group is made up of local people who share an interest in the Linux
operating system & Open Source Software. We cover the Redditch,
Bromsgrove, Studley, Alcester and surrounding areas.
hold regular meetings on the first Tuesday of each month in a relaxed
& friendly atmosphere - typically at the Royal Enfield in
Redditch starting at 7:30 pm. For further information on the Royal
Enfield (location, facilities & contact details), check out the quick
links section on the left.
also have our own social network built using the popular Elgg social
networking engine. Here you are free to communicate with other
like-minded Linux users to exchange ideas, discuss news events and
get help and support. This is where the majority of our online
interaction takes place. You can find our Elgg social network via the
link on the left.
is more than welcome to join us, online or in person at our monthly
meetings - from new users to seasoned professionals! We also offer
live demonstrations and software tutorials for anyone wanting to know
more. If you want to contact us for further details, email
is Linux and Open Source?
is plenty of information on the internet about Linux and Open Source Software, but here we will give a brief overview of both...
is a powerful and versatile operating system that runs on huge server
& mainframe computers, right the way down to smart phones. It's
also a ideal for desktop and laptop computers, so can be used as an
alternative to Microsoft and Apple operating systems.
are many Linux distributions (or "distros" for short)
available for free download which come packed with plenty of software
that can be installed on pretty much any computer within about 15 minutes. Many of
these distros are very easy to set up and use and are a great for
has many advantages, but here are a few:
- security is a fundamental part of Linux and virus activity is VERY
- due to the way that the operating system is developed, the kernel
is extremely stable. Linux machines can run for YEARS without needing
- as Linux and most of the software available for it is released
under the GPL, it's often free as in cost and free as in freedom (the
software can be modified as the user sees fit).
- there are tens of thousands of quality Open Source Software packages
available. They are very easy to install – just a couple of mouse
EDGE - most Linux distributions have 6 month or rolling release
cycles, so you can always expect to have the latest software on your
- Linux systems are very efficient and often require less resources
than other operating systems.
- there are thousands of Linux groups all over the Internet offering
all kinds of support. Closer to home, you have the North East
Worcestershire Linux User Group!
CANDY - there are many impressive desktop effects you can play around
with. Not always a productive way to spend time, but a great way to
show off (as this short clip demonstrates)!
Open Source Software
Source Software (OSS) is software that is available with the source
code. This means that the user is free
to study, change and improve
the software and share with others. As most OSS is developed in an
public collaborative manner, often it is free of
Below are some of the most well known examples of Open Source
Software projects (click on the images to visit
the project's web
Firefox - the excellent web browser from Mozilla
LibreOffice - the powerful & full-featured office suite
GIMP - often compared to Adobe Photoshop
Blender - 3D creative suite used by film and game industry professionals
Ardour - the professional digital audio workstation
Wordpress - the world's number one blogging tool
Thunderbird - one of the best open source email
clients, from the folks who gave us Firefox
VirtualBox - very powerful virtualization system, used by individuals & enterprises alike as an alternative to VMware