Get Linux the easy way

Our LinuxDays are a series of events designed to introduce Linux to beginners and help those who already have it enhance their knowledge. They are created mainly for users of other operating systems who want to discover and/or eventually switch to Linux. We start all the way from the bottom and guide you on your way up to a safer and more comfortable digital lifestyle.

In our courses, we cover philosophical aspects as well as technical content. Users already familiar to Linux can jump in at any time to learn more about the wonders of Linux and Free Software. During our Install Events, we will personally assist you in installing Linux on your laptop. Don't worry - of course you can keep your existing OS and additionally use Linux if you want to.

After visiting our courses, you will not only have an easy-to-use and efficient operating system on your computer, but also know how to get the best out of it and find more information on your own in case you are enticed with Linux. You don't have to worry about the limits and costs of proprietary software anymore.

All students of Zürich may attend our events for free. In consideration of international participants, all courses are held in English.
Interested? Scroll down to see what our events are about...

Not a student? If you cannot sign up in the Compicampus portal, just send us an e-mail. And if you can't make it to our LinuxDays, check out the public Linux Presentation Days that take place at around the same time in Zurich.

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Introduction to Free Software

13.03.18 | 17:15-19:00 | UZH KOL F 117

We explain the differences between Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and proprietary software and show you why these differences matter. Furthermore, we give a historical background to Linux and explain why using Free Software and open formats is important. Learn how you can get full control over your data!

Course material

Introduction to Linux (course)

14.03.18 | 17:15-19:00 | ETH HG F 7

Now that you know the ethical advantages of Free Software, learn about the structure of Linux, its most important concepts and the comfort accompanying them. Discover different flavours of Linux and get a feeling which one would be for you.

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Install Events (hands-on)

Event 1: 15.03.18 | Begin: 17:30 (Open End) | Alumni-Pavillon (MM C 78.1)
Event 2: 16.03.18 | Begin: 17:30 (Open End) | Alumni-Pavillon (MM C 78.1)

Interested? Then get started with Linux by installing it on your computer. Of course, we'll help you: bring your laptop and charger to one of the two Install Events and we will personally assist you with the installation of Linux as well as with your first steps and basic customization. You can choose to keep your existing operating system and install Linux next to it. Still, it's important to back up your data before you come, just to be on the safe side.

Important Note:
Microsoft Surface (all versions), Apple MacBook Pros (after Oct. 2016) and Apple MacBooks (12" model) are not well supported by Linux due to hardware restrictions, and we do not recommend installing Linux on those devices. If you intend to buy a new laptop to install Linux on, stay away from these devices altogether.

Linux Heroes:
Already an experienced Linux user? If you would like to assist during the events, please get in touch with us.

Event documents

The Linux Toolkit (course)

19.03.18 | 17:15-19:00 | ETH HG F 7

Now that you have your Linux system up and running, we will introduce you to the tools you need to master it. Don't worry, we will start from scratch— no previous knowledge is required. We will explain the basics in a nutshell and get you familiar with the console. You will feel comfortable with it in no time!

Please bring your Linux laptop to this course so that you can follow along with the examples.

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Hacker Session (hands-on)

20.03.17 | 17:15-19:00 | ETH HG F 7

Practice makes perfect! This workshop is intended to let Linux beginners apply what has been presented in The Linux Toolkit course. You can think of it as the exercise session for the LinuxDays. We have prepared a number of tasks to help you get familiar with the ins and outs of the console and some of the most useful state-of-the-art tools you will need while working with Linux. And of course, our team of expert users will assist you whenever you get stuck. If you want to get a quicker and easier start into using Linux, don't miss out on this workshop!

Recommended for all visitors of the course "The Linux Toolkit". It is required that you bring your own laptop!

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The Power of Linux (course)

22.03.18 | 17:15-19:00 | ETH HG F 7

So you can use Linux now, but what of it? We will show a few applications where Linux provides particularly simple and elegant solutions to specific problems. You will be amazed how swiftly Linux can solve many common computer tasks you previously used to waste your time with. This course builds on what you have learned in 'The Linux Toolkit' and shows you how to use your computer efficiently, solving problems rather than fighting them.

Please bring your Linux laptop with you so that you can follow along with the examples.

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Bash Workshop (hands-on)

26.03.18 | 17:15-19:00 | ETH HG F 7

Take your new abilities a step further: Learn how you can use Bash to program simple scripts that can save you a lot of work. Bash is a scripting language that is designed to interact with other programs and your system easily. Whether you want to back up your newest files to a hard drive or quickly download a lot of PDFs—with Bash, you can do it at a keystroke.

Note that we highly recommend visiting The Linux Toolkit if you wish to attend to this workshop—especially if you have no experience with the console.

You are required to bring your own Linux laptop to work on. If that is not possible for you, please contact us and we will try to help you out.

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Linux Spotlight


Due to an unforeseen emergency, the Virtualization Spotlight course has been cancelled.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

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Community meetings (Stammtische)

Linux is not just software—there's a huge community associated to it. Linux users tend to be philosophical, social and dedicated to their passions. In brief: there are plenty of highly interesting people who gather when a Linux community comes together. Come have a beer with us, enjoy great discussions, get help with your computer or further broaden your horizon.

Event Calendar Contact us

Join the team!

As a member of TheAlternative you are part of a highly engaged, competent and friendly team that shares its passion in Linux. We are a diverse group that unites many different personalities and philosophies; with us you can have active debates and still be friends. Don't have much time? Don't worry, just show up whenever it fits you best. The only duty you have as a member is to notify us when you want to leave TheAlternative. To become part of us, just send us an e-mail.

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