like Debian's logo better. A decision had to be made.
38. Now I like linux again.
39. I like traffic lights.
40. But only when they're green.
111 • First Distro (by Bill on 2016-07-25 21:10:32 GMT from North America)
1. Started with Ubuntu X
2. Then to Mint xfce
3. Debian 6 xfce
4. Debian 7 xfce
5. Debian 8 & Testing
6. Debian 8 xfce & OpenSuse Leap xfce
7. Debian 8 xfce & Fedora 24 xfce
8. Debian 8 & Manjaro xfce
9. Debian 8 & Antergos xfce
Debian 8 is my everyday distro.
112 • first linux (by ezsit on 2016-07-25 21:32:21 GMT from North America)
In the mid 1990's I ran OS/2 Warp, BeOS, and Windows NT 4. I purchased OpenSuSE 5.2 from CompUSA or ComputerLand and it was difficult or install and did not support my printer and scanner, not could I figure out how to get it to dial my modem (external 14.4K). Next came Caldera eDesktop in 2000 and it installed easily, got my onle, but still had trouble with my printer and scanner. In 2002 I tried RedHat 7.3 and it worked well, worked with the printer but not the scanner, and was easy to use. I stuck with RedHat until 2005 and tried Mandriva and then Ubuntu when 5.10 was released. Been using Ubuntu or Kubuntu since then. When KDE 4 came out I switched to Xubuntu and now use Lubuntu.
113 • First Linux Distro (by Iismeme on 2016-07-25 21:34:36 GMT from North America)
My first experience with linux was with Mandrake Linux circa 1999-2000 . somewhere in that time frame. I ordered a 4 cd set from walmart of all places. I fooled with it off and on for 2 or 3 years,still using "windoze" in the mean time. Mandrake was a pain but maybe not much more than "win" . I switched to Ubuntu Around the time of the fifth version,and stayed with it until about 10.10 .I just cant stand unity.Currently i use MX 15 and openSUSE Leap 42. I havent used any flavor of win for about 3 years.I love the possibilties of Linux. The diversity of choices is outstanding. The fact that Linux is almost entirely "FOSS" is amazing, as are the people behind the scenes. I think the developers and volunteers are what make Linux great. One thing that stands out to me after all this time is that Linux still isnt as user friendly as it could be. For the average Joe ...or Jane .
114 • First Linux Distro (by Glenn Condrey on 2016-07-25 21:40:57 GMT from North America)
I cut my teeth on Xandros 2.0 Later moved to Xandros 4.5 For ease of use, spit and polish, power and comfort, nothing to this day makes me feel as homey as Xandros did.
To this day I maintain a Xandros 4,5 distro with old Debian Etch packages...trying to keep it as modern as possible without breaking its file manager.
115 • Libranet (by Glenn Condrey on 2016-07-25 21:49:42 GMT from North America)
@33 Libranet died not because of Ubuntu...although when they eventually came along...it might have been the end for them.
Libranet died because its founder passed away, and his son did not carry on the business. I used it once upon a time myself...wasn't as easy to use as Lindows or Xandros.
116 • My first linux distro ever (by Frank Claesen on 2016-07-25 22:04:43 GMT from Europe)
... I got it from a friend. He sent me a big package of CDs.
It was a version of mandrake back in 1999.
I truly liked it but was still too much stuck on Windows back than.
117 • My first Linux and what I use now (by Ted H from Minnesota on 2016-07-25 23:28:38 GMT from North America)
My first linux was Ubuntu 8 as I recall. I liked the distro, but didn't like the brown color-scheme. I used Ubuntu until 10.04 and the version after that, though I jumped thru the hoops to move the window expand/close box buttons to the righthand side of the screen. (If I'd wanted a Mac, I would have bought a Mac.) Abandoned Ubuntu when they foistred Unity on us with it's unmovable app doc (they could have given us the option to put it at the bottom of the screen for maximum screen width).
I moved on to the original Solus (liked it's pin an app to the side panel feature).
I tried MInt, but prefer a drop-down menu approach, rather than spreading the menu all over the desktop.
I discovered Point Linux and love it! But I am using an older version of it (2.3.2) which still has the config editor in it, so that I can turn off the damn touchpad! They took config editor out of version 3.0.
118 • Reviews Slackware 14.2 (by tuxtest on 2016-07-25 23:48:30 GMT from North America)
Thank for your reviews of Slackware 14.2
I'am installed Slackware 14.2 64bit without any worries in VirtualBox. The setup process is fast around 10 minutes with KDE and XFCE4. After the first boot, I download gslack (I love it) and install it around 3 minutes, add after a 64 bit Salix source depot (completly compatible with slackware). You can find all you need solfware ex: libreoffice, VLC, flash etc I can't find on slackware official depot. After 30 minutes my fresh install Slackware run perfectly with all software I need.
OR I agree with @95 for people want run easily Slackware. Just be patient because the answer is SALIX (derivate) for you.
another big thank to take the time to talk of Slackware
119 • First Taste of Linux (by KovKid on 2016-07-26 00:11:41 GMT from Oceania)
Bought a set of 6 CD's of Red Hat 6 back in 2002 from a uni student who was flogging them for $20 after downloading them via dial-up - took him a whole weekend.!! But that was all we had then!!!!
Still have them!!!
Enjoyed the experience and later looked at Ubuntu, Debian and SUSE.
Started multi-booting and currently run Fedora, Manjaro, Debian, Sabayon, Mint and an upgraded Crunchbang, as well as a pile of VM's and Thumbdrives for for something different!!!
120 • Keep the reviews coming (by Dr. David Johnson on 2016-07-26 00:48:56 GMT from North America)
Just want to say thanks for the reviews, this site is on my weekly visit list, as I love to hear how others experience the various distros. Also the poll is cool. I started with slackware (on many floppies) then moved to red hat (before fedora) then debian but still like trying various specialty distros. Nowadays I am focused a lot on BSDs. Keep the news and reporting coming, it is appreciated!
121 • slackware (by biff baxter on 2016-07-26 00:55:07 GMT from North America)
1995 on floppy - 486 - good times :) - I then spent time on all the usual suspects - Red Hat, SuSE, etc. Spent a couple years reselling Vector Linux boxes on old hardware also.
122 • First Distro, or First Install (by Billy on 2016-07-26 01:16:17 GMT from North America)
First distro was an early CDROM virtual RedHat from a British Magazine DVD packet.
My first installation was Suse 4.x with the wonderful Michael Kofler book guiding me. "LINUX: Installation, Configuration, Use" still in print (German language version with 1430 pages on several distros and their use, 14th edition 2015 as "Das umfassende Handbuch" but there is an earlier Addison Wesley English version kofler.info)
Never looked back until I lost free internet connection from home (updates and upgrades more difficult)
123 • My first distro (by Paleoflatus on 2016-07-26 03:01:25 GMT from North America)
I'd been using OS/2 in the 1990s, but one of the thirty-odd floppies grew some mould and IBM wouldn't replace it, unless I bought another complete set at the full price. Win95 had just been released and I tried it for a month, but it was like a trip back into the dark ages, so I looked around and found Linux.
I'd written some simple navigation programmes in Basic, but needed more than the command prompt and was not smart enough to install the early releases of KDE. I learned that Gael Duval was building a distro called Mandrake, with KDE included, so gave it a try. After a few e-mails back and forth with Gael, who was very patient and helpful, I was up and running and I've never looked back.
A few years later, I switched to apt-based distros, but stayed with KDE, as GNOME always seemed to be a step behind and less configurable.
124 • My first Linux given to me to try (by Terry on 2016-07-26 04:15:59 GMT from North America)
I was given RedHat CD + Floppy Boot Disk by an IT com-worker. Never heard of Linux. He explained to me Linus to was the founder of it and that it was free to share and no license needed. At that time back in early 1990's linux was at it's early beginnings and all that was taught to me was all commands done on terminal command line. Very little could be done in GUI and if it could hardware compatibility was very hard to come by and you had to have lots of patience and hope a programmer would eventually find some software patches to get your computer hardware working. It was a struggle and a challenge to say the least but it was step in the right direction in getting away from Microsoft operating systems and their fees for their operating systems. I never did give up and I am glad I waited it out and still kept up with using Linux to this very day! :o)
125 • PointLinux (by Ali on 2016-07-26 05:16:02 GMT from Asia)
Thanks for reviewing PointLinux Ivan. I didn't aware of this amazing Debian derivative. Well configured pure Debian without any bloat. Awsome, awsome.
126 • first linux (by mes on 2016-07-26 05:45:10 GMT from Europe)
My first experience with linux was Opensuse in 2002. In 2005 I went to Ubuntu. Then in 2012 I started to use Mint in the early days of Cinnamon. But Cinnamon had to many minor child problems so I changed for Mint KDE. That is what I am using now.
127 • First Distribution (by Codalunga on 2016-07-26 07:00:45 GMT from Europe)
Pardus 2007! Man, I loved that distro!
128 • First Linux Distro (by Doug Laidlaw on 2016-07-26 11:13:34 GMT from Oceania)
I picked up a small saddle-bound intro book with RedHat and Mandrake 8 on a cover CD. KDE was at 2.2, if I remember. I fiddled with Debian (then a CLI job and VERY esoteric.) Out of RH and Mandrake, I found RH too inaccessible because it was locked down more. I picked Mandrake, then Mandriva, then Mageia from its initial alpha release. I keep trying others, and keep comoing back to Mageia.
129 • First intro to Linux and today... (by chdsl on 2016-07-26 11:42:50 GMT from Europe)
The first intro to Linux was in 2006 by Ubuntu 6.06 that came with Ubiquity. Stayed with Ubuntu since then, but also tried practically every live distro that happened, PC-BSD and even some Hakintosh. Today it is still Ubuntu, but without Unity and most of the bloat--Ubuntu base and Openbox.
Also interested in Devuan - Nelum-Dev1-XFCE-64-Testing and two different types of Android for PC distros - RemixOS and PhoenixOS.
All are booting in a Linux box (No Windows).
130 • First distro (by Garon on 2016-07-26 12:10:45 GMT from North America)
My first installed distro was Mepis. The first distro I ever played with was Knoppix.
131 • First Distro (by chazdg on 2016-07-26 13:29:40 GMT from North America)
Mandrake 9.1 way back when.
132 • First Distro (by Semiarticulate on 2016-07-26 13:47:44 GMT from North America)
Slackware 1.0. Oh, the mountain of floppies! It's amazing how simple it is to install a linux distro now. Raise your hand if you've ever over-driven a CRT trying to configure X properly.
@9 OpenBSD is rather heavy-handed about security, but I appreciate that. If I want user-friendly, I have more choices than I can enumerate. I am thankful for those few who choose a different path.
133 • first linux distro (by Fred on 2016-07-26 14:08:22 GMT from North America)
Red Hat 4.2 ? I think it was included in a Linux Journal magazine. Never went back to Windblows after that.
134 • First Linux Distro (by Craig on 2016-07-26 14:13:10 GMT from Oceania)
It was called Watchtower and I installed it on an Amiga2000 which had a huge 5Megs of Ram :P (I even needed to manually calculate disk geonmetry to set up the partitions). Once it was installed and I could log in, I had no idea what to do with it.
The first distro I really got into and started using properly was Slackware 3.5.
135 • My first distribution (by qweo on 2016-07-26 15:21:33 GMT from Europe)
Back in 2004 I bought a penetration testing-oriented Live CD, RTK (Russian Trinux Kit) version 0.4. If it weren't so much fun to play with, I'd hardly be reading DW today :-)
136 • Reminiscing (by Andy Mender on 2016-07-26 16:25:37 GMT from Europe)
My first GNU/Linux distribution was Bodhi Linux, then Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Rolled through over 20 distros since :).
137 • First Distro (by G. Savage on 2016-07-26 16:47:18 GMT from North America)
1 Slackware - given choice of CDs or a bizzillion spanned floppies - worst first distro for me to learn on at the time (1995).
2 Mepis - wonderful by comparison with above - but needed it to use MS Office files, so had to switch back to MSW (I'm one of those nuts who actually liked ME after it was debugged.)
3 Puppy/MacPup - resurrected countless old hardware as net access machines, but capable of so much more. Huge community support.
4 Mint - my daily driver at home and mobile netbook foe years now. Ditto on big community support. It like a football; simple., robust, and reliable.
I always pay for my distros once permanently installed, or on major up-version. I salute everyone who worked on these.
PS: Shout out Zorin, which is my No 2 choice after Mint.
138 • debian (by jose henriques on 2016-07-26 19:18:38 GMT from Europe)
for me is the best linux
139 • Libranet and Mandrake (by Matt on 2016-07-26 19:59:37 GMT from North America)
I started with easy to install versions back in 2001. Mandrake was available as an easy to use Red Hat based distribution, and Libranet was an easy to use Debian based version. Those were my first 2.
I tried a lot of others (including Slackware), but I came to love Debian and its variants. Now I run Debian stable on my desktop, and Mint on my laptop.
140 • first distro (by Philip Hladchenko on 2016-07-26 20:18:59 GMT from Europe)
First distro for me was xandros which was ideal for a newbie. I know the purists wont like it but i think its a shame xandros is no longer around.
141 • First distro (by Fernando Baptista on 2016-07-26 20:26:27 GMT from Europe)
First distro was Red Hat 5. Toyed with it for a while, however decided that Linux was not ready yet. Perhaps because i didn't try other distros at that time, which i should have.
Rediscovered Linux with Ubuntu 7.04 and gnome 2 was love at first sight. It still is.
Using Mint as my main work environment and Point Linux on other weaker computers.
142 • first distro (by slick on 2016-07-26 20:34:07 GMT from North America)
@140 Philip Hladchenko: Glad you mentioned xandros, used it for a short time while still running XP. Actually why I decided on leaving windows for Linux and Debian. Found the windows emulator worked quite well. Very disappointed too it was discontinued.
Devuan is now my choice for daily driver, good enough now to run with ascii (testing) and works flawlessly with fluxbox window manager.
Just say no to systemd(eath)!
143 • my linux roots (by tinkerer on 2016-07-26 21:10:43 GMT from North America)
I tried Red Hat maybe 6ish from Red Hat book. Never got it going, too hard to configure X-windows back then. I "bought" a copy of Mandrake on Ebay as I had dial-up internet. I actually used it because it worked "out of the box". I stumbled along with help from Mepis, PC-LOS, Vector, Zenwalk and finally spent quite a bit of time with Puppy starting at version 1.9. It wasn't until Ubuntu 8.04 (had installed 6.04) that I finally was converted.
144 • Xandros (by Dave Postles on 2016-07-26 21:27:32 GMT from Europe)
Xandros was the default installation on the eeePC 7" netbook.
145 • First Distribution (by Will Senn on 2016-07-26 23:23:30 GMT from North America)
Ha. My first linux experience was downloading 11 floppies comprising Slackware with the 0.9 kernel. I downloaded each image using ftp to get it to the university's vms machine and kermit to get it to my dec rainbow, circa 1991?
146 • First Linux Distribution (by Richard Sevenich on 2016-07-27 00:01:45 GMT from North America)
My first Linux distribution was from Linux System Labs in 1994. The distribution was provided via MANY 3.5" floppies. Before that I used DR DOS and CPM. Never ventured into Microsoft Windows.
147 • First Linux distribution (by Yves Lortie on 2016-07-27 00:04:39 GMT from North America)
My first distribution was by Red Hat, it was about 15 years ago. It was not easy and I had to use the Command line often. Now, I am a little bit lazier and a little bit older (87 years old), so I have switched to LinuxMint. I just love LinuxMint.
148 • First distro: Conectiva Linux (by Ricardo on 2016-07-27 03:07:36 GMT from South America)
I don't think anyone is going to read this after 147 comments, but here I go :)
My first distro was Conectiva Linux 3.0 that I got in a magazine (Users). This was a Brazillian RedHat clone translated to portuguese and spanish. It would later merge with Mandrake forming Mandriva (so that's where the name came from!).
It didn't last much in my PC, another issue of this magazine came with TurboLinux 5.0 (another RH clone, this time from Japan) so I installed it :)
Then said magazine brought Slackware 7.1, and that was the first distro I started using seriously (Xfree86 working, finally!) so I consider it my first love :)
149 • my first experience with Linux (by denflen on 2016-07-27 03:45:14 GMT from North America)
Actually, my first experience with Linux was kinda by accident. I think it was about 15 years ago. I had finally got enough nerve to try to start building my own computer. I was until then using Windows ME.I ordered all the parts to build the computer online, and the motherboard I chose was an ABIT. (K7?). Anyway there was a CD included that had this weird thing called Gentus Linux included in the box. I installed it, but never got the internet to work. So that was the end of that. But I was intrigued by the whole experience, and probably soon after, I downloaded a copy of Mandrake Linux, and, magically, I got everything to work! I have been using a Linux Distro ever since.
150 • Libranet (by Tim on 2016-07-27 03:58:15 GMT from North America)
I used Libranet for a bit but I first tried Debian (2003?). I thought the Libranet kernel tool was great. Too bad it disappeared. I run Mint Mate now.
151 • @95 and 118 - Slackel as well as Salix (by Hoos on 2016-07-27 04:03:59 GMT from Asia)
Slackel is another user-friendly Slackware-based distro and I think it is in fact a Salix derivative.
You get GUI package tools like Gslapt and Sourcery pre-installed, you have the Salix repos, plus you also have the Slackware Current repositories set up, so the distro is a rolling release.
152 • Red Hat 6 (by slu on 2016-07-27 04:37:22 GMT from North America)
Started with Red Hat 6 but found myself in dependency hell too many times. I switched to Knoppix and never looked back. Use Mint xfce today.
153 • First distro (by fchamp on 2016-07-27 04:42:40 GMT from Europe)
I got my first distro (SoftLanding System with kernel 0.99pl6) on 40 Floppy discs 525" 1.2MB each via snailmail from a friendly Fidonet sysop.
I did install it on a 386sx/25MHz with 8MB ram and 40 +20 MB HDs
154 • First Distro (by kjh on 2016-07-27 11:03:02 GMT from North America)
Yggdrasil ( 1995 ) -> RedHat -> Slackware -> OpenSuse -> RedHat -> Slackware
All I run on my personal Laptops is Slackware.
Everything just works in Slackware and the Packages are always relatively up-to-date.
We use CentOS 6.x at work but I am evaluating Slackware as a replacement in order to avoid systemd in CentOS 7.x
155 • Slackware (by John Wilson on 2016-07-27 11:11:54 GMT from Europe)
I love Slackware. It was my first foray in to the "Land of Linux Loveliness". It is perhaps in need of a better package management system - however, what you get with a basic setup is considerably better than some of the bloated Ubuntu clones out there.
The fact that you have to wait an hour or so for Chromium to compile from source is perhaps painful for some... compiling Wine at the same time will make the masochist in you sing for joy. However, with a Slackware system you get something very solid. Slackware is Linux for the cognoscenti, those who want a solid and fast system that epitomises polish and function.
I've tried many many distros and they often infuriate me with bizarre software patches and sneaky configuration files that mysteriously appear and mung up networking. Cutting edge distros may be wondrous and exciting - until a bug destroys something... Slackware does what you ask it to. There are no nasty surprises and I prefer it that way. Slackware is Linux's jewel in the crown.
"Once you try 'Slack' - you never go back!"
156 • Slackware not being up-to-date: not true (by Anonymous on 2016-07-27 13:34:42 GMT from South America)
oswatershed.org is now offline, but when it was up, it taught me that Slackware is not that "stuck" distro, filled with old versions of packages. Rather, it has followed consistently the upstream versions, especially considering -current.
Of course the rolling releases like Arch, Gentoo are better in this aspect. Perhaps in expense of some degree of stability.
One may check this information in pages like https://web.archive.org/web/20150611043818/http://oswatershed.org/. It's a pity that oswatershed.org is not available anymore.
157 • My First Linux (by Charles Marslett on 2016-07-27 13:42:21 GMT from North America)
Well, I actually started with Linux from Usenet in the beginning of time. But my first "real" distribution was Ubuntu because it worked out of the box on my kinky Dell workstation - a Precision 470. None of the others did.
It kept changing stuff around, irritating my need for "stability". So I tried everyone else, Suse, Oracle Enterprise Linux (Red Hat derivative), Puppy (Slackware derived, I think) and several source distributions (Compute, T2 and Gentoo).
I have now settled on Gentoo (with Puppy on the back burner as an alternative). And I have started working with Linux From Scratch.
I do a lot of hacking/development, and all the development tool chains (for Android/ChromiumOS, Mozilla, UEFI, etc.) do not seem to coexist well on OSes other than Gentoo or LFS.
158 • Initial linux install (by =Bill on 2016-07-27 15:25:53 GMT from North America)
Wow, Mandrake 8.1 I picked it up just before a vacation and read all the info on it on our trip. by the time we were home I was ready to install, I thought. After a few installs and many false starts I finally saw what it was all about, and made my first successful modification, then learned apt-get, that was it, I was hooked. I still have that computer with Debian on it right now, I still have the Mandy 8.1 that I picked up at CompUSA way back in 1999 or 2000 can't remember when. DSL, Morphix, Knoppix, and a few more stops along the way. Now with Android, iOS, Ubuntu and some BSD, only 2 machines remain with Microsoft ruling their fate, While outside contacts require MS there will always be at least one around the house, just don't expect it to be my primary machine.
159 • First disro of many distros (by Jordan on 2016-07-27 16:31:09 GMT from North America)
RedHat 5.2 felt like it was rescuing me from Windows 95. But I couldn't stand the fonts and the struggle to get my keyboard to work, etc.
Hopped around: Yoper caught my eye and it was great, but then the reason for trying other distros changed. No longer because something wasn't working or was hard to set up, now it was about seeing more out there and just wanting to try them.
I got spare hard drives for several. Suse. Mandrake. PCLinuxOS.
I still do the same thing, but do stay on one distro a lot longer than I did in those early days.
160 • Slackware review (by ken on 2016-07-27 16:50:28 GMT from Africa)
From the comments above I notice that commentators are not attacking Slackware and Slackware lovers do dot seem bothered much by what is said about their distro unlike what happens when something like Linux Mint is reviewed. I am writing this on Slackware64 14.2 XFCE and I agree with the review 99.9%, I only have a different feeling from Jesse's, Slackware is a place I like like to stay. It makes me enjoy using my computer.
161 • First linux distro (by Shawn Delysse on 2016-07-27 17:29:30 GMT from North America)
Peanut Linux; it was a UMSDOS-based distro that ran inside my W98SE partition, had KDE 1.x.
162 • Salix (by linuxuser on 2016-07-27 18:05:10 GMT from Europe)
Thank you Jesse for the nice review of Slackware.
I think Salix is a fine Slackware based distro for the desktop. Slackware compatible, user friendly, dependency resolution, grafical configuration tools, multimedia codecs with one click and with the stability of Slackware. Certainly there are other Slackware based distros for the desktop, Vector, Zenwalk and more... So if one wants a more user friendly Slackware there are many choices.
163 • Linux OS's (by A.G.Gerhard on 2016-07-27 18:13:03 GMT from North America)
First Linux I tried was Mandrake 7.2 and I was hooked. I had as many as three different Linux systems plus a Windows system at one time; now just Win10 and PCLinuxOS. Have tried out Ubuntu, Mint, Zenwalk, Slackware, Puppy. Ran Mepis while it existed and wound up with PCLinuxOS after that.
164 • !st Distro Slack Dnld Slackware and the world (by combatbob on 2016-07-27 19:45:03 GMT from North America)
I went to Slackware because it wasnt being "adapted" to daily life. It was a goto for disciplines of Hallowed halls. It wasn't for business or consumer. Did not make it easier. I had to read 50% of the Docs, Man, and how to, and distor pages. and,..... well compiled my own Kernel in '99.
165 • First Linux distro (by BlueJayofEvil on 2016-07-27 21:33:55 GMT from North America)
My first distro was Freespire back around 2005/2006. It's been very impressive how far the distro scene (and FLOSS in general) has come in the past 10 years.
166 • First Linux distro (by argent on 2016-07-27 22:09:05 GMT from North America)
Would like to thank DW for one of the most interesting postings of readers and users of the Opinion Poll.
Interesting how diverse the comments are regarding their path with Linux, regardless the vast majority departed Windows doing so. Personally have not used Windows since departing to Debian in 6 years, not even once. Interesting that Linux was complete enough for myself not to rely on dual booting Windows, then again not a gamer.
So, all those obsolete Window disk make nice coasters for the coffee table.
For most posters the comments also reflected a migration of many different distributions, I too found that Devuan has become a rock solid stable distribution, reminds me so much of Debian before systemd. Lightning fast, responsive with a small memory footprint.
Thanks again to DW, keep up the great work!
167 • First Linux OS (by mikef90000 on 2016-07-27 22:17:19 GMT from North America)
- c.1996 got an InfoMagic CD set at Computer Faire complete with Slackware, SLS, Debian 0.91. IIRC installation went OK but peripheral support was minimal and XFree86 config defined 'maddening'.
- in the meantime, lived with OS/2, NT4, then Win2K arrived - the best MS o/s!
- revisited Linux about Ubuntu 8.04 release with great ubiquity installer. Gparted was proven enough to brave repartitioning my production Windows system.
- discovered Virtualbox about 2009, now my remaining Windows apps run reliably in a VM.
168 • 1st distribution (by sgbiss on 2016-07-27 23:35:51 GMT from North America)
in 1996 or 1997 I broke down and bought my first computer, even though it would not pay for itself, a used
Windows 95 machine. I didn't like the Microsoft philosophy. I saw linux in a store, didn't know what it was, so asked my brother, who is a programmer, he said it was a free operating system. So i bought slackware that came with a book. Later tried Caldera, then a friend recommended a Debian dist in the form of Librenet. I still have Debian distro's current is Solydxk.
169 • first Linux distribution? (by vman on 2016-07-28 02:10:26 GMT from North America)
Caldera 2.4 I believe it was :-)
Bought it at BestBuy
Then I dove into Redhat, and further into Fedora when that came around.
170 • First Linux Distro (by ladislav on 2016-07-28 02:39:56 GMT from Asia)
It was a very interesting comments section this week. I find it fascinating that, among the many DistroWatch readers, there are some who have used Linux kernel 0.x, but are still reading DistroWatch some 20 years later!
At the same time, there are those whose first Linux experience was with the supposedly "beginner-friendly" distros, like Xandros or Lindows. Despite their best efforts, these companies did not survive, while the geekier ones, like Slackware, are still going strong today!
It's worth remembering that some companies, like Corel, got into Linux because they believed there was plenty of potential (and money) in it. Then there were some that thought they'd do well with Linux, e.g. Caldera or Red Hat. Caldera was a total disaster, but Red Hat has turned out to become the biggest and most profitable Linux company in the world.
So on one hand we have lots of failed attempts (Caldera, Xandros, Lindows) and a big success story - Red Hat. Where does Slackware fit in? It remained a small business throughout the 20+ years of its existence, relying more on community enthusiasm than sysadmin business to survive and prosper.
As such, I truly believe that Slackware is the greatest Linux distribution on earth! Not because it doesn't used systemd and not because it has stuck to UNIX roots, but because Patrick Volkerding is still around and is still building a great Linux distro some 25 years after he got into the business.
There are many many (unknown) people who created a Linux distro and gave up a year or two later. But there aren't many who crated a Linux distro 25 years ago and are still maintaining one today!
171 • What was your first Linux distribution? (by santo on 2016-07-28 10:46:46 GMT from Asia)
Got my first Linux distro with my first ever computer...it was Mandrake9.2 dual boot with Wind*
Learned to install it the first time with a friend, then I always installed by myself all other extra distros if I had space in my system...I tried ( mostly Slackware and Fedora and Ubuntu...) .....Slackware was difficult, but I learned something while it was on my system...Fedora and Ubuntu never really liked them...
At that time did not have a Internet connection but manage to have my basic work done...as soon as I got Internet I joined the a.o.l.m newsgroup... still remember the first help I got from Aragorn Bittwister David H mostly... many other were threre, not so friendly, but helpful PTB was one of them... still stick around now that I am on Mandriva 5 mostly as lurker as I do not need anymore that type of help...even though with this /boot/uefi stuff I am expecting some trouble with my system and Mageia6...
I am still happy when I say I use Linux...
172 • simple? (by greg on 2016-07-28 13:46:15 GMT from Europe)
so if a customer wasn't a car that is simple to use they would direct him to spare parts shop where they can assemble their own car. ofcourse they are expected to know what they want. how is that simple?
also productivity make more in less steps. if you can install in 4 steps that is a more productive installer than the one that requires 25 easy steps.
173 • 172 • simple? (for greg from Europe) (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2016-07-28 16:32:39 GMT from North America)
Sometimes 'simple' is for the "developer" or "packager", not the user, but easier is not always better.
174 • first linux version (by Dave Oliphant on 2016-07-28 18:42:02 GMT from North America)
circa about 1993; download each floppy img over a 2400 baud modem; I would start the download before going to work and have this img available when I got home. Then download a 3-4 more each evening. Then write each img file to the individual floppies. As I remember there was about 68 or so in my collection. I've never had so much fun in my life as this time installing the OS and all applications. Wonderful.
175 • My first Linux Distribution (by Bob Collins on 2016-07-28 20:56:59 GMT from North America)
I did not begin my Linux journey with the "old and reliable Slackware."
I began my journey with the new and wonderful Slackware distribution.
I downloaded 1.44 MB floppy images from Walnut Creek CDROM (ftp.cdrom.com) using a 14.4 kbps modem CSLIP Internet connection.
My first Linux kernel was 0.99pl15.
I was an over-the-top exciting experience!
176 • My First Linux (by Asoka on 2016-07-28 23:31:23 GMT from Asia)
It was Demo Linux and later Knoppix 3.4.
Then Redhat 6.
Now light weight Peppermint
In between over 300 (for testing only) Linux distributions!
I love Knoppix and subscribe to Linux Magazine.
There are two Linux distributions with each copy of the magazine with geeks' help (even for Raspberry Pie).
Distrowatch and Softpedia Linux sites are my favorite sites.
For downloads usually torrent
177 • First Linux (by ZorbatheGeek on 2016-07-29 01:07:28 GMT from North America)
Caldera OpenLinux 1.3, circa 1998 or 99. Then a few years with Red Hat and Suse. Ubuntu LTS since Hardy.
Not sure I see the point of Point Linux. Why not just start with the Debian net install and add Mate? But then I'm not sure I see the point of the vast majority of Linux distros.
178 • First Linux Distros (by Paul K. on 2016-07-29 01:47:20 GMT from North America)
First distro SLS (Soft Landing Systems) Linux. There were 40 3.5 inch floppies with the labeling that soon be in Slackware. Slackware was the second Linux. It came on 60 3.5 in floppies. After Slackware came Libranet Linux and SuSE and a return to Slackware for an extended period of time. I do not use Slackware today but I have a special fondness for it. It will always be the Linux to me.
179 • How I got my first Linux distro. (by Douglas C Fawkes on 2016-07-29 08:37:33 GMT from North America)
I first got Linux in the Asus EeePc. It was a wonderful experience.
Later on I went through the pains of Windows 8, 8.1 and 10.
I then decided to switch to Linux again.
I then downloaded and used Linux Mint versions17.2, 17.3 and 18
Easy and beautiful to use.
For my fun and fixing computer times, I use Puppy Linux in the
Slacko and Tahr versions.
As you can see, I am an exclusive Linux user.
180 • @56, re:-current (by urban on 2016-07-29 14:29:28 GMT from North America)
@56: Slackware-current is not 14.1. It's not 14.2, either. It's -current. Pulse was never in 14.1.
source: using Slackware daily since 1994.
181 • First Linux Distro Plus (by Ron on 2016-07-29 18:55:21 GMT from North America)
My first Linux distro was SUSE 6.0, (6.4?,) been awhile. Then I jumped to Red Hat, 4 I believe. Both where on Floppies. Then I tried SUSE 7.0 retail box. All of them where great but at that time most of us where stuck with win modems and dial up for the most part. That was not always easy to get working or working well.
I then switched to Mandrake and was hopeful when Connectiva and Mandrake merged, Mandriva was born. But I was soon disappointed for a few reasons, and I was never a fan of PClinuxOS (I have nothing but respect for PClinuxOS, its devs and users, it is just not for me) so I moved to Ubuntu. Then after they started some questionable practices I dropped it and went to Debian. I also like Fedora as well. So currently I am using Linuxmint but I jump around every couple of years between Linuxmint, Debian and Fedora. Sometimes I will get in the mood to try OpenSUSE, nice OS. I just love Linux in general.
I have also used many other distros. Most are dead and gone, some are still around. I love Gentoo, Arch and Slackware as well as LFS.
Long Live Linux!
182 • 1st distro (by Jimmyjazz951 on 2016-07-29 22:09:31 GMT from North America)
My first attempt was Mandriva. I played with it a bit as a Windows alternative but it didn't stick. It wasn't until a few years later that I gave linux a second look with Ubuntu that I made the switch.
183 • Xaandros (by woodsmoke on 2016-07-30 04:20:04 GMT from North America)
My boy, an astronomer, rolled his own Linux back 12 years or so ago and kept telling me that I had to try Linux, but I needed to be able to do heavy duty work with and office suite and couldn't get a Linux to be sufficiently stable.
Then I discovered Xandros.
My boy ragged on me for a couple of years for using a commercial distribution but, I had to make money with the thing.
But, I learned a LOT of the basics, such as the file structure, sudo ap-get, yada yada
And.... I took to the old XMMS because it was just......COOL! :)
Then the developer walked off and left it hand and I installed a lot of distros and built a lot of computers and gave them away to needy folk, mainly with OpenSuse and then discovered Ubuntu.....and quickly discovered Kubuntu
And the whole ....wonderful..... gestalt of Compiz Fusion!! :)
and that has been it ..
But....I really did love XMMS............I learned a LOT, I mean a LOT from configuring that simple little app.
note 01: I see that Slackware is providing XMMS as a default. :)
note 02: I noticed a few others used Xandros and Glen Condry's comment about Horney... I still have an ancient HP Pavillion with Xandros on it! :)
184 • My first - remember Lindows and gOS? (by KansasNoob on 2016-07-30 07:08:20 GMT from North America)
My actual "first" was Lindows but I spent almost no time playing with it, so it was more like window shopping (no pun intended) than actually "using" an OS.
Then several years later a friend asked if I'd look at her non-working PC which was a Walmart Everex with gOS installed. It just had a bad power supply but when I got it going she began asking me questions about the OS that I couldn't answer.
After some trial and error I replaced gOS with Ubuntu running the GNOME DE which I easily customized to suit her needs. She began telling others at the senior center and I was soon swamped with non-working Everex PC's.
Since then it's been Ubuntu all the way with whichever DE suits the users needs and desires. I personally prefer GNOME Shell but I've found the flashback sessions to offer a good alternative for those who prefer the old desktop paradigm.
185 • First distro (by Coolflame on 2016-07-30 16:02:55 GMT from Asia)
I was trying to save data from error prone windows while i give knoppix/PCLOS a try (a disc found in Linux Pilot magazine), it ended up saving me from Windows.
186 • First Linux distribution (by Duncan MacGregor on 2016-07-30 20:25:57 GMT from North America)
My first Linux distribution was Mandrake which came with the magazine Maximum Linux. I got that Linux running, and thoroughly enjoyed the magazine, which I read as long as it lasted.
Linux Magazines are most helpful.
It was fun to try other distributions, remembering Damn Small Linux in particular.
Ubuntu never worked with Openchrome video but Mandrake always did.
The full Mandrake/Mandriva/Mageia, etc. always worked just fine, even on Netbooks, so I never understood the appeal of 'cut-down' distributions for smaller systems.
187 • First Linux distro (by argent on 2016-07-30 21:40:55 GMT from North America)
Have moved from Debian for the reasons of systemd(eath) to Devuan, very happy and content with this decision. Anyone looking for a minimal image can try looking here...
Run multiple boots and personally use Refracta xfce, Star i3, Zephyr fluxbox and Devuan own beta release...
Recently discovered VOID Linux and very impressed with this distribution. Worth while to take a test drive...
188 • My first distro was Yggdrasil (by Jerry on 2016-07-31 02:10:52 GMT from North America)
My first distro was Yggdrasil, back around 1995
189 • My First Linux distro (by Juan on 2016-07-31 05:22:04 GMT from North America)
My first Linux distro was SlackWare 7.1 which I got in early 2001 from the old library along with an old IBM PC AT server with dual 286 cpu's, 16MB of RAM, 2.1GB HDD, 10Mbit Ethernet, 28.8K modem, vga display with OS/2 Warp 3 (which was an upgrade done by the prior owner, it had OS/2 1.x originally). The IBM box was 16bit and linux wouldn't run on it. I got myself a laptop from a (now extint) local computer maker. The laptop had a heavily modded systemboard with 2 pentium 4m ht cpu's, 64MB of RAM (which I upgraded to 512MB), a 15GB HDD (which I moved to the CD-ROM bay after buying a 40GB HDD, a HDD/CD caddy and a external CD caddy), a mini-pci slot (In which I later fitted an intel 3495abg card in there), 10/100Mbit ethernet, 56k modem with a developer release of Rapsody (early OSX). I installed Slackware to the 15GB HDD as soon as I had the 40GB one and the caddy fitted properly, that way I had Rapsody in the new HDD and slackware installed on the older one. It worked and configuring X with the manual was relativelly straightforward. Those 2 boxes worked for several years until I replaced them with newer systems (A Dell fx160 and a Gateway NV55S02).
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LG3D LiveCD was a bootable Linux CD incorporating Project Looking Glass, a Java-based technology that attempts to bring a richer user experience to the desktop and applications via 3D windowing and visualisation capabilities. An open source development project evolved from Sun Microsystems' Advanced Development division, the LG3D live CD was based on SLAX, but it includes extra applications and technologies, such as Firefox and Gaim, working NVIDIA graphics driver, and copy2ram support. It was also possible to run it from a 256MB flash memory device.