LinuxChix is a women-oriented Linux community. It was formed to provide both technical and social support for women Linux users, although men are encouraged to contribute.[1] Members of the community are referred to as "a Linux chick" (singular) and "LinuxChix" or "Linux Chix" (plural) regardless of gender.[2]


LinuxChix was founded in 1999 by Deb Richardson, who was a technical writer and web-master at an open source consulting firm.[3][2] Her reason for founding LinuxChix was to create an alternative to the "locker room mentality" of some other Linux User Groups and forums. There are two core rules: "be polite and be helpful."[2]

LinuxChix started as an electronic mailing list called grrltalk. The growth of this mailing list led to the establishment of other mailing lists, beginning with techtalk for technical discussions and issues for discussion of women's political issues. LinuxChix received attention when ZDNet published an article on it, which was subsequently cross-posted on Slashdot.[4]

Leadership and structure

Deb Richardson oversaw the activities of LinuxChix until 2001, when she handed over global coordination and hosting to Melbourne programmer and writer Jenn Vesperman.[5] Jenn Vesperman led the community in a mostly hands-off fashion, delegating almost all tasks, including mailing list administration and website maintenance, to a group of volunteers.[6] During Jenn Vesperman's tenure, the number of mailing lists tripled with the newchix mailing list for those new to Linux, the courses mailing list used by LinuxChix to teach each other specific topics, and the grrls-only mailing list (the only list closed to male subscribers) founded by Val Henson in 2002. At around the same time, a LinuxChix IRC server was created.

The term LinuxChix refers to the organisation centered on the official website, the mailing lists and the IRC channels. The organisation has no official status, and the name is used by other loosely affiliated groups, including several local, continental, and national chapters which operate independently.

In March 2007, Jenn Vesperman announced that she was retiring as the coordinator and invited nominations for a new leader.[7] Mary Gardiner was announced as the new coordinator In April 2007, planning to serve as coordinator until 2009,[8] however she resigned in June 2007.[9] Currently the organization is led by three lead volunteers known as the "Tres Chix" who are elected by popular vote. In August 2007, Sulamita Garcia, Akkana Peck and Carla Schroder were elected to these positions.[10]

Regional chapters

LinuxChix has over 15 regional chapters around the world.[2] In 2004, a chapter was founded in Africa.[11] In March 2007, on the International Women's Day, Australia's two LinuxChix chapters united to form a nationwide chapter called "AussieChix".[12] The New Zealand chapter was established in February 2007.[13]


Some local LinuxChix chapters hold regular meetings. Others only meet up on special occasions, such as visits from non-local members or in conjunction with technical conferences. In 2007, members of the Sydney chapter organized a LinuxChix miniconf at at the University of New South Wales.[14][15][16] Events are held on other special occasions; in 2005, for example, LinuxChix Africa organized an event to celebrate Software Freedom Day at Wits University.[17]

LinuxChix labs

The Indian chapter of LinuxChix (aka IndiChix) led an initiative to establish Linux labs in a number of cities in India. These labs provide spaces equipped with PCs and internet connections where women can learn more about Linux and collaborate on contributions to the Libre software community. Labs have gone live in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ "LinuxChix is a community for women who like Linux and Free Software, and for women and men who want to support women in computing. The membership ranges from novices to experienced users, and includes professional and amateur programmers, system administrators and technical writers." - LinuxChix - Main Page
  2. ^ a b c d "About LinuxChix". Archived from the original on 2018-10-10. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  3. ^ Lisa Bowman (September 15, 1999). "She-geeks confess love for Linux". ZDNet News. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  4. ^ Karlin Lillington (September 23, 1999). "Web Watch:Linux lasses". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-07-15.
  5. ^ Adam Turner (April 2, 2002). "Linux grrls break free". The Age. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved 2007-07-15.
  6. ^ Jenn Vesperman, Val Henson (June 27 – July 2, 2004). "Building and Maintaining an International Volunteer Linux Community". Proceedings of the 2004 USENIX Annual Technical Conference, FREENIX Track. Retrieved 2007-04-09. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Time for a new LinuxChix coordinator
  8. ^ Liz Tay (LinuxWorld) (April 4, 2007). "LinuxChix announces new international coordinator". Computerworld. Archived from the original on April 18, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-09.
  9. ^ Naomi Hamilton (June 19, 2007). "Girl trouble forces top LinuxChix to quit". Computerworld. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  10. ^ "LinuxChix coordinators". LinuxChix homepage. Archived from the original on 2021-04-28. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  11. ^ Indo-Asian News Service (April 13, 2006). "An African bid to educate women on IT". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  12. ^ Melissa Draper (March 7, 2007). "Australia's LinuxChix unite to form AussieChix". Retrieved 2007-07-15.
  13. ^ LinuxChix NZ Press Release (February 26, 2007). "Announcing Linuxchix New Zealand". Retrieved 2007-07-15.
  14. ^ Women flock to Linux talkfest Archived 2011-07-25 at the Wayback Machine, Original proposal
  15. ^ Portrait: LinuxChix Brazil's Sulamita Garcia
  16. ^ "Miniconfs - 2007". Archived from the original on 2016-03-20. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
  17. ^ Open source message hits Wits University Archived 2011-08-07 at the Wayback Machine