About Linux and LOSURS

The LOSURS Group

LOSURS is a Linux users' group serving Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada and the surrounding area. The group was originally founded by Scott Wunsch in October 1998, and has been rapidly growing in membership since then. LOSURS currently has 741 members. More specifically, though, LOSURS exists to serve several goals:

  1. To assist members in using Linux and other Open Source software. This is accomplished through regular meetings which incorporate informative presentations and by making available a variety of useful documentation and tips. It is also accomplished by providing forums which allow members to ask questions of other members; LOSURS is an amazing pool of talent and professionals.
  2. To assist members in expanding their knowledge about computing technology. Through the same forums that allow members to ask questions, members also have the opportunity to be exposed to many new ideas and concepts. Watching other, more experienced users interact can be an excellent form of education.
  3. To encourage more people to try, and hopefully switch to, Linux or other Open Source software. Similarly, we would also like to encourage businesses to adopt Linux or other Open Source software.
  4. To support and promote Open Source ideals. We strongly believe in Open Source and other ethical ideals with respect to software development, and would like to help more people to understand them.
  5. To provide an informal social environment in which people with common interests (Linux and Open Source software, or even computers and technology in general) can meet and interact. This environment also provides a perfect opportunity to make new contacts in the local computing community.

It should be noted, however, that while LOSURS does exist to promote Linux and Open Source software, it does not exist to disparage or attack alternative technologies. Intelligent discussion of the relative merits of each, of course, is encouraged.

Additional Information

If you'd like more information about LOSURS than what is available here, please feel free to send us an email.

Linux in General

Linux is a multi-user, multi tasking operating system. It runs on many platforms, from StrongARM-powered hand-held computers, through PCs with Intel x86 processors, all the way up to IBM S/390 mainframes. It implements a superset of the POSIX standard, and interoperates well with other operating systems, including Apple, Microsoft and the various UNIX systems. It is freely available and can be copied and redistributed without fees or royalties.

Linux has a broad range of applications available, including several office productivity suites (such as OpenOffice.org), graphics software like the GIMP, and more.

Support for Linux is unparallelled. Many companies offer direct support for Linux. Because it is an Open Source system, all information about it is available to developers and users alike. This means that it is exceptionally easy to write robust, reliable software for Linux, or simply to make changes to the existing software to tailor it to your needs. There are no proprietary interfaces or hidden features known only to the developers. And because Linux isn't dependent on a single company for its development, there is no worry that it will suddenly lose support.

Linux provides one of the most secure platforms around. The open peer-review of Linux code by thousands of the best software engineers ensures that Linux suffers from very few security flaws. That is difficult to manage when operating systems are developed in a closed environment, and by a limited number of programmers. When a problem is discovered, it is virtually always fixed in a matter of hours -- minutes, sometimes. The solution is then immediately made available on the Internet.