5 Years on Linux: A look back and a look forward

I am not exactly precise on when exactly I started using Linux, but I know that as a write this I have officially entered my 5th year as a Linux user.
It was around this time back in 2004 or so I started using Linux, trying out distros like Yoper, OpenSuse and Mepis.
As I might have mentioned Mepis was the first distro I have successfully installed and kept and its been a roller coaster ride since that time.
But that roller coaster ride has had many more ups then downs, I have experienced incredible highs but even the lows seemed to have their merits.
The great progress linux has made is what makes me stick with it, even when I had severe issues with it at times Linux has served me better then anything Microsoft has given me.
To think how much progress Linux has made in the time I have used it is amazing, the experiment gets better every day that my computer turns on and the adventure continues.
Linux is the little kernel that could, it keeps chugging along with little to no obstacle to block its progress.
Right now Linux actually feels very alien to when I first started using it, but still maintains its ease of use.
I have come to the point that Linux feels like home, that it is windows that gives computers a bad rep and that Linux is the more easier to use.
My evaluation is the same now as when I first started using Linux:
That linux is the best OS with so much promise and if given the time and place could overtake windows without question.
I see linux as the future, where computers will go in the next few years.
Even with Windows 7 on the horizon I see it nothing more then hype, if we get another Vista out of Win7 (and you know I think we will, things might look good for MS now but we only have Beta’s and RC’s to tell the story) then Linux’s future is secure :smiley:

Some quotes of yours that rang a familiar bell with me:


for me its only the familiarity with the terminal that keeps those old memories alive. Everything else is so new. Contrary when I first started (when the terminal was frustrating) now adays the terminal is like an old friend.

… and there is no place like home. :slight_smile:

Yeh, well I do have more on the subject but its getting late for me.
I plan to give a year by year playback of my linux experience in my next post though, a brief summary of how each year was for me on linux.

Cheers !!! Linux feels like home…Straight from my heart. I know it’s kind of sentimental, but I’ve often tried to explain the difference in saying that the linux kernel has ‘heart’, i.e. is made for the love of things and passion instead of a growing bankaccount. Linux beats !!

Hasta la victoria, siempre!

I’m new to Linux (well, to actually making it work at any rate :)), but I totally agree with you about the ease of use thing.

You have a simple choice, as far as I’m concerned. You can pick an operating system that works on the principle that it’s intelligent enough to obscure the operation of the underlying system from the user, and that it can resolve all problems itself. Or you can accept the reality that such an operating system is presently impossible, and that the apparent increase in complexity in a system designed for openness is precisely and only that - apparent.

Enlightenment hurts, so buckle up and drink more coffee.

(The little kernel that could - that made me chuckle :))

Actually, the Linux kernel codebase is much bigger than the Windows one so it’s not that little :wink: (not sure how linux kernel when compiled compares to the windows one in size)

with everything else, I do agree. I started with Linux in 2001, using Mandrake 8.1 (what a cr@p!). I directly fell in love with the terminal. It was very exciting for me to dig inside of it and learn new stuff. Even at that time, I was blown away by the high modularity of the whole system. In 2003, I made the jump to SUSE as a PC maganzine here advertised its YaST and how good it was. This won me over and I’ve been on SUSE ever since. Of course I tried other distros, but I always keep coming back to SUSE :wink:

> Even with Windows 7 on the horizon I see it nothing more then hype, if
> we get another Vista out of Win7 (and you know I think we will, things
> might look good for MS now but we only have Beta’s and RC’s to tell the
> story) then Linux’s future is secure :smiley:

IMHO, Windows 7 is what Vista should have been, so you can’t really say ‘we
get another Vista’, because Windows 7 still is Vista, just with the kinks
worked out. I have run all of the betas of 7 and now the RC. On the whole, I
like it. Doesn’t mean I will use it to any great extent, but if I had a
choice of Windows versions that I was forced to use, I’d take 7.

However, even though MS has finally gotten the product right, they’re still
going to screw themselves on the licensing. So yes they will silence most
of the critics from a technology perspective, but it will quickly turn into
bashing of their licensing model.

I think cost and flexibility is what is going to move more people to Linux,
but their experience needs to be good. People will only put up with so much
before they say ‘screw it’ and just buy Windows. Linux is soooo much more
flexible in what you can do with it, it’s almost absurd.

Well here is my playback that I promised:

Year 2004/5:
The first 2 years I used linux I kept to one distro: Mepis 3.3.
Even though I did not hop as much back then, I learned a lot about the basics of linux.
My command line use was actually spartan even back then, 5 times out of 10 I would need the terminal for something but it wasnt that bad.
Mepis was a desktop users linux, and still is, very simplistic and brainlessly simple to use.
But sadly I had to stop using Linux for a brief time during the year of 2005, my old computer had gone bust with a bad PSU and I got stuck using windows on my husbands computer until the beginning of 2006 when I could afford a new computer.
But I still count 2005 in my yearbook as I did use my old computer for some time before august when it died out.

2006 marked my return to Linux, after half a year of Windows I began to miss the simplicity and flexibility of Linux.
I tried to make up for it by using some hacks to XP to make it mine, but alas its limitations made me yearn for Linux.
I got the HP I have right now that year, and I did not hesitate for a second to wipe XP off and put linux on.
Again I used Mepis, this time version 3.4.
But Mepis 3.4 was not as good as 3.3, still it was much better then XP.
Then came Ubuntu Dapper, I heard about Ubuntu but didnt like it from what I saw because my only experience with it was Warty, and that thing was horrid.
Dapper kicked @#%^ though, it worked the same miracles as Mepis and ran much better.
Then from Dapper to Edgy I had a great experience with Ubuntu and it became my primary.

2007 was the first year I truly went distro hopping, as Ubuntu 7.04 failed on my system.
7.04 just didnt work for me, it refused to boot on my system 80% of the time.
At that time I tried Mepis again but it wasnt the same, then came PCLinux.
PCLinux was the distro of that year until Ubuntu Gutsy came out…
Much better then Feisty, Gusty worked where Feisty failed.
I used Gutsy until Hardy came out, but overall that year belonged to PCLinux for my system.

Ubuntu Hardy won out for 2008, very stable, very sturdy and was the best ubuntu 8.10 was not so good, Intrepid would cause me many issues so I stuck with hardy until the end of 2008.
Very little distro hopping that year though but I did experiment with Mandriva, Linux mint and even Debian.

So far this has been another hopper year for me, 9.04 Jaunty has failed me because of my intel card.
This year I have given Mandriva another try, Mepis, Mint, Debian, OpenSuse you name it.
Right now I have elected to use OpenSuse 11.0 as my primary as Hardy is showing signs of its age, OpenSuse however I am able to keep both current and stable thanks to OpenSuse’s community repositories.
On Ubuntu Hardy, even with the PPA’s Hardy is getting a bit old in its software database, I am just trying to balance out stability with newer software and OpenSuse seems to offer that.
11.1 wasnt so stable on my system though but I will see how Opensuse 11.2 goes before I declare this years winner…
Never know, but hopefully soon I will get another computer upgrade and see how things will run.
I will also keep my eye on Karmic too.
I have now set up a separate home partition now so that gives me a chance to see how a distro will work with my computer without harming my personal files.
Experimentation is fun :smiley:

> Experimentation is fun :smiley:

Ah but you see it’s all Linux, just packaged differently. Which is
why I get a kick out of the latest ‘screenshots’ of distro XYZ. What you
are really saying is “Ooo, I love the new artwork.” If you want to truly
step out of the box why not try something like Haiku?


You certainly can make your experimenting less eventful if you install
VMware Server 1, which you can get for free, and load anything
you feel like in it (Tip: don’t try Server 2 it’s just a pain). I’ve got no
less than a dozen different operating systems in various VM’s. I use it
mostly for testing applications, but it would satisfy your penchant for the
latest and greatest, while allowing you to maintain that ‘stable’ base
operating system.

If you really like VMware Server then buck up for Workstation, it’s a nice
app and worth the money IMHO.

Disclaimer…no vested interest in VMware, just like their stuff. Yes you
can probably use Xen to do the same thing.

The size of kernel + additional modules typically loaded on a Linux system is several times lighter than min. Windows installation. And, of course, you can always load up all those GUI stuff afterwards to eat up the rest of the system.

I use VirtualBox and it is really easy to handle.

> I use VirtualBox and it is really easy to handle.

By default Haiku provides VMware virtual machines.
While I’m sure you can get it to work under Virtual box,
for simplicity I suggested VMware. Could probably use
VMware Player also.

Actually I do use virtual machines, and if I like what I see I give that linux distro a try on a real install.
I use Virtualbox as my baseline, as its obvious that a virtual install is not the same as a full install.
A virtual machine can only do so much

I lost track on how many years I’ve been using linux. I started with suse 6.x (I think it was before Windows XP hit the streets). Since then linux has improved big time :-), now I hate using windows (but I have to, because we run a windows-based network at work, and my fellow IT-members don’t know anything about linux (but that is changing now :slight_smile: )).

At home I use openSUSE on all my machines (laptop, dell mini 9 and a pc - just a plain old P4 with 4 GB RAM), converted the pc to a server with xen (no gui) and lvm (about 6 virtual machines with a lot of databases), and this running super. It was actually quite easy to do this.

I don’t think I will ever switch back to a wintendo system, unless they release a kickass version with new innovations and nothing copied from other systems claiming it’s their invention (maybe in 2050 or so).

For virtualization on the desktop I would suggest virtualbox, it is light and fast, no more vmware for me (trying to go for 100% opensource-systems)

I’ve been using Linux since about 2001-2002, I originally used Red Hat and Debian but switched to Suse when the Fedora project was launched. I use openSUSE every day on my machines.Laptop,Netbook,Desktop.At the office I manage my Microsoft network from my Linux laptop. I even built a Freevo with MythTV,as well as an Egroupware box.I openSUSE for gaming (Code Weavers CrossOver Games runs Steam wonderfully).I’m using Xen too! I like the amount of time I save without the need to scan for spyware/malware/viruses/Defragment/constant updates/reboots etc… I wish that more hardware companies would support linux. If I had the USB drivers for my Line 6 PODXT Live I wouldn’t need Windows at all! I think the current state of Linux is light years ahead of where it was when I first started using it. I feel that I know much more about computing now as I focus on tasks instead of proprietary methods of occomplishing them.:wink: And my employer loves the time/money saved. lol!
Keep up the good work folks!:slight_smile:

Saw this in Weekly News, don’t normally use the forums but couldn’t resist this discussion… :slight_smile:

Started using Linux in early 1995, Slackware, Red Hat (before they went all corporate and had to spawn Fedora), SuSE from 2000 onwards until we started openSUSE and that ever since.

Sure, in my time, I’ve installed others - I remember being very impressed with an early 2000s version of Mandrake (later Mandriva) - but I’ve always stuck with [open]SUSE since starting with it.

My post made the weekly news?

Greetings from rainy Guelph! I first learned about Linux during a course for my CGA (Certified General Accountant) designation. I started with Knoppix in early 2006 running it live. Then, shortly after it was on to Knoppix’s child Kanotix, first dual booting with Win XP and then replacing it. I moved on to OpenSuse 10.1 in Nov. of 2006 and have used it since, now running 11.1.
I love the freedom and flexibility Linux and open source gives, and look forward to the future. In fact, I see Microsoft’s empire shrinking as time goes on and really think that Linux and BSD will be the operating systems of that future.
We shall see! :slight_smile: