What hooked you into Debian/*nix?

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What hooked you into Debian/*nix?

Postby n_hologram » 2017-05-16 00:35

Simple title and intent - what got you into using an operating system that only computer nerds and NASA specialists prefer? What keeps you from making a jump to Mac products so that your girlfriend can stop asking how to login against your suckless-tools lock screen?

For me, it started because I wanted an operating system that "just worked," when I got a netbook, in college, circa 2009. Every iteration of "netbook Windows," especially the unforgivable Windows Starter Edition (which still drives me to insanity thinking about it), basically fell through in some way or another. I was flabberghasted when I first booted Ubuntu, which ran like a normal operating system, but used as many resources as my grandma's Windows 2000 system. As Canonical shifted further and further towards a commercial approach, and forced the broken Unity DE on standard users, I started looking at other options. As Upstart and systemd integration became more and more potent, I became less and less flattered with the system.

I actually started trying Debian because of Crunchbang, but I always seemed to have an unworkable driver issue for some reason or another. I registered for this site because I had some trouble with the minimum install packages, but once I got that running, i discovered that drivers were agnostic of desktop environments, and looking back, I have no idea why that was such a profound revelation. Eventually, a few years ago, I bought a laptop that had all the specifications for a Debian Stable build, and haven't looked back. As the command line and its many utilities became more and more a secondhand language, concepts like cybersecurity started to unfold, and now I'm pretty sure I know more about networking and cli concepts than anyone else I know, which is upsetting.

What's your story?
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Re: What hooked you into Debian/*nix?

Postby GarryRicketson » 2017-05-16 02:12

Well , in a nut shell, when I started, there was no Debian,..nor Linux...yes I am that old.
I used dos , to connect to a server I stumbled onto, that is a whole other story, but any way
it was a Unix server, and so that was my first experience with Unix, so everything on
line, was via Unix,... I started asking about a small Unix, or something unix like that could
work on a PC, there was Minix available, at that time, I did not try it though .
The program, "Windows", by MS was released, but I could not run it on my computer,
to bloated,.. not enough ram or memory, but also I started hearing from friends on USENET, that is was really a pretty lousy program any way,..and not open source, nor free,...my finances at that time were not that good, and I could not afford to waste $ on a program
that was not even very good.
The computer, I had bought at a "flea market", that is partly why it was a little "out of date",.. Try to stay on topic Garry,...
Ok any way, a few years later, I was reading rumors about Linux, and also my finances
were some what better, I now had a pretty good job, that paid well, long haul truck driver(OTR driver)...,
So I bought a brand new computer, it came with dos 6.00 (if I remember correctly), and also 5 or 6 floppy disks, 1.44 that were the MS windows 3.1,...so I did install that as well,
but it was pathetic, and immediate started causing problems for the computer, crashes,..
etc,... lousy program,.. but as far as a OS goes, DOS 6.00 really was pretty good,..
So I was kind of waiting to see where this " Linux " I was reading about would go, and considering trying it,..sorry if this is so long,..the older one gets, the longer the stories
get,...
I actually do remember hearing about Debian as well, in fact I was going to try the first
version , when it was released,.. but my job , driving was taking up a huge amount of time,
I was driving practically around the clock, 7 days a week, often 16 -18 hours a day,(I know, that is not exactly legal, but the company payed well) not much time or chance o "play" ham radio, and computer,.. the ham radio, was something I could do while driveing, and it helped pass the time,.. at that time most tractors still did not have the computers in
them, yet, all though I did see that change,... Any way, to try to shorten this up,...
Things happen, and when they do, it seems like everything that can go wrong , does,
I had a severe back injury, was hospitalized, then I did go back to work, but still a lot of problem with my back, and the pain,..one thing lead to another, also a divorce came into
the situation,... I sold all my radio equipment, also the computer, and complete "dropped out" of anything to do with computers and internet for several years, ...
When I did get working again, and my boss at my job bought me a little laptop,
a "acer aspire series:,... it had MS windows XP on it,... and the same as all the previous
MS programs, to me it was useless, I formatted the HD, installed FreeDos, and then installed Knoppix, the only reason I used "Knoppix", was because that was the first
one that came up when I did some google searches at a internet cafe.,... later I tried XUbuntu, and Linux Mint, 13,.. from mint 13, I went to Debian 6,...
I am not "hooked" into Linux, nor Debian,...actually for my main system I am running OpenBsd now,... Debian is on a potable USB drive, It was a good OS for me ,but has change considerably in just a few years,..for me OpenBsd is more practical,... Debian is much more then what I need,... but I still think it is a very good OS, perhaps the best Linux distro,..but I really have not experimented with that many Linux distros, either.
In a nut shell, there are some things that one can not do with just Dos, or FreeDos,..
So some Unix or Unix like OS is needed, Minix3.1 is very good as well, but there are more packages available for OpenBsd,.. MS windows, never was a real OS, I know they claim it is now, but it is not a option in my opinion,..not just the cost in $,...it just does not work well, it is not user freindly, and has nothing I can use.
Most Linux distros, or the BSD's, all work very well, and are user freindly, so really there is no other option, as far as I am concerned. There is no reason, or need to use MS products and windows, it is a mystery to me why so many people do use that,...I guess publicity,
and the way MS controls the hardware market,.. but I guess that is another topic.
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Re: What hooked you into Debian/*nix?

Postby golinux » 2017-05-16 02:19

Short and sweet. It's a tale of sequential escapes from something unsatisfactory to something better . . .

Windows drove me to Linux.
Red Hat drove me to Ubuntu
Ubuntu drove me to Debian
Systemd drove me to Devuan

I'm finally home

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Re: What hooked you into Debian/*nix?

Postby ruffwoof » 2017-05-16 03:04

Well , in a nut shell, when I started, there was no Debian,..nor Linux...yes I am that old.
I used dos , to connect to a server

Around the time of 5¼-inch floppies were being superceeded with 3½-inch 720KB capacity floppies ... Coherent ("Unix like") years along with ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro and pay per minute 9600 baud dial-up Compuserve/Bulletin Boards. In my mid 20's around that time, and led to a computer career that spanned a wide range of hardware (right up to the largest of IBM mainframes) ... including Unix.

Brings back near forgotten memories of Arachne DOS based graphical www browser, Minix, Mandrake .... etc.

Windows drove me to Linux.
Red Hat drove me to Ubuntu
Ubuntu drove me to Debian
Systemd drove me to Devuan

Madness to follow? :) All that guessing of how long to make sleeps to try and sequence things into a workable stack. Dozzzin would be more apt. Still ... nice to keep history alive. Arachne lasted right up to 2012 or so for instance.
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Re: What hooked you into Debian/*nix?

Postby MALsPa » 2017-05-16 03:15

Using freeware and open source software like OpenOffice and Firefox in Windows led me to find out about Linux. Then, after about a year of running a Linux computer (with Linspire -- not the greatest distro, even then, but it was Debian-based) while also using XP on another computer, it was obvious that maintenance was a lot less of a hassle with Linux than with Windows. Plus, I saw that I could take an old, used Windows computer, slap Linux on it, and be good to go. I was pretty much hooked at that point.
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Re: What hooked you into Debian/*nix?

Postby NFT5 » 2017-05-16 03:23

Not sure that all of my escapes have been for the better....

Windows forced me to seek refuge with Ubuntu.
Unity forced me back to XP.
XP (or the lack thereof in terms of support) forced me to seek refuge with Debian.

Does Debian "just work"? Nah, don't kid yourself - it needs lots of setting up compared to Ubuntu or even something like MX-16, and it still has issues like the way effort goes into development versions rather than fixing Stable which just collects bug reports. Nevertheless, it's fast and stable and suits my purposes very well, regardless of the fact that I am neither nerd nor NASA specialist.
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Re: What hooked you into Debian/*nix?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2017-05-16 06:05

The price was right :mrgreen:
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Re: What hooked you into Debian/*nix?

Postby Hallvor » 2017-05-16 08:13

Windows Vista. :roll:
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Re: What hooked you into Debian/*nix?

Postby deborah-and-ian » 2017-05-16 09:06

I was a poor student in a developing country. My Pentium II just couldn't run anything after Windows ME and I got fed up with the Windows bugs anyway. So I discovered Debian 3.1 Sarge and was amazed that everything just worked, that I could set up a lean workspace with Fluxbox and that every single of my use cases was covered with the software that came on the 7 CDs I bought at a local LUG. There's just a few exceptions nowadays, but I can still have all my software needs met by Debian Stable + Backports.
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Re: What hooked you into Debian/*nix?

Postby Lysander » 2017-05-16 10:02

After about eight years with Windows 7 I realised that at some point I was going to have to upgrade and that meant going with W8 or W10. I didn't want to do either because I didn't trust MS with my data. I had been quite a big gamer in the past which had kept me from moving to Linux, but now I spend a lot more time on my academic studies so gaming is a niche pleasure.

I wanted to go to a stable, ethical Linux distro and Debian was the most obvious choice. I started on Ubuntu 16.04 and tried to move on to Debian quite quickly, but it was clear I had to learn more about Linux before I did so. After about six weeks with Ubuntu [and then a short stint with Mint] I was able to move over to Debian.
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Re: What hooked you into Debian/*nix?

Postby dcihon » 2017-05-16 10:09

Like many here I was tired of Windows. Dealing with virus programs, malware programs just to keep my system running smoothly. I have to use Windows at work.
Linux was free and I just thought I would try it to see what it was about. I started with Mandriva (a rpm system). Met some great people on a forum that helped out a lot and I was hooked on Linux. After Mandriva forked to something else I tried Linux Mint LMDE. I then followed that to Solydxk. Solydxk was based on Debian Testing which I liked due to the fact that it had more recent versions of packages. Now I am pure Debian. I have made my own distro based on Debian Testing and Mate as my DE.
I want to thank everyone in this forum that has helped out with my questions and hope to continue to evolve with Debian.
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Re: What hooked you into Debian/*nix?

Postby Job » 2017-05-16 12:50

The year is 1999 doing network and telecommunications major. Then we got to learn about Win NT and Novell. To my surprise I liked Novell better then a class on Unix/Linux came. A prof from Thailand very good at the command line. Did my first install of RedHat at school with Gnome on the school computer part of the lab. I realized RedHat was simply ahead of Windows 98 or 95 at the time, clean, you can do fun things. I bought a cheap laptop. Dual boot with RedHat and Windows then had a torrid time trying to make the modem work. That was the beginning of true command lines and manual reading adventure. I enjoyed having wireless and modem work so much that I used RedHat for a while now single boot. Then I heard about the first release of Ubuntu. Wasn't so bad but that Ubuntu forum started turning to kiddie stuff, in-fighting, cult like behavior from some people. Then I heard Ubuntu is based on another distro called Debian. So I say why use a spinoff if I can go to the source. I did my first install of Debian can't remember which one, maybe Sarge, got my first issue with xorg. Could not make it work so I joined this forum. I believe lavene set me straight on that. From that point I am Debian but now experiencing with BSD and also using Devuan.
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Re: What hooked you into Debian/*nix?

Postby wizard10000 » 2017-05-16 14:04

Hallvor wrote:Windows Vista. :roll:


Same. I'd been dabbling in Linux since 1995; for those of you who haven't heard the story I used to be a Microsoft MVP in desktop operating systems, which is a pretty high honor; there are only 600 MVPs worldwide to cover all MS products. Got wined and dined in Redmond a couple times during annual MVP shindigs, a free MSDN Universal subscription and $150 in credit in the MS company store every year (I still have my MS-logo magic 8-ball - I think it's hysterical).

Even got the stinkeye from Steve Ballmer once for asking a question about WinXP pricing at an MVP get-together :mrgreen:

The question was on Windows product activation. I told the guy on the podium that the price of piracy was already built into Windows, that previously-pirated copies were now pure profit and was MS gonna reduce the price of WinXP when it was released :mrgreen:

When Vista and Office 2007 came out I'd had enough; blew my Windows machines away and decided to deep-dive into Linux. I'd run Debian years ago when I got tired of RedHat and really liked it; spun up a copy of Kubuntu for awhile, then did Crunchbang for a few years then migrated that #! installation to Pure Wheezy when Wheezy was still Testing (not recommended) :)

I support choices. You want to go 100% libre? Debian can do that. Want stuff that doesn't break or bleeding-edge stuff? Debian can do that too.

I haven't seen a distribution that gave so many people what they wanted.
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Re: What hooked you into Debian/*nix?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2017-05-16 17:19

I chose Debian over the alternatives because of the politics and aspirations of the project and also for the ease of maintenance and the huge range of software available.

And of course the legendarily pluterperfect imperturbability of the distribution.
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Re: What hooked you into Debian/*nix?

Postby phenest » 2017-05-16 19:58

Computers has been my hobby for over 35 years. I've been programming from day 1 from Z80a assembly to C++. The last version of Windows I used was XP. I found the MS documentation lacking for programming and hated the activation crap. In 2006, a friend suggested Ubuntu which I loved mainly because the documentation (both online and man pages) are an excellent aid to learning which I never really got with MSDN, not to mention all the freely available open source code that goes with Linux/GNU.

Ubuntu is Debian based, but that means nothing unless you've tried Debian. So I made the switch to Debian Lenny, and I've been here ever since. Debian does everything I need and want, and probably a whole lotta things I haven't even tried yet.

If I have any regrets, it's not trying Linux earlier than I did.
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