Free Software Users Group, Thiruvananthapuram

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The origins of the Free software community in Thiruvananthapuram can be traced back to the group of TeX users around the University of Kerala[1] in early 1980s. The community then later named themselves Thiruvananthapuram LUG (Indian Linux Users Group),[1] GNU/Linux Users Group, Thiruvananthapuram[2] and then ultimately[3] Free Software Users Group, Thiruvananthapuram. The community has worked with the government in helping with key Free software initiatives[4] in the government and also in promoting[5] and supporting[6] Free software among the general public.[7] The community has also been instrumental[1] in creating an IT policy[8] favorable to Free software in the state of Kerala.

Main Activities[edit]

Free software install fests[edit]

One of the organized activities of the community was to organize GNU/Linux install fests in and around the city. These were usually organized in educational institutions[9] or public places[6] where the general public could bring their computers to get a GNU/Linux distribution installed on them. As GNU/Linux distributions became more and more easy to be installed and configured the community has stopped organizing these.

Developer camps[edit]

The group has also worked with SMC in organizing developer camps[10] in Thiruvananthapuram and outside. During developer camps developers are given hands-on experience in working with Free software tools and primarily around localization initiatives which SMC is involved with.

Software / Hardware Freedom Day[edit]

The Free software community in Thiruvananthapuram has also been involved in organizing Software Freedom Day celebrations[2][5][11] and Hardware Freedom Day celebrations[12][13] in the city.

Free software release parties[edit]

The community has also organized release parties[14] to celebrate the release of the different Free software like Ubuntu,[15] Firefox etc.

Key Initiatives[edit]

Free software install fest at Technopark[edit]

One of the first large-scale events organized by the community was a week long Free Software Install Fest[16][17][18][19] at Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram organized in 2008. The event was co-organized by SPACE, Zyxware Technologies and Kerala State IT Mission

Creating India's first Freedom Toaster[edit]

The community worked together with Zyxware Technologies to create India's first Freedom Toaster[20][21] which is a kiosk which can vend Free software CDs and DVDs. The Freedom toaster was made available at Technopark[21] and at different engineering colleges to make available its services to the public.

Organizing Freedom Walk[edit]

The Free Software Users Group, Thiruvananthapuram along with Free software communities across Kerala[22] and Zyxware Technologies[23] organized a 44-day peace walk called Freedom Walk in 2008.[24] Three volunteers from the community walked from Kasargod to Thiruvananthapuram covering all 14 districts in the state on foot and conducted Free software events in schools and colleges to promote the message and philosophy of Free software.[23][25]

Organizing Free Software Free Society conferences[edit]

The community has been jointly involved with organizing of the Free Software Free Society conferences[7] conducted by the government of Kerala through ICFOSS and SPACE.

See also[edit]

  1. Free software in Kerala
  2. Free software in India
  4. SMC
  5. SPACE
  6. Free software movement


  1. ^ a b c "Free as in Freedom: The Story of Free Software in Kerala, India". Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  2. ^ a b "A celebration of software freedom". The Hindu. 2008-09-21. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  3. ^ "Google Groups". Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  4. ^ "Legislators in Kerala, India work better with Ubuntu laptops" (PDF). Ubuntu Case Studies. Ubuntu.
  5. ^ a b "Spreading the glow of free software". Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  6. ^ a b "Kerala's First GNU/Linux Install Fest on 12-April-2008 in Trivandrum". - Technopark Life, News, Jobs, Events & Lifestyle!. 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  7. ^ a b "CM to open free software meet". Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  8. ^ "Kerala State IT Policy 2007". Government of Kerala.
  9. ^ "Linux Install Fest at Dishaa '09". Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  10. ^ "Malayalam computing has come of age | Deccan Chronicle". Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  11. ^ "Open source proponents in Trivandrum celebrate Software Freedom Day". 2014-09-26. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  12. ^ "Trivandrum to observe Hardware Freedom Day". EnteCity News. 2013-04-19. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  13. ^ "Hardware Freedom Day fete today". The Hindu. 2013-04-20. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  14. ^ "Free Software Enthusiasts Celebrate Ubuntu 10.04 Release - Trivandrum News |". Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  15. ^ "Free Software UG celebrate Ubuntu release". 2010-05-02. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  16. ^ "GNU/Linux Install Fest — Free Software Foundation of India". Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  17. ^ "GNU / Linux Install Fest and Free Software Seminar Series at Technopark, Trivandrum". 2008-08-17. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  18. ^ "Technopark GNU/Linux Install Fest – Program Schedules". - Technopark Life, News, Jobs, Events & Lifestyle!. 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  19. ^ "Linux Install Fest at Technopark". The Hindu. 2008-08-24. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  20. ^ "Free software vending machine". The Hindu. 2008-09-01. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  21. ^ a b "Software vending machine at Technopark". The Hindu. 2008-09-03. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  22. ^ "Freedom Walk: A walk to claim, ensure and preserve freedom — Free Software Foundation — working together for free software". Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  23. ^ a b "Freedom Walk, rooted in IT". The Hindu. 2008-09-05. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  24. ^ "Long walk to freedom". The Hindu. 2008-12-01. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  25. ^ "A walk for freedom". Retrieved 2016-08-08.