Copyright (C) 2003-2007, Rick Moen. Copyright (C) 1997-1998 by Kendall Grant Clark. This document may be distributed under the terms set forth in the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 licence at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/, or, at your option, any later version.
I welcome questions about and feedback on this document. Please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am especially interested in hearing from LUG leaders around the world, especially outside the USA. Please let me know of innovative or noteworthy things your group does, meriting description here.
1.3: Added LUG support organisations and expanded the Legal and Organisational Issues section.
1.3.1: General editing for clarity and conciseness.
1.4: General editing, added new LUG resources.
1.4.1: General editing for clarity.
1.5: Added some resources, some discussion of LUG documentation, also general editing.
1.5.1: Changed Web location for this document and author's e-mail address.
1.5.2: New copyright notice and license.
1.5.3: Miscellaneous edits and minor re-organisations.
1.6: Added Chris Browne's material: GNU/Linux philanthropic donations and LUG political considerations.
1.6.1: Very minor additions.
1.6.2: Minor corrections.
1.6.3: Maintenance assumed by Rick Moen on 26 July 2003: General initial touch-up, correction of broken URLs, etc.
1.6.4: Further minor fixes and additions.
1.6.5: More-extensive edits, added "Limits of advocacy", added caveat about conflicting value systems in support contexts. Added more news sites, reordered examples of LUGs using Internet well. General tightening of phrasing, greater brevity in places, tempering of the more egregious boosterism.
1.6.6: More small fixes, added Yahoo LUG list.
1.6.7: Added formal-organisational pros/cons, "Elections, democracy, and turnover" section, Web site suggestions, and link to "Recipe for a Successful Linux User Group" essay. Fixed mis-tagged sections under "Legal and political issues".
1.6.8: Fixed small glitches. Rewrote section concerning GNU/Linux news outlets; parts of sections concerning consultants, businesses, and elections.
1.6.9: Minor corrections.
1.7.0: Caught up with GLUE membership having become free of charge.
1.7.1: Added a bunch more newly supported embedded CPUs.
1.7.2: Added more on CPU support / ports (which section was always a bit silly, but I figure it might as well be exhaustive, correct, and grandly silly, if present at all); furnished matching URLs. Added details about GNU/Linux in India, and LINUX For You magazine. Expanded legal issues section.
1.7.3: Added mention of Debian GNU/NetBSD to the CPU ports section. Reorganised and further expanded the latter. Recorded Linux Gazette's move to new hosting. Added LinuxFocus.
1.7.4: Added LinuxWorld Magazine, fixed URL of Recipe for a Successful Linux User Group, which I moved. Added Tux.Org and LinuxUserGroups.org as LUG support organisations.
1.7.5: Added several more embedded CPUs to the supported list, implemented licence change (9 Jan 2004) to Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 1.0 or later after securing permission from Kendall Clark. (The HOWTO had previously been under the LDPL version posted at LDP's site in 1997, which by 2004 had become not only deprecated but also somewhat indeterminate as to content, because the licence had been edited in place with neither clear versioning nor a distinct URL for each revision.)
1.7.6: Corrected addresses for TeX User Group in USA and UK. Added mention of C. Northcote Parkinson's Bike Shed Effect. Other minor corrections.
1.7.7: Added reference to the UK Linux User Groups site. Added description of PingoS e.V. Corrected URL for Thomas Kappler's e-mail address. Added Volgograd LUG to Online Resources.
1.7.8: Added Jerome Pinot's Linux architectures list, used some data from it. Added "I Linux User Group italiani". Corrected capitalisation of PingoS. After securing permission from Kendall Clark, added "or any later version" clause to document licence.
1.7.9: Corrected India Linux link and added LINUX For You, per suggestions from Rohit Kumar. Added Linux Foundation to list of candidates for receiving monetary support. Made fixes to Red Hat LUG list (reincarnated as "Army of Friends" database), as suggested by Vincenzo Virgilio. Added LinuxHQ and O'Reilly LUG lists and FSF GNU User Groups list. Added Wikipedia Category:LUGs page. Dropped material about the GLUE site, which SSC, Inc. tragically deleted in mid-2006 without allowing anyone a chance to adopt it. Added kernel support for two more embedded chip families. Substituted static mirrors for two (vanished) pages listing Linux kernel ports. Dropped LinuxWorld Magazine (vanished). Removed references to getting help in founding LUGs from Red Hat User Group Program and Kara Pritchard's LinuxUserGroups.org (both vanished) and from lug.net (deactivated). Added Swedish tax/regulatory details from Martin Karlsson. Added analysis of issues surrounding incorporation, tax-exempt status, and insurance in the USA. Found new URLs for a vast number of links. Updated licence to Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0, to incorporate improvements. Re-sorted country coverage into alphabetical order (a small gesture to further reduce US-centrism).
1.8.0: Corrected typos. Improved some markup. Expanded "Common Misconceptions Debunked" section to address recently popular errors about USA Volunteer Protection Act of 1997, civil liability, and IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Linked directly to the Act and an analysis page. Furnished links for Non-Lawyers' Non-Profit Corporation Kit, for DistroWatch Weekly, and for the Raymond quotation.
1.8.1: Banished more typos. (I blame society.)
1.8.2: Added more CPU ports. APCUG changed Web sites. Linux India's LUG list, lugww.counter.li.org, Red Hat Army of Friends, LUG Webring, O'Reilly LinuxGroups, and LINUX For You Magazine (of India) LUG List vanished. IDG moved the Raymond article (again). LinuxFocus was revived via a CMS. NewsForge was shut down by The Company Formerly Known as VA Linux. Linux International Development Grant Fund program vanished. Project Gutenberg moved to its own domain. Colorado Linux Users and Enthusiasts moved. Added mention of IRS e-Postcard for 501(c) non-profits. Add linux-delhi.org. Add New Zealand Linux Resource. Add Project Runeberg.
I would like to give a big thank-you to Kendall Grant Clark for the initial versions of this document in 1997-1998, and for trusting me to take over and renovate his creation starting in 2003.
Warm regards and thanks to Chris Browne for describing the situation with non-profit and charitable groups in Canada, his thoughts on financial donations as a way to participate in GNU/Linux and the free software and open-source software movements, and his ideas about the kinds of political issues likely to arise within LUGs.
In addition, the following people have made helpful comments and suggestions: