With “SuSE Linux 5.3” I gave Linux the first try. I just got quite familiar with Windows 95 and was up for something new. I didn’t really know what I was doing but the installation went pretty well - but no X-Server was working with my system… OK, that was it! …until “SuSE Linux 6.3”. I actually got X working and even my soundblaster. For the latter I had to “recompile” the kernel. Again, I had no clue what I was doing, I just followed some instructions I came across via Google. I still preferred using Windows for every day work. This changed a bit when I bought “SuSE Linux 7.2”, which worked out of the box! The follow-up version 7.3 was a disappointment, I had a lot of trouble with it and the same goes for 8.x, so I switchd to “Mandrake 8.2” (which is Mandriva today) and that did hit the spot!
Everything worked great and me being still a noob could manage this distro very well. So I followed Mandrake until version 10 and it became may main OS. I learned quite well the “ways of Linux” but every time something worked really good, I needed a change and my new distro of choice became “Slackware 9.0”. I have to say, that this is one of the best distros I ever came across. It’s very straightforward and simple. If you want to configure something - well, just edit the appropriate .conf file! I stayed with Slackware until Version 10.1. I became a bit lazy and had an eye on Debian for quite a while. Debian “woody” being a bit out-dated I tried “sarge”, which was “testing” then. It worked like charm and once you learn how to use “apt”, you’ll really appreciate the large amount of software which is right at your fingertips. Then I changed my hardware to 64bit an I wanted a 64bit distro. The Debian 64bit trunk wasn’t supported and with “sarge” being stable by now, I had to go with “etch” which was “testing” at that point - too much “testing” for me! So I switched to Ubuntu amd64. That was kind of Debian, but working. ;-) And I still had apt package-management! I used Ubuntu 5.04, 5.10 and 6.06 and I liked it a lot. With 6.06 the installation of some 32bit software (flash, java-plugin) became a bit easier, but it still was something which could have worked nicer. So, again I changed: this time back to SuSE which is now owned by Novell. I’m writing this running SUSE 10.1.