My Story #4: Linux Journey of Mr. Berkley Starks

Yet, another interesting story of Mr. Berkley Starks, who shared his real Linux story in his own words, must read… About Me I am a simple Linux user who over the years turned into...

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Yet, another interesting story of Mr. Berkley Starks, who shared his real Linux story in his own words, must read…

My Linux Story #4: Mr. Berkley Starks

My Linux Story #4: Mr. Berkley Starks

About Me

I am a simple Linux user who over the years turned into a power user, and then a full System Admin. I started using Linux when I was 13, and have never looked back at trying to run a different OS since. When I’m not coding, scripting, or generally trying to tweak my system for fun I enjoy mountain biking, reading, and camping. I’ve worked in different capacities all over the U.S. but have most recently settled into the inter-mountain west area and love the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

I am answering to the question asked by TecMint – When and Where you heard about Linux and How you encountered Linux?

My Linux Journey So Far

I first encountered Linux back in 1998 just after Windows 98 First Edition came out. I’d used DOS and Win 3.1, and was honestly not much than an idle user on his dad’s i386. We had just upgraded to our first Pentium class machine, and it came preloaded with Win98 First Edition. For those who don’t know, Win98 First Edition was a colossal nightmare.


So there I was, figuring out my way around things and getting VERY frustrated with constant crashing, blue screens, and a myriad of other issues when I was talking with one of my friends about my frustrations when he said, “Hey, you should try Linux.” I scratched my head and asked about it, and after a couple of weeks talking it over, he came with a giant stack of 3.5 Floppy Disks and dumped them in my lappy and told me to have fun. Little did I know that I was installing Gentoo for my first go at Linux.

Needless to say, doing a Stage1 Tarball install of Gentoo on your first go is quite a painful thing. But here’s the kicker…..I LOVED IT! Every little mistake, every little issue, asking questions, researching online, and just plain figuring things out made me fall in love with Linux. I remember going through the install 4 or 5 times before I got X to work, I remember loading my specific drivers into the kernel just to reduce the bloat on my machine. Writing about this now kind of makes me a little nostalgic remembering back 16 years ago when I started on this little journey called Linux.

Since then I have tried so many different flavors of Linux I can’t even keep count any more. .deb based, rpm based, and so many others. I can say that Linux has helped me both professionally and financially throughout my life.

After learning Gentoo and moving on to other distros I ended up in college studying experimental physics. Because of my expertise in Linux, I was able to get my Masters Degree paid for because I knew how to take care of a computational cluster that was running on Linux.

Since then I have segued back into IT, and have seen how my Linux expertise has helped me move up the corporate ladder and helped me get positions over other qualified individuals just because I knew Linux.

I love Linux. I live Linux. Linux is truly an integral part of my life (just don’t tell my wife that I rank Linux up there with here, she might get mad at me). I’ve been a Linux user for almost 2 decades at this point in my life, and see myself using it for many more.

Tecmint Community is sincerely thankful to Mr. Berkley Starks for sharing his Linux journey with us. If you too have such interesting story, do share with us, which will serve as an inspiration to Millions of online users.

Note: The best Linux story will get an award from Tecmint, based upon the number of views and considering other few criteria, on monthly basis.

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