North East Worcestershire Linux User Group

Welcome to the
North East Worcestershire Linux User Group

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Who are we?

Our 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.

We 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.

We 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.

Everyone 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

What is Linux and Open Source?

There is plenty of information on the internet about Linux and Open Source Software, but here we will give a brief overview of both...


Linux 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.

There 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 everyday use.

Linux has many advantages, but here are a few:

  • SECURE - security is a fundamental part of Linux and virus activity is VERY rare indeed.

  • STABLE - due to the way that the operating system is developed, the kernel is extremely stable. Linux machines can run for YEARS without needing re-boots.

  • FREE - 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).
  • SOFTWARE - there are tens of thousands of quality Open Source Software packages available. They are very easy to install – just a couple of mouse clicks.
  • CUTTING EDGE - most Linux distributions have 6 month or rolling release cycles, so you can always expect to have the latest software on your computer.
  • EFFICIENT - Linux systems are very efficient and often require less resources than other operating systems.

  • COMMUNITY - 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!
  • EYE 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

Open 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 open and
public collaborative manner, often it is free of charge.

Below are some of the most well known examples of Open Source Software projects (click on the images to visit
the project's web page)...

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


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Page last updated on Sunday 11/12/11 at 20:40 GMT

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UK Linux User Groups

The North East Worcester Linux User Group, United Kingdom