I’ve been a Linux user on and off (mostly in a dual boot scenario) for 20 years now. The bulk of that time has been spent running Debian based distributions, such as various Ubuntu flavors, Mepis, Mint and elementaryOS, although I started out on rpm based systems.
My first foray into the Linux world was a distribution called Winlinux 2000, than ran inside of a Windows partition. It was the easiest way at the time to jump into Linux. I was in college at the time, and kept having issues with with Windows98 on my computer. I still had to keep Windows around to write papers and such, but that was the only time I wasn’t in Linux. I could do everything else I needed at the time, which was basically web surfing, IM, and IRC chat.
My next foray was an actual boxed retail copy of Mandrake Linux, bought at, of all places, Walmart. I ran that particular version of Mandrake for quite a while, and then started switching back and forth between various RPM based distros, including Red Hat, PCLinuxOS and SUSE.
My move to Debian based distros started with Mepis somewhere around 2004. Mepis took, what I considered to be, the slightly more difficult to set up Debian, and made it must more end user friendly. Shortly after Mepis came out, Ubuntu was also released. So, for the last 15 or so years, I’ve moved back and forth between various Debian based distros, including many Ubuntu varieties and derivatives. I ran vanilla Ubuntu for a long time, until they moved off of gnome and went to Unity, which I never liked. I moved over to Xubuntu for quite a while, as I’ve long been a fan of xfce. I also dabbled in lubuntu (and LXLE for even longer) for a spell.
In 2012, the elementaryOS team released version 0.2 Luna, and I fell in love with the interface and look. I’ve swapped back and forth between LXLE and elementaryOS, and later Ubuntu Budgie, pretty consistently since then, always trying out new releases of other distros now and then, but usually going back to elementaryOS of Ubuntu Budgie, until January of this year.
Being a fan of Budgie, I decided to try Solus, where Budgie originated, for the first time just recently. I’ve been running it for a couple of weeks now, and I can honestly say I don’t see myself running anything else for a long time. It’s the first time in a long time that I’m not using a Debian based distro, but a distro that uses eopkg, it’s own fork of PiSi, which is very different.
In typical fashion, there is a good chance I’ll be running something different in six months, but for right now, I’m very happy with Solus, and think I will be for quite a while.