Community Manager
Community Manager

How were you introduced to open source technology?

With over 100,000 members - share how you were initially introduced to open source technology! We have varying stories, backgrounds, industries and skill levels that make up the fabric of this community, we would love to hear how your story began. 

This question is part of the 100K Member Contest - don't forget to kudo the original contest post to be entered. 

Labels (3)
86 Replies

For me, it came out of necessity.

I worked for a start-up company that was running a database on a SunOS UNIX system. We needed to upgrade that system, reduce our leasing costs, and still run the database (same version) on a supported platform. 

We switched to Linux from Solaris (there was no OpenSolaris at the time), and ran it on an Intel platform instead of a leased Sun SPARC server. Over time, other servers were switched over to Linux too.

While that version of Linux wasn't initially Red Hat, subsequent employers I worked for did use Red Hat, and I've not looked back.

Flight Engineer Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

Red Hat Learning Community "answer the unanswered" contest!

Question #3: My first experience with open source technology.

In the mid 1980’s I was teaching and supporting a Unix variant known as Xenix which ran on our Motorola 68000 chipset. (Some of you may know who I was working for at that time.) Eventually, it was replaced with SCO UNIX and a variant was released called SCO UNIX for the PC/AT. One of my employees acquired the 5 ¼” diskette and we booted it, logged in and played around with cd, ls, df and a few other commands. We came to an agreement that UNIX can’t possibly run well on this type of chipset and that it needs the ‘more powerful M68000’ chip. Well, that’s what we felt.

A few years later an employee asked if I had heard of a new program called Linux. I said that I had not and asked what it was. He explained it was like UNIX but for a PC. I stated that I had seen that before and didn’t think much of it, then asked him to get a copy and we’ll take a look at it. He came to work the next day with about 17 31/2” diskettes. He then spent a couple of days inserting, compiling, booting, re-compiling and finally got a system to boot to allow us to login and play with some commands like cd and ls and df, etc. We decided that it was similar to the other version I had seen years earlier and filed the diskettes.

And then it hit me…

A few months later I started reading more and more about Linux and it piqued my interest. I couldn’t find those diskettes so I researched for more information and got many, MANY ‘info pages’ and downloaded a working version to play with. At this point in my career, I was teaching AIX full time and realized that this new thing really had some possibilities. I decided that I needed to spend more time with it – as soon as I had some time that I could dedicate to my own personal education.

Only a few short years later, Linux was part of my curriculum. After getting some excellent official training directly from Red Hat, Inc. (read Randy and Bo) I eventually passed my RHCE and began teaching Red Hat Linux to computer professionals who wished to become System Administrators and earn an RHCE certificate of their own.

It has been over 20 years since that first class. I still enjoy learning new things in Red Hat and with Linux and watching computer newbies progress from zero to hero!



Love this story @PeetDavis - thanks for sharing! Glad to have you on the team :smileyvery-happy:

Flight Engineer Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

By accident almost.

In 1997 I started my carreer as a MPE/iX system administrator (that old Hewlett Packard Operating System).

Beside MPE/iX I expended my actvities to HP/UX (1998).

In 1999 a Network Engineer had setup a set of DNS servers on Red Hat Linux 5.1 to replace DNS on HP/UX. A one man team is no team, so I was asked if we could more with Red Hat Linux, so a Linux admin team could be setup.

So we setup a set of ftp servers too and once RHEL came on the market database servers an all kind of application servers where introduced.

Other locations also started small and expended their Linux activities from servers that ran network services to datacenter servers.

Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

I got my first personal computer (i386 I believe) during my last years in high school. By the time I started university I was terribly frustrated by the instability of Windows.

I had a hand written manual to format the hard disk, reinstall Windows 98SE and all of the programs I used and configure all of settings I liked. I was tired of performing that procedure every half year or so.

After talking to someone he asked me why not try Linux? I had been reading about it in some computer magazines by then and was fascinated. So I went over to his place got a dozen or so 3 1/2 inch floppies and started dual booting.

One of the first things I noticed is that my HP monitor which would start making this shrill noise in Windows and would occasionally turn off without warning worked fine even in that early version 7 of Red Hat Linux. No more need to save and close all programs blindly and reboot!

At university I saw all of my fellow students struggle to edit documents longer than a dozen or so pages in Word. And I was amazed that OpenOffice handled it all with automatic page references etc. without problem.

The downside was that without internet connection at home I really learned to understand RPM dependency hell. Downloading RPM's at university only to find that I was missing some dependency that I had to go hunt down the next day. :)

While working on my third job I got the opportunity to use Linux/Unix/AIX professionally. And my fourth employer allowed my get my first Red Hat certificate. By that time I managed most of the Linux systems they had in use.

Really glad that my current employer allows me to recertify as RHCE.

RHCE 100-015-239

My first C++ class was taught in a Solaris lab and a few months later I installed Mandrake 9 on my laptop after getting tired of fighting with Windows ME
Flight Engineer Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

@ work. Open source solutions tend to be a good starting point due to the low price.


I have not been introduced.
Join the discussion
You must log in to join this conversation.