Part II: Contributing to Open Source Communities at RIT

Olivia Gallucci with friends at RITSEC Hacknight, 2020. Used on a post titled, "Part II: Contributing to Open Source Communities at RIT."

I worked with TigerOS for my first large contribution. TigerOS is a small project, so there are many help requests. In other words, I had a lot of opportunities working with TigerOS. Tim Zabel—the current maintainer of TigerOS—sent me a help request on Telegram. Zabel said that an installation guide would be useful for the project.

As a result, I decided to create a TigerOS installation guide. I thought it would be a good idea to include a multitude of things in the guide: 

  1. Formatting and partitioning USBs (for live booting and installing)
  2. Creating the live ISO on Windows, MacOS, and Linux
  3. Booting
    1. Live boot vs installing
      1. Why live boot first?
        1. Check wifi, keyboard, mouse, printer, etc… 
      2. Preparing to install (missing) necessary drivers 
  4. Customization after install
    1. Updating 
    2. Installing necessary drivers 
    3. Icon / GNOME themes

I am including these topics because I had difficulty understanding them when I first installed Linux. As a beginner, it took me hours to figure out what was going wrong when I ran into roadblocks. This was because I lacked the fundamental understanding of why things did not work, and what I needed to learn in order to fix them. However, after I read the Debian Administrator’s Manual, I gained the knowledge I needed to competently install Linux. For example, I learned that a lot of the issues I encountered were because some programs cannot run on Windows or MacOS, and that many hardware drivers are not preinstalled on Linux ISOs. If install guides would have explained why live booting Linux does not always work out-of-the-box, I would have had a much easier time installing Linux. 

This guide will take me a while to finish, so I will continue to work on the guide for my second contribution. You can view the current progress of my guide here.

May 9th update: my installation guide is complete, so the link above will take you to the finished guide.

After my guide is complete, I will push it to TigerOS’s main documentation branch. 

I think my guide will be useful for live booting and installing many Linux distributions. I am doing my best to include the knowledge that took me years to learn, so that people encountering technical issues can effectively resolve those issues. 

This is the second part of a three part series. Read part III here.

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Portrait of Olivia Gallucci in garden, used in LNP article.

Written by Olivia Gallucci

Olivia is an honors student at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She writes about security, open source software, and professional development.