Slackware LinuxAn ISO for Slackware Linux was the first thing I downloaded when I finally got broadband at my house. For a year or so prior to that, I had wanted desperately to try out Linux and had been reading about every distribution I could, preparing myself for the day I would finally have the bandwidth to make my dream a reality. At the time I was considering what I believe to be the "Big Three": Slackware, Debian, Gentoo. I consider these the core distributions because so many other distributions are based on them or borrow concepts from them. Which of course is not surprising, as these are 3 of the very first successful GNU/Linux distributions; naturally upstarts would try and mimic them as closely as possible in their perceived strengths.
I finally decided on Slackware Linux because it seemed to be the closest to what my idea of an operating system should be. After downloading that very first ISO, I can honestly say that the course of my entire life changed. Linux became not only one of my biggest hobbies, but indeed an increasingly large part of my professional life. I have no doubt in my mind that, had I chosen a different distribution to download, I would not have the same level of knowledge about the Linux kernel or the GNU system that I do today. While I acknowledge that not everyone wants (or even needs) to understand the low-level workings of their operating system, I strongly suggest that anyone who does take a look at starting their journey with Slackware. While distributions like Ubuntu certainly have the limelight today (and not without good reason), Slackware will always have its place, and its fans, in the Linux world.