Linux Presentation Day

information for local organisers

information and recommendations for local organisers

You should be familiar with the concept of the event.

The first step when considering participating in the Linux Presentation Day is to notify your national organizing group (if there is one already).

contents of this page:

information for potential hosting organizations

Several types of organizations can perform an LPD event: non-commercial associations (especially Linux users groups and hackerspaces), adult education centers, companies (PC dealers and service companies), universities, and schools. It is not necessary that the hosting organization mainly deals with Linux. The wish to increase the usage of desktop Linux by private users is enough.

It is an important part of the LPD concept that it is very easy to organize an event. It is possible for one or two people to organize a small event. This is what you need:

If you are unsure whether you could organize a good LPD event then it is a good approach to visit one in your surrounding area first (assuming there is one). The best preparation for your later own event would be not just to visit that event but to support its hostimng organization as a staff member. That should also increase your chances that one of their staff supports you with your own event later.

There is an advantage if the first event for an organization is rather small. A smaller event is simpler to organize, fewer visitors cause less stress. Of course, you learn a lot from your first event both with respect to the organizing problems and to the visitors. It is easier and makes more sense to plan a bigger event based on the experience of a smaller one. The most important aspect is that after the first event both the hosting organization and the staff feel like participating in the next event, too.

If someone tries to organize an LPD event but fails or even has to cancel the event one week before the date then that is a bit annoying but still much better than not even giving it a try in the first place.

first steps

If you are interested in organizing an LPD event then this is what you should do first:

  1. Contact your national organizing group. Or, if nthere is none yet: the central LPD organization in Berlin, Germany. Do this first, not after you have finished your preparations (because otherwise you might miss important information).

  2. Create an event web page which can be linked on your national web site (or, if that doesn't exist yet, the international one. The sooner this happens, the more attention and the more helpers you get. There are template pages. You may (but do not have to) create a similar page: for confirmed participation and for conditional participation.

  3. You should subscribe to your national LPD mailing list(s).

  4. You should set up several mailing lists for your local event: one for the organizing team (if there is one), one for potential helpers on the event date who are not a member of the hosting organization, and maybe one for people who are interested in visiting the next event and would like to be reminded of it in time.


There is no formal deadline. The practical deadline is the date on which you would have to send the press release to your local media.

In theory new locations can be added to the list on the day before the event. of course, in that extreme case you should not expect many visitors. Usually it makes sense to have an early conditional announcement.

event date

It is just impossible to find a date everyone is happy with, even within a single country. One of the reasons for this is that different types of hosting organizations prefer different dates. The non-commercial associations can do that on weekends only. Many companies and universities do not like (or really cannot use) weekends, though. It should not be a problem that a few cities have their LPD date one, two, three weeks after the official nationwide date. The visitors and the local media will not care about the different date (probably not even notice). The relevant point for the nationwide media should be that there is an event twice pe4r year more or less everywhere but not whether it is exactly the same day everywhere.

Within a city or region there should be only one event date if possible in order to avaoid confusion among the media and potential visitors. If you choose a date different from the official nationwide date then you should try to choose a date after it not before because only a later date has the chance to get additional visitors from nationwide media coverage.

find helpers

For a good event you need a suitable amount of helpers. What is suitable depends on the expected amount of visitors (which is difficult to estimate). These helpers need not be Linux experts (developers, sysadmins) but it is useful to have at least one expert available. As the target audience are people who have never seen Linux and it is not the aim of the event to solve complex detail problems, it is enough to have experienced Linux users. Even Linux beginners can be useful as long as there are more competent people to whom the visitors can be referred if their questions cannot be answered.

It is clear that an event with too few helpers is still better than no event at all. In that case each helper has to care about a group of visitors. It is not a problem if several people watch a Linux demonstration and listening to other visitors' questions and their answers should often be useful, too. In addition an LPD event offers a good chance to get in touch with new experienced Linux users (some of them even before the event) who may become helpers at the next event. Even some of the normal visitors may be usable as helpers at the next event (and be very motivated to do so). Cancelling an LPD event because of lack of staff will not improve the helper situation for the next event. If due to a very small staff you can handle only very few visitors then you may omit informing the local media so that most visitors come to know about the event from IT media and other IT sources.

There are two ways for finding helpers: You can just wait for them to get in touch with you because they have read on the national LPD web site or on your event page that you are looking for helpers; this is no effort and suitable if you need only few helpers. The alternative is to actively search for people. One way to do that is to contact other organizations which are potential hosting organizations and offer a cooperation. Possible hosts are Linux users groups, hackerspaces, other IT-related non-commercial associations, companies (PC dealers and service companies), adult education centers, universities, and schools. Whether it makes sense to have several LPD locations in the same city obviously depends on the size of the city. At the latest when the LPD is well-known (regularly covered by local and national media) there should be one location for every 100,000 inhabitants. Cooperating with an adult education center or a university would not only solve the venue problem but most probably make it much easier to get good (local) media coverage. It should also reduce the staff problem:

For people who belong to a potential hosting organization and consider having thewir own LPD event at later dates it makes a lot of sense to participate (as part of the staff) in an earlier event of a different organization in order to get a realistic impression of what it is (or rather: can be) like to have such an event so that they can do certain things the same way and avoid others. In cities which are too small for several simultaneous events it may be an option to rotate the LPD events between the venues of different organizations.

In every city there should be a mailing list for potential helpers (who are not a member of one of the hosting organizations) which is not bound to a certain date or a certain hosting organization.

conditional participation

It is not clear soon everywhere whether there will be a suitable venue and enough staff and computers available. That shall not be a reason to not announce the event (or rather the trying to perform it).

For these cases there is the official possibility to make a conditional announcement (template for the event page which should be combined with a hint which resources are missing yet. This way there is a real chance to get the missing resources just by announcing the need.

If a publicly announced event has to be cancelled that is unpleasant but still better than not giving it a public try at all. There may be more participation if the Linux community notices that many people / organizations are trying to participate.

If it is clear that there will be no participation for the next event then it is possible (and preferred) to (conditionally) announce participation for the following date. That makes especially sense if resources are needed because at the former event the public announcement / search gets much more attention than after the event. The impression of a larger event (in the future) may help with getting the attantion of the nationwide media, too.

founding / reactivating a LUG

If someone (even a single person) is interested in participating in the LPD and wants to use the attention for it to found or reactivate a Linux users group then he should set up an event page which contains such a hint. In general the LPD gains new members for the participation associations.

agenda of the event

The visitors should be provided with those pieces of information which give the average Windows user a useful first impression of Linux. In-depth problems or questions can be handled later. The first question to be answered is whether the visitor can imagine switching to Linux in the forseable future. Thus mainly everyday situations and activities should be shown.

An LPD event with minimal preparation effort consists of three PCs which should run different desktop environments (may be the same distribution, though). If possible there should be one adviser for each PC so that the visitors can ask someone about Linux, have him show it to them and give it a try on their own. That would already be a useful event. In the extreme case that there are not enough resources for even this you can make a presentation via beamer for the whole group so that all the visitors have to be there at the same time (the LPD concept is that they can come and leave whenever they want).

If you want to offer more than this and have the necessary resources then feel free to do so. Topics which are supposed to be interesting for many typical visitors can be presented on a dedicated PC with an expert adviser during the whole event. If there is an additional room then you can cover these topics with talks, too, but talks are usually more effort in preparation, require the visitors to attend at a certain time, and you do not know in advance which talks the visitors are interested in (especially at your first event) and it's a pity if someone puts a lot of work in the preparation of his talk and hardly anyone wants to hear it. But a dedicated PC can be used for general Linux demonstration when there is noone asking about the special topic.

The current recommendation is to cover these topics (i.e. some of them):

We hope that in the future there will be a collection of presentations and videos for these and other LPD-appropriate topics.

For each topic which is officially presented there should be someone who is very familiar with it. If you do not have someone for every topic you would like to present then it may make sense to contact other LPD hosting organizations in the area so that qualified staff can be exchanged or that preparing workshops for interested staff members can be organized before the LPD.

We advise rather against talks because they cause a lot of effort but make the event only little better. Exceptions:

We advise against installfests as part of the LPD unless you have a lot of spare resources (staff and space).

additional offerings

Different visitors have different reasons for their interest in Linux. Several topics are useful additions to the core agenda:

follow-up care

Linux users groups and hackerspaces should take care that the visitors are aware what their next public events are (not just "real" events with an agenda but also the regular meetings of the association). It may be a good idea to have shortly after the LPD an event for those LPD visitors who have decided to switch to Linux.

Those hosting organizations which are not an association (or do not have regular events where visitors get can support for Linux problems) should inform their visitors about suitable organizations in the area (if there are any) and their next events.

frame conditions of the event

The recommendations how to perform an LPD event are not the decisive aspect. The potential of the concept lies in it that it is easily possible to have a large number of similar events and that this number, when large enough, will generate a lot of attention outside the Linux community. In order to maximize the number of events the hosting organizations have a lot of freedom in how they perform their event (size, amount of presented desktop envoronments, Linux topics, somehow Linux-related information, talks).

Thus it is not important that there is a new event for the LPD. The Linux Presentation Day is mainly a guidepost for the public towards Linux events for the LPD target audience. The visitors probably don't care whether their event is completely new or just a relabeled existing one.

If an organization already has a regular event which is similar to the LPD then they can keep that event as it was for the Linux Presentation Day; they can also keep the old name (and add "Linux Presentation Day"). It might be a good idea to change the event date, though.

As long as the emphasis of the event is clearly the LPD part it is OK if the hosting organisation also present their own activities and offerings.


There are several types of support for the hosting organizations (from their national organising group or from Germany):

The LPD Logo can be found here.

web page

Every hosting organization has to create an event web page which is linked in the national (or regional) event list. At first this page needs only contain the announcement that the organization has decided to participate in the LPD or is at least trying to do so, who the contact person is, and that more information about the local event will follow. Example pages for participation and conditional participation.

At the latest one week before the event the page should contain these pieces of information:

It makes sense to also explain the relation of the organization to Linux and their other activities (Linux-related or not).

If you would like to have a "nicer" web address for the event page then it may be possible to get a subdomain ${city name}-${organization}linux-presentation-day.${tld} e.g. berlin-lug.linux-presentation-day.de.

This can be done with a simple HTTP redirect (resulting in your regular URL being shown in the browser); this always works witrhout further requirements. Those who have access to a web server for which they can configure the served domains can have an DNS entry so that their original URL is never used or shown.

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