Hands-On Linux Demonstrations
What's a Hands-On Linux Demo?
In September 1999, LUGOD held its first public demonstration of Linux
at the Davis Farmer's Market.
We've since held demos at other venues, such as
the Davis Food Co-Op,
and the Borders bookstore in Davis.
What We Do At A Demo:
We call our event a "hands-on Linux demo" because it's precisely that!
We set up one more or computers running the Linux operating system and
a nice desktop environment, and let people try it out for themselves.
We show off popular Open Source applications, such as "The GIMP"
(digital artists and photographers want to check it out), "OpenOffice.org",
and "Firefox." We show games and K-12 educational programs. For people
who use UNIX and want to try Linux, we show various low-level tools that
Volunteers answer questions about Linux, Open Source, LUGOD, and
computers in general.
We also take the opportunity to advertise LUGOD. We'll have handouts
describing the club and our events, flyers for upcoming
meetings and installfest
workshops, and even plug our neighbor LUGs in
Along with information and flyers, we try to have CD-ROMs with software
(Linux install discs, live-CDs, Open Source software for Windows, etc.),
and sometimes books, magazines, or other 'swag' and goodies. We give these
items out for free! (If your company or organization wants to provide
give-aways for our demos or other events, contact
We often burn these ourselves.
Who Comes To A Demo?
Some people learn about our demo events from notices in the local newspaper
or online, and make a specific effort to come to the event. Sometimes they
are people who participate in LUGOD but simply cannot make our regular
meetings (or think they're too technical... although that's
For the most part, though, people from the general public who just happen to be
wandering by, notice our exhibit and drop by to see what it is. Visitors
range from complete computer-'newbies' to Linux and UNIX gurus who are
surprised to learn about LUGOD. (Which is also
silly, after so many years!)
Why Do We Demo?
The reason for holding demos is three-fold:
- First, we aim to educate the public that there are good
alternatives to Microsoft. We want to show people what Linux and
Open Source are, and how well they work.
- Secondly, it serves as a very good way to advertise the LUG to
people who already run Linux but may not know that there is a
user group in the area.
- Thirdly, some people think LUGOD is "just a UCD organization."
We're not! We're our own 501(c)7 non-profit, and
our goal is to be a resource to the entire populace of Davis
and the surrounding region.
When Are Demos?
In the past, we tried to hold demos once a month,
typically on a Saturday. These days, we do demos on their own
far less often, however we still participate in
other events, such as
Whole Earth Festival,
Software Freedom Day, and a LUG booth at
Where Are Demos?
We hold Demos at different locations. Our favorite venue was the
Demo Kitchen at the Davis Food Co-Op, though at the moment
no such thing exists (the Co-Op is under construction).
Generally, they've been at one of the following locations:
Our Demo Computer
In June 2000, VA Linux Systems donated
a PC to LUGOD for our demos and InstallFests.
In January 2004, we received a mini-ITX system for a very reduced price
from Dave Margolis, which replaced the old VA system.
In late 2018, member Jens-Christian Lache graciously donated us two former Macbooks converted to Linux Mint, as well as an ASUS netbook, also running Mint!
These machines are currently in service during Farmer's Market and Tech Cafe events.
It's always encouraged and appreciated when volunteers bring their own hardware for demonstrations, including laptops, netbooks, Raspberry Pis, and other
Help Us Demo!
If you'd like to show off some equipment running Linux, and/or volunteer
to man our booth, please contact the
Demo Coordinator and/or one of our