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Linux first timer tales! What got you into trying linux?


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26 replies to this topic

#1 MadmanRB

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 01:03 PM

I figured its been a while since I made my own topic here, so to be interesting I think we should all share our own linux fist experiences to show off how far we have come, or to show off how much we need to still learn.

This is targeted at mainly old linux users like myself but newcomers are welcome too.

This is not a "what distro to use" topic nor a tutorial on how to use your linux but how we have come from either a Mac or windows environment (or maybe even Amiga) to see what linux brings to us.

 

I covered my experience in this old topic i made:

 

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/603928/my-10th-anniversary-as-a-linux-user-part-1-escape-from-windows-xp/

 

But what about you?


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#2 rp88

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 01:21 PM

Why did I try linux? It was early 2016 and I'd had enough of microsoft trying to ram GWX down my throat, then they went and released a security update to internet explorer which contained the adverts for windows 10 and the GWX virus within it in such a way that there was no way to keep IE secure from other people's malware without being hit by microsoft's malware. I decided at that moment that linux, which I had heard about and pondered about before then, was something I needed to try for myself so I could be ready to escape whatever microsoft unleashed next. I still use windows 8.1 sometimes and haven't gone over to purely using linux just yet, but I know I'll never install a new windows OS onto anything ever.
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#3 Gary R

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 05:45 PM

My first intro to Linux was Puppy, which I used to recover files from an unbootable Windows machine. I chose it because it's a small download, and at the time I had a relatively slow connection.

 

I later wrote a tutorial on what I did, so that others in the same predicament could do as I did ... https://www.malwareremoval.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=618146#p618146

 

As far as a more "permanent" use of Linux goes, like rp88, I didn't like the direction M$ were going with W10. To me it was far too invasive, and was removing too much control from the hands of the people who were using it.

 

I own my machine, not M$, and I will decide what goes on it, and when, and I'll be damned if anyone is going to data mine me either.

 

So I tried out various distros, and eventually settled on Mint Cinammon, which is now the sole OS on my old W7 machine.

 

My W8.1 machine I keep for my "malware removal" interests, but I also run Mint on it, via a VM, which I also use as a test bed for trying out any other distros that I might be interested in.



#4 The-Toolman

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 06:01 PM

I decided to give Linux a look at prior to the EOL of Windows XP and never really had any complaints with Microsoft as my Windows OSs always worked very well.

 

I did my research and learned what I could about the different Linux distros and hardware which worked best with Linux and made my decision and installed Debian Wheezy 7.xx something or other on a desktop that wasn't being used.

 

What an experience I discovered and how lost I was :scratchhead: although quickly found how easy Linux was to navigate and was on my way to the new world of Linux.

 

I was amazed at how Debian worked and did what I was so used to using Windows for so with more searching I then decided to give Ubuntu 14.04 a test drive and I was hooked.

 

Stayed with Ubuntu 14.04 until the release of Ubuntu 16.04 and I didn't care for it so started distro hopping Lubuntu, Linux Mint, Puppy Linux, Antix, Manjaro, Peppermint and are still using some of them.

 

Been a happy Linux user since early 2014 and have my favorite Linux distros and do also still run some Windows OSs for Microsoft Flight Simulator X as Linux Flight Simulator just isn't the same.

 

Linux does what I need and I like it so with Linux is where I will stay. :thumbup2:


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#5 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 07:04 PM

Like Gary, my first experience with Linux was with Puppy - which still lives on my desk as a servicing tool - and then I decided to try dual-booting with Mint. This was made easier for me because I run a desktop which had an empty drive bay and I happened to have a spare 500GB drive out of a scrapped computer. So the hardware cost me a few minutes to fit and that was all, now that's cheap !

 

There were a few false steps along the way and one medium sized near disaster - I missed setting one of the other drives to 'do not format' while installing. Bang went nearly 500GB of data !  Thank God for backups !

 

Then a member of a computing group I teach at turned up with a small and elderly laptop struggling to run Win 10 and, with her permission, I converted it to Mint 18 so I had to get greater familiarity with it.

 

I am currently dual booting with Win 7 and Mint 18.2. There are things I need to do which at the moment I certainly find more effective using Windows based software but that is partly familiarity. There are one or two things I have found I can do easier in Mint, so it is swings and roundabouts.

 

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#6 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 07:28 PM

Well, now.....

 

Like The-Toolman, I decided to give Linux a whirl at EOL for XP. I'd given MyCrudSoft well over 20 years (used everything from Windows 3.1 onwards), and figured I wasn't shelling out any more of my hard-earnt.

 

I Googled 'Free operating systems'.....and was absolutely astounded at what came up. I chose Ubuntu as my first, since everybody recommended it. 'Trusty Tahr' (14.04 LTS) had just been released, so I went with that.

 

Did my fair share of distro hopping (mostly 'buntu-based, since they just seemed to work better).....then; disaster struck.Over a period of 2-3 months, every distro I was running started freezing-up at random. I later found out Canonical had only decided to drop support for my graphics chip, since they tend to 'customize' their kernels, and re-compile according to what they feel should be included. And since they were trying to imitate Windows (newest all the time).....

 

So I looked round again for summat more lightweight, and, having been given a recommendation for the then recently-released Puppy Tahrpup 6.0, decided to give it a tryout. A-maz-ing. Ran like greased lightning, and as smooth as so much oiled silk. The graphics problems cleared up as though a switch had been thrown.....and, wonder of wonders, it even worked perfectly with the 'awkward' Intel 'Extreme' graphics chip in the old Dell lappie. Pup uses the bog-standard releases, of course, straight from kernel.org, the 'home' of the Linux kernel.

 

That was it; I was hooked.....and I've not looked back since. I still get very occasional graphical 'freezes', but I have a feeling the caps are drying out on the old MSI motherboard in the big Compaq (despite being Rubycons and Nichicons all the way through, and looking perfectly OK.) They are nearly 13 yrs old, after all, so I'll probably be looking at a 'new' build, sometime in the next year or two.

 

But I'm well chuffed wi' Pup :thumbup2:  .....and recommend her everywhere I can. The ease of 'backing-up' is, of course, one of the best bits.....a simple copy'n'paste job.

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 11 December 2017 - 01:34 PM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

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#7 synergy513

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 10:46 PM

After witnessing MS tactics with GWX, and seeing innocent users getting their OSs compromised by their telecom activities over and over, turning their home PCs into bricks. then knowing that what is really in the balance is money,  so, what was holding me back was the common applications that seemed to be a never ending trail back to MS offerings. I figured, that i would use mint 18 mate with the common home user in mind and make a judgment as to just how applicable it could be as a home OS for the masses. So, the solutions kept manifesting. Stuck with a windows application? no problem,,dual boot or wine. Feel the need to skype?,Linux offers that as well. Browsing and e-mail? covered.  Needing  a MS word document editing feature? Libre office.. Feeling sporty and want to Game?...check out the gratis Steam offerings.  Need to rescue data from  a breached hard drive?  . sweet deal with Linux.  Etc Etc.


Edited by synergy513, 10 December 2017 - 11:27 PM.

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#8 Replicator

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 10:28 AM

Not so long ago, I too needed a bootable usb to recover a friends heavily infected Win machine, and this was my first intro to Linux.

Once i discovered that everything in Linux is represented by a file or a folder, learnt my way around the directories, discovered what a repository was etc etc, I enjoyed geeking with it so much, I was hooked.

These days I run a dedicated box with Kali Linux as it has most of the networking tools i need, pre-loaded.

I still utilize my Win10 machine daily, from which im currently having a play with Mint 18.3 Sarah installed within my virtual-box along with a few others!

 

The quieter you become, the more you are likely to hear :thumbup2:


Edited by Replicator, 11 December 2017 - 10:29 AM.


#9 mremski

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 12:53 PM

It all started with a 386sx and some Slackware CDs.  Way back when you need a specific version of a specific model of a Soundblaster card if you wanted to use a CD-ROM in the system and floppy disks were still useful.  At that point in time almost all distributions were a.out not ELF format, Red Hat was a pretty reliable distro.  Suffered through an a.out to ELF transition, then FreeBSD came out.  Growing up I had access to a real Unix system (via 300baud dialup on a TI thermal terminal), so I started poking around with that.  Never looked back.  Yes, that means my home machine has been non-MS for probably 20 years now.  Before Broadband at the house it was doing on-demand dialup for my machine and my wife's (various Macs and Windows because of the programs she needs).  Work for the most part has been various forms of *nix (Solaris, SunOS, Digital Unix, Linux) for quite a long time, so having something that looked and felt the same to me at home was important.  It also showed the beauty of it:  I've been using WindowMaker as my X-window manager for as long as I can remember, I've built from source for a bunch of different machines (Solaris, etc) so I could "have things my way".

 

I realize it's not quite as exciting as others, but there it is.


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#10 rp88

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 04:37 PM

Post #7, once you've tried making documents with Lbre office you might then venture into Latex for document preparation (that said LateX is available for windows and mac too). With something like TexMaker you can make far better more professional looking documents that any form of ms,libre or open office package ever can. But yes, libre office does cross compatibility with ms office ALMOST perfectly.
Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#11 synergy513

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 07:22 PM

Duly noted, i have a peer right now, needing power point, showed them the joys of Impress. i will definitely make note of the tried and true feature rich document editing add-ons.


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#12 slhalper

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 10:19 PM

Back in 2001, I became more interested in the topic of free operating systems.  Already being familiar with Unix (Solaris), I decided to start exploring options in Linux.  The first distro I started using was Mandrake 8.0 "traktopel".  I clearly remember the unlimited options in customizing the KDE desktop at the time.  To this day, it was one of my favorite desktop setups.

 

I've always had to use various Windows versions for work, but personally I've always used Linux ever since.  Since 2001, I've tried as many Linux distributions as possible, but I've currently settled in with Arch.  When recommending setups to friends and colleagues, I'm currently suggesting Linux Mint in the Cinnamon flavor.  It's highly polished out of the box and maintains a very familiar feel for Windows users...



#13 pcpunk

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 02:18 PM

Great Thread MadmanRB!  I'll be short for now.  I was gifted an old HP nx7400 running Windows XP, by a friend to stay connected with my email to converse with doctors etc.  That kept getting infected and I lost the install at one point, so my friend reinstalled Windows XP, but it was 32bit and I noticed the speed difference right away.  At Bleepingcomputer, they helped me with malware removal, and in turn some of the Members and Advisors here told me about Linux, and that I would need to get off of XP and move to something else.  Well, I was broke due to health issues, so I went ahead with the help from all the folks here to install Linux, cat1092 in particular was helping me along the way quit a bit.  I got it dual booting, but one day made a mistake and lost XP.  I thought, who cares at the this point, I will just install Linux only and not worry about XP, which I really liked.  The rest is history...


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#14 NickAu

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 02:31 AM

I started with Ubuntu, My PC died and a friend offered to give me one for free with Ubuntu on it, He showed me the basics, How to surf the net, do emails that sort of thing. I took it home plugged it in turned it on and everything worked, Even my Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse and Keyboard, sure it wasnt easy at first but now I cant imagine the sheer mind numbing horror of having to use Windows as a daily driver. Just thinking of updating a fresh install of Windows is enough to make a grown man cry, let alone securing it with AV this and anti that.

 

I am starting to like Arch so much Im thinking of making it my daily driver.


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#15 buddy215

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 07:12 AM

In 2006 Ubuntu would send you through the mail a CD. They continued doing that I think through 2010. I recall asking

about the free CDs here at BC....being skeptical as to what the scam was. It wasn't a scam and I did get a couple of those.

 

The 3 problems for users back then were getting Adobe Flash, Dialup and Printers to work on Linux. Two of those...Flash and

Printer were solved for me in 2008. I stopped using Dialup in 2005. Then when 10.04 came out I was very pleased with its stability and kept it for 5 years...2 years

past its support as Ubuntu continued to send security updates for its servers which they supported for 5 years instead of their

3 year support for desktops.

 

The main selling point for Linux and Mac computers I think is they're not being a target of malware like Windows is. Of course, extending the life of old rigs is another. 

I know of a few Mac users in my age bracket that readily admit to that. That's how I ended up with a $1500 comp and monitor. A local college

student was having a terrible time with Windows and malware and bought a Mac. He sold his only a few months old rig to me for $600.

The kid was from New Hampshire...if you ever have spent any time in that state...you understand most of his difficulty. :)


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