Create a Local Linux Mint User Group Meeting

  8 years ago

Three and something years ago we started a weekly Linux user group meeting in Andorra (now monthly). After some experience with (X)Ubuntu we turned soon to LinuxMint and since the first Linux Install Party we are more or less a complete LinuxMint user group, mainly supporting LinuxMint Mate and, on older hardware, LinuxMint Xfce.

Read our guide for starting a LinuxMint meeting in your own hometown, based on the first weekly and still ongoing LinuxMint meeting worldwide (and many other regular software meetings as well). It is not meant to be complete but to give you a confident feeling that most important issues are covered already before the launch.

  1. Where to meet
    • choose a location, preferably a restaurant, in the centre of an agglomeration:
      • good WiFi and a powerplug available,
      • easy to find and to reach, by foot, by car and by bycicle,
      • close to public transport, train station, metro, busstop,
      • have enough parkings, if possible free parking,
      • quiet place, mute television, music soft or none,
      • good kitchen, rich choice of both, local and international, food; small dishes as well,
      • optional with a seperate room, in case the group grows;
    • provide a map (i prefer OpenStreetMap to bing or google maps).
  2. When to meet
    • find your rythm:
      • it should be weekly, quarterly or monthly,
      • something like second thursday a month or quarter,
      • a rythm everybody can easily remind and integrate to their agenda;
    • make sure you will be always there or you can care for a substitute otherwise;
    • don't wait for everybody to agree with the time, because that will never happen;
    • set an hour when most have free time;
    • find one or two reliable participants, who promise to accompany you at the initial meeting,
    • invite all the others after the time for the initial meeting have been set definitly (otherwise discussions will postpone your start to eternity) !!!
    • take your time to build up the visitors count slowly.
  3. What you need
    • bring your LapTop;
    • a multiple powerplug adapter with a cablelong enough;
    • a WiFi range extender if needed;
    • prepared install media:
      • CDs or DVDs,
      • USB Memory Stick (by "Startup USB Creator", for qt or KDE);
    • Keep the LinuxMint-forums open in your browser (askubuntu and stackexchange as well).
    • print out a Linux emblem and put it upon the desk (or a Tux plush like we do) as a good visible sign;
    • nice to have from time to time: Raspberry Pi, the newest Smartphone running Linux, a 3D printer and other gimmicks;
    • and have a task, so you have something to do in case you stay alone occasionally ;-)
  4. What to do
    • small talk
      • how did you find the meeting place,
      • how did they find out about Linux,
      • what are their experiences and goals by Linux Mint,
      • did they contribute to the freeware community,
      • what meetings, workshops or congresses did they visit,
      • where there some linux news or upcoming problems since last meeting;
    • have something to good to eat
    • go into details
      • explain advantages of linux
      • show some software for examples:
        • Libreoffice
        • Firefox
        • Thunderbird
        • GNUCash
        • Stellarium
        • and so on
      • install some linux
      • answer questions
      • solve problems, for example install printer or WiFi drivers
      • mention free content:
        • Wikipedia,
        • OpenStreetMap,
        • Dmoz ...;
    • prepare a SHORT talk about special subjects, maybe supported by a presentation, like
      • LinuxMint community and forums,
      • interaction with windows on a multiboot system,
      • differences of the file system, and so on,
      • and not longer than ten minutes - except they are begging for more.
  5. How to find other LinuxMint users
    • tell all your friends (if you like LinuxMint, why shouldn't thay do?);
    • use different offline channels:
      • local pinboards
      • post a bill,
      • ads,
      • clubnews and
      • newsletters;
    • add an idea at the LinuxMint-Community
    • add a topic to the Linuxmint-Forums
    • start with at least two social media platforms, and add the others step by step:
      • Facebook-Group;
      • G+ Circle;
      • Whatsup Group (expenses);
      • group (expenses);
      • Xing or linkedin;
      • official Twitter-Account of the meeting;
    • create an official blog (wordpress, blogger or your own platform);
    • contact all the people you can find by searching: town/region + LinuxMint
    • care for some incoming links from local blogs.
  6. Reasons to make current non-users interested in LinuxMint
    • WinXP and Vista will slow down older hardware extremly
      => LinuxMint will speed them up
    • WinXP runs without no support since one year
      => LinuxMint is updated regulary until 2019 and there no viruses known;
    • Older hardware with tiny harddisks would still be usable while
      LinuxMint needs less than 10GB
    • For people which use the Computer for Websurfing (Firefox) only there will be no change.
    • start special events occasionally (after a few initial meetings and finding experienced users)

If you like what you read please support my idea to promote local LinuxMint user groups on: LINK to Idea (pending) ...

Examine some further links in the LinuxMint promotion forums, which suggest additional promotion:

Linux/Freeware meetings using this list (partially):

vahid-mint 8 years ago

nice one!

with tutorials like this, people can see the big picture of linux-mint community. we should use all of our power,knowledge, experience and any existing science, to make the community bigger and better. this goal cant be reached only by coding and upgrading the OS.

lib2know 9 years ago

Many times i read this sentence in comments to tutorials:
"This is not a Tutorial. ... " (here @Hammer459, similar @MintMagic)

Thanks to the moderators to review this as an article though.

lib2know 9 years ago

@JoanBaptista: thank you for your hint to post a bill. i completed the Tutorial. I set links to your meeting and will visit soon.

JoanBaptista 9 years ago

GREAT!!! This week I have started a "Free software Weekly Meeting" in Salou (about 100 km in the south of Barcelona, at only 5 miles to where "Port Aventura" is) even feeling "the only free software fan in miles/km around" thanks to the support of the "Andorra Free Software Team" and, specially, thanks to Mr. lib2know.

Share software, knowledge and/or experience is for me one of the most funny & great things to do, lately ;-)

Great & very useful guide! I didn't know if I was on the right way, but now, knowing that I am following MORE than 75% of this guide, I am sure that AT LEAST I am doing a lot of things quite well, even without local help ... yet.

MagicMint 9 years ago

With all due respect to your effort, a tutorial isn’t meant to be a spin doctor’s guide. But you’re right, this kind of activity is very well part of the Linux Mint community :-)

lib2know 9 years ago

Hi Hammer459,
thanks for your very welcoming comment :-)
Of course, my text how to start a LinuxMint meeting,
is only a short introduction for people who do it the first time.
If it's you to say, that is not a tutorial,
who in the world might contradict?
Anyway, call it effort, howto, introduction or schnitzel.
It is not a discussion at all, so it fits better here.

In the meantime i'll visit your profile to learn there what a real tutorial is ;-)

Hammer459 9 years ago

This is not a Tutorial.
General discussion belong in the Forums (link at bottom of this page)
I welcome this kind of effort but discuss it in the correct place and you get more response.