The introduction of free and open source software (FOSS) in Malawi is synonymous with the introduction of the Internet in Malawi. The Internet was introduced in Malawi in 1997 and it is well documented that the Internet Service Providers at that time (still this time) were mainly using servers running various flavours of the Linux operating system (a free and open source software). Thus the Linux operating system can be a flag bearer to the introduction of free and open source software in Malawi.
With the coming of the Internet, people could now download and use various free and open source software applications mainly for server installations and desktop applications. Free and open source software has now proliferated in its usage although many people do not know that some software applications such as some websites around are powered by free and open source software. For example, well known websites such as www.zodiakmalawi.com (for ZBS Radio) and www.mwnation.com (Malawi Nation newspaper) are using the free and open source software called Joomla ( http://www. joomla.org )
As the number of people interested in free and open source software grows, there is need for this growing community to be organized, hence the birth of the Blantyre Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) User Group in October 2011 .
The user group will be organized in a way that various co-ordinating positions will be elected amongst the users themselves in the spirit of ‘ software freedom and openness’. Recreational activities such as visiting game parks will also be some of the activities to be conducted by the user group members.
The website for the Blantyre FOSS Users group is accessible at http:/ /groups.google.com/ group/blantyrefossusers/ about? hl=en