Welcome to the
Northern Virginia Linux Users Group


Next Meeting
Oct. 12

Data Analysis using UNIX tools
Speaker: Rahul Kumar

Nov. 9

Running Linux on Android
Speaker: Zak Zebrowski

Dec. 14

Introduction to Cryptography
Speaker: Xavier Belanger

Rahul will explore the UNIX philosophy of simple tools, each doing one job well, and then pipe them together to perform data analysis tasks. Even if those who are well versed with data processing languages such as Python, R etc., may discover how UNIX tools such as awk, sed, grep etc., can be combined together to do data analysis. We will look at an open source dataset and generate some useful insights using these tools.

Rahul is a data engineer with Element 84, in Alexandria Va. The company builds data tools and solves complex engineering problems in remote sensing, life sciences and the transportation industry - including private companies and government agencies.

Zak will discuss options to run Linux on android devices, chrome books and variants; running Linux in containers; examine options and show some fun techniques to access virtual instances from the Internet.

Starting with a bit of history, Xavier will speak about the basics of cryptography, followed by a discussion of methods now used: symmetric and public-key cryptosystems, digital signatures, steganography. Real-life examples will be presented, e.g.,relating to TLS security certificates. Xavier Belanger, is a system and network administrator with 20 years of experience and holds a CISSP certification.

About NoVaLUG

The Northern Virginia Linux Users Group (NoVaLUG) is the oldest LUG in the Northern VA area and likely in the whole of US. Established 1993, the group's focus is on open source software with a primary area of interest being Linux. NoVaLUG members meet monthly to socialize and learn from one-another, as well as from guest speakers. Attendees include a mix of IT professionals, hobbyists, students, and other interested individuals. Presentations are open for Q&A. Topics of presentations include software use and development — a wide range of related topics, some esoteric, e.g., assembling and using a micro-computer (Raspberry Pi) to do aerial photography from a kite. Time us usually set aside at the end of meetings for attendees to discuss job opportunities for seekers as well as offerings by employers.

This web page was developed and written with open source tools. Read more below about this example of the use of open source software.


Monthly meetings are held in Northern Virginia, normally on the second Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon; they may be canceled around holidays. Attendees are encouraged to arrive by 9:45 a.m.

  • Topics / Details are available on the NoVaLUG meetup page.
  • Pictures:View some images from NoVaLUG meetings; discover the wide breadth of subjects covered and meet the people involved.
  • Directions — including address and illustrations showing relative locations of parking and meeting space.

Meeting Videos / Streaming / Slides, etc.

INDEX — NoVaLUG meetings are usually streamed to YouTube. They may also be uploaded for viewing after meetings - for a list, click on the INDEX.

Mailing / Discussion List

NoVaLUG maintains a mailing list for discussion of topics related to Linux and other open source subjects. Participants post questions to which others may provide answers. Announcements and other items of interest may be posted to the list. Interested parties may join by accessing the NoVaLUG mailing list entry page). We ask that participants behave in a civil manner and respect the rights and opinions of others.

Linux and open source enthusiasts are encouraged to join the mailing list and to participate in discussions thereon to make it a vibrant resource for the community.

More about Open Source Software

This web page was developed using open source software:

  • Linux! A unix-like computer operating system, some considered Linux to be the epitomy of the open source movement. Linux was created by Linus Torvalds. The first protype was released in 1991, with version 1.0 coming in 1994.
  • The Xubuntu variant of Linux was used in production of this web page. The "X" variant is "slimmer" and less demanding of resources. The Long Term Support (LTS) version is used for improved stability, freedom from bugs, and lesser need for upgrade.
  • jEdit, a "programmer's text editor." The author of this web page keeps coming back to it. One can even use regex expressions for search / replace, and that can be across files.
  • This web page was written from scratch in Hypertext Markup Language( HTML), using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and other open open source applications.
  • The NoVaLUG graphic was constructed from photos of a penguin (swag) and a PC monitor, using The GIMP. The GIMP is a free, powerful, image editing and manipulation program, the power of which rivals expensive, closed-source, commercial software.
    • GIMP is an acronym for "GNU Image Manipulation Program."
    • GNU: General Public License: The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or GPL) is a widely-used free software license, which guarantees end users the freedom to run, study, share and modify the software. The license was originally written by Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) for the GNU Project, and grants the recipients of a computer program the rights of the Free Software Definition.[8] The GPL is a copyleft license, which means that derivative work can only be distributed under the same license terms. This is in distinction to permissive free software licenses, of which the BSD licenses and the MIT License are widely-used examples. GPL was the first copyleft license for general use.
  • The web is an excellent source of info on coding for web sites. Frequent reference was made to resources at w3cschools for reminders and tips on html and css coding. Their Tutorials on responsive web design were especially useful.
  • This web page was validated for compliance with standards for coding of web pages using W3C's HTML Markup Validation Service and their CSS Validation Service.
  • In addition to the above, many other valuable applications are available and free. Notably, Libre Office provides a complete suite applications, i.e., Writer, Calc, Impress, and Draw, used for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and drawing, respectively. Libre Office use is not limited to use under the Linux OS.

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What's with the Penguin?

Tux, Linux Torvald's personal mascot, is the official brand character of the Linux kernel. Originally created as an entry to a Linux logo competition, Tux is the most commonly used icon for Linux, although different Linux distributions depict Tux in various styles. The character, also commonly called the Linux mascot, is used in many other Linux programs and as a general symbol for Linux. [Ref: Wikipedia]