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Article from Issue 227/2019
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As one who has been watching Linux for a long time, I'm saddened to mark the end of Linux Journal, which was just announced this week. I know what you're thinking – aren't they a competitor? But it isn't like that.

Dear Reader,

As one who has been watching Linux for a long time, I'm saddened to mark the end of Linux Journal, which was just announced this week. I know what you're thinking – aren't they a competitor? But it isn't like that. The community spirit of the open source world is an umbrella for everyone in it – including publishers. If anything, there has always been a kind of camaraderie among the Linux mags.

I knew about Linux Journal long before I had this job. In fact, my associations with Linux Journal date to an earlier era in IT publishing – back to when I was working for other magazines, like SysAdmin and C Users Journal. Linux Journal has been around for so long that I was especially surprised to read the comments on their site that said, "What? You're gone already? I just found out about you!"

Huh, you use Linux, and you've never heard of Linux Journal?

That made me consider how important it is to spread the word about worthy IT publications. In the old days, publishers spent a lot of money on branding and direct marketing to be sure everyone knew they were out there, but all that ended a couple market crashes back. Nowadays, most of our readers hear about us from other readers, unless they happen to live near a full-service IT newsstand, which are also getting rarer in this world.

Magazines play a special role in the open source community. Microsoft and Apple have lots of budget for sponsoring tutorials, white papers, help lines, and websites devoted to promoting their systems and the accompanying applications. The Linux world has no real equivalent to that kind of deep-pocket investment. At the same time, the sprawling and free-wheeling Linux environment prioritizes freedom over uniformity, which means there is no standard answer for how to do anything, and there are always lots of different tools and configuration details to talk about.

Rather than following some canonical rule book, Linux users find their answers through a variety of informal sources. If you know exactly what problem you are trying to solve, you call up the man page, read a wiki, or post the question to a forum. But what if you don't know what you don't know? Magazines (in print and online) play an important role in calling attention to tools you might not know about and techniques that raise your general understanding of Linux – they help you be ready with the solution before the problem arises.

Linux Journal was nearly as old as Linux itself, and it was instrumental in building mindshare for Linux since the very beginning. As for us, we're still hanging in there after 19 years, thanks to our readers, our authors, and our amazing and extremely experienced staff. We are going to keep doing what we do for as long as readers like you want to keep reading it, but it always helps to have more readers like you. So pass the word: We are here!

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