Using The US Postal Service To Distribute Linux CHEAPLY And Effectively

This is part one of a journey of wits and determination, in which I will distribute Linux using a physical medium to everyone in my appartment complex in suburban Utah, which has approximately 200 units.

I figure that’s about a thousand people who have probably never heard of Linux, and my apartments have a heavy concentration of US Air Force and is a fairly affluent area.  The parking lot looks like a new car dealership.  I would venture to guess that most of them have computers, and have a higher than average intelligence and willingness to try new things when it comes to using an operating system.  I could be totally wrong here, but we’ll see.

I spent awhile brainstorming some several methods to distribute Linux to the neighbors in my appartment complex.

The easiest would be to burn a bunch of CDs and just leave them where everyone visits at least once a week -the mailbox.  I could probably make a sign and have penguins on it or something but that would not make the impression I’m hoping for.

The door-to-door approach has merits, but I live in Utah, which is the capital of the world for door-to-door marketing.  There are an amazing amount of missionaries here that go door-to-door preaching religion.  Linix is pretty close to a religion, so I figure it wont go super well.

The United States Postal Service has the Electronic Media Box which will hold a CD or DVD case for NO CHARGE, but it’s for Priority Mailing only, which means it actually would cost me something around $4.00 or more apeice to actually ship.  I could always tape over the label and try to pay first class, but I’m sure that’s illegal.

Serious Direct Mail:   This seems like a good idea to send an actual Business Card CD Linux distribution in the mail to someone, but unfortunately it’s VERY VERY expensive.  I could spend an entire paycheck doing this here.  Scratch it off the list.

Corrugated Jewel case Mailers:  About $56 + $10.53 shipping for 200.  These look like the same ones that the USPS gives you for free.

AH!  I found it.  White Paperboard CD Sleeve minimum quanity of 500 for a for a total of $29.15!  Oh snap, $50.00 minimum order.

Ordering free Ubuntu CDs could also work OK, but up to 10 weeks for an order and unless it’s an organized event doesn’t seem like I could get 200 CDs for free to send to people who may not want it anyways.

I’m going to keep looking, but I’m thinking the best course of action will be to get paper sleeves and mail them first class, and if anyone requests another due to it breaking in the mail, I’ll send another out.  It’ll likely be cheaper in the long run.

Part Two of this article will be the actual written material that I’ll put inside the CD Mailer.
Part Three will be a photo journal of the actual shipping process.
Part Four is going to be determined by whether or not I receive feedback from any people that have received the CD.

If you have ideas or suggestions to help me out in this, I would appreciate a comment or an email to

Thanks for reading!

I’ve come to the conclusion that I should avoid using the mail after all. I’m targeting a very specific area with less than 200 homes, and why not deliver these myself? I can burn some calories AND probably deliver more than what I could in a CD mailer envelope.

So I’ve come up with the alternate plan of simply canvasing the area with plastic door bags with an Ubuntu CD and some printed information.