I first used Ubuntu (8.04 Hardy Heron) as my primary OS in 2008 in my second year of university as my main C++ development environment (Code::Blocks debugger 💖).
I'm now using Ubuntu as my primary OS on my work laptop again, after having used MacOS / OS X for ~8 years, since we run mostly Debian in production and I've wanted to experiment with life outside the Apple ecosystem.
At university I "volunteered" (played games) in UCT's Shuttleworth Lab and tutored second-year students in their Linux lab sessions using Ubuntu.
I've used other Linux distributions since, but for personal servers have always come back to Ubuntu.
screenreplacement / text-based window manager called
Byobu, great for servers. (Don't use it to run production services 😖, create a
systemd --userunits. Keybase's Linux client is a great example.
At Amazon we ran a RHEL-based distribution with a lot of internal tooling, called "Amazon Linux". It was based on a very old RHEL 5(?) at the time and had restrictive repos. 3/5 stars. :P
When Ryzen was still brand-new and I was building my SFF PC during a trip through the Unites States I needed a distribution that shipped with proprietary graphics drivers out of the box. Manjaro Linux was one of the first distros I got to work without a hitch, but running a distribution with rolling updates while restricted by data in Sierra Leone is pretty annoying. 4/5 stars.