The British number one delighted a packed Centre Court as he delivered a 6-1 6-4 7-5 victory in two hours and two minutes.
Murray, who will now face Slovenian Blaz Rola tomorrow, said he was touched by the reception he received at the All England Club.
“It brought back a lot of good memories. It is nice to walk out to a full crowd for the first match,” he said.
Elsewhere on day one, 18th seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain lost to Australian Marinko Matosevic, with the 2013 Wimbledon quarter-finalist going out in four sets, 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-2.
On Court Two, sixth seed Tomas Berdych came back from losing the first set to beat Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-7 (7/5) 6-1 6-4 6-3.
Ernests Gulbis, the 12th seed from Latvia, beat Estonia Jurgen Zopp 7-6 (9/7) 7-5 7-6 (12/10), while Australian Bernard Tomic came through in straight sets against Russian Evgeny Donskoy, 6-4 6-3 6-2.
However, number 25 seed Andreas Seppi of Italy lost 6-3 2-6 6-4 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 to Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer.
In the women’s singles there was a huge shock when former US Open champion Samantha Stosur became the first major casualty, the Australian going out in the first round.
The 30-year-old was beaten 6-3 6-4 by Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer.
Sloane Stephens, the 21-year-old American, was another big casualty, going down 6-2 7-6 (8/6) to Russian Maria Kirilenko.
Stephens said: “It feels like the end of the world now, but fortunately it’s not. So that’s a good thing.”
Meanwhile, two-time semi-finalist Victoria Azarenka won her first match since returning from three months out, beating Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-3 7-5.
Venus Williams, who missed last year’s event through injury, saw off Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor 6-4 4-6 6-2.
Second seed Li Na of China also advanced to the second round.
The 32-year-old Australian Open champion, who has reached the quarter-finals three times, beat Polish qualifier Paula Kania 7-5 6-2.