Ubuntu LoCo HOWTO

Creating a LoCo team is an exciting, challenging and rewarding experience. With a successful LoCo team you have the potential to really help advocate and develop Ubuntu in your part of the world and get more people using GNU+Linux and free software.

Although from the outset, setting up a LoCo seems simple, getting a successful team up and running can often be a challenging, difficult process. Running a LoCo team not only requires a skill in motivating people to join your team, but it also requires an ability to inspire the team where to move forward, be organised and resolve conflict where required. Setting up and leading a LoCo team is not about forming a group and telling people what to do - it is about forming a group and inspiring people to do amazing things.

Getting Started

When deciding to create a LoCo team for your area, you should first decide which particular region you want to create a team for. Before you continue, first check to see if an existing team exists. See the full list of LoCo teams and look to see if there is one in your area.

Generally LoCo teams have a fairly large catchment area. So, as an example the UK LoCo Team have a single group for the entire country. This is because the UK is a fairly small country. However, as part of the UK Team, smaller meetings around the country happen, but they all fall under the remit of the UK LoCo team. For larger countries such as the USA, it is more common to have LoCo teams at a state level - the country is too big to have one single LoCo team.

Each LoCo team is intended to support all variants of Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Edubuntu etc. If you want to set up a specific group for a derivative, you should do it as part of an existing ubuntu-* team.

Every team needs at least one Team Contact. This is the person who serves as the interface between the local team and the larger Ubuntu community. See the LoCoTeamContact page for details.

Team Naming Standards

For Almost Everyone

Read LoCoTeamRegions for details on how to pick/name your team.

For the United States

  • IRC: ubuntu-us-SS (ie; ubuntu-us-ut for Utah, ubuntu-us-ny for New York, etc)
  • Launchpad: ubuntu-us-statename, or state short code (ie; ubuntu-us-ohio, ubuntu-us-ma etc)
  • Mailing List: ubuntu-us-stateprefix (ie; ubuntu-us-ut, ubuntu-us-ny, ubuntu-us-fl, etc)
  • Ubuntu Forums: state.ubuntuforums.org (ie; utah.ubuntuforums.org, etc)
  • Team Wiki: StateTeam (ie; MassachusettsTeam, OhioTeam, FloridaTeam, etc)

Setting up your team resources

One of the most critical tasks in running a successful team is to ensure it is easy for people to (a) get involved and (b) communicate with each other. This requires a number of team resources, and we will discuss how to get these up and running.

Every team should have the following resources set up:

  • Mailing List - Mailing lists are hosted by Canonical at http://lists.ubuntu.com/ and each LoCo team should have a mailing list. An ubuntu-CC (CC is the ISO country code) mailing list for general discussion about Ubuntu in your language should be created. Email rt@ubuntu.com to request the creation of a mailing list. The list should be created within 2 weeks. If it is not, please contact the LoCo council to find out whether there is a problem with the request. United States teams should append the two-letter US Postal Code abbreviation for the relevant state (e.g. ubuntu-us-ca).

IRC Channel

IRC is a great way for the team to have real-time discussions about the group. You should register a channel on the freenode IRC network:

  1. Register your nickname on freenode

  2. Create the channel (named according to the channel naming guidelines)

  3. Please ensure that channels coordination is made as easy as possible.

If you want to log the channel, which is recommended for IRC meetings, you should contact the ubuntu-EU admin team (at admin@ubuntu-eu.org) to get a LoCoBot (a bot on irc.freenode.org). Ask them to add your channel to the list.

Other IRC resources:

Summarizing Your Meetings

The ScribesTeam (#ubuntu-scribes on freenode) is a team dedicated to making your meeting note's more understandable to the general community. When you have a meeting coming up please see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ScribesTeam/SubmitMeeting to get it summarized.

They also have a bot for logging channels which makes the summarizing much easier, and results in much better meeting summaries. Please get in contact with ChrisOattes for MootBot to join your channel.


When starting your team, we recommend you create a page on wiki.ubuntu.com which can act as your homepage. See the excellent Massachusetts Team page for an example a great looking page. Ensure you use a sensible name for the page such as http://wiki.ubuntu.com/UKTeam for the UK team or https://wiki.ubuntu.com/AustralianTeam for the Australian team. For United States Teams, please use the full state name, and not the two-character state code (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/KentuckyTeam for the Kentucky Team).

The aim of the wiki is to store details about the LoCo group and the different aspects of the group. Feel free to add a number of pages to spread your content out.

Your wiki homepage should have the following details:

  • Introduction - an introduction to the group, what you want to do, what you want to achieve and other things.

  • Resources - provide details of how new members can join the Mailing List, IRC channel etc.

  • Online Meetings - you should have a page that gives details of the next online IRC meeting. This page should be used to say when the next meeting is, where it is held (which IRC channel) and what the agenda is.

  • Goals - what goals do the LoCo team have. Here you should indicate the kind of ideas and goals you want to achieve. It is often nice to use a Goals page as a place for all members to note down ideas activities for the group to work on.

It's not a good idea to translate Ubuntu's Wiki pages directly into other languages, because they change often.

We have registered a common set of domain names (ubuntu-CC.org) so that people can find their local resources quickly. When starting a new team it is recommended to redirect the domain to your wiki page. For those communities which don't map easily to country or language codes, we will of course set up additional domains.

When the team is fully active and up and running, it may make sense to move away from the wiki and set up a dedicated website. See LoCoCreatingWebsite for details on hosting options and how to get started. Only fully active teams are recommended to set up a dedicated website - new teams should use wiki.ubuntu.com until fully up and running.

Web Forums

Ubuntu Forums has offered to host LoCo forums, see LoCoCreatingForum for more information. If you wish to create seperate forums, see the ubuntu-es.org forum as a great example of Drupal technology. If you plan to set up your own site, please contact trademarks@ubuntulinux.org before registering a domain.

You should have your full state name or country name in the url for the forums, as to be clear and distinct for the community. If using Ubuntuforms for your subforum hosting, please provide either your full country name or full U.S. state name in the url (http://georgia.ubuntuforums.org for the GeorgiaTeam).

Translations (Rosetta)

The best way for teams to collaborate on translation is to use Rosetta, a web translation portal. Check out https://launchpad.ubuntu.com/rosetta and get in touch with DafyddHarries if you want to setup your language or a new application for translation.

Get listed in the LoCo Team Portal

The LoCo Team Portal is a new community tool to share amongst LoCo Teams. To get your new team listed on the LoCo Team Portal, Make sure your team is a member of Ubuntu Local Community Teams in Launchpad. The LoCo Team Portal should do its magic and have your team available for sharing. for more on the LoCo Team Portal, please check the about page.

Running the team

Running a user group can be a challenging but fun job, and to do it effectively you need to ensure that you create an atmosphere of openness and don't try to rule the group with a single way of working. People who join LoCo teams are volunteers, and everyone wants to feel that they have something to offer. Running a team not only involves helping to lead that team forward, but also solving problems, helping new members, encouraging existing members and helping to keep people active and interested in the group.

Team Leadership

Leadership is a contentious issue. Some teams work quite well without a formal leader; some teams elect their leader; others have problems finding a structure that works for them. The most important thing is that the team as a whole be comfortable with the current leadership of the team, and that the Ubuntu Community Council be happy that the team is accountable to the broader Ubuntu Community.

Sometimes, the right person to start a LoCo team and get it off the ground is not also the right person to administer the team once it has grown past a certain size. We ask that LoCo teams stay aware of the need to have the right leadership in place as the team grows.

You can find more information on the LoCoTeamLeader page.

Team Reports

LoCo Teams are an essential projects in the Ubuntu Community as a whole, Therefore your team should provide with a very simple and summarized report with all the activities held by the team in a monthly basis. This reports can be useful to keep communication amongst the different teams that make up the Ubuntu Community.

To find out more on Team Reports checkout BuildingCommunity/TeamReporting

Resolving issues

Every LoCo team will have problems from time to time, and all members who have some non-trivial issues should follow the advice on LoCoResolvingProblems page.

Regional Meetings

In the vast majority of countries the country is geographically too large for there to be a single meeting that everyone can attend. With this in mind, we really recommend that regional meetings are organised. These regional sub-groups are organised so that it is geographically easier for people to attend the meetings. These sub-groups can also advocate Ubuntu to people in that specific area.

Importantly, all regional groups should be a part of the bigger Loco team. So as an example, the Northwest regional team in the UK team should be part of ubuntu-uk. As such, everyone is in the same larger LoCo team (e.g. ubuntu-uk) but certain groups of members are in regional sub-groups.

It is recommended that you have a 'Meetings' page on your wiki pages in which members can create regional meeting pages with details of where and when people will meet.

Things your LoCo can do

LoCo teams are predominantly set up to do interesting things such as advocacy, education, support, translations or other tasks. You should always have tasks available for members to get started with, and try to have a varied enough list of tasks that anyone can get involved, no matter what their interest is. Here are some suggestions.

Get your LoCo working with area GLUGs

LoCo teams that get involved with their area GLUG groups expand their base and garner goodwill in the open source community. GLUGs need help and we can give it, and we can do it in a way that will further promote Ubuntu. GLUGs are non specific of distros usually, but they have a desire to promote open source computing. They generally lack the resources, and organizational skills of the LoCos, and that is where we can be most effective. Co-hosting events such as release parties and installfest allows both groups to pool their expertise for a more effective result. Just because it's a co-hosted event doesn't mean we can't advocate for Ubuntu, it just means we can do it better. Some events to consider are release parties and installfest. See LoCoWorkingWithOtherGroups

Digital Freedom Activism

Digital Freedom, and subsequently GNU/Linux, Ubuntu, Free Software, and Free Formats, has a lot to gain from activism. The ActivismGuide how-to can help you lobby government, get media & press coverage, influence companies and more.

Ubuntu Advocacy

Computer-related fairs and exhibitions can certainly benefit from an Ubuntu presence! The LoCoComputerFairHowto suggests ways to organize a booth, volunteer staffing, et al. Canonical can help with CDs, and in the future hope to have a conference pack with posters and related materials.

Release Parties held after each Ubuntu release is a great way to share with others! The LoCoRunningReleaseParty describes how a release party works, how to prepare for it, how to plan it. A release party is a great way to celebrate Ubuntu.

Another possibility for advocacy is to help ensure that Ubuntu gets coverage in your regional press. There are Linux magazines all over the world that highlight and review distributions in every issue, sometimes even distributing CDs. Help us get Ubuntu in the magazines you read! Those magazines also sometimes want to interview local people who are using the distribution - share your success stories.

UbuntuFriendlyHardwareSuppliers describes how you can organize contacting and listing PC suppliers in your area, asking if they supply Ubuntu friendly (or even preinstalled!) hardware.

Find out about more LoCo Team Activities in the LoCoTeamKnowledgeBase

Derivative distributions

The easiest way to include your own national imagery and language details is to have a package in the main Ubuntu distribution, but it's also encouraged to set up your own version of Ubuntu. We have tools that make this a bit easier than it is with most distributions, and are working to make it even easier for you to do this. We are happy for national teams to change absolutely any aspect of Ubuntu, including the name and branding and (gasp) the desktop colour scheme. It's yours to modify and update as you see fit.

Specialist LoCo Teams

Both Edubuntu and Kubuntu have large numbers of advocates and users, and you are welcome to setup a LoCo team that is "specialised" and focused on one specific distribution in the Ubuntu family. We do require the highest level of collaboration and cooperation between overlapping LoCo teams, so please ensure that you stay aware of what other LoCo teams are up to and look for ways to work together.

Distribution Point

Maybe it would be wise to ship cds to form a locally available cd distribution stock per each country, that might take some load off the shipit system and we can try have those cds produced locally, taking off some of the shipment expenses.


Specialised imagery, desktops, branding

We are happy to include a package that has specialised local imagery, desktop images, or other documents that are related to a specific community. Feel free to raise that on the CommunityCouncilAgenda. However, we won't take national imagery that would be controversial with regard to disputed territorial claims. For that, please see derivative distributions below.


The LocalCustomisation page is the place where you describe ways to customise Ubuntu for your location.

Input method documentation

One of the most important things to get right is the "input methods" that work best for your language and character set. It's worth including that information on your web site and wiki for users in your language, and please let us know if the main ubuntu distribution needs to be updated to work better for you. We are very happy to include additional input methods to make it easier to support users in any language. The best contact for this is BenjaminMakoHill.

Becoming an Approved Team

Ubuntu LoCo teams fall into two approximate categories:

  • New Teams - these are teams that are in the process of getting started and have not yet been officially approved as an Ubuntu LoCo team.

  • Approved Teams - an approved team is a team that is up and running, has each of the required resources in operation and the team is working well. When you become an approved team, it will make you eligible for certain benefits such as marketing materials, discounts or possibilities. An approved team is also considered officially by the Ubuntu project.

To become approved you should first decide upon a team contact for the team. This person will act as a point of contact between the team and the rest of the Ubuntu project. This person does not necessarily need to be a leader, but just someone who is happy to act as a point of contact for the team. For more details on becoming a team contact, see the LoCoTeamContact page. Importantly, the contact should become a member of the loco-contacts mailing list. Check the ideas and good-practice information from other teams, on the LoCoTeamRunning page.

To get approved, see LoCoGettingApproved and also see the Approval Process questions in the FAQ.


If you have any additional questions, use the following resources:

  • Read the FAQ - The FAQ provides a huge list of questions and answers and is regularly growing.

  • Contact loco-contacts - loco-contacts is a mailing list where you can ask questions about LoCo teams.


LoCoTeamHowto (last edited 2013-11-20 16:58:46 by skellat)