The use of open source (free) software has been growing in popularity, although the hassle of how to setup and install this cost-effective alternative has been a barrier of entry. Enter the Cochise Linux User Group, part of the Arizona Ubuntu Community, and the University of Arizona South Continuing Education program at UA Sierra Vista, who jointly hosted an “install fest” on January 28 at the Sierra Vista campus.
The free event offered an opportunity to have technical professionals who volunteered their time to install Linux on community member’s computers. Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open-source software development and distribution. With more than 20 participants, seven installations of Linux were completed. Two of these were dual-boot systems, allowing the user to maintain their other operating system (typically a version of Microsoft Windows) in addition to the new free Linux software. The Cochise Linux Users Group also provides follow up help and guidance for new Linux users.
With the initial install fest being deemed a success by Cochise Linux Users Group leader Rex Bouwense, future install fests are under consideration. The UA South Continuing Education programs offers training, along with certification preparation, for those looking to learn more about Linux, in a classroom format. Several technical certifications are currently available for those looking to make a career out of Linux, something that is feasible in a rapidly growing cyber-connected world.