SLS in 1993/94, which puts me in the "geriatric" category I'm afraid! Ah, the memories of the kernel configuration that asked a million questions I had no idea how to answer, trying to make modelines in my xf86config that wouldn't blow up my monitor etc...
I've paid money for Red Hat (6.0?) and Mandrake over time, then tried Linux From Scratch (for the learning experience, and it certainly taught me a lot). I like source-based distros, since I've been able to build up my knowledge incrementally - i.e. fixing breakages as they occur! I tried "Sourcerer Linux" or something like that, but then that project fell apart with some infighting and I went to Gentoo. Been happy with it ever since.
When I set up my computer-illiterate mother with a computer, I went Ubuntu for the convenience.
My very first was in about 2003 with Knoppix LiveCD. That was some great fun. I had first heard of Linux around 2000 when I started highschool but it wasn't until 2003 that I actually had the chance to do something about it. I later decided to setup a spare machine from parts and put Linux on there so I could play around some more. I first went with an old Red Hat disc I found somewhere that didn't work well with my setup. So I then went and found Linux Format magazine I think it was, which up until recently I still had too, and that came with Mandrake 9. It installed and with some minor tweaking it was working perfectly! I loved it. I did all sorts with that machine and many hours were lost to that addictive-like-crack Frozen Bubble.
But I soon found myself lusting some change and thats where my distro hopping began. I went on to Debian where I actually downloaded all 13 or so CDs of Woody. Set it up and that was great. I really loved the way Debian did things, and still do. From there I tried Gentoo but couldnt get it to install on my machine. Then there was Red Hat 9 was good but I didnt take to rpms. Next I was introduced to Ubuntu 4.10 which was fine, but I found it was a little over simplified for my liking. So moved back to Debian. Then I went a found Sabayon which I liked a lot but I soon discovered that I just couldnt deal with the amount of compiling that was needed. In no particular order I also tried out OpenSuse, Sidux, Slax, LinuxMint, FreeBSD, Fedora Core 5, Puppy, Kubuntu, DSL, Xubuntu, CrunchBang, and Elive (on my MacBook). Of those I give props to CrunchBang, Sabayon, Sidux and Elive.
Then there is my current favourite, Arch. What a great OS. I am in the process of trying to get a good configuration for my new PC I'm building. At the moment I've got OpenBox/Gnome + Conky along the top + bmpanel on the bottom + urxvt. I love pacman and everything about this distro and when I get bored of my setup it wouldnt be hard to change everything since it has such a simple install base.
I still have Windows installed because sometimes that is just more simple especially for games.
It looks live everybody here has some tradition in using Linux.Well i'm a new linux user. My 'Linux' love story begins about 12 months ago when a was searching the net for some viruses information when i found www.kiwilinux.org. Just read a little bit about it and i said that it deserved a test. Downloaded the image from the net and that night i installed it on my machine in dual-boot. From that night a fell in love with linux and kiwilinux 8.04. Now i'm using Ubuntu 9.04 and Debian 5
I started with RedHat 5-point-something from a magazine in 1999. I soon replaced it with SuSE, then I moved onto Debian, and finally switched to Gentoo around 2003.
So, still a n00b basically.
We have almost the same story
I started as well with RedHat 5.2 . They give it to us during the first year in the uni (I still have the cds) then tried for a bit Corel Linux, switched for a long time to Mandrake 7.2 which was my first really usable distro that made me get rid of win98 once and for all. After that I tried a dozen of other dists (Caldera, RedHat, Slackware, Debian, Peanut etc) and choosed SuSE for a couple of years till I found gentoo at 2004 and never looked back anymore
Fedora 3 here, downloaded on a 56K modem over the course of a week. I stayed with Fedora until version 5 then got DSL and started testing out every major distro before switching to Arch (on my workstation) and Ubuntu (everywhere else).
Fedora 3, it really sucked! Feeling nostalgic now...