When/why did you start using Linux and whats your setup?

As a relatively new Linux, I find it interesting to hear from other users about how they got started and what they’re running.

So, about 3 years ago, I had gotten fed up with Windows 10 and decided to make the switch. All I knew at that point was that there’s something called Ubuntu. It’s been a fun and interesting journey,

After some distro-hopping, I’ve settled for Debian 9 and i3, and I’m really satisfied with my setup.

What distro, window manager and other things are you running? And how did you get into Linux in the first place?

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I got into Linux back in 2004. My XP machine went down, and a good friend of mine loaned me his Debian 2.2 machine. It was a backup for him. So, I learned how to run Terminal commands, and felt like a god with the control I had over the machine. Been using it ever since. I currently have Lubuntu on my laptop, with a Windows 10 dual boot. I run it when I code or need to do something that Windows can’t.


I think I was probably 14 or 15 and it was just for funsies. I just wanted to see what it was and how it worked.

I started with Ubuntu and have been an user ever since. My main OS is still Windows but I always have a Linux OS running somewhere. I am currently using a VM to run Ubuntu for two of my classes I’m taking one of which is an OS class. It wasn’t until this OS class that I started to understand the core differences in functionality like Scheduling Policies and cool stuff like that.

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I’m not a big Linux user, but know my way around somewhat. I started using Linux/Unix in 1995 at university, on Sun workstations and Pentium 166 PCs running some university modified Linux distro of some sort.

Currently I have a 2006 Mac Mini running a 32-bit version of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS as a server in the house.

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Are those standalone courses, or are they part of a program?

I’ve just gotten started on a bachelor in data science myself.

It’s for a BS in Computer Science at the University of Illinois. I’m almost done! Should graduate this spring pending 1 class over the summer. I’m super excited.

My advisor said I should apply for their masters program in Data Analytics. How do you like it?


Must feel nice to be almost done :smiley:

I really like it, I’ve only hade 2 courses so far, one in programming (C++) and one called Computer Fundamentals (mostly about operating systems), both which I have previous experience in so it’s been quite easy so far. But I’m looking forward for to the more advanced courses.

I used Unix for the first time in university when I took a single credit course to learn the C programming language (normal courses are 3 credits per term, so a single credit course is meant to be light and quick.) C was spawned on Unix and I think it is difficult to learn to use it without also learning some appreciation for the underlying heritage. (My friend says I may be biased and overestimating people’s desire to understand :wink: )

In any case, that led immediately to a summer work position where I worked on porting some code to various flavours of Unix (and one Vax VMS machine to boot.) Later in my career, I worked for a company that used Solaris workstations as their primary developer workstations. When Sun’s future came into question, they switched us all to Windows PCs with Xterminal sessions into Sun servers. That eventually evolved into those PCs being migrated to “desktop Linux” on RedHat.

Since we were using [paid] RedHat at work, I decided to play around at home with Fedora. I have had some interaction with Fedora distributions since the version number was a single digit. I have never dedicated one of my personal machines exclusively to Linux, but I have always had a number of virtual machine images hanging around for those times when I need to do something Linux. At one point I wanted to learn iOS development, and acquired a Mac Mini… Macs run a flavour of Unix also… derived from BSD.

I use Unix/Linux based servers for development all the time, but despite the mistake that was Windows 8.0 (that horrible mistake of a UI) I have stuck with Windows (since 3.11 for Workgroups) and I don’t imagine that ever changing to the point where my primary desktop will ever be Unix/Linux based.

Not trying to get off topic, but you all should consider getting certifications. I know many places will overlook a degree in computer science as long as you have the certs.

Although it has been a decade since I interviewed anyone for a software developer position, I strongly disagree with this advice if your goal is to become a software developer. My experience with people who don’t have a formal university training in software development is they are unable to grow into the kind of people I wanted on my team and got shuffled off into low value positions of customer support.


Because it would require less time or be less expensive?

I could get a job without either but, entry level pay is higher when you have a degree.
And I am willing to bet that I’ll make up for the ~$30k it’ll cost me to live during these three years (I live in Sweden, so there’s no tuition to worry about), and therefore see it as an investment rather than a must.

No, still get a degree! What I meant was, you are more likely to get a job if you have certs and a degree, over someone with JUST a degree.

Ah, sorry, misunderstood your post. Yeah, that’s definitely something to consider.

Yeah, I phrased that sentence incorrectly. My fault on that.

They get much more interesting but equally as difficult. The best part was finishing all the gen Ed requirements.

Take cool classes if you can. Even if you try really hard to focus on one thing the nature of a BS degree is conceptual and broad so don’t try too hard to become an expert in one thing too quickly. For example I’m taking “Roboethics” this spring it’s pretty cool but has nothing to do with anything. Keeps you interested and excited.

That’s my advice going forward!

A couple weeks ago I finally gave in to @Leo’s berating (kidding of course) and repurposed a 2012 Mac mini into my Linux learning machine. Installed mint, fired up YouTube, and the drug has taken hold! Learning the console now…love it!

Thanks Leo for the inspiration and for the new time suck…err I mean hobby :laughing::v:

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Its been a number of years now, I use it as a trouble shooting tool and back in the day I booted off of a DVD ROM. I used Red Hat, Ubuntu and Mint…

gen Ed? Is that short for general education or something?

Unfortunately, I don’t get to choose my own courses, they are what they are.

The shell is a good thing. The 2006 Mac Mini I am running doesn’t have a GUI, doesn’t have a screen, doesn’t have a keyboard. Connect via SSH and do everything via the shell. It’s my secure connection while I’m out and about.

Nice, it’s very easy to completely lose track och space and time sometimes.

@Pommster Do you connect over SSH from outside of your own network as well?