Linux: Come for the Kernel, Stay for the Popcorn

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OPINION
Linux: Come for the Kernel, Stay for the Popcorn

Linux presents a lot for customers to sink their enamel into that even amongst desktop and extra informal customers, it is simple to get caught up in the tradecraft. It’s solely too tempting to place your system’s technical capabilities to the take a look at by making an attempt out a brand new program or practising a brand new command. As with another curiosity, although, Linux just isn’t a lot enjoyable until you may enjoy it with fellow followers and revel in the camaraderie.

Here’s a brief tour of a few of the main cultural hallmarks of the vibrant Linux world, and a few of the hubs the place you may witness and take pleasure in the Linux life.

Distrowatch Is Your Distro Watchword

One pervasive trait amongst Linux customers is curiosity, often utilized to making an attempt out a number of Linux distributions. The most-frequented and central gathering place for doing simply that’s Distrowatch. While not a cultural motion per se, Distrowatch is a significant driving pressure for a person base that concentrates and shifts over time. The web site is the place customers go to maintain tabs on the newest options of all the distributions, and to see which of them are gaining and declining in recognition.

It additionally offers a complete database of distributions, their design rules, and their familial classification (i.e. which distributions are unique tasks and that are derived from others). If you have not discovered that excellent taste of Linux, or are simply hungry for a brand new one, Distrowatch presents the most trusted and time-honored technique of discovering it.

Free Software Makes Free Spirits

Because Linux rose at the inception — certainly, the forefront — of the “free software” motion in the 90s, the motion’s philosophy stays a central pillar of the tradition round Linux as nicely.

Free software program, or “free-libre software,” is the flip aspect of the identical open supply coin: If the latter characterizes the improvement mannequin of publishing supply code to facilitate communal contributions to the codebase, the former captures the ideological tenet of transparency afforded to customers by the public availability of code.

It is due to this sturdy present of free software program philosophy in Linux that Richard Stallman, free software program’s most loyal champion, is extra prevalent in Linux lore and fashionable tradition even than Linus Torvalds, the Linux kernel’s creator himself.

Stallman is a frequent character in Linux memes, and the free software program beliefs he advances are a supply of delight amongst a large spectrum of Linux customers. From the greenest neophytes to the most grizzled veterans, customers admire the management Linux grants them over their digital life.

The non-hierarchical neighborhood focus at the coronary heart of Linux has prolonged far past the improvement and into the social buildings of the customers themselves. One instance of that is the predominantly Linux-focused podcast Hacker Public Radio. The collection has no designated host, as a substitute calling on listeners to submit episodes for the good thing about the remainder of the viewers.

In this fashion, neighborhood members do not merely have management over the media program, they are the program. This is only one instance, however it illustrates how the ideology behind free software program — structuring the neighborhood to information itself in a clear and equitable method — proliferated from purely a software program improvement method to a cultural artifact.

You May Say I am a Themer…

For those that leverage the freedom of Linux for aesthetics, particularly, there’s a vibrant neighborhood of themers splayed throughout the Internet for customers who wish to solicit, applicable and share concepts.

There are devoted clusters of theme artisans on websites like DeviantArt and DotShare who publish not solely high-resolution screenshots of their newest desktop creations, but in addition hyperlinks to their GitHub pages so others can obtain a replica of the configuration information that produced them.

In the case of DotShare, the web site is particularly tailor-made to posting configuration information proper alongside the photographs, with all the needed information for a given look curated in a single place.

The remark sections of those and different Linux theme meccas could be discovered brimming with phrases of encouragement and requests for artists to share their strategies, and most will oblige once they can. Few spheres of Linux tradition generate as a lot pleasure, or engender as a lot cooperation, as the theme neighborhood, with its charms equally appreciated by themers and pure admirers alike.

LUGs Give You a Reason to Lug Your Computer Around

The bulk of Linux tradition, like most of tradition typically, thrives on-line — however there’s a sturdy neighborhood that meets in bodily area as nicely.

Long earlier than the Internet turned an indispensable software for fashionable life, Linux User Groups (generally often known as “LUGs”) throughout the U.S. and round the globe hosted month-to-month conferences to carry collectively specialists and newcomers, builders and customers, and anybody else inquisitive about free software program.

To at the present time, LUGs nonetheless assemble to carry all types of occasions, whether or not technical ones like digital privateness workshops or social ones like informal hangouts and even film nights. While all types of Linux boards abound, LUGs stay a spot for new customers to embrace the camaraderie of the Linux neighborhood and prolong it to others in flip.

Just as there’s a distribution for virtually each Linux person, there is a nook of the neighborhood or a slice of the tradition for everybody, too. If you’ve got ever puzzled the place Linux followers hang around, and what they stand up to once they do, the reply is simply a click on (or in-person go to) away. No matter what your expertise with Linux, you have not seen the complete image till you’ve got tasted the tradition that retains it buzzing.


Jonathan Terrasi has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2017. His important pursuits are laptop safety (notably with the Linux desktop), encryption, and evaluation of politics and present affairs. He is a full-time freelance author and musician. His background consists of offering technical commentaries and analyses in articles revealed by the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights.



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