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13 Ways You Can Help Desktop Linux To Grow

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13 Ways You Can Help Desktop Linux To Grow
« on: September 02, 2015, 08:25:31 PM »
 

Jerry

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How can I help Linux?

This is a question often asked by Linux lovers who want to give it back to the community of GNU/Linux. Linux and Open Source both are heavily community oriented and if you think about helping Linux, it is indeed a sign of a real Linux lover. But this question is often accompanied by:

    I want to help, but I am not a coder
    I do not have enough free time to contribute
    I donít know which project needs my contribution


At times, I have been asked to advise on how can a Ďnormal Linux userí help the Linux community. In this article, I am listing several ways a normal Linux user, who has been using Linux for a few months/years, could contribute to grow Linux user base and help the community. But before we see that, letís first see why should you contribute to Linux.

Why should you help Linux?

Linux is 24 years old now. While Linux rules on supercomputers and servers, the desktop Linux still struggles. As per Net Market Share, Linux runs only on 1.68% of desktops. This is lesser than the market share of Microsoftís disastrous operating system Windows Vista (which, for some reasons, still has 1.84% market share).

Market share of desktop operating systems

This is the condition when there are over 300 Linux distributions with a number of them being desktop focused. Linux was (and still) considered to be the ďgeek onlyĒ zone with the biggest misconception that one need to know the command line to use Linux.

Times have changed. Linux is a lot more user-friendly than what it used to be in late 90ís or early 2000. The chances for Linux to gain market share is now and you definitely could help in this cause.

How can you help Linux to grow?

There are a number of ways you could help Linux to grow. Note that when I say Linux, I am referring to desktop Linux here. It doesnít matter if you are a computer science major or a programmer. Contributing through your computing skills is one way of helping Linux but there are many more ways. I am going to list several such steps, geeky and non-geeky both, you can take to help desktop Linux grow.

1. Share what you read

Share Linux Help Linux


This is the least and the best you can do without needing any skills. If you have been using Linux for some time now, you might be reading about it and following news and tutorials about your favorite distribution and Linux in general. For example, I mainly use Ubuntu and I regularly follow the best blogs for Ubuntu. Now if you have some favorite blogs that you check regularly, start sharing the articles.

This will not only help the blog, but it may also get new visitors who could turn into uses. Someone in your network might be intrigued by the content you share and reading the article(s) eventually decide to try Linux herself/himself.

Also, sharing the contents help the blogs grow and for most of the bloggers, it is a motivating factor to write more. Now when I have said that, I am pretty sure you can tweet this :)

Here is the simplest way to help Linux community grow.

2. Report bugs

File a bug report to help Linux distributions


In software terminology is an error, a bug is an error or flaw in the software that might cause a crash or produce an unintended result.

Be it an application or the operating system itself, it is a piece of software and there is no software in this world which is bug-proof. No matter what level of quality assurance has been applied, there will always be bugs. These bugs are  But how would the developer(s) of software know about the bugs unless you, the end user, reports it to them.

When you install an application, it will give you some hint about how to report bugs. Most of the time, you can get that link from the Ďaboutí section of the apps. You can go to the link and report the bug.

3. Be a beta tester

Become a beta tester to help Linux


While we are talking about bugs, how about beta testing an application or operating system? In software terminology, alpha and beta are the state of the software under development. Alpha is extremely unstable while beta is relatively more stable. It is followed by RC (release candidate), just before the final stable release.

Most of the operating systems and applications appreciate the beta testing by users. It enables them to know about the unidentified bugs and fix them before it is released for everyone. The more bugs the software has after the stable release, the lesser will be the user satisfaction.

So, if you can afford to have an unstable operating system or application, feel free to become a beta tester and report some bugs.

4. Join a forum and help others

Join Linux forums


I am repeating again. Linux is built around community collaboration. It will go as good as the community. So if you wish to go back to the Linux community, join various forums and try to help people.

All major Linux distros have their own forum. This is where people seek help and discuss features. Join the official and unofficial forums of your Linux distribution and try helping people, specially beginners because if beginners do not get enough help, they might quit Linux. You wouldnít want that to happen, would you?

Now, you might say that you are not a Linux pro so how could you help others? You have a genuine concern here but you donít need to be an expert. Just browse through various open forum threads and see if the problem reported by other user sounds familiar. If you had similar issue in the past, try to describe what you did. If you followed some blog article, provide the link. Even this helps people a number of times.

If you are an Ubuntu user, you should join the official Ubuntu Forums and Ask Ubuntu. You can also join several Google Plus communities where you can learn new things and will have the opportunity to hep others.

Itís FOSS started its own desktop Linux user Google Plus community this week. Feel free to join it.

5. Write blogs

Write blogs about Linux and Open Source


If you have some time at your hand, why not start blogging about your desktop Linux experience? Share things you learned, troubles you faced and the steps you took to fix these problems. It may sound a lot of work but this is how I started into tech blogging with Computer And You in years 2010.

If you are worried about the costs of hosting and managing the blog, I suggest you to start a free blog at WordPress.com or Googleís blogger. You donít have to pay a dime for the platform or hosting.

If you are an experienced blogger, try contacting the team of your favorite Linux distribution and see if they would like you on board in managing their blog.

6. Help financially

Donate to financially help projects


Have you noticed that most of the Linux distributions ask for donation before you download the OS? Of course, you can ignore the plea for donation and download the OS for free. But if you are a long time user of a particular Linux distribution or an open source software, I would advise you to donate.

It takes time and effort from the developers to maintain the distributions and software and continually providing new features. Some Linux distributions employ full time employees while some are supported by volunteers. In either case, money is needed or else the Linux distribution will go out of business like Mandriva Linux.

Similar is the case with Linux application developers. These open source software are available for free but the developersí hard work can be (should be) appreciated financially. Often, Linux applications are developed as hobby or side project and over the time, the developer(s) loses interest in it.

Donation is one of the motivating factors that could push the developer to continue working on the software. The story of email encryption software GnuPG developer, Werner Koch, is the biggest example of why regular donations to open source projects is a must. No wonder that most of the applications have ďdonateĒ buttons on their websites.

In fact to help desktop Linux grow by helping open source application developers, I conceived my incoming project Open Envelope. I am trying to pitch it in coming start up exhibits. Iíll be updating about it in the newsletter. Meanwhile, you can visit the website to know more about it.

7. Disable ad blocker

Disable ad blocker on your favorite Linux blog


Now that might sound ridiculous but here is the thing. If you cannot donate money to your favorite Linux distribution, open source software or blog, at least you can disable the ad block on their websites.

We all are habitual of putting ad blocker by default in our web browsers and thatís not entirely a bad thing. The world wide web is filled with hideous pop-up ads, adult, fraudulent and misleading advertisements and for this reason adding ad block is on my list of first few things to do after installing Ubuntu.

But at the same time, the blogs and websites rely on the income generated by the ads. So whatís the deal here? Do you block ads or not?

For me, the decision is fairly straight forward. I disable the ad block on the blogs and websites I visit regularly. I continue this practice not only on Linux blogs but all my favorite blogs, in any field. Unless I am bothered with pop-up ads or adult advertisements or too much of ads everywhere, I continue to unblock them. A practice you should try as well.

8. Join local Linux and Open Source groups


Look around you. There might be a group of GNU Linux enthusiasts. Join them and volunteer with them to grow Linux and Open Source community. Usually, universities and colleges have these groups to promote Open Source. Be in touch with them and see if you could help them in any way possible.

9. Translate

Translate and help open source


Have command over multiple languages? You can help in translating. Usually, Linux distributions and open source applications are in English (with several exceptions). You can help them by translating them in other languages. This way not only you help the distribution and/or software, you also help in spreading the distribution/software to non-native English speakers.

10. Fix a bug (developers)

Fix bugs in order to help open source projects


Even if you are just learning to program as a student, fixing bugs could be a good practice to learn and understand. I am repeating again that Linux is community driven. If you could put your programming skills to good use, try fixing the bugs opened by your favorite Linux distribution and open source software.

In fact, you could earn some money by fixing bugs on websites like Bounty Source. elementary OS often put bounty on their bugs so that more people would be interested in fixing those bugs.

11. Develop an application for desktop Linux (developers)

Develop Linux apps and grow Linux community


Another one for developers. Have an idea on something but canít find the app? Develop on your own.

It may sound outrageous, but you should know that huge number of applications helped in the success of iOS and Android. Newbie Linux users often complain about lack of applications and that is a fair complaint. So, what do we do about it?

Start developing applications is the answer. Ubuntu encourages app development with its Ubuntu Software Development Kit. You can start looking at its documentation and work on your idea. You can also search for open source projects on Github that are looking for contributors.

I would like to add here that my up coming project Open Envelope aims to address this issue as well.

12. Design the website (developers)

Improve web design


I have seen good looking Linux distributions with crappy looking websites. Often the developers and the managing team donít pay attention to the look and feel of the website. It is 2015 and branding matters a lot. Leave aside branding, some Linux distributions have websites that look like they were made in early 2000.

If you have got the taste for looks and skills to design, make a concept and present it to the people managing the Linux distribution and see if they would like their website redesigned.

13. Handle the social media

Manage Social Media accounts of Linux distributions

If you are a pro at social media strategies or have experience in handling social media accounts such Facebook Pages, Twitter, Google Plus etc, volunteer yourself for handling the social media of your favorite Linux distro or Open Source application.

There are billions of people on social media, and social media is an important part of branding. While popular Linux distros like Ubuntu leverage social media effectively, some Linux distributions do not even have a single social media account. Some of them have social media accounts but they have not provided any updates for months or years.

If your favorite Linux distribution doesnít have a Facebook page, create a community Facebook page for it. Do mention that it is run by fans and itís not official. Keep on posting updates about the distribution, tutorials you found on webs and other things of interest on it.

Alternatively, if there are not frequent updates on the social media account of the Linux distro, contact the team, prove them that you are capable of handling social media account and ask for their permission to manage their social media accounts. One of my next projects is going to revolve around it.

Conclusion

Bottom line is that you can help desktop Linux grow by helping the Linux distribution, open source applications and various blogs and this you can do it in a number of ways. You donít need to have skills, all you need is the will to help Linux grow. Skills are the plus points.
 


Re: 13 Ways You Can Help Desktop Linux To Grow
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2015, 12:45:40 AM »
 

Coastie

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Source: http://itsfoss.com/help-linux-grow/ ...
2. Report bugs ...
4. Join a forum and help others ...
6. Help financially ...
7. Disable ad blocker ...
8. Join local Linux and Open Source groups ...
I do or will do 2, 4, 6, and 7.  I wish I could join a LUG but they are either disbanded or inactive around here.This forum is my LUG. ;D



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Re: 13 Ways You Can Help Desktop Linux To Grow
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2015, 08:34:53 AM »
 

Jerry

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Re: 13 Ways You Can Help Desktop Linux To Grow
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2015, 09:05:38 AM »
 

rokytnji

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Cover most of that turf already through the years. The one thing that might need mentioning.
Helping out is a 2 way street.

You become a more of a Renaissance type of human being who becomes more knowledgeable through the help you provide. It benefits you in ways you would never imagine.

Posted by a computer illiterate tattooed Harley Davidson riding motorcyclist who looked at computers as the enemy before 2007. I did not like the background checks on the side of the road by law enforcement done with computers.

You would never think I am computer illiterate now. Doing the above steps that Jerry posted made me a more
skilled Linux user who is comfy using terminal while traveling through Linux file structure and editing config text files by hand.

So help out. Because the benefits are a 2 way street. You'll learn something. Think of it as moving to a new neighborhood that speaks another language. You do not know what anybody is saying. So you help them build something. Or bake some cookies or cake. Pretty soon you have some friends. These friends start teaching you their language. Pretty soon you are just one of the guys.

Feels real good when you reach that time in your life. You are now a richer man with knowledge that no one can take from you. Because you earned it.

Happy Trailz, Rok
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I am who I am. Your approval is not needed.
 

Re: 13 Ways You Can Help Desktop Linux To Grow
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2015, 09:07:23 AM »
 

Jerry

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I enjoyed reading that, thank you rok :) Knowledge should be free.
Last Edit: September 03, 2015, 09:49:09 AM by Jerry
 

Re: 13 Ways You Can Help Desktop Linux To Grow
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2017, 07:47:33 PM »
 

bitsnpcs

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#9 - if you submit documents in a post to Duolingo community, it will be translated free  ;) .
They need verification from owner so they know they won't have copyright issues etc.
As learners try to do parts, staff and native speakers will vote it up/down until it's good to go/passes.

They are very big on education and learning, seems a good pairing for the translation of Linux documentation.

 

Re: 13 Ways You Can Help Desktop Linux To Grow
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2017, 10:53:04 AM »
 

Coastie

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Source: http://itsfoss.com/help-linux-grow/ ...
2. Report bugs ...
4. Join a forum and help others ...
6. Help financially ...
7. Disable ad blocker ...
8. Join local Linux and Open Source groups ...
I do or will do 2, 4, 6, and 7.  I wish I could join a LUG but they are either disbanded or inactive around here.This forum is my LUG. ;D

Late in posting but I restarted a Linux Special Interest Group (SIG) within the local computer user club about a year ago. The club was happy to have a Linux SIG again and to gain about 10 new members. The club was in the past large but lack of interest had brought it down to a small number so we meet with the Windows users. We usually have a monthly program on Linux that even the Windows users attend. While the Windows users complain about their problems, we Linux users just grin at each other. We are getting a few converts to Linux because some of the Windows users are trying Linux on their older computers. I am also posting on our Facebook page articles that I read so I am even doing Jerry's first recommendation.

As usual, Jerry has given us good advice.  8)


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Re: 13 Ways You Can Help Desktop Linux To Grow
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2017, 04:11:04 PM »
 

bluzeo

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i am an supporter and on the fourm. plus Irc chat on another distro and JBS. i am writing an article for my Linux Magazine

it morphin time

hey guys im Bluzeo and Linux Lite user that got his own open source company!
 

Re: 13 Ways You Can Help Desktop Linux To Grow
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2017, 10:44:40 AM »
 

Coastie

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Linux Lite is on Foss Report "What was the best Linux desktop distribution in 2016" http://http://fossforce.com/2017/01/best-linux-distro-time/. I just voted which made only 4% (44 votes). If the some more of the 1499 Members of this forum, Linux Lite should get some deserved recognition!  ;D


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Re: 13 Ways You Can Help Desktop Linux To Grow
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2017, 10:51:47 AM »
 

torreydale

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I was the 43rd vote.  At the time that calculated it to only 1%.
Want to thank me?  Click my [Thank] link.
 

Re: 13 Ways You Can Help Desktop Linux To Grow
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2017, 06:36:24 AM »
 

bitsnpcs

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So far I do these ones -

1 - I recently added the first blog to my bookmarks, I will add others over time to read regularly.
4 - I am regular user of LL forum, and recently joined Ubuntu forums.
5 - writing a blog, I recently began this, I was inspired to try after reading Jerry's list :) .
7 - abp disabled on the main LL site, will do so when visiting other Linux main sites.
9 - I join in the Google Crowdsource Project, I help a bit with 7 languages, and 2 additional dialects.
In the future I hope to be able to help with 2 other languages.
11 - I'd like to do this in the future.
 

Re: 13 Ways You Can Help Desktop Linux To Grow
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2017, 07:54:37 PM »
 

Jerry

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A fantastic contribution bitsnpcs, looking forward to reading your blog.
 

Re: 13 Ways You Can Help Desktop Linux To Grow
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2017, 05:42:02 AM »
 

bitsnpcs

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I've published the first couple on the blog, and added the link to the forum planet icon below nym.
I will try my best to improve it over time and make it useful. :)
 

Re: 13 Ways You Can Help Desktop Linux To Grow
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2017, 05:46:49 AM »
 

Jerry

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I don't see a link.
 

Re: 13 Ways You Can Help Desktop Linux To Grow
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2017, 07:11:54 AM »
 

bitsnpcs

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Hello Jerry,
to the left of this post, it has bitsnpcs, further down it says reputation, below this it has 3 icons -
view profile,planet, Send PM.
The centre of the 3 icons the planet, clicking the planet icon opens the blog. Mouse over the planet icon it reads Yeye Linux.
In my profile edit area it has a space for a link to "website url", I added the blog url there and so it works with the planet icon.
Your one reads Linux Lite OS, and clicking it opens the main website.
Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 07:28:22 AM by bitsnpcs
 


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