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 (email@example.com) 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.