I tired Linux a few times in the past, but didn’t really start using seriously until 2019. I love poking around old OSs and distros, and I want to spin a few up in some VMs my next free evening.

Any suggestions? Open to any distro (or let’s be honest, DE). Any versions that holds a special place in your heart or that’s exceptionally novel? Really interested to see what’s out there!

  • @[email protected]
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    14 hours ago

    Kubuntu 8.04.

    It was the last release with KDE 3 and very polished for its time. Many applications from back then have vanished by now. Kopete was Magic, supporting all IM protocols (Including Yahoo video calls!), Amarok was so reliable and sleek.

    Of course most things have improved since then, but I remember it fondly.

  • @bigmclargehuge
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    28 hours ago

    I’ve been meaning to fiddle with OpenIndiana and Illumos for a while, which both trace their roots back to Sun Microsystem’s Solaris. It’d be really cool to poke around in a system that didn’t grow off of BSD or Linux.

  • Handles
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    39 hours ago

    I’m still nostalgic for CrunchBang, and I continue to use OpenBox with any distro I try… Keep your DEs, I’m good 😄

  • @steeznson
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    19 hours ago

    If you want to experience travelling back in time with an operating system then OpenBSD feels like a time capsule, albeit one which is still being maintained. I realise it is not linux but using it is very similar to what linux was like before 2010.

  • AlexanderESmith
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    614 hours ago

    My first distribution was Slackware 7.1 when I was in high school. It took a week to download the .iso on dialup, and I had to use a download manager (GetRight) so that I could resume the partial download any time the connection dropped (usually because someone had to use the phone).

    I’m old o_o

    I still vividly remember not being able to figure out how to install new packages, or knowing how to compile from source.

    • @[email protected]
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      312 hours ago

      Slackware 2.x, on two floppies. A boot and a root disk, downloaded from a BBS using a dial-up connection (I think it was a 57.6 modem). No X, but I still loved it, so much better than DOS.

      • AlexanderESmith
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        25 hours ago

        Oh I remember those disks :D I think I had to either pull them off the ISO, or download them separately so that I could boot the system to the point where A: the install could occur at all and B: it had enough drivers to use the CD-ROM drive XD

  • @[email protected]
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    919 hours ago

    Mandrake 6.0 was my first distro in '98-'99. Mandrake hasn’t existed for a long time now; I have no idea if you can still find an old iso of it. It used KDE 1.1.1 as it’s DE, and to this day, KDE has remained my preferred DE.

  • Bilb!
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    23 hours ago

    Anyone else get free Ubuntu CDs shipped to their house? I think I had 7.10 (Gusty Gibbon) shipped to my house back in 2007.

    Otherwise, Mandrake Linux was my first “good” distro. I first tried one called Lycoris which claimed to be an beginner’s distro with it’s own DE, and it was impressive how well it handled setting up a dual boot installation and at the time it was a revelation that I could use a computer without Windows. I didn’t begin preferring linux until I tried Mandrake with KDE 3, though.

    • yeehaw
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      422 hours ago

      Yes, I remember these days. I had a few Ubuntu CDs from back then.

    • @TCB13
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      322 hours ago

      YESS!!

    • @[email protected]
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      218 hours ago

      I wonder whatever happened to Knoppix. All I’ve been able to find online is speculation and questions.

    • @ace_garp
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      21 day ago

      Yeah, Knoppix was kind of a ‘Tucows vibe’ distro. Pretty approachable.

      Zen Linux was another short-lived 2005 liveDistro, which had a nice feel and Art.

      Also, installing all https://trisquel.info/ versions side-by-side and doing a 17 year fast-forward would be cool.

    • @[email protected]
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      11 day ago

      Same. I also have an old Backbox distro that I used daily for years and every once in a while fire it back up for shits and giggles.

  • @[email protected]
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    319 hours ago

    I just started using Linux back in 2018. There is no nostalgia for me, as all the distro I used back then are still working now.

    • @BOFH666
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      1 day ago

      Gonna recommend this to all my co workers.

      It is not vulnerable to Windows viruses.

      :-)

    • @steeznson
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      19 hours ago

      I think the LARP elements of this distro put me off trying it back in the day. Calling the package manager a “Grimoire” and having to “cast” packages to install them was just too much for me.

    • @Pacmanlives
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      221 hours ago

      Great distro! I ran Lunar Linux so Source Mages sister from the fork of Sorcerer Linux. Lunar I know is still going and updating. Need to drop into their IRC channel for support and what not. Wonder if Source Mage is still kicking. Amazing how great the bash scripts were to run it all. I feel like if they added binary support they would get a lot more traction

      • @[email protected]
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        320 hours ago

        Yes SMGL is still active. You can try joining one of their channels. There are still people looking for source based distros, not sure while Gentoo is the only thing that pops up for them. I used it for some time, and it’s fantastic. Sadly having to build stuff takes too much time, particularly on old, and not performance oriented HW. They had support for binaries, and actually include a binaries grimoire, so you could install binaries that used to take too much time, like Firefox for example. Still it takes too much to keep a source based distro. And if you go all the way, then when changing parts of the building toolchain, like gcc, the recommendation was to build everything so that everything would be built with the more up to date toolchain, that was cool, since SMGL has tools for it, but those fancy stuff take as well a lot of time. There I learned 1st about ccache, hahaha.

        Sooo fun, :)