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Diablo Valley Linux Users Group

Welcome! We enjoy sharing our experiences with other users, developers and technologists. We are interested in speaking with other open source professionals and less experienced, even technophobic, but interested and curious users. Please take a moment to look at the About & FAQ pages we’ve written. Apparently kind spirited suggestions are welcomed.

We cover the north-east San Francisco Bay Area — Concord, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Danville, Lamorinda (Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda), Walnut Creek, and nearby areas in Contra Costa County.

Some people are still surprised to learn that if you use Google, use Facebook, trade stocks, fly in airplanes, use an Android phone or use the Internet you already depend on Linux every day. If you use a Mac or iPhone you depend on the Darwin branch of BSD UNIX every day.

This month we meet:

second & fourth Fridays
this month Nov 14th & Nov 28th
next month Dec 12th & Dec 26th
7 PM at
Caffe La Scala
1655 N Main @ Civic
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
(details)

What is Linux?

Here is our explanation. Learning a bit more about open technology, copyright and related Internet social movements can feel like climbing a slippery slope at first. We hope to make these topics more accessible and sustain the interest of curious newcomers in how these aspects of computers mesh together.

Free Software/open source software is high quality, legal and costs nothing to download and try. Careful partitioning and boot loader changes are no longer required to try a whole operating system on virtual or real hardware using VirtualBox with or without a nice wrapper like vagrant or boot2docker. Many of the common programs have versions ready to install on other operating systems like Windows (using cygwin) and Mac OS X (using fink, brew or others). Due to network effects the more people who use the software and contribute features the more everyone benefits.

Linux celebrated its 20th birthday in 2011.

Who uses Linux? Linux itself has seen continuous improvements since 1991, over twenty years ago. Because some versions of Linux are available at no cost there is no way to know exactly how many people use it. The list of Linux users includes Google, Facebook, Twitter, eBay, IBM, Amazon, Wikipedia, Internet Archive, CERN, Cisco, Virgin America, Panasonic, Novell, USPS, 75% of stock exchanges (including NYSE & London) & a number of US agencies (including the DOD, FAA, Federal Courts, US Navy submarines). Linux adoption continues and the list of adopters grows. Linux distributions as a group have long been the dominant operating systems (over 90 percent) on web servers and supercomputers.

According to the US Department of Defense, OSS is Commercial Software. This is surprising but a FLOSS Weekly interview of David Wheeler is clear. His other published papers include Why Open Source Software (OSS)? & OSS in US Government Acquisitions.