Ask Ubuntu is 10 years young now! And the community is always growing. It's time to celebrate, isn't it?

We came to Ask Ubuntu to ask questions about Ubuntu because many of us were noobs at using it, or at least I was. But the question which many of us don't ask ourselves is "What's your Ubuntu story?"

Why did you start using Ubuntu? Was it because of your friend recommending it to you or you wanted to be cool by using Linux?

Since when are you using Ubuntu? Is it a month, a year, a decade or more?

In case if you are a long-time user, why didn't you switch to other distros when you had the choice?

I'm not gonna make it sound like boring questionnaire. Tell us anything about your Ubuntu story! We're thrilled to know about your story!

And once again, happy decade anniversary to Ask Ubuntu!

  • Related: meta.askubuntu.com/questions/15004/why-do-you-use-ubuntu/…
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 10:41
  • Unfortunately, that question was closed and it only has 3 answers. I hope this post will not be closed and will get more attention from the community. You can re-post your answer here and may be even add more details if possible! Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 10:46
  • 2
    I don't think this one will close, I think the 10th anniversary thing should make it OK. I wonder if, rather than people copying answers from that post to this one and having duplicate answers, perhaps a mod could merge them?
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 18:36
  • @MarkKirby chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/55792745#55792745 Response from mod after flagging: "I don't think it's good to merge these questions. Merging is near-irreversible and removes context from answers. That is sometimes OK, but I feel these stories should stay in place." Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 19:03

23 Answers 23


I had a subject called Operating Systems during my graduation. All the assigments were to be done on Linux environment, preferably, Ubuntu. So, my professor indirectly introduced me to Ubuntu in 2017.

I started using Ubuntu, apart from doing assignments, primarily because whenever I had some urgent work, my main operating system (at that time) started to update. Initially I used Ubuntu as the second option in case the earlier said operating system starts updating again when having urgent work. But slowly it became my primary.

A year ago I thought of migrating to Fedora and installed that in a virtual machine but I was very much habitual of APT. So I stayed with Ubuntu.

That's all Folks! 😁

  • 1
    My main OS started to update.. LOL! Is it Windows? Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 10:51
  • 4
    @technastic_tc Do we have any other choice? :P
    – Kulfy
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 10:52

My ubuntu story is short. My main OS is Debian. And I found it is a good idea to look over the children and grandchildren from debian. I often found solution for my debian problems here and in a german community, so I thought it is pay day. To give something back.

As I told short story.

  • What do you mean by "children and grandchildren from debian"? Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 15:13
  • 6
    @technastic_tc I guess distros based on Debian and distros based on those distros. For example, Ubuntu and Kali are children of Debian while elementaryOS and Linux Mint are children of Ubuntu, hence, grandchildren of Debian. :)\
    – Kulfy
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 16:23
  • 1
    exactly. what I mean.
    – nobody
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 17:16
  • What do you mean by "paytime"? Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 17:47
  • 1
    @technastic_tc At least to me, it seems "paytime" is a mistake and that line should read "so I thought it is time to give something back" but I don't want to edit it, just in case I am wrong and change the posts meaning.
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 18:47
  • collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/pay-day Did you mean this? I cannot understand the meaning of this word in the context. Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 8:54

I was looking for an OS that would work on a NEC Z1 all-in-one system that wasn't Windows. Ubuntu 8.04 fit the bill perfectly and I never looked back. =)

This is the old NEC Z1 that kicked off my love of Ubuntu. It is in need of some loving care and it does boot, but it is having issues right now with its 10.04 installation. It really has been a good system. It is a P3 450MHz with 192MB RAM, it may not run anything newer.

enter image description here


I used to live with someone who collected old PCs that were getting discarded by his college. He had practically a wall of them in his room and was always trying to get some form of Linux to run. Occasionally he would ask me to help him build or rebuild a machine. He spent most of his free time on this, and nothing ever worked properly.

It was around 2007 I guess I heard of Ubuntu from him. Ubuntu was just another Linux, but I looked up the meaning and I read that ubuntu means something like I am because we are, that is, it is a statement of interdependence. At that time I also read some writings of Richard Stallman and I was convinced of the ethical case for free software, but I was studying other things at the time and I needed my computer (pieced together from parts my dad and brother had replaced in their own) to Just Work.

I went to sea in 2009 and I experienced terrible loneliness. My younger brother sent me a tiny Asus EEE PC as a gift. I think it took him years to pay for it. Yes, I am the luckiest person ever. It ran Windows XP, from then until it suddenly died one morning in the summer of 2015. By this time I was 100% determined to run Linux, regardless of how difficult it might be. I was still carrying the word ubuntu around like a piece of gold in my pocket and it meant more and more to me over time, as did the idea of free software.

On someone's recommendation I bought the infamous Asus X205TA. Little did I know that at the time on Linux there was no wireless support and no audio support, and no 32-bit UEFI support. It took me 10 days (as a total novice) to install Ubuntu, and I had to compile GRUB to get it to work. One could get wireless working by upgrading the kernel, borrowing a driver from Android and fiddling with an nvram file. Audio? Well, I was living in a shared flat, so I would have had to keep the sound down anyway. At least, I was happy. My system booted in 8 seconds and only did things I asked it to.

For the next few months, I didn't learn anything more, but then a kernel upgrade broke my touchpad. I had to boot the old kernel to be able to use it, but I couldn't get the GRUB menu to come up. I became quite good at keyboard-only browsing... Finally I discovered that one could force the GRUB menu to come up by commenting out a line in /etc/default/grub. It was that small piece of magic that got me hooked on learning Linux. That's how I got here.

The strongest reason I continue to mainly use Ubuntu and not other Linux distributions is to help me be useful to Ask Ubuntu, because my work here is my very small contribution to Linux.


I always used to be an open-source fan! The first open-source program I fully embraced was Firefox I was at university during that time.

I was a Windows user, even though I already knew about Linux. Mostly because of gaming. I started a job at a small company where my work involved the development of websites using ASP.NET with C#.

Around 2-3 years, I started "lobbying" my CTO to switch from .NET. We then received a project that involved an e-commerce website. We ended up developing it using Magento (which is built using PHP). It worked. It was great. My lobbying pressed on.

I was no longer a junior developer at that time, and I started receiving more and more e-commerce projects. We started becoming better and better at Magento. I saw myself working less and less on .NET projects.

This was around 2010. I installed Ubuntu alongside Windows on my company computer. It was 10.10.

Took about a day for me to set it up the way I wanted it. It was my first non-Windows OS I ever used. I found out about Ask Ubuntu and started lurking here since then.

A couple of months in, I noticed that since I installed Ubuntu, I never once booted Windows. I fell in love with the command line.

Around December, I formatted the machine. I installed Ubuntu 10.10 without Windows this time. I have never used Windows ever since. The last version I used was Windows XP.

Meanwhile, I found that Ubuntu releases are quite frequent as they make a new release every 6 months. I love new stuff even if it might break.

Then came the 11.04 upgrade. I found out about do-release-upgrade. I run the command in the terminal as that is cooler than a GUI. It starts downloading stuff. There was about 1GB of download that needed about 2-3 hours to download at my connection speed.

I realised that I can still use the OS while it's downloading.
Sometime later, after I forgot about the download/upgrade that was going on in the background, I started seeing stuff.

  • What is that icon that just popped up in my taskbar?!
  • Oh, the upgrade!
  • Hold up! Did the upgrade really just install and run the new cool stuff while I'm still using the OS?!

Nothing broke after the upgrade. It went smoothly.

Then 2012 came. I found out there are LTS versions that are released every 2 years. I started getting worried. Am I gonna get stuck with the same version for 2 years? I don't want that! I want cool icons popping up in my taskbar!

And that was my first question on Ask Ubuntu.

  • "my first non-Windows OS I ever use" Did you mean used? Also, I didn't understand these sentences: "Of the upgrade."and "NO RESTART THAT NEEDS HOURS REQUIRED" Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 14:48
  • 1
    It was a typo. I fixed that, thanks! as for "NO RESTART THAT NEEDS HOURS REQUIRED" I'm refering to Windows' behavior, which requires a long time to install upgrades during restart. Rendering it unusable for a long time. And sort of trains your mind to never install updates.
    – Dan
    Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 14:57
  • You're welcome. "And sort of trains your mind to never install updates." LOL! Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 15:03

I have been tinkering around with different Linux and BSD distros (and NAS variants) together with a friend for about 10 years now.

Recently we both needed to upgrade our home servers, and talked about settling on a single distribution that would be best suitable for our needs. After some research, we decided to give Ubuntu a try over Debian, mainly because of the great support options, the easy guides on the webpage, and the broad support for different hardware (and also for ZFS support).

So in spring 2020 we both installed Ubuntu 20.04 on our main servers, and we have been learning and developing different scripts and utilities since then. This is still very much a learning experience for both of us, but I thinks it's safe to say that neither of us regret for one second choosing Ubuntu as our preferred server distribution.

  • 1
    I'm glad that this is your first post on Ask Ubuntu Meta! Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 11:00

I was a long-time Windows user since 3.1. But when my new computer came with Windows 8, it was insufferable. My workplace at the time used a mixed Linux / Windows environment, so I had some exposure to Linux. I talked to some veteran Linux users and got their recommendation - Ubuntu.

I started out testing Ubuntu 12.04 in a virtual machine, then went to dual booting, then finally full time Ubuntu.


I used to blog a fair bit in the 2000s and I therefore have a fairly good log of how I migrated to Linux.

  • 90s-2006: Playing with Linux. I first got a Linux CD on a magazine in 1995. I saw a file structure, kept seeing screenshots of SUSE in various magazines, and I was really interested... But seeing the file structure was about as far as I got until I started playing with Live CDs 2004-2006. None stuck.

  • 2006/10: A uni friend had a seriously bad experience with Ubuntu so obviously I followed their lead and tried migrating to Ubuntu. It was pretty, it had clear advantages to a developer, and I was aware-enough™ of limitations to know what I had to workaround. Unfortunately, it didn't stick. I had too much hardware without drivers.

  • 2007/10: I took the plunge again. Gutsy was pretty. Compiz cubes and wobbly windows and just enough driver support... It was heaven with caveats.

Obviously, that's a very abridged history. I was a Windows-based ASP, then ASP.NET developer before I migrated. I'd been working at a MS Gold Partner. I was addicted to Visual Studio.net. These things weren't available for Ubuntu like they are now. I had to move my whole workflow and clients to PHP (and later, Python+Django), as well as find new editors, entirely new [to me] ways of doing things.

It took time, sacrifice (Wine wasn't what it is today), but that was pretty much my migration. My Vista install died off fairly soon after 2007.

  • In thepcspy.com/read/moving_to_ubuntu__part_1, "My knowledge of where stuff actually goes is still a but muddy". Was that a typo? Were you trying to tell "bit muddy"? Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 11:01
  • 2
    @technastic_tc Almost certainly. I'll leave my errors in now to give some historical colour. I was a lot younger back then.
    – Oli Mod
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 11:12
  • So, Vista was the last Windows version that you used? Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 11:54
  • 1
    I've used 7, 8 and 10 in VirtualBox to test websites I've built on Internet Explorer. Vista was the last real install.
    – Oli Mod
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 13:23
  • So, are you using Ubuntu 20.04 now? Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 15:11
  • 1
    Three servers on 20.04, one on 18.04, laptop and desktop on 20.10.
    – Oli Mod
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 16:00

My first experience with Linux was during my graduation in Electronic Engineering: I had to learn how to design field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) using some tools that were able to run only on Red Hat Linux (I don't remember exactly which version, but this happened more or less in 2007).

My curiosity about Linux increased after that experience, but what I did was simply to install Ubuntu on a virtual machine with the purpose of using it to learn new things, but I understood that installing an alternative OS in a VM is the better way to NOT use it :-D

In 2014, I eventually had a notebook that became my "real" personal computer (till that day I used my company laptop also for personal purposes ^_^' ) and decided to dual boot my Windows 8.1 installation with Ubuntu 14.10. Maybe it was a sign of the fate (I was born on October 14th) but the dual boot worked at the first try, with Ubuntu default OS. I started to use it more and more, and in 2017 I decided to compeltely wipe the Windows installation and have only Ubuntu on my machine.

My first love was Unity, then I switched to Ubuntu Budgie when Unity was replaced by a (not-yet mature) GNOME reinterpretation of Unity look&feel, then I come back to Ubuntu with 20.04. Meanwhile, due to the fact that my professional skills are more towards the SW than the HW, I'm having a lot of fun on scripting the most common things that I do (video conversions, "spring-cleaning" of my system, automate Ubuntu software installation and configuration after a clean installation, backup my data).

I still use Windows at work, but I think I'll never come back to it at home... next step is to convince my step-daughters to give a try to Ubuntu :-)

  • I'm glad that this is your first post on Ask Ubuntu Meta 😀 Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 17:24

Time Line

  • 1996 PC (Windows95, just public access)
  • 1998 TI Calc (Got interested in its Basic)
  • 2003 VAX at university, PC (Windows XP, with full access)
  • 2006 Debian at university
  • 2007 Ubuntu till now. Still trying some other distributions from time to time.

At work, company endorsed some systems:

  • 2008-2012 OpenBSD server (Replaced later with FreeBSD, ~2014)
  • 2012-2013 Debian KDE Desktop (Kind of legacy from an acquired product line, Migrated to Windows ~2015)

Long Story

I heard about PC's but couldn't have access to one till 1996, when cybercafes appear to the public which were using only 56Kbps phone modem.

I'm still remembering the fun when we had lost connection, and everyone lift their heads up and looked at the admin waiting for the reconnecting tone like this one. If it failed we looked at each other, who has patient to wait next trial! Few people left .. for the best to get better bandwidth share.

I was 9 and my country was in a civil war, empty pocket and 1 hour was very expensive. I didn't care much about system, all i do is 15-30min per week downloading electronics related stuff for hobby circuits.

My head was still in a box regarding OS's, only when I joined university on 2nd year, 2003. For Pascal lab sessions, I faced that octopus machine called VAX with that 80x25 orange text terminal, wow... so there existed some other systems other than Windows. Then I met a teacher who was a Free Software enthusiastic, teaching C++ and Data Structures for 4th year class, 2006. He setup all lab machines himself, Dual boot with Debian, one machine was including a local repository. I was impressed, Debian was around 9 or 10 CD's. He was also able to convince manager of central library to install Debian on ~40 PC's, they were facing Windows viruses and couldn't afford anti-virus license.

My teacher advised me to use Ubuntu because it was easier to install, configure and get basic things working on vanilla install with 1st boot. Or try Live CD to check hardware compatibility, because it was really a down point for GNU and Linux at that period.

2003, my sister got a PC home as prize for high school achievement. From that time, I was reinstalling Windows XP every 2~6 months, due to Viruses and Abnormalities, Lost of control. I received Ubuntu 7.04 CD in 2007 and started making dual boot on every machine I had some control on it, single boot on my own.

2008, Back to dual boot due to limited software support related to work and weak support of 3D graphic adapters.

I kept installing Ubuntu even on the company machine till VirtualBox and CPU's got enough power around 2014.

What interest me much

FLOSS philosophy because it does agree with my religious POV (knowledge should be free & gratis for everyone with a good will) as I was also interested in OpenHW, Tools on the click from repository, Quick development environment setup, Scripting routine tasks, Quick Server Setup, KDE also was away far beautiful than Windows XP, Live CD and PXE Boot were too powerful, It was and still is an environment that force you to learn new things.


Note: Please click on the various links that I've included to see pictures and more information.

When the first personal computers started to arrive in the mid-1970s, I was smitten by computers like the Altair 8800 and the Sol-20. I wanted one so badly. S-100, CP/M, and later MP/M were the common talk items of the day. Couldn't afford them at the time.

In 1977/78 I purchased one of the early Apple II computers to come off of the production line. As I recall it had 48K memory, a 16K memory expansion card, two floppy disks, and Pascal and Apple DOS. Fantastic computer. I used it, and the later models like the ][+ and //e, for many years.

In 1987 I worked as a Digital Equipment Corporation resident engineer at Apple Computer in Cupertino, CA, where they ran DEC VAX/VMS and, as I recall, some BSD Unix. While there, I acquired a bunch of Apple Lisa computers. Most ran the Apple Lisa OS, but one ran SCO Linux. My first personal hands-on exposure to Linux. opinion: The Apple Lisa was one of the best designed computers of all time, and Lisa OS (thank you Xerox PARC) was way ahead of its time.

I learned about Ubuntu by knowing that I didn't want any Microsoft OS's, and that Linux might be a good alternative. I had already been using Apple Macintosh OS's since early 2000, when the "Mac OS X public beta" was released. In those days we didn't have the same Internet resources as we have today, but I did some research, and Ubuntu came out as a clear possibility, so I installed it. Been with Ubuntu ever since. Ubuntu has it's little anomalies, but it's still a better choice for me.

Fast forward to about 2008, before AskUbuntu even existed, and I was probably running Ubuntu 8.10, maybe even an earlier version. For me, it was a much better choice than Microsoft DOS, or any of the Microsoft Windows variants. Gosh, don't you just hate the Windows updates?!? I'm now running Ubuntu 20.04, and upgrading my computer(s) to the recent 20.10. I've been on AskUbuntu now for 10 years! Happy Birthday AskUbuntu! Hard to believe!

Now, since about 2017, I've been contributing back to the community, by helping others with Ubuntu questions and problems, here on AskUbuntu. My Profile.

  • If you can, please do add photos of the computers which you've mentioned in this answer. Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 10:53
  • 2
    @technastic_tc I placed numerous links in my text that will show photos and additional information.
    – heynnema
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 14:14

Just want to say THANK YOU to this amazing community! I have only been here for approx. 15 days or so; and I have been able (even though my kinda, not-so-good English ) and I have somehow managed to be at least a bit of help; (hopefully)



William Martens.


Many years ago I rented a Dedicated Server that had Windows installed when someone mentioned that Linux was a better solution for what I was using the server for and negates the cost of a Windows Server Licence.

Out of curiocity, having never used Linux, I installed CentOS on the server and was impressed. Then I installed Ubuntu Hardy Heron with its Desktop GUI accessible from home via the NoMachineNX remote Desktop App and became very impressed. So impressed, I installed Hardy Heron as dual-boot O/S alongside Windows on my own home computer and have been a Ubuntu user ever since.

The upshot of this move was that it brought me back to coding, which I was heavily into from my Commodore 64/Amiga days up until the DOS4GW days on PC.

I found that coding on Linux was so easy because Linux was mostly coded in the C language which had a very similar syntax learned way back in my Commodore 64 days using a coding package called White-Lightening and on the Amiga using a scripting language called AREXX.

Comparing the old Ubuntu Hardy Heron vs the current Focal Fossa is like comparing night with day - Keep up the good work Ubuntu. :)


I apologise for the spelling mistakes, however I was a little drunk when
adding this post and am not new to contributing. My recent contribution
was Opening Ubuntu 20.04 Desktop on WSL2.

  • Hey wizball! I'm glad that this is your first post on Ask Ubuntu Meta :) Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 13:29


I've ran and developed software for Windows since circa 1992 & Win 3.1 (yes, before Win 3.11 which included Windows For Workgroups networking).

I absolutely loved it when Win95 was released and we got true pre-emptive multitasking. It was world-changing!

I enjoyed various versions of Windows (2000,XP,7) and was able to skip a lot of the worst distros (98, ME, Vista) just by being slow to take up new versions.

Since 2010 every year or so I'd check out the latest Linux distros and I really liked them for their power, but I was always stuck on the packaging systems. Even being someone familiar with technology there was just a lot to do to get stuff installed. Ubuntu was always at the top of the list to check out.

How I Finally Converted to Linux via Ubuntu

Finally,in 2018 I bought PC parts to build my own computer:

  • Gigabyte mainboard
  • AMD Ryzen 5 2600x (6-core x 2 = 12)
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660
  • 16 GB RAM

Anyways, I installed Win10 on it and it would crash after running for about 5 minutes. BSOD!! Terrible.

I was really irritated. I installed Ubuntu on it (dual boot) and started running Ubuntu 18.04.

Ubuntu didn't crash for 3 days. I even left it running a solid 48 hours at one point.

Well, it was indeed bad hardware and since Ubuntu crashed too I was able to take all the hardware back and replace it. I haven't had a problems since.

Complete Ubuntu Take-over

However, I started using Ubuntu 18.04 and everything was faster. I do Android development and Android Studio and Android emulator are just smoking fast. The low memory usage by the OS itself is so amazing. Visual Stuio Code (VSC) released and runs natively on Linux (I'm also a C# dev) and I discovered that I could do 80% of the work I wanted to do using VSC.

The more I used Ubuntu the less I wanted to use Win10. Finally, I have recently converted to Ubuntu 20.04 and run it 100% of the time now.

I recently deleted my windows 10 partition and now run it as a VM (Oracle VirtualBox) inside of my Ubuntu 20.04 installation. :)

  • 1
    Hey raddevus! I'm glad that this is your first post on Ask Ubuntu Meta :) Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 6:36

About a year ago I took a mandatory Operating Systems course in my university. We were introduced to the "Linux shell" (bash) early on and told that "CentOS is Linux", but back then, I still had little idea what Linux was except that it had a command line similar to that of macOS (I was a long time macOS user from mid-2013 to mid-2020).

Fast-forward to my internship in a tech company in June where NixOS is used. I spent the first few days fumbling around with the computer and trying to figure out what was going on (since NixOS does package management so differently and I had to commonly fetch software packages to do my work), but then eventually figured out that the computer was running something called "NixOS Linux". But wait, isn't CentOS Linux? How could NixOS also be Linux? This sparked great interest in me to figure out just what "Linux" is all about, and it didn't take me long to start surfing the web to learn all about these "Linux distros" out there.

After a period of intense research (probably at least a week or so), it became clear to me that Ubuntu is widely regarded as the desktop Linux made for mere human beings, so I bought a new Lenovo laptop around June/July and replaced Windows 10 with Ubuntu and was happy with what I saw. I've since replaced Ubuntu with Fedora on that Lenovo laptop around September, but also got tired of using macOS on my MacBook Air and so replaced that with Ubuntu instead. And since my MacBook Air is still well and functioning, touch wood, I still use it as my main laptop six days a week, only taking out my Lenovo one every Saturday for a spin.

So yeah, as of 21/11/2020, I'm happily using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS as my main OS (running on my 7 year old MacBook Air) and not planning to switch to another Linux distro anytime soon.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on my 7 year old MacBook Air

  • 1
    Hey Donald Sebastian Leung! I'm glad that this is your first post on Ask Ubuntu Meta :) Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 13:27
  • 1
    BTW, if you can add pics of your PCs running Ubuntu, it would be great :) Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 13:31
  • 1
    Sure thing, I've added a photo of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS running on my MacBook Air Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 4:42

When I started learning Python and developing I realized windows is trash. Then I installed Ubuntu a month ago with dual-boot(Windows). After a week I completely removed windows and Became an Ubuntu user.(Ubuntu was better anyway. Since we didn't have windows support in Iran)

  • Hey Python is cool! I'm glad that this is your first post on Ask Ubuntu Meta :) Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 18:43
  • Please do mention the Ubuntu version which you're using now (in the answer), if you can. Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 18:43

My first experience with Linux was during my first year at the University (Physics department), in 2007, where we used some version of Red Hat with KDE 3 and Emacs as the text editor for a C course.

The first time I tried to install Ubuntu was in 2008, using Wubi (remember it?) to install Hardy Heron alongside Windows XP. I had some font problems and various other issues that I don't remember with it and I managed to break my installation many times trying to fix them, but Wubi made it really easy to reinstall without the fear of losing my Windows data. I was delighted playing with Compiz and the various effects it offered!

Then Unity came and I tried to get familiar with it but, influenced by the mostly critical reviews I was reading about it online (I was young and naive and hadn't yet realized that everyone has an opinion about everything, with the less-knowledgeable also being the loudest - see Dunning-Kruger effect), I started searching for something else. I distro-hopped for a few years and tried out most of the major distributions and a lot of minor ones, going almost always back to Ubuntu or an Ubuntu derivative.

Finally, I decided to stick with Ubuntu, mainly due to the community support it offers. I now use Ubuntu 20.04 and it works great for me!

Having been helped very much by the Ubuntu community and especially Ask Ubuntu all these years, and having acquired some experience in Linux, I decided to try to also give something back to the community. So for the last couple of years I try to be an active member of Ask Ubuntu and help as much as I can.

And at this point I think it is a good opportunity to specifically thank Eliah Kagan, Kulfy, Karel and Zanna (the order of the names is random) for their work and for helping me become a more useful (I hope) member here, with conversations about various site matters and advice!

  • 1
    I'm glad that this is your first answer on Ask Ubuntu Meta :) Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 18:15

When I turned twenty one I immigrated to Canada from California. I brought everything I could fit on the back of my Flat Head Harley.

I did a drafting course in 1972 and loved it. Decided to become a mechanical engineer and started University in 1974. Did a few computer courses as part of the curriculum and learned to punch punch cards. Graduated in 1979 and went to work for the same engineering company I had been a designer for.

They decided to buy a mainframe computer and get into Computer Aided Design and Drafting. Was sent to Boston to learn Computer Vision's CADD system. Loved CADD and worked on developing the companies CAE capabilities. Became interested in 3D Design, Finite Element Analysis and Stress Analysis of Structures and of Piping Systems. I designed Tensile Fabric Structures on the side.

Was mostly working on VAX until the PC came to power. Started using Bentley Microsystem, AutoCAD, SFrame, STAAD Pro, Solidworks, Cosmos, Ansys etc.

About 1986 I bought the parts for a 386. My brother gave me a copy of DOS. I soon upgraded my RAM (at $100 a MB). Then I upgraded my motherboard and CPU and for a while had a 486, then came Windows, Pentiums 75's etc.

Come 2006 and I was spending my weekends hunting viruses. My wife the virus queen was gifting my kids a couple of new viruses every week. I had previously tried KNOPPIX but it ate my hard drive.

I heard that Dell was starting to ship computers with Ubuntu, so I gave it a try. Told my Wife that it was a new virus proof version of Windows. She has never complained or shared a virus since.

I was terrified of the idea that computers and technology were in the hands of a few greedy corporations. I figure that if Apple had beat Microsoft, all computers would now have hardware locks and that most of us would not be able to afford a good computer.

It seemed that being able to boot Ubuntu from a USB was a great way to introduce people to Free software that it could help them escape Microsoft and Apple. I decided that helping people use bootable Linux USB's as a way that I could help the cause.

  • Thanks for posting your story here :) Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 17:41

I confess that I did not actually go out of my way to install or use Ubuntu Linux but when I was after a very cheap and small computer to run in my study in the early 2000s I picked up an HP eVectra that came preinstalled with Ubuntu 5.04 (Hoary Hedgehog). I was new to Linux and made every rookie mistake in the book: it was quite some time before I managed to get a stable and useful system running, although my skills with wipe and reinstall become second to none!

Once I had a stable system in 2006 I became a regular on the Ubuntu Forums as andrew.46 and started contributing to the Forums as well as absorbing the great advice given there during the Forum's busiest times, particularly in the Tutorials and Tips section. I maintained Ubuntu as my primary Desktop until shortly after the release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr).

With the slow fading away of the Ubuntu Forums I moved my Ubuntu focus to Ask Ubuntu where again as andrew.46 I have been absorbing and giving answers for some 8 years now. Hopefully some of my work has been useful? On my Desktop issues such as the Unity Desktop, systemd and a few other annoyances meant that my Ubuntu systems were increasing being run in Virtual Machine and I experimented more and more with Slackware.

Unlike most in this long thread I confess that my day to day computing is now done exclusively on Slackware -current however I have a plethora of Virtual Machines where I continue to test out Ubuntu releases. My heart is with Ubuntu while my head is with Slackware and it is a combination that has allowed me to still function and contribute in the Ubuntu world :).

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    I'm glad that you have posted your story here. BTW, your work has been, is and will be useful to the community! Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 17:23

Adding my 2nd answer here; Because the community really deserves (every single one of you) the thank you - post I did above;

My first experience with Linux, was...

A terminal.

No but - enough with the jokes; It was Ubuntu, my friend introduced me to it as I begun more and more show interest in programming and , especially computer security. And as I grew older I installed Kali Linux, although.. I went back pretty quickly from Kali to Ubuntu.. Because... Ubuntu is better. Always been. Always will be.

Thanks for me!


Wish you a continuing, nice, day-No;

A continuing nice year.


I'd previously been a Unix user and then moved to Windows on the desktop. We were still largely a Sun shop at the server level, but I didn't do much with that as I'd hired people who could do so for me.

And so it went until I was able to sell my business and retire.

It was around that time that I realized I had no further use for Windows and converted entirely, and immediately, to Linux. I'd distro hop for a while but I eventually settled on Ubuntu because of the vast amount of support available and the fact that pretty much anything I'd ever want is packaged for Ubuntu.

So, I've used Ubuntu for a long time and exclusively used Linux for a smidge longer than a decade. I regret nothing and I feel really fortunate to be in a position where I have no need for any software that is Windows-only. It means I don't have to deal with things like dual-booting.

I do not use Ubuntu exclusively, technically Lubuntu, but I do use it on the majority of personal computation devices that I own. Even my wife uses Lubuntu. One of my children is a Linux user and the other is a Mac user. So, we're a pretty UNIX-y family.

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    I'm glad that you've posted your story here :) Commented Dec 15, 2020 at 9:25
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    Can you please let me know what do you mean by "We were still largely a Sun shop"? Commented Dec 15, 2020 at 9:26
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    Real early on, there was a lot of DEC gear. Then, due to market forces, we moved to Sun hardware and software - Sun OS/Solaris. The OS was a BSD-family OS.
    – KGIII
    Commented Dec 15, 2020 at 11:46

My Ubuntu Story™ is probably one of the geekier examples that one might read about, as the Ubuntu aspect starts in 2004 with a conversation on Usenet1 that migrated over to Slashdot before becoming a series of posts published on a "proto-blog" powered by Michel Valdrighi's B2/cafelog2, but it really begins in 1995 when I was introduced to Slackware Linux while visiting the University of Toronto.

Way back in the 90s, there were just a handful of Linux distributions and I would often bounce between Slackware and SUSE. By mid-2001 I had grown tired of distro-hopping and, in true geek fashion, decided I would create my own distribution. It was called NatashaOS and it was ... crashy. The underlying bits were fine, as the proper Linux kernel and base packages were pretty decent, but I wanted my UI to be flashy and cool, like the LiteStep3 alternative shells one would see people apply to their Windows 9x gaming machines (often inspired by something seen in Japanese anime4). A normal person at this point would probably ask: "Wait. If all you wanted was a better desktop, why didn't you build a new DE for Slackware or SUSE?"

A reasonable question. However, a 22 year old male is hardly a model of reason. Guys of that age generally consist only of ambition, ego, and pizza. There is no room for perspective or patience.

So NatashaOS consumed a great deal of my time. This effort was the reason I gave up gaming – because there wasn't time – and offered a remarkable opportunity to learn about writing graphics drivers for S3 Trio5 and, later, Savage video cards. However, as anyone who has ever written hardware drivers can attest, the slightest thing can bring a system down. This was the problem that I fought with for all of 2002 and most of 2003 ... until the first version of Fedora Linux was released.

Fedora had it all. "Great" hardware support. A decent desktop environment. A community of invested people. Nothing I might assemble could ever compete with the might of Red Hat. So I made the switch and everyone lived happily ever after.

Well ... until the summer of 2004 when there was a lot of buzz in a Usenet group – alt.os.linux, I think – about a new project that wanted to make Linux "human friendly". It had an intriguing name and lofty ambitions. I dabbled with it from time to time on my "l33t" AMD Athlon 3200+ system6 but, at that point in my life, I had to be focused on getting things done. That meant using Windows for "work" and Fedora for work.

Every couple of weeks I would swap a hard drive out of the workstation or notebook to install Ubuntu for a weekend to see how the project was progressing. This went on for almost two years. It wasn't until Dapper Drake – 6.06 – was released on June 1, 2006 that I saw Ubuntu as being ready to replace Fedora on my systems. Ubuntu 6.06 managed to do everything I wanted to do with NatashaOS and everything I couldn't easily do with Fedora. Ubiquity made installations a breeze. The Humanlooks theme was visually appealing and smooth. Heck, I could even have both English and Japanese applications running without dealing with messy font problems!

At this point, Ubuntu replaced Fedora and became my primary desktop. I would still use Windows on work machines when mandated, and later use MacOS for other purposes, but Ubuntu is – and has been – my primary desktop and server distribution for well over 15 years.

Why haven't I switched to other distributions over the years? Probably because there has never been a need. There are certainly some interesting projects going on. Arch has become incredibly usable for average people. Bodhi Linux remains my favourite light-weight OS for machines that have CPUs older than my (retired) Palm Tungsten T37. EndeavourOS is poised to make waves in the near future. Heck, Fedora's SilverBlue could completely revolutionise the way technology is deployed and managed at most medium-to-large corporations, making familiarity with the OS a "smart career decision". But Ubuntu does everything I ask it to and then some. The fleet of servers I manage rarely need any attention and the desktop systems are rock solid so long as I'm not trying to mess around with ZFS in non-standard ways8.

Would I consider switching distributions in the future if something else came along? Of course. However, that something else would need to offer benefits that Ubuntu – and the community around it – cannot.

Looking at how much has changed since the days of Slackware, Usenet, Slashdot, B2, S3, and Palm handhelds, I feel much, much older than my age ... 🤪

  1. Wiki on Usenet
  2. Short history of WordPress precursor B2/cafelog
  3. LiteStep
  4. Does anybody else remember the iMac anime girl that was everywhere at the turn of the century?
  5. Wiki on S3 Trio
  6. You're usin' a 286? Don't make me laugh. Your Windows boots up in what, a day and a half? 🎶🎤🎶
  7. Wiki on the Palm Tungsten T3. After this, I went to an HP iPad 211 Enterprise running Windows Mobile 5 with a custom ROM ... then later an iPod Touch that made every previous mobile device look like a joke in comparison.
  8. The best way to learn about fixing file system problems is to break the file system. Try not to do this on your primary machine, though.
  • NatashaOS reminds me of Natasha Romanoff. Anyway, was NatashaOS FOSS? Also, thanks for sharing your Ubuntu story :) Commented Mar 16, 2022 at 16:53
  • @matigo Good to see a fellow Usenet user :)
    – andrew.46 Mod
    Commented Mar 16, 2022 at 22:30
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    @RandomPerson the project was not FOSS, no. I was a little late wrapping my head around that concept, keeping most of my personal projects proprietary until around 2007 🤐
    – matigo
    Commented Mar 17, 2022 at 2:22

March 2019. I bought a Dell PC with Ubuntu 12.04 pre-installed. I used it for a while and everything was fast and was working out of the box. I didn't like the default theme though, but couldn't change it at the time because I knew nothing about tweaking Ubuntu. I was the only student in the medical college running Ubuntu, hence I earned the nick name "Ubuntu".

May 2019. I cleaned the disk and installed Windows 10 on the PC. 😓 This time round, I wasn't contented with Windows anymore, I missed Ubuntu, I missed the freedom, I missed the speed.

September 2019. I learnt about dual booting. I installed Ubuntu 19.10 alongside Windows 10. I found the Ubuntu community on Ask Ubuntu, a bunch of nice people. Ever since, Ubuntu has been my primary OS. I have themed it to my taste from Plymouth to GTK themes. Now I'm on 20.04 LTS.

What I like about Ubuntu:

  • Open source
  • Stability
  • The community
  • It's fast
  • Thanks for posting your story here. I'm glad that this is your first post on Ask Ubuntu Meta :) Commented Jan 1, 2021 at 17:14

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