LHS Show Notes #041


  • No Richard this time due to other commitments. In his stead, our special guest host is Claudio M, co-host of Linux Basement.
  • Claudio describes his background, history with Linux, and his role at Linux Basement.
  • Russ comments that many people at the Dayton Hamvention wondered what he was selling, and were shocked to discover that Linux was free. In fact, Russ was giving away Ubuntu 10.04 CDs, courtesy of Ohio Linux Fest. This observation leads to a discussion about the perceived value of Linux is proportional to it's cost. In other words, the fact that open software often costs nothing leads many to think it is somehow less useful than software that must be purchased.
  • Russ suggests that the fact that Linux has no budget for marketing may be one of the reasons that many people are not aware of Linux. A discussion of the role of marketing and Linux advocacy ensues. Claudio mentions the Fedora Ambassador program.
  • Sheldon (of The Big Bang Theory) prefers Ubuntu!
  • IBM did air some Linux commercials. Perhaps they were too abstract or too focused on the enterprise?
  • Should Linux and free/open-source software attempt to be the dominant software, or should it remain a niche platform?
  • Linux still has a reputation for being harder to install and harder to use.
  • If Linux is to grow it's market share, isn't marketing necessary and how would it be funded?
  • Claudio notes that it's rare for anyone to install an operating system from scratch, as most people purchase a computer with the OS already installed, and that operating system is usually Windows. When ASUS introduced the Linux-based netbook, it did not make it clear that it would not run Windows programs.
  • So how do we market Linux? Russ thinks Linux has been most successful when people are not aware that it's Linux, as in many commercially successful embedded Linux products.
  • Claudio suggests that the Linux distributions tailored to the new user, such as Linux Mint or Ubuntu, will ultimately spread the awareness of Linux and free software. He also thinks that world-domination is not necessary or even consistent with the core values free choice and free software.
  • Look for Chad on Twitter at @chadwollenberg, Claudio on identi.ca at @claudiom, and look for #linuxbasement on IRC on freenode.net. There is also a Facebook fan page, search for Linux Basement. Email Claudio at claudio@linuxbasment.com or Chad Wollenberg at chad@linuxbasement.com.

Contact Info:

  • Contact Richard at kb5jbv@gmail.com, Russ at k5tux@lhspodcast.info, or both at the same time at info@lhspodcast.info.