Ottawa PC Users' Group (OPCUG)


Tux LinuxSIG

The following information for the Linux operating system has been provided by our members and discussed at the Linux, Free and Open-Source Software Special Interest Group which pre-dated the current Q&A Sessions.



Linux Tutorial
Do you want to learn about Linux from the ground up? Or, perhaps you are a novice user and wish to enhance your knowledge. Linux Journey ( offers tutorials on a number of levels, on a variety of Linux topics. The tutorials feature many "how-to" examples and links to external resources. There's something for everyone. (See also: tips_tricks_traps_05.pdf)

Are you ready for Linux? - Linux is ready for you (1 MB PDF file)
For years an alternate operating system has been floating around the net. It is completely open and shared by everyone. Computer experts from all over the world have been refining it to a high degree. There are over 100 different versions (distributions).

How do I find out about Linux software?
Don Chiasson's presentation to the Linux SIG on March 14th, 2007 included lots of links to web sites with basic information about Linux and its applications software.

Samba — Sharing files with Linux
Most home networked computers are set up to share files and printers. In Windows, this happens automagically when you click a box to say "Share files". With Linux, a program called Samba takes care of this task for you.

Compiling a Linux Kernel
A few years ago, when you loaded Linux, it was often necessary to compile the kernel from source code, usually to include a less common network card or other device driver. Distributions now are very good, and this is not necessary. But, it is interesting - macho even - to build your own.



Exploring Linux

We have lots of information on how to install and configure various Linux distros, tips on disk partitioning, ways to install new software under Linux, how to create dual-boot (Linux and Windows) systems, and much more. In fact, we have a whole series of articles on Exploring Linux...

Linux North

Linux North

If the above-noted articles are of interest to you, and especially if you are looking for information on Ubuntu Linux, you may wish to check out a blog that is produced by one of OPCUG's members. Postings to the blog have included notes on a transition from an old LTS (long term support) version of Ubuntu to an up-to-date LTS release, a move from Evolution to Thunderbird as the E-mail client of choice, customizing the GRUB2 boot menu, using a variety of backup programs, and how to find specific files. Check out the how-to postings - and the pages of detailed tips - at Linux North.


Book Reviews

Linus Torvalds – Just for Fun
The book Just for Fun – The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary, by Linus Torvalds and David Diamond, provides a biography of the individual who created Linux and then spearheaded its further development. The text suffers slightly from the inclusion of some rather adolescent verbiage, seemingly there solely for its shock-value, and to enhance the image of the computer nerd. In contrast, there are many passages where Torvalds eloquently expresses his strong beliefs in the virtues of the open-source movement to develop high-quality products, while in no way wanting to limit the uses of such technology, and acknowledging the creation of wealth through its commercial application.

Linux for Non-Geeks Linux for Non-Geeks
This book by Rickford Grant promises a "pain-free, project-based, get-things-done guidebook" to Ubuntu Linux. Our author makes powerful arguments for Linux, as an alternative to that other operating system, and also for the associated open-source movement. One interesting thought is that users should tally up the overall cost of the operating system software and the individual applications programs that they currently own. They might then compare the astronomical resulting figure with the zero-cost option of obtaining and using Ubuntu and the included software packages. They might also note that the latter offer the same, if not greater range, power and flexibility as their Windows’ counterparts. Added food-for-thought comes with the consideration that Linux will run exceedingly well on less than state-of-the-art hardware.

Ubuntu Hacks
The sub-title of this book is "Tips & Tools for Exploring, Using, and Tuning Linux" which turns out to be appropriate on a number of fronts. Some of the initial "hacks", notably Hack #1 – Test-Drive Ubuntu and Hack #5 – Install Ubuntu, aren’t hacks at all, but rather are straightforward instructions on getting started with (i.e. exploring and using) Ubuntu Linux. But, despite that minor quibble, the book does contain lots of good information and advice for Ubuntu users, and really does have some interesting hacks.

Ubuntu Kung Fu
So, I'm scanning across the library shelves of computer manuals - you know the ones full of books like "Computers for Dummies" by Idiots (or was that "Computers for Idiots" by Dummies?) - when a cute kitten waves at me from the front cover of "Ubuntu Kung Fu". Now, with Ubuntu in the title, and "Tips, Tricks, Hints and Hacks" as the sub-title, this is an eminently more promising tome than any of the computers-for-morons series. So, haul this one home and leaf through the pages...

Revolution OS

Movie Review

Revolution OS (217 KB PDF)
Revolution OS tells the inside story of the hackers and computer programmers who rebelled against Microsoft and the idea of proprietary software to create GNU, Linux and the Open Source Movement... [the film] captures an offbeat group of characters who are three-parts libertarian, two parts communist, and one-part bad garage band.

1991 - Version 0.01 has 10,000 lines of code and one user




Questions and Answers


Do you have questions?
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If you have any computer-related questions, including any Linux-related issues, bring them along to our next Q&A session.