There are several organizations that offer assistance to local LUGs.
Groups of Linux Users Everywhere is a user group
coordination and support program started by SSC, the same people who
publish Linux Journal. The
GLUE program is an inexpensive way for a local
LUG to provide some benefits to its membership.
Linux Systems Labs
LSL offers their Tri-Linux Disk set (Three
Linux distributions on four CDs: Red Hat, Slackware, and Debian) to
LUGs for resale at a considerable discount.
Make the barriers to LUG membership as low as possible
Make the LUG's Web site a priority: keep all information current, make it easy to find details about meetings (who, what, and where), and make contact information and feedback mechanisms prominent
Install Linux for anyone who wants it
Post flyers, messages, or handbills wherever computer users are in your area
Secure dedicated leadership
Follow Linus's benevolent dictator model of leadership
Take the big decisions to the members for a vote
Start a mailing list devoted to technical support and ask the ``gurus'' to participate on it
Schedule a mixture of advanced and basic, formal and informal, presentations
Support the software development efforts of your members
Find way to raise money without dues: for instance, selling Linux merchandise to your members and to others
Consider securing formal legal standing for the group, such as incorporation or tax-exempt status
Find out if your meeting place is restricting growth of the LUG
Meet in conjunction with swap meets, computer shows, or other community events where computer users---i.e., potential Linux converts---are likely to gather
Elect formal leadership for the LUG as soon as is practical: some helpful officers might include President, Treasurer, Secretary, Meeting Host (general announcements, speaker introductions, opening and closing remarks, etc.), Publicity Coordinator (handles Usenet and e-mail postings, local publicity), and Program Coordinator (organizes and schedules speakers at LUG meetings)
Provide ways for members and others to give feedback about the direction, goals, and strategies of the LUG
Support Linux and Free Software development efforts by donating Web space, a mailing list, or FTP site
Establish an FTP site for relevant software
Archive everything the LUG does for the Web site
Solicit ``door prizes'' from Linux vendors, VARs, etc. to give away at meetings
Give credit where credit is due
Join SSC's GLUE (Groups of Linux Users Everywhere) but be aware they charge a membership fee
Submit your LUG's information to all of the Lists of LUGs
Publicize your meetings on appropriate Usenet groups and in local computer publications and newspapers
Compose promotional materials, like Postscript files, for instance, that members can use to help publicize the LUG at workplaces, bookstores, computer stores, etc.
Make sure you know what LUG members want the LUG to do
Release press releases to local media outlets about any unusual LUG events like an Installation Fest, Net Day, etc.
Use LUG resources and members to help local non-profit organizations and schools with their Information Technology needs
Advocate the use of Linux zealously but responsibly
Play to the strengths of LUG members
Maintain good relations with Linux vendors, VARs, developers, etc.
Identify and contact Linux consultants in your area
Network with the leaders of other LUGs in your area, state, region, or country to share experiences, tricks, and resources
Keep LUG members advised on the state of Linux software---new kernels, bugs, fixes, patches, security advisories---and the state of the Linux world at large---new ports, trademark and licensing issues, where Linus is living and working, etc.
Notify the Linux Documentation Project---and other pertinent sources of Linux information---about the documentation that the LUG produces: technical presentations, tutorials, local HOWTOs, etc.