Linux for the Holidays

Want to support Linux, the Linux Foundation has a holiday deal and contest for you.

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting Linux, has announced a new individual membership drive and promotion for the holidays that makes members eligible to win free Store T-shirts, hats, mugs and the like.

According to the Foundation, new members who sign up for an individual Linux Foundation membership between today, December 3 and December 20, 2010 will be automatically entered into a drawing to win one of five U.S. $50 gift cards to the Store. The annual membership fee for individuals is $99 U.S. Student membership is $25 U.S. and includes all the same benefits as individual members. These prizes will be available just in time for the holidays.

Wah! I'm not eligible. No fair!

Wait, what's this! Existing members and non-members can also  enter the drawing by mailing their name and email address to The Linux Foundation headquarters. The address and official rules for the drawing are available at the Linux Foundation website. Yea!

I feel better now. I still won't enter since I write about Linux, but it is nice that people who are already members have a shot at some of the prizes.

Whether you win or not, there are some nice benefits to belonging to the Linux Foundation besides simply supporting Linux. For example you can have a email address; a choice of T-shirt; employee purchase pricing from Dell, HP, and Lenovo; 35 percent off O'Reilly books and e-books; and a variety of deep discounts for such major Linux and open-source trade shows as LinuxCon, OSCon, and the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE). You also get a 10% discount on Linux Foundation classes.

At the store, you can also get a wide variety of merchandise and T-shirts, hats, mugs and other items that reflect "geek culture." I mean where else are you going to find a FSCK the System t-shirt?? Well, you could probably find something like it at ThinkGeek, but guess what? As a Linux Foundation member you get a discount there too.

Of course the real point of joining the Linux Foundation isn't that you can get cheap swag-although that doesn't hurt-it's that you can help Tux the penguin and Linux waddle their way to becoming ever better and more important.