November 2, 2022

Find help and assistance on Linux for free even if you are a private user.

It may happen that you need to find assistance on Linux as a private user. Here is our dispassionate advice.

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As a Linux hosting and systems company we are very well positioned on the SEO side for keywords such as Linux support, Linux support and similar. Reason why we are contacted daily to solve problems related to the Linux world and its services.

If it is true that most of the requests come from companies that therefore require commercial advice and therefore for a fee, it is equally true that in recent months more and more requests have been received (about one per day) from private users, students, simple enthusiasts. who decide to install one of the many Linux distributions, perhaps to revive some old PC, or simply the thrill of trying this fantastic operating system.

The requests are among the most disparate, but we can roughly distinguish them in three large macro categories.

The Wi-Fi card does not work on Linux

In this case, we usually find ourselves dealing with a notebook that has the misfortune of not being "plug'n play" and therefore the Wireless network card does not work correctly, or is not detected, or does not connect correctly. to the access point or in any case does not surf.

In this case the system is completely cut off from the network, does not have a reachable public IP address and physical assistance is required on site in order to locate the correct driver for the network card, load it, configure it and make it work correctly.

The video card is not working

This is another very common problem, which in its simplicity means having to deal with problems at the level of the video card or Window Manager that for one reason or another does not do what it should do well. Maybe the video card also works correctly, but the maximum video resolution that can be set is the minimum, and maybe instead of shooting in Full HD 1920 × 1080 mode if it finds it running at 640 × 480 with 16-bit graphics.

Also in this case, the same diagnosis, research and configuration work must be done so that the resolution and color depth are adequate to the real possibilities offered by the hardware.

They want to install Linux

This is the least frequent case series among the three, but which includes a whole series of other cases that we will not go into further, including the two cases listed above. Briefly, the curious user, passionate about the GNU / LInux operating system, is trying his hand at installing the operating system and finds some errors, both during the installation phase and during the boot phase.

Maybe they encounter an error while writing to the disk, a kernel panic at boot time, not finding any peripherals, and so on.

The distributions are among the most diverse, from novices who are satisfied with Linux Mint or Ubuntu, to experimenters who try their hand at strange and expensive configurations such as Gentoo or Slackware.

We do not work with private users

We have not always worked with private users for the resolution of Linux problems, or systems assistance. The reason is quite simple, we will find ourselves faced with a series of too large problems, with too varied hardware configurations that would be impossible to manage profitably in a business and professional context in which we try to standardize both hardware configurations and management as much as possible. of linux distributions and services.

For example, installing Ubuntu is one thing, installing Gentoo or Slackware is another. It is one thing to do it on a certain type of hardware, another thing is to do it on other hardware that maybe there is that Fake RAID controller that becomes impossible to operate correctly.

In short, it would become impossible to meet the various requests of private users who certainly could not serenely invest 200 or 300 euros for the resolution of a problem, in a context in which they are having fun and are cultivating a hobby.

Get Linux Support for free through Linux User Groups

If until a couple of months ago, we simply limited ourselves to abruptly interrupting the phone call, specifying that as a company policy we do not work with private customers, without VAT and in solving Linux problems on their PC or their notebook, instead that the server already connected to the network of a company, for some months we have set ourselves with the aim of restoring and rehabilitating the functionality of LUG Linux Italian User Groups.

Often a LUG is a non-profit association, made up of freely constituted people, who carry out their activities mainly on a voluntary basis and who provide for the support and dissemination of GNU / Linux, especially among those approaching this operating system for the first time. It can materialize in a physical context, acting as a local reference point for the issues touched upon, or virtually in the form of an online community.

The advantages are quite evident, you can solve technical and technological problems by meeting physically and therefore going to overcome all the connectivity problems that made a remote connection impossible.

You learn a method with the help of someone who is more competent or has already solved that particular type of problem.

You join a group of individuals who cultivate the same hobbies and passions in a kind of free organization for mutual aid. Growth both at a hobbyist level and at an educational and professional level within a LUG is certainly faster than what could be achieved independently.

It is objectively a normally entertaining context full of initiatives, including convivial ones.

From various Install Fest in which Linux distributions are installed on newcomers, at various initiatives for the Linux Day, at various Meetups which are usually accompanied by excellent dishes and drinks in the name of the convivial spirit that resides in these associations.

The human relationship is not based in the least on a hierarchical scale, nor is it focused on skills. In a LUG you will find in the same group, from the engineer who works for a nuclear physics research institution who uses Linux in his projects, to the pizza chef who has a passion for Linux in his spare time, to the entrepreneur who tries to install his File Server to be used in the company.

Personally experience in the CM LUG of Civitanova Marche and CAME LUG at the time of attending the course of study in Computer Science at the University of Camerino, I remember it as an absolutely positive period in which I was able to learn concepts that I would not have learned otherwise.

The objectives of a LUG can vary significantly depending on the type of group, the characteristics of its members and the place or field where the group operates. As with any community of intent there is no official documentation that indicates exactly what a LUG is and what it must do to be defined as such, but it is possible to draw some boundaries within which these associations can be recognized. Many LUGs refer to the guidelines of theItalian Linux Society.

The main objective of a LUG is to extend the knowledge of its members and share it with others for a common growth to accumulate that critical mass sufficient to be "collective intelligence".

A LUG can teach a new user how to best use the tools in their possession, and at the same time it can show the more experienced user different points of view to achieve maximum results thanks to a collaborative climate that facilitates quality and innovation. .

Wanting to schematize, it is possible to identify some basic purposes for a LUG.

  • Acknowledgement of the use of Linux to the greatest number of users, to make it a standard.
  • Learn with courses and exchange of experiences between LUGs to develop internal knowledge.
  • Disclosure outside with meetings, conferences, fairs and similar events.
  • Support to assist, advise and if possible remedy the problems of GNU / Linux users.
  • Aggregation, when the group is close-knit, to improve internal collaboration.

Each LUG can combine or integrate them at will, in agreement with its members.

A LUG, to be such, first of all needs to make itself known and have some means necessary for its ends. There are two ways of aggregating and using the services provided by a LUG: there are LUGs that can have a physical location and others that make their presence felt only through online tools; most of the LUGs fall into both categories.

LUGs are generally confined to a city or area, which is why many of them have offices. The seat can be freely accessible to everyone, or it can be made available only to the members of those LUGs that have formed themselves as associations and that require a minimum registration fee (similar to a hackerspace).

The existence of a physical location is important, as each LUG can propose itself as an entity closely linked to local issues. Furthermore, the proximity and the possibility of direct interactions with and between members offers more references and a greater sense of security to the local user, not to mention that maintaining relationships from a human point of view are generally much more profitable.

On-site meetings typically take place on a weekly or monthly basis and in these meetings projects are planned, newbies are helped to install a Linux distribution, activities that revolve around the world of free software are carried out, we discuss the news in the IT field from a technical and ethical point of view, some tricks are revealed, networks are built for the free use of users, etc… All these activities which also have the merit of fighting the digital divide.

Unfortunately, you are not always lucky enough to have a LUG in your city, but it is quite common to find at least one LUG in the province. Certainly the probability of having an active LUG in the city is directly proportional to the population density of the city itself. A city like Rome, Milan or Naples will surely have at least one LUG.

Cities with a strong cultural mold such as universities (especially if with a strong presence of study courses related to technology such as computer engineering or physics) are certainly more likely to have an active and attended LUG.

If you are looking for assistance on Linux and maybe you want to embark on a completely free growth path, feel free to search for the LUG closest to you using this site:

https://lugmap.linux.it/

 

Do you have doubts? Not sure where to start? Contact us


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