Tokyo Linux Users Group Grows Up

A short report from the Linux users group in Tokyo, Japan—what they are doing now and their plans for the future.

The Tokyo LUG is unique in many ways. The membership is international, comprised of people from dozens of European, North American and Asian countries living in Tokyo and unified by a common love of Linux. The group is active in helping people around the world understand how well Linux supports Japanese text through the use of its highly publicized web page,, and active majordomo mailing list, (subscribe tlug). If you've never tried Linux with Japanese, look at our home page and see how easy it is.

Perhaps due to the group's visible roles in the Japanese and international Linux communities, the group has been able to get donations from sponsors. In the past six months, the group has distributed TLUG prizes to the Linux community in Japan such as T-shirts from Caldera, a half-dozen functional SPARC machines with monitors, three 17-inch color SPARC monitors, Caldera OpenLinux Lite, Open DOS, Red Hat Linux, Star Office, O'Reilly books and more. (Contact if you are a vendor wishing to promote your products to TLUG members. We warmly welcome samples.)

The Tokyo Linux Users Group is also unique in that its members communicate in English although most of the Linux activity in Japan is in Japanese. This gives TLUG's members a more global perspective on Linux and also helps many people outside of Japan get better acquainted with Linux lovers in Japan. Hey, we're just like you!

Last October, a month after the third anniversary of the first official TLUG meeting, an enthusiastic group of Linux users in Tokyo celebrated with food, beer and Linux installations. From a small pioneering group meeting in 1994, the group had grown to the point where its home page had received over 1,000 hits in a single week, and the meeting room was now equipped with overhead Ethernet for a network of Linux machines on SPARC and Intel hardware. The October 12th meeting resulted in election of group officers and official registration with the G.L.U.E. organization sponsored by SSC:

Just like the other Linux users around the world, we in Tokyo seek to contribute to the Linux community. In our fourth year as a LUG we'll try to give more to the international Linux community in the form of multilingual software patches, guidelines for multilingual software development, more information on Japanese text and X displays and more information on how to input Japanese. Expanding beyond internationalization, Linux users in the dynamic high-tech city of Tokyo are also involved in key development projects that extend the basic capability of Linux. Look for us in an Internet neighborhood near you.

Craig is a leading exponent of Japanese on Linux and has published articles on that subject in Computing Japan. He also maintains a web page on the subject at He can be reached via e-mail at


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