HOWTOs/Start A User Group

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Check whether such a group already exists, see here, search on the internet (keyword will be your place name + lug/glug/fsug). And if you find one that is not listed here please add it so that others can find out it easily.

Find out who are interested, ask your friends, colleagues, classmates...

Announce a meeting (use your notice board, class room, or wherever people get to see it).

Discuss with them their interests, share experiences and how can you help each other.

Collect their contact inforamation.

Create a mailing list for continued discussions. You can create a list in sites such as

Sites running Free Software for managing the mailing list

  1. Request a mailman list on itself. See Email Lists

Most probably we give you one. In case we run out of our resources please ask on the following.

  1. Autistici
  2. Rise Up
  3. Free Lists
  4. Libre List

Sites running non-free software for managing the mailing list

We DON'T recommend this, as you can see the irony of using non-free software to collaborate on free software.

  1. Google Groups - no advertisements on posts
  2. Yahoo Groups - has advertisements on posts

Also you can create a community in online social networking sites like Facebook, Google Plus or Orkut, and add link to your mailing list in the description.

Also add all the details about your your community here and use that page for co-ordinating with the team, say for arranging a meetup, want to conduct a poll ...

Conduct regular meetings and discussed the new exciting things you have done.

A sample proposal

This is a sample proposal submitted to start a FOSS Group in an Engineering College in Kerala


A FOSS initiative by ASIET, Kalady

What is FOSS?

Free and open source software (FOSS) is software that is both free software and open source. It is liberally licensed to grant users the right to use, copy, study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code. Here the term “free” does not mean “zero-dollar”, but it means freedom of four forms. They are

  • The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

To remind this, the famous motto of FSF(Free Software Foundation) is used. “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer”.

Free Software provides the user complete freedom over the product. He can change it in any way he wants, sell it, share it, distribute it, anything he wants.

What is FOSSouls?

FOSSouls is a sub-group of of the CSE Association, Technolegion of ASIET comprising of FOSS-enthusiasts from all classes. This group, primarily aims to familiarize students with Free Software and to inform them about the drawbacks of proprietary software. It also takes into consideration updating the members about recent happenings in the technical world.

Main goals of FOSSouls are

  • Advocacy,
  • Education,
  • Support and
  • Socialising of Free and Open Source Software

Activities of FOSSouls

FOSSouls intend to conduct different activities related to Free Software in the college. Some proposed ones are

Workshops and Seminars on various fields of FOSS

  1. Workshop on advantages of Free Software over Proprietary Software
  2. Workshop on FOSS alternatives to commonly used proprietary software.
  3. Workshop on Indian Language Computing
  4. Seminar/Workshop on Wikipedia and sister concerns.
  5. Workshop on GIMP.
  6. Workshop on Python.
  7. State level conference on different fields of FOSS world.
  8. Linux install fest.
  9. Conversion of computers in college labs from Microsoft Windows to Linux to avoid License problems.
  10. Workshop on Use of GIT. (Discuss how to make a Open Source project and put it out there.)
  11. Seminar on different types of Encryptions (true crypt, GPG)
  12. Workshop on SSH (use and scope)
  13. Workshop on MariaDB (FOSS Alternative to MySQL)
  14. Introduction of Alternative Distributed Social network DIASPORA and IRC- the new form of discussion
  15. Workshop on Cyber Security (using FOSS Hacking tools) and Anonymity (using TOR)
  16. Seminar on different types of Licenses - GPL, LGPL, MIT, Apache, BSD , CC
  17. Implement healthy changes in the college labs
  18. Conversion of computers from Microsoft Windows to Linux (Ubuntu)
  19. Training sessions to teachers for better use of Linux by professionals.
  20. Establishment of a technical support team to clear doubts about FOSS Applications
  21. Establishment of a mailing list to distribute important news about FOSS world
  22. Implement Open Source Cloud Computing, helping students gain easy access to study resources like notes, tutorial videos etc

Functioning Body of FOSSouls

The functioning body of FOSSouls will contain

  • Staff co-ordinator
  • Group head (student co-ordinator)
  • Technical head
  • Two volunteers from each branch

Plan of Action

FOSSouls intend to conduct programmes on a bi-monthly basis, i.e one event per 2 months. Once every year, we will conduct a national level conference/seminar/workshop. There will be committee meetings on the third Friday of every month to discuss about the activities to be conducted. We also plan to maintain a mailing list and a BB Forum, to provide latest news and technical assistance to the group members. The details of events will be discussed with staff in-charge, HOD and principal and then finalised. Collaboration with CSI can also be considered so as to avail enough funds for carrying out the activities.