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What has changed since last month?

  • Major revisions to remove out of date material.

Where can I get the most recent version of this FAQ?

This FAQ is always available from the LUV website at

Who is responsible for this FAQ?

The LUV Committee

The Linux Users’ Group of Victoria

What is LUV?

LUV is an acronym for the Linux Users of Victoria, an incorporated not-for-profit group for Victorian people interested in the free operating system Linux. Based in Melbourne, Victoria (Australia), it is our aim to encourage, promote and support the use of Linux within the Victorian community. The members of LUV can be of any age and computing experience level, and non-Linux users who just want to learn more about Linux or socialise with other computer users are more than welcome. LUV is one of the many Australian Linux users groups. LUV was formed in June 1993, with the first meeting held in July 1993. More information about LUV can be found at the LUV web site:

What does LUV offer?

LUV offers four main avenues of support to local Linux users:

  • A monthly meeting which features a talk on some aspect of Linux, a question/answer time, selling of Linux merchandise (Penguin mints, stickers, etc – others available on request) and an informal meal afterwards,
  • A monthly beginners workshops,
  • A set of mailing lists designed to support (and inform) local Linux users,
  • Special interest groups (SIGs) and
  • Services to the community to promote Linux, such as installfests, where LUV members help install Linux on computers for their owners.

How do I join LUV?

There is no joining fee to become a LUV member. Membership of the luv-announce mailing list indicates that you are a member of LUV. At last count, there were over 1000 members of the luv-announce mailing list. To join the LUV mailing list(s), join our Mailman mailing system via the web page at and then subscribe to the luv-announce list. Once your subscription to luv-announce is approved, you will be able to join any of the other lists when you like. We prefer our members to live in Victoria, Australia, so that they are able to attend meetings and other gatherings, however it is not a requirement, and a number of our members currently reside overseas or interstate. If you live on the opposite side of the world, there is also our "twin" LUG, Victoria Linux Users Group (VLUG) in British Columbia, Canada.

Who is who?

Who is on the LUV committee

The latest LUV committee list can always be found on The Committee Page. The LUV committee can be contacted via e-mail at luv-ctte (at) luv (dot) asn (dot) au.

Who administers the LUV mailing lists and web site?

The mailing list admin can change at any time, and each individual list has it’s own list owner(s) who are responsible for the list. The master list administrator can be contacted via email at listadmin (at) luv (dot) asn (dot) au. The web site can also change at any time, and various subsections of the LUV site are maintained by various people. You can contact the current web admin at webadmin (at) luv (dot) asn (dot) au)

The monthly meetings?

When, where and what are the LUV monthly meetings?

LUV has a monthly meeting, which is usually held on the first Tuesday of the month, except in:

  • January, when there is usually a social event (eg. a BBQ) on one of the weekends instead of a meeting
  • November, when the meeting is on the Wednesday after Cup Day to avoid clashing with the Melbourne Cup. The meeting details are always pre-announced on the luv-announce mailing list and on the LUV website. The meetings usually start at 7pm and usually run until 9pm. Meetings loosely follow the following agenda:
  • An introductory talk, aimed at Linux beginners (usually about 15 minutes in length)
  • A brief outline of "What’s new with Linux"
  • A talk on some Linux-related topic
  • People’s questions about Linux
  • Meetings are currently held at The Buzzard Lecture Theatre. Evan Burge Building. Trinity College Main Campus. Parkville. Melways Map: 2B C5. Notes: Trinity College’s Main Campus is located off Royal Parade. The Evan Burge Building is located near the Tennis Courts. Maps of Trinity and the surrounding area (including its relation to the city) can be found at: People sometimes get together for curry before and pasta after the meetings.

    The LUV mailing lists

    What are the LUV mailing lists for?

    There are four main LUV mailing lists:

    • luv-announce is a low-traffic mailing list for announcements, such as information on the next monthly meeting.
    • The luv-main mailing list is the main mailing list, for LUV- and Linux-related discussions and questions.
    • luv-talk is a mailing list for LUV members who just want to chat to like-minded people about anything at all.
    • luv-beginners is a mailing list specifically catering for people who are new to Linux. There are also a number of other special interest mailing lists for the LUV SIGs. There are some additional LUV mailing lists that are not related to a SIG, such as the luv-jobs mailing list. If you find the traffic on the general LUV mailing list is too high, then subscribing to just the luv-announce mailing list is a good option, as you will receive the minimum amount of information about key LUV events such as LUV meetings and installfests. Refer to the LUV mailing list page for more information about the various LUV mailing lists.

      How do I ask a question on the LUV mailing lists?

      People are more than welcome to ask questions on the various LUV mailing lists. Linux questions should go to the luv-main mailing list; if the issue is not related to Linux, then it is probably best posted to the luv-talk mailing list. If you are a beginner, and are not sure where to begin asking questions, then you might want to try the luv-beginners mailing list. If you have a technical Linux question, first check the Linux HOWTOs before asking a question: the HOWTOs are thorough and cover most common Linux problems. Most Linux distributions have the HOWTOs installed – check on the CD-ROM or in /usr/share/doc/HOWTO/ – otherwise, use one of the local LDP mirrors. If you still have not found an answer, send your question to luv-main (at) luv (dot) asn (dot) au with the following information:

    • The distribution you are using (Red Hat, Debian, Slackware, etc.) and the version of the distribution.
    • Pertinent information about your hardware; eg. video card make and model if the question is related to setting up XFree86 or Xorg.
    • The software version if the question is related to a program.
      If you are using a packaged version of the software (which is usually the case), supply the RPM or DEB package version.
    • A quote of any relevant error messages.
      Many messages are logged to files in /var/log/, such as /var/log/messages, and most boot-up messages can be reviewed using the dmesg command.
    • The configuration file you are having problems with, or the relevant extracts from it.
    • Mention the related documentation that you have read.
      If some part of it made no sense to you, just say so; eg. "I read the PPP-HOWTO, but …" luv-talk (at) luv (dot) asn (dot) au can also be used to ask more general questions, like "What’s a good way to do … "

      How should I answer technical questions on the LUV mailing lists?

      Most people who post questions have already tried to fix it on their own, and have failed. Or maybe they are just looking for the right place to start; for example, someone may want to do IP-masquerading, but does not know that is what it is called. Even if you think the person asking the question should just "RTFM", they probably need to be told which manual to read! Pointers to man pages, other software documentation, HOWTOs, FAQs, books, mailing lists and web sites are always useful.

      How do I subscribe to (or unsubscribe from) the LUV mailing lists?


      When you join LUV by filling in the membership form, you will be automatically subscribed to the luv-announce mailing list. You can also choose to subscribe to the other LUV mailing lists at the same time.


      The instructions for unsubscribing from any LUV mailing list are at the bottom of any mail message from the mailing list.

      Information overload?

      If you find there is too much traffic on the various LUV mailing lists for your liking, then you can either:

    • Subscribe to the digest versions of the mailing lists, which means you will receive at most one mail message a day per list (combining all of the e-mail from the last 24 hours).
    • Turn off the sending of mail for the list (the "nomail" option). This allows you to stay subscribed, to be able to post without being moderated, and to be able to persue the private web archives of the mailing lists.
    • Only subscribe to the luv-announce mailing list, which has no more than a few important announcement messages each month.

      How do I read archives of the LUV mailing list?

      Members of the LUV mailing lists can view web archives online using our new Mailman mailing list manager, logging in, selecting the list in question and going to it’s archives. If you are not on a particular list, you can instantly join any other list as long as you are subscribed to luv-announce. You can then view the archives at your leisure.

      Why doesn’t LUV have a mailing list search engine?

      LUV now has a web based search system for it’s archives. However, to prevent this from being (ab)used by spammers for the collection of email addresses, you will have to log in to Mailman before you can use it. The last time that LUV members were polled for their preference on this topic, the majority did not want a publicly-accessible search engine. If you want to raise this topic again, please discuss it privately with the LUV committee.

      Why can’t I send e-mail to the LUV mailing list?

      Posting to the luv-main and luv-talk lists has been restricted to only those addresses subscribed to the list. This has been implemented to stop Unsolicited Commercial Email (or UCE, commonly referred to as SPAM) being sent to subscribers. Any email address that is not subscribed will be sent to a moderator for approval. If the message does not suit posting to the list it was sent to, it will be rejected. Feedback about the system in place should be directed to the LUV committee.

      What is the etiquette for the mailing lists?

      Keep it polite. Re-read your email before you send it. If you really feel the need to flame someone, please do so in private e-mail, the entire list does not need to know how vehemently you disagree, and it creates a bad atmosphere on the lists.

      Why isn’t the Reply-To header set on the LUV lists?

      Setting the Reply-to header adds nothing, and can make it harder to reply to who you really want to. Most mail programs have two ways to reply: reply to sender, or group reply (reply to all). When you are replying to the list (most of the time) use the group reply function. When you only wish to reply to the sender then use just reply to sender. Further reading on this can be found at "Reply-To" Munging Considered Harmful, Reply-To Munging Considered Useful, and Rick Moen’s thoughts, also

      4.11. How do I stop getting two copies when people reply to my posts?

      Add an Mail-Followup-To: header (where listname is the name or the list you are replying to) to your posts, When performing a group reply most mail programs will interpret this as a request to send the response to the list only, and not to the sender as well.

      SIGs, Installfests and other LUV activities

      What is a SIG?

      A SIG is a special interest group, which caters for a specific area of interest to Linux members. The group may be a regional LUV group, or focused on a common technical interest or purely a social group. If you are interested in setting up a SIG, please contact the LUV committee.

      What SIGs does LUV have ?

      Currently, there are the following SIGs within LUV:

    • Gamers
    • Programmers
    • Debian
    • Embedded
    • Red Hat
    • Security
    • Education Details about what these SIGs offer, and how to join can be found on the SIG page.

      What is an installfest?

      LUV holds installfests on an irregular basis, where people bring their personal computers along and can get help, from LUV members, to install Linux. If you have never installed Linux and would like assistance, or you have tried to install Linux and encountered problems, then the installfests are an excellent place to get help. If you have missed an installfest and want help getting Linux installed, then the best solution is to ask for help on the LUV mailing list: someone may be willing to help.


      What is Linux?

      Linux is a multi-user, multi-tasking operating system that runs on many platforms, including Intel processors (386 and higher), DEC Alphas and Power Macintoshes. It implements a superset of the POSIX standard. Linux interoperates well with other operating systems, including Apple MacOS, Microsoft Windows and Novell NetWare. The Linux operating system is freely available – it can be copied and redistributed without fees or royalties. The source code for Linux is available on the Internet to anyone who wants it. Adapted from the Linux Journal. The Linux Documentation Project has extensive information about Linux, including how to obtain, install and use Linux.

      Where can I find out more about Linux?

      Online resources

      There is a vast collection of Linux resources on the web. Some of the more general Linux information web sites are:

    • Linux Resources:
    • Linux Weekly News:
    • Linux Gazette: There are also a number of Linux newsgroups, including:
    • aus.computers.linux
    • comp.os.linux.announce
    • comp.os.linux.answers
    • comp.os.linux.setup 6.2.2. The Linux Documentation Project (LDP) There is a wealth of free Linux information in the Linux Documentation Project ( The LDP is mirrored locally at Monash University ( and AARNET (; and the LDP materials are also often distributed on Linux CD-ROMs. The Linux Documentation Project includes:
    • Linux FAQs
    • Detailed HOWTOs on a wide range of subjects
    • Free books, such as the "Installation and Getting Started Guide" 6.2.3. Books & magazines There are now a wide range of Linux books on the market. Two introductory Linux books that are highly regarded are:
    • Running Linux (3rd edition) by Matt Welsh and Lar Kaufmann, published by O’Reilly and Associates
    • A Practical Guide to Linux by Mark Sobell, published by Addison-Wesley You should be able to buy Linux books from any good computer, technical or University bookshop in Melbourne. The Australian Personal Computer magazine publishes a "Linux Pocketbook", which includes a CD-ROM with Linux distributions (the most recent edition included Red Hat and Mandrake) and a guide to installing and using Linux. It is available at newsagents, or can be ordered on-line from the APC web-site at There are a number of Linux magazines now available, including:
    • The Linux Journal
    • The Linux Magazine LUV members are entitled to discounts on subscriptions to the Linux Journal and the Perl Journal. Information about additional discounts for LUV members can be found at

      Where can I get Linux locally?

      Linux by FTP Linux is a freely distributable operating system, so you can download a Linux distribution, by FTP, from one of the local Linux mirrors, such as those at:

    • Melbourne Uni:
    • Monash Uni: (located in Brisbane) also has an extensive collection of Linux and related software archives. Linux on CD-ROM If you don’t have the time or bandwidth to download Linux via FTP, you can purchase Linux CDs locally from:
    • Linux Systems Labs Australia ( sells a wide range of different Linux distributions, including Debian, SuSe, Slackware and Red Hat.
    • As the name suggests, Everything Linux ( carry a wide range of Linux products.
    • Netcraft (in SA) distributes Red Hat products:
    • The various computer swap-meets around town. These are advertised in Green Guide section of Thursday’s "The Age" and at
    • Given the rising popularity of Linux, many software resellers now stock the more "commercial" Linux distributions, such as Caldera, SuSe and Red Hat.
    • Alan Harper Will burn you linux CDs for you for nothing, and bring them to a meeting in return for blank cds or a $1 per cd to cover costs, or the same through the post. Please note: This is not an endorsement of any of these resellers! There are also numerous people in LUV who are happy to lend CDs, burn CDs of the latest freely available Linux distributions for a few dollars, or give away old CDs, to people who want to try Linux. Just ask on the mailing list…

      What other local Linux resources are there?

      Linux Australia ( has a wide variety of local Linux resources. There is an Australian Linux newsgroup: aus.computers.linux. Local Linux consultants are listed in the Australian section of the Linux Consultants Guide. Other Linux/Unix user groups in Melbourne and Victoria include:

    • The Australian Unix User Group‘s Victorian chapter
    • LUBe: the Melbourne PC User Group’s Linux, Unix & Be special interest group
    • MLUG: the Melbourne Linux User Group
    • VICFUG – the FreeBSD User Group of Victoria

      Where can I find local Linux training?

      In alphabetical order (and with no endorsements), here are some Melbourne-based Linux trainers:

    • Cybersource offer a range of Linux courses:
    • Excom offer SAIR certification:
    • IBM offer a range of Linux courses:
    • Red Hat has a certification and training programme. See for more information.