Show us your first and also your favourite Linux distro

I got the nostalgia bug recently. I just wanted to see these distros in their full glory, so I installed them as a vm.

The first ever Linux distro I have used it was probably Red Hat 9(shrike). I’m not 100% sure if it was version 9 or 8, but they’re similar, so I choose the newer one. It was released in 2003, I was 12, but I think I used it later, some of these OSes got to us later than they were released. I just remember how much time I spent trying to install games and installing random RPMs as dependencies I found on random sites.

And now my favorite. It’s Ubuntu 16.04, because it’s the last ubuntu with Unity. I miss Unity, it was a game changer DE for me. Ever since I put the taskbar to the left on every OS, it’s insane that you can’t do that on w11. I have also loved that you could search a program’s menu entries. Most of the time I know the menu entry’s name I just don’t remember where it is supposed to be. Searchable menus should be a standard imo.


Mine was Mandrake 7.0, which I used to convert a Windows 2000 backup server that used Tivoli Storage Manager. The speed difference was nearly 3x faster.

And I was hooked…

Favorite? EOS, of course.


Wow that looks older than shrike. I want to try something that’s really old and also has a desktop environment out of the box.

First distro was Debian around 2002. That got me started and I never looked back.

Favorite distro? Well…


If I remember correctly, I did not install that system with a DE. Since I was working mostly from home, I used vnc-viewer to connect to all of my managed systems. It was my last Windows-based server to replace - pure UNIX/Linux after that.

I ended up switching my Thinkpad to RHEL as well, but was stuck with a dual-boot until IBM could fix some of their internal Internet-Explorer-only websites.

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My first distro was Manjaro. It was 2019, so I didn’t knew about Manjaro’s problems back then. I doubt they were this known, though.

My favorite distro… my favorite distro… well, I like EndeavourOS, but Linux Mint is really close.


Mine was Mandrake as well(don’t remember witch version? But it was around 2003) then I went to Ubuntu around v8(the ugly brown theme one) but I hated(and still do) Gnome.
Then Kubuntu for awhile but i didn’t like Debian based much.
then went back to Windows for a few years until Microsoft started to make Windows 10 shit and then announced thy killing of win10 2025 so I went searching for a new home and here we are The best distro EndeavourOS! :enos: :+1:

Sorry for unusual long text(for me :laughing:)


I’d tried SuSE and Ubuntu before, but Linux Mint 7 Gloria in 2009 was the one that enabled me to switch permanently from Windows. It’ll be 15 years of non-stop Linux later this year.


Caldera Linux, but that didn’t work out, so we put Linux aside for another twenty-five years. Now the favorite is a Arch/Endeavour/Cachy chimera.


How did you make that chimera? You’re using cachy packages in Endeavour? I want to test Cachy, I just don’t have the space for multi distroing.

I’m decently sure it was not really the first distro (I know I tested Suse back then), but the one I remember from the very early days was Debian. I know that my interest began close to the switch to Debian Woody (according to the Wikipedia that was released in july 2002). Spending hours reading the descriptions of kernel features when selecting features, compiling, failing, then finding out that you forgot the IDE driver for hard drives is something I distinctly remember.

And although I favor EndeavourOS my desktop (and it is currently the best option for me), if you ask me my favourite distribution, that award would still go to Debian. I’ve worked as a linux system admin a few years ago, and all my servers were running Debian. Even with automatic system upgrades Debian never failed me. The stability of Debian Stable is absolutely amazing, and I find that Debian doesn’t get enough credit as the basis for much of the infrastructure running Linux these days.


Since this is an EndeavourOS forum I don’t want to elaborate too much here. You start switching to the Cachy repositories and update. Then there are other Cachy related packages you can look into like cachyos-settings, which applies other settings you would receive in a native CachyOS installation.

Overall switching between EndeavourOS and Cachy is pretty easy if you are familiar with managing packages on the CLI. Or you maybe just want to pick one of Cachy’s custom kernels from the AUR and stay with EndeavourOS for everything else.

PS: This is not an endorsement of Cachy. If you’re happy with EndeavourOS and have a good time don’t tinker with your system in this way. This is a path for the adventurous who are certain to know how to fix things.


First distro: Ubuntu 9.10, but only for like a week because Ubuntu 10:04 came out quickly after.

Favourite distro: 3-way tie → Archcraft + Arco Linux + EndeavourOS

Linux Mint and Ubuntu Studio always come to mind every year when I think about reinstalling to refresh my system, but they’d only be as secondary systems to one of the three above. Void Linux and openSUSE Tumbleweed are good too.


A long time ago I was participating in the Seti@home project. I had a desktop running 24/7 for this. I always used Windows and had no interest at all in Linux until some ppl started to develop a unofficial branch of the Seti@home app that was about 2-3 times faster than the official app, but only available for Linux.
So I installed Ubuntu on my desktop and therefore Ubuntu was my first Linux distro.
But, since this machine was dedicated to the Seti project I didn’t do anything else and I wasn’t really using the distro. And on my other computers I still used Windows for many more years. And yeah, I liked using Windows, especially 7 and 8.1.
But when W10 was announced I didn’t like what I saw/heard anymore and that was when I really made the switch. I did read a lot before I made a decision and I went for Manjaro. So Manjaro was my first “real” distro.
And yes, I liked it, but after a year or so, more and more problems became obvious. Problems with the installation on my machine and problems with the project and the community. I held on for Manjaro for some more time but after an update broke my system once again it was bye bye Manjaro, hello EOS! Using EOS for years now and never had any serious problems. Everything’s better for me on the purple side of Arch and that includes the community. On Manjaro it always felt like “them” (the devs/ppl associated with the project & “us” (the users). Luckily that’s completely different here.

So, Ubuntu (well, not really) > Manjaro > EOS, pretty short journey for me.

BTW: No screenshots 'cause you all know how those distros look and I have no idea which versions I was using back then.


The first Linux distro I tried on a virtual machine was Ubuntu, it was cool seeing another OS that wasn’t Windows. After the (infamous) LinusTechTips video, the first distro I used on hardware was Manjaro KDE. It was an experience, but I didn’t like the way that it handled the AUR. My favorite distros would be tied with EnOS and Nobara, but Debian stable deserves a shout too.


first: solus
favorite: endeavour + solus + alpine linux

didn’t really like much else as far as keeping it around. not a deb/ubu guy at all; that way of doing things never agreed with me. fedora was OK but never excited me like E + S + A up there. opensuse I wanted to fall in love with but seemed too much at the time. Manjaro is attractive but so many red flags. Etc.


first: Mandrake 9.0


:enos: EndeavourOS (community driven)
OpenSUSE Tumbleweed (company driven)


First distro was slackware in 1995. No screenshot exists. Current fave is of course, EndeavourOS.


The first Linux distro I ever tried was a version of Red Hat, I don’t remember which but it was burned on a single CD. Over the years I’ve also tried to switch to various distros, usually Ubuntu, but always ended up going back to Windows for gaming. I had a flirtation with MacOS in the form of a 2011 Macbook Air that lasted me years, and while that machine was great I just could never justify another Mac.

Late in 2023 I tried out Mint on an old laptop and it worked so much better than Windows ever had. I bought a new SSD and installed it on my creaky old desktop and realized how far Linux gaming had come thanks to Proton and how bad Windows was getting with every new release. I decided I would want to run a rolling release when I built a new PC in December so I started testing out various distros using virtual machines. Despite following the guide something went wrong in my first Arch install, the second went okay but I wasn’t sure I wanted that level of maintenance. I tried Manjaro and liked it a lot at first, but then I started to see some cracks and discovered that having the AUR but not the rest of the Arch packages up to date was likely to cause me issues. I tested out EndeavourOS for one day and immediately felt at home Once the new hardware arrived I installed it and didn’t look back — it’s the best operating system I’ve used by far.


First distro was Fedora, I installed it with a disk I got from the library. Can’t show it have no pictures of it and the laptop I installed that on died years and years ago.
Favourite distro currently, EndeavourOS