1. Introduction

1.1. Why this document?

Since there was no information anywhere on the net for Belgian Linux users around 1998, we started to collect stuff that we thought could be important. This HOWTO aims to be the definitive list of all Belgian-related Linux information. If you think not, you have no excuse to complain and certainly not to not contribute. ;)

1.2. New versions of this document

If you need to know more about the Linux Documentation Project or about Linux HOWTO's, feel free to contact the supervisor Tim Bynum .

Tim Bynum will post the listing to several national and international newsgroups on a monthly basis. In addition, the Belgian HOWTO can be found on the World Wide Web at http://dag.wieers.com/howto/. New versions of the Belgian HOWTO are always placed at this site first, so please be sure to check if the copy you are reading is still up to date!

1.3. Translated versions

This document is currently translated in 3 languages (English, Dutch and French), we're trying to keep all three of them in sync, but the English version is the source-document!

The English and Dutch version are maintained by Dag WieŽrs and is found at: http://dag.wieers.com/howto/.

The French version is maintained by Dany Vanderroost and is found at: http://club.euronet.be/dany.vanderroost/howto.html.

1.4. Contributions

A few people mailed us their suggestions and improvements, thanks go to:

Many thanks go to Ivo Clarysse who started something similar earlier (LinBel) and his project helped us a lot to get this document online.

1.5. The Linux.be-domain debacle

As you might have heard, Belgium also has its problem with the Linux.be domain. Similar to the Linux.nl case. Around March 1999, someone tricked the DNS administration about the trademark 'Linux' in Belgium by using 'Linux' as a commercial representation of the company ('uithangbord') which was according to the rules of the DNS administration at that time. The company in fact was one that sold motor-parts and the registration was done with a fake fax containing a penguin.

It is sad that the person who registered the Linux.be-domain name, did this behind the back of some Open Source volunteers who were planning to register a not-for-profit organisation to hold the domain name to prevent any abuse.

Afterwards there were several meetings with this person to work out an agreement so that the domain was not used for commercial purposes and handed over to a neutral organisation. But after several attempts it was very clear that the owner wanted full control over the domain, which he later emphasized by 'handing it over' to his own not-for-profit organisation. He stated several times he wanted to keep the right to add advertissements to the website, but wouldn't mind that volunteers added content to the site (that was empty at the time). After this, no one was willing to work voluntarily for the content of the site. Sadly he managed to get some people volunteer for it after all.

1.6. Feedback

If some information seems to be wrong, deceptive or missing, we'd appreciate if you mailed us the improvements. Since we're just human this document isn't bug-free, but your contribution can and will make a difference.

To add yourself to the Linux user groups or businesses, collect all necessary information and mail it to us.

1.7. Copyright information

This document, Belgian HOWTO, is copyrighted (c) 1998 - 2002 by Dag WieŽrs. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 published by the Free Software Foundation; with the Invariant Sections being "New versions of this document", "Contributions", "Feedback" and "Copyright information" with no Front-Cover Texts and with no Back-Cover Texts.

A copy of the license is available at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html.

Trademarks are owned by their owners.

Although the information given in this document is believed to be correct, the author will accept no liability for the content of this document. Use the tips and examples given herein at your own risk.

1.8. Todo

There are some things I'm planning to add to this document, if you're interested be sure you're reading the most current version of this document. (This todo-list is only a reminder to myself, it is not in the translated documents!)