"Slackware (1993) The first truly popular Linux
The distribution which brought me, and many others, to Linux in
Linux's early 90s days was the oddly named Slackware. Patrick
Volkerding, its founder, picked the name from the Church of the
SubGenius, a parody church that was popular in hacker circles in
the 90s. Volkerding still thinks "it's a pretty good name. I've
been trying to put an ease-of-use spin on it, but it doesn't quite
work. I think I'll just start telling people all the good names
were taken to get them off the subject."
"Debian (1994) Welcome to the community.
While Slackware was bringing new users to Linux by the thousands,
Ian Murdock, then an undergraduate at Purdue University and now
Sun's VP vice president of emerging platforms, had started work on
the first, significant community Linux distribution: Debian.
"Some early distributions, including Slackware, were primarily
the product of a few inspired developers, while others like
Caldera, Red Hat and Yggdrasil were commercial distributions being
built by staffers. Murdock had another idea. As he explained in The
Debian Manifesto "Debian Linux is a brand-new kind of Linux
distribution. Rather than being developed by one isolated
individual or group, as other distributions of Linux have been
developed in the past, Debian is being developed openly in the
spirit of Linux and GNU."