G LU G | National Institute of Technology Hamirpur

What is GNU?

In the words of Richard M. Stallman, the founder of the GNU Project:

"GNU, which stands for Gnu's Not Unix, is the name for the complete Unix-compatible software system which I am writing so that I can give it away free to everyone who can use it. Several other volunteers are helping me. Contributions of time, money, programs and equipment are greatly needed."

»»Read GNU Manifesto

Linux and the GNU Project

The version of GNU which is widely used today is more often known as "Linux" and many users are not aware of the extent of its connection with the GNU Project.

Linux is the kernel: the program in the system that allocates the machine's resources to the other programs that you run. The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete operating system. Linux is normally used in a combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system is basically GNU, with Linux functioning as its kernel.

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We are in the process of enriching our bulletin board and tutorial sections. So anyone interested in writing a tutorial, a review, or sharing interesting links, can just type them down and mail copies to Debarshi ( [email protected] ) and me ( [email protected] ), and we will take care of the rest. Make sure you include the text (plain text only), relevant screenshots and other stuff as seperate attachments.

Posted by Arjun Shankar at 14:08 hr 01/04/2006.

1. Why have a GLUG?

Since the development of the GNU/Linux system follows the 'bazaar' (see ) model, it is maintained by an unstructured group of programmers from all over the world. GNU/Linux works precisely because people are free to come and go as they please. However the lack of central structure poses certain difficulties related to allocation of human resources, effectve advocacy, public relations, user education, and training. It can disorient the new Linux user, since she does not know whom to call for suport, training, or education.

That is where GLUGs come in. They provide the answers to the above questions and form a social group, whose members can share their individual knowledge amongst themselves. After all the ability to share knowledge is one of the cornerstones on which the concepts of Free Software and Free Knowledge are based. The more you share, the better.

Since our towns, villages, or metropolitans have no GNU/Linux Corporation "regional office", the GLUG takes on many of the same roles a regional office does for a large multi-national corporation.

2. Ok fine. But what would does GLUG NITH plan to do?

Being a university GLUG, no doubt our activities would be slightly education oriented. However our main goal is to promote the use of GNU/Linux from an end-user's perspective. We feel that there exists a certain fear in the minds of the people when it comes to using GNU/Linux on the desktop. Since most of these fears are born out of baseless myths, we plan to help you in using your GNU/Linux system as 'easily' as would use any other operating system.

The GLUG would act as a forum to help out people working on Free or Open Source Software projects, and encourage the members (especially students) to scale new heights using GNU/Linux as the launching pad for their ideas.

Among other things we also plan to do the following:
1. Offer ISO images of the latest releases of the major GNU/Linux distros.
2. Offer all those libraries, plugins, drivers, and other pieces of software that could make life much more enjoyable for a GNU/Linux user.
3. Host a mirror for some reputed Free and Open Source Software sites.

NB: If you think you can help us in achieving any of the above objectives please do come forward. It does not matter whether you have a bagful of problems or solutions, your contribution would always be greatly appreciated. The more problems that crop up, the more they get solved!

3. How does the members keep in touch?

There would be weekly GLUG meetings held in the campus, details of which will be notified on this site. Members can also subscribe to the GLUG mailing list to keep in touch.

4. How do I become a member?

Just walk into a GLUG meeting or subscribe to the mailing list to be a member.

5. Who is in charge here?

Everyone. Its for the users, by the users, and of the users. This is a social group and we would not like to have any hierarchial structure.

However individual members can take additional responsibilites (other than creating/solving GNU/Linux related problems) like maintaining the website, moderating the mailing lists, organizing meets, advocating use of GNU/Linux and other FLOSS products, etc..