Linux Users' Groups are also particularly good at getting new people to use Linux. At least, they should be. One of the main problems with Linux is that, to the uninitiated, Linux can be intimidating. A group of users dedicated to promoting open source and The Linux Way who already know lots about setting up Linux helps, particularly since it isn't half as hard to maintain a Linux box as it is to set one up.

At least, thus is the mission of the Clemson Linux Users Group, because we've all been there before...

Also known as a LUG, a Linux Users' group is a group of individuals interested in Linux, with various levels of expertise ranging from seasoned system administrators to complete newbies. Generally, the group is non-profit and organized by some members of the group or a school and is free to join. A user group typically has some form of communication, either via a mailing list, a website, and face to face meetings. The meetings generally occur once per month, with a couple of Linux related topics being discussed or presented. In addition to the normal meetings, some groups will hold an installfest, which is a day for people to bring their computers to a location and get some assistance loading Linux onto their machine.

LUGs are a great source of information for Linux. If you're having an issue, usually someone in the group will have some information on the problem you're seeing, or at the very least will be willing to help you figure it out. The topics presented at a meeting are given by people from within the group who are knowledgeable in the topic. A question and answer session usually follows each presentation, and presenters typically make their presentation available online for download. Information is freely exchanged within the LUG, and overall makes for a better Linux experience when you have someone to turn to.

Numerous people from all backgrounds attend meetings, with some sharing their knowledge and others bringing questions. Chances are, you may meet some system administrators for a company, and by talking with them, you may find an opportunity to expand your career options. Members of a LUG may post about job openings in the company they work for, or you may find others with interests similar to your own.

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