LinuxChix is a community for women who like Linux and for anyone who wants to support women in computing. We are an international group of Free Software users and developers, founded in 1999 with the aim of "supporting women in Linux." Founder Deb Richardson described it as an alternative to the "locker room atmosphere" found in some online technical forums and gave LinuxChix two core rules: "be polite" and "be helpful." LinuxChix is now many things to many people, but it remains primarily a group for supporting women in computing, specifically in Open Source/Free Software/Software Libre computing.
LinuxChix has been continually active since 1999, and its mailing lists have attracted over one thousand members worldwide. In addition, it has over fifteen active regional chapters.
Deb Richardson started LinuxChix because she was tired of seeing new users being browbeaten for asking "stupid" questions. She was tired of seeing people respond to perfectly valid questions with "RTFM", "we're not a Linux help channel", and other such not-terribly-useful things. She wanted to attempt to create a more hospitable community in which people can discuss Linux, a community that encourages participation and that doesn't allow the quieter among us to be drowned out by the vocal minority. She also wanted to run a group that was aimed at women.
Deb's original directive was "Be polite. Be helpful. You're bright people. Extrapolate." In other words, we don't need a lengthy, detailed rule book because it's all covered by "Be polite, be helpful."