Practical Technology

for practical people.

When did you first use Linux?


At the recent Linux Foundation Summit in San Francisco, several people were asked when they started with Linux, which lead me to the same question. First, though, I watched the Linux Foundation’s video of their answers. Boy, do I feel old now.

Most of them have been using Linux for about a decade and they were introduced to it in–moan!–high school. I started using Linux in 1993, but I don’t consider myself an early Linux user.

Linux got its start in 1991 with Linus Torvalds’ famous Usenet message announcing that he was working on “a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready. I’d like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat (same physical layout of the file-system(due to practical reasons) among other things). I’ve currently ported bash (1.08) and gcc (1.40), and things seem to work. This implies that I’ll get something practical within a few months, and I’d like to know what features most people would want. Any suggestions are welcome, but I won’t promise I’ll implement them 🙂 Linus ( PS. Yes – it’s free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs. It is NOT protable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that’s all I have :-(.”

It got a wee bit bigger than Torvalds thought it would. By 1993, when I came on board, Linux was already gathering steam. I’d heard about Linux from Usenet, but I didn’t compile it from source code. Instead, I start playing with Linux with Slackware, one of the very first Linux distributions.

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