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

15.03.17 | 17:15-19:00 | UZH KOL G 217

We explain the difference between Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and proprietary software and elaborate on 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)

17.03.17 | 17:15-19:00 | ETH HG F 3

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: 23.03.17 | 17:30, 18:15, 19:00 or 19:30 (Open-End) | ETH Alumni-Pavillon
Event 2: 24.03.17 | 17:30, 18:15, 19:00 or 19:30 (Open-End) | ETH Alumni-Pavillon

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 on Registration:
Due to the high popularity of the Install Events, we decided to split the events up into a number of time slots this semester. This means that when signing up, you will choose at which time you want to arrive. Unless it is unavoidable, please do not arrive earlier than the time you signed up for — this will allow us to better help people in setting up their Distro of choice.
However, once you have arrived you may remain as long as necessary.

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)

29.03.17 | 17:15-19:00 | ETH HG F 3

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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The Power of Linux (course)

30.03.17 | 17:15-19:00 | ETH HG F 3

So you can use your Linux now, but what of it? We will show a few applications where Linux provides particularly simple and elegant solutions to specific IT 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.

Course material

Bash Workshop

03.04.17 | 17:15-19:00 | ETH HG D 5.2
04.04.17 | 17:15-19:00 | ETH HG D 5.2
Note: These dates offer the same course. There is no need to attend both!

Take your new abilities another 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 was 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

Private Mail with GPG: 06.04.17 | 17:15-19:00 | ETH HG D 1.2
Distributing FOSS Software: 11.04.17 | 17:15-19:00 | KOL G 217

These courses cover a specific Linux topic more in-depth. Every semester, we tell you of something different that you may not know about yet. This semester, we will teach you about:

Reconquering Private Mail with GPG

In times of excessive surveillance, secure messaging has become rare. Do you want to learn how to protect your files and messages? Do you want to know how you can enforce your vested rights?
This course teaches you in using one of the most secure tools, GPG, and tells you how to avoid the pitfalls and perils in the world of cryptography.

Write and Distribute your own scientific FOS software

Effectively sharing complex tools and expertise is nowhere as crucial as it is in research.
In this spotlight course we explain the benefits associated with sharing your own scientific software as Free and Open Source — and provide comprehensive instructions on how to best do so.
We showcase a few scientific software projects which have successfully used this model, and — for those looking to move towards industry — we briefly detail how Free and Open Source Software is compatible with commerical environments.

Course material

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
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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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