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WPLUG is the Western Pennsylvania Linux Users Group, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The official founding of the group is dated to September 26, 1997 at 11:37:08 EDT.

We are a not-for-profit organization that provides collaboration resources (including mailing lists and this very wiki), monthly presentations and quarterly installfests, for Linux users of all backgrounds.

Experienced Linux users are welcome; curious persons wanting to see what Linux is all about are welcome -- There are no requirements to join our lists. However, the discussions will be oriented to Linux and other Free and Open Source Software.

Most of our members are from the local area, but we do have list participants from far-flung locations. If you are looking for something in Northwestern PA, ErieLUG is alive and active.

You can contact us by e-mailing info@wplug.org, or by postal mail to:

PO Box 81685
Pittsburgh, PA 15217

What is Linux?

Linux is a kernel, the core of a computer operating system, created by Linus Torvalds. It is typically packaged as a distribution, which includes the extra programs necessary to make a computer functional and useful. Since 1991, it has grown from a one-man project which ran on one computer to one with thousands of contributors running on everything from personal organizers to million-dollar supercomputers.

What are Open Source and Free Software?

Open Source and Free Software provide you, the user, with the opportunity to see the source code of the programs you use. You are free to use it, share it with others, and even make changes to it if you wish. While the Free Software and Open Source communities differ in their philosophical approach, in practical terms they share nearly identical goals.


These links are to external sites with useful information about Free and Open Source Software. Please feel free to add more by editing this page.

Desktop Distributions

The following are the "big three" distributions that seem to be most widely used in the US for the desktop.


  • Linux Journal - monthly print magazine plus online-only articles
  • Linux Today - a high-volume newswire site
  • OStatic - original commentary and reviews
  • LXer - a community-driven news aggregator with some original content and forums
  • Distrowatch - focuses on distribution releases; their weekly roundup often has nice feature articles
  • Linux Weekly News - more technically-focused, but also has event news

Help Sites

  • Probably the best place to start is the discussion forum or mailing lists for your distribution of choice
  • LinuxQuestions.org covers all distributions and is a major hub for users helping users
  • You can also try the WPLUG mailing lists