User Groups, and Forums, and Blogs, Oh My: Top 7 Linux Resources to Increase Your Expertise
Linux is a series of open source software operating systems first released in 1991. Named after its principal author Linus Torvalds and initially only developed for personal computers, it is now the most versatile family of operating systems, used on everything from smartphones to servers.
Due to its reputation as a robustly stable open license product, a loyal community has developed to continually improve and expand Linux. Consequently, there is a sea of information available for users and developers to consult. It can be overwhelming to navigate such a surplus of resources, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the most valuable ones to help you find what you need.
Linux User Groups
Linux user groups, also known as a LUG, are typically non-profit collectives of people that network, discuss Linux, provide support for other users, establish education initiatives, and further the development of Linux. Groups are often formed based on location to allow for meetups and planning local events. However, there are some groups that exist entirely online. Additionally, there are global groups, like LinuxChix, which focuses on women in the Linux community. Given Linux’s popularity, it’s no surprise that hundreds of groups exist around the globe.
One of the oldest and largest groups, SVLUG, located in Silicon Valley, has been in existence since 1988 before Linux was even released. Initially formed as a PC-Unix Special Interest Group of the Silicon Valley Computer Society, they quickly evolved into a dedicated Linux user group that has hosted Linus Torvalds at several of their meetings.
Since groups continue to pop up, no comprehensive, continually managed list exists, but local groups can be found through a quick google search.
Online forums can hold the answers to the most obscure questions, but they are a double-edged sword. In addition to the wealth of answers to niche questions, users can also suffer sheer information overload, or worse, get dangerous misinformation. Below are the three trustworthy Linux forums.
Linux – It makes sense that a reliable source of information would be on the main Linux website. There are a number of well-organized forums, with topics ranging from “General Linux” to “Advanced Linux Tutorials.” Linux recently overhauled its website and purged a large amount of content, so the forums only date back to 2017, which means there’s a smaller chance of you stumbling upon outdated information. The main website also hosts an impressively thorough set of man pages for anyone in need of an explanation of any Linux command.
Linux Questions – One of, if not the most, active Linux forums is Linux Questions. One of the most popular topics is “Newbie,” where new users can ask any question and receive assistance from any number of generous expert users. One advantage of this forum is that members are assigned a reputation score, indicating both the number of posts they’ve made, and how helpful people have found them.
Reddit – Though we certainly won’t vouch for the veracity of the rest of the site, the Linux subreddit is very well moderated. One big benefit of Reddit’s notoriety is its ability to attract well known people. Linux is no exception. The subreddit often hosts ‘Ask Me Anything’ (AMA) sessions in which users can ask questions of notable experts. Some AMA guests include the founder of Bedrock Linux, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst, and Nat Friedman, the CEO of GitHub.
We know writing about a blog on a blog is getting a little meta, but there a number of excellent Linux blogs that are worth following for the latest news.
Linux Foundation – Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is a non-profit that focuses on standardizing and helping to grow Linux. Since they are a direct supporter of the work of Linux founder Linus Torvalds and Greg Kroah-Hartman, a primary Linux developer, the foundation’s blog is a must read for Linux devotees.
Linux Journal – The first magazine about Linux to be published, this magazine and its corresponding blog specialize in news, reviews, and recommendations for Linux experts.
SUSE – SUSE is the original provider of enterprise Linux distribution, and continues to provide enterprise-grade open source solutions and support. As such a leader in the field, their blog is full of useful information for organizations using Linux.
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