What happens at an Install Café?

The visitors bring their computers with them to the Install Café where the next available volunteer is assigned to them. Together you then determine which type of Linux is best suited for your needs and whether or not an installation in parallel with an existing operating system makes sense and is desirable, etc. Finally the computer is installled, ideally in teamwork.

Don't be afraid to do parts of this on your own. The more you know about your new system, the less difficulties you will have using it later. And your volunteer will appreciate your interest.

Do I have to register?

Usually there is no registration required.

Some Install Cafés do have limited visitor accomodations available, though, and the organizers would appreciate your getting in touch with them beforehand via e-mail. This will be denoted in our agenda as well as on the organizer's web site together with the concact details.

Please keep in mind:

Backup your data before the installation! When the old operating system is removed, all data stored there is also erased. And errors which can lead to data loss can occur even during a parallel installation. It is therefore absolutely necessary to store any data that is still needed, eg. on an external hard drive.

Please bring all cables (power, network etc.) and connectors required for your computer.

How much does it cost?

Nothing. The installations are free. Donations are nevertheless very welcome, of course.

Any storage media created specifically on demand (eg. USB thumb drives, CD/DVD) are usually paid at the price of acquisition.

Who is organizing the Install Cafés?

The Linux Install Café is an event series jointly organized by Swiss Linux User Groups, Hacker spaces and other free software groups like the local chapters of the Free Software Foundation Europe. The events themselves are organized and held by the local groups individually. They provide the facilities and the computers and – most importantly – the volunteers who take care of the visitors at the events, perform the installations and help them with all required information.

The events are free of charge, and all volunteers work without payment – so nobody is making any money from the Linux Install Café.

The reason why many volunteers nevertheless make themselves available for helping and counselling other users and interested persons, in fact is a different one: Linux is a community project. Many thousand programmers worldwide jointly develop – mostly in their spare time – the programs that together then form a Linux system. Other volunteers work on the user manuals, on the translations, others help with testing the software before they are published. And others still provide support for end-users, ie. help them in case of problems and answer questions or help with the installation.

The entirety of all those countless helpers, programmers and users alike, is called the "community". Sharing information and helping each other is an important part of the common culture within the community. And you can now become part of that community.

The volunteers do what they can to install the Linux you want for you. There can obviously be no guarantees or liabilities, though.

When and where does the next Install Café take place?

Look for a convenient date near you in our agenda. Often they are also published in local public agendas.

Many Install Cafés take place in the context of other events like exhibitions, markets, fairs, Repair Cafés etc. which may announce them via a newsletter, home page etc.

I want to organize my own Install Café!

So cool! Every new organizer is more than welcome, naturally. We'll gladly support you! Best you contact us at contact at linux-install-cafe ch, so we can discuss how we can best help.

You then simply enter your Install Café dates with the tag "linux-install" into the event agenda of the Linux User Group Bern (they are hosting the agenda for us). As soon as they are cleared for publication, the events will appear in our agenda.

Can I leave computers that I don't have any use for anymore at the Install Café?

Unfortunately, we cannot directly reuse computers at the Linux Install Café. But by donating your (working) computer to the linuxola Linuxola project you can make sure that it will still be put to good use elsewhere.