Boston Linux & UNIX was originally founded in 1994 as part of The Boston Computer Society. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Building E51.

Linux InstallFest LIII

Date and Time

Saturday, September 13, 2014 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm


MIT Building E-51, Room 061


A periodic get-together where volunteers from our group help people with Linux installation and other hands-on issues.


Our thanks to Ron Thibeau and John Ross of Bluefin Technical Services for sponsoring pizza for the InstallFest.


We invite you to become a member of the Boston area Linux community and offer our assistance in getting Linux installed on your computer.

We hold our InstallFests several times each year; we meet on a weekend at a location where people can bring in their computers and we can help them install Linux or other Unix variants. It's also a great way to get together and share our collective experience with each other in a hands-on learning environment, in the grand tradition of the UNIX community.

What Is Linux?

Linux is a UNIX variant, an operating system built around POSIX standards. From its inception in 1991, Linux was developed over the Internet by a group of people spanning the globe, and has evolved in that time from a simple hobbyist toy to a powerful enterprise computing platform. The operating system (and the source code for it) is free for anyone to use.

The Linux kernel, the heart of the operating system, was created by Linus Torvalds 1991; much of the rest of the operating system is from the GNU and BSD communities, which share most of the same origins and traditions.

“BSD” originally stood for “Berkeley Software Distribution”, a collection of software tools developed at the University of California at Berkeley in the late 1970's to enhance the original AT&T UNIX operating system. In the early 1980s, BSD introduced major enhancements into the Unix kernel, notably the “Berkeley sockets” functionality that lies at the foundation of Internet applications to this day.

“GNU” stands for “GNU's Not Unix” (a recursive acronym), and represents a software development effort begun by Richard Stallman in the early 1980's to build a variant of UNIX that could be shared freely.

Strictly speaking, these various groups are really subsets of a single community, often referred to these days as the Free Software community or the Open Source community.

Who Can Use Linux?

Linux is for you if:

  • You have retired older machines such as Intel 486's, and would like to put them in service again.
  • You're a student strapped for cash, and need a rock-solid operating system, word processors, Internet mail and browser software, and X11 desktop environment, all without charge.
  • You're a “power” PC user, and want to go beyond the limits of Windows or OS/2 while keeping your old software.
  • You're a parent of two teenagers, and need a way to allow them both to use the Internet at the same time (without fighting over one machine).
  • You have more PC's in your house than printers, and want to link them together with a network operating system that allows every PC to use any printer
  • You're a systems administrator who's through with the hassle of abend calls and deciphering proprietary “standards”, and tired of paying license fees.]=

We have limited space, so first come first served.

Please bring a Linux distribution and your complete system including Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, power strips, power cords, etc. We'll help you load all needed software onto your system. Linux distributions are available as free downloads from:

If you do not bring a distribution, our volunteers will generally have some available.


It's free! However, we DO have expenses, and contributions are welcome. Please consider contributing $25 per machine.

BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
We also thank MIT for the use of their facilities.

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