With #fuelingthefuture, the Linux Foundation asks “What year did you start using Linux?” - something that led me to think, and to try to remember details that I’ve forgotten.
In the summer of 1993, I was a 15 year old student between the 9th grade of school and the first year of a Swedish gymnasium (grades 10-12). As part of my summer that year I went on an English language course.. to Wales. Can you say Llanfairpwllgwyngyll? Anyway, it was an interesting experience and I spent a fair amount of time in the Swansea University book store, as well as in their computer labs. I came back to Sweden with a suitcase full of rocks (yes, Welsh rocks), books (mostly Sherlock Holmes) and about 60 or so floppy disks.
The latter contained, in part, a Linux-based distribution downloaded either from the FTP archive of the University of Wasa or FUNET. Once I came home from Wales, I had the darndest time getting things to work. But it did! So in 1993, I would say I started using Linux-based systems. But what was it that I actually used? That question plagues me now: I would like to say Slackware, but the first version of Slackware was released on the 17th of July 1993. While the timing works, I’m doubtful that I would’ve heard about Slackware so soon afterwards, nor that FUNET or the University of Wasa would have carried it in their FTP archives so soon.
That leaves me with either SLS or Yggdrasil. I’m sceptical about Yggdrasil as I don’t remember it ever being offered on floppy disks through FTP. So I’ll assume it was SLS, though the version completely escapes me. Though there is still a possibility that the University of Wasa or FUNET carried Slackware at the time - if you have historic records, I’d love to know :)