I remember using Knoppix, a live Debian-based distro, a decade ago.
It was a nightmare, since user-friendly documentation was hard to come by.
--help synopsis for the
coreutils commands are too short for a beginner to understand much,
man pages are littered with detailed documentation for long-tail use-cases that you don't need 80% of the time. Good luck finding the command and/or configuration file to connect to the Internet, to get help from usenet, a forum, or AltaVista. You were lucky if you managed to accomplish something in a day.
Nowadays I get >75% of my questions answered instantly by Google that redirects me to a StackExchange post.
My actual question is: Can I post a historical question like this on Unix/Linux? I'm very eager to hear other user's experiences, or is this not suited for this Q&A site?