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The cult of Linux is sweetening its membership perks this week to drum up more dollars for the open source kernel.

Linux Foundation is now offering its individual members an option to secure their a lifetime @linux.com email address with a one-time fee. Plus, it's providing discounts on hardware from Dell, HP, and Lenovo.

"We want to provide a sustainable model for the organization, and the best way to do that is to have people act in their own self interest," said Linux Foundation potentate Jim Zemlin.

Previously, members needed to keep up with their yearly membership payments in order to hold a @linux.com addy. But as Zemlin tells us, folks kept requesting a way to hold on to their "geek street cred" without being tied to their membership status. With the change, current members can now secure the email from a one-time fee of $150. New members will need to pay $250 for a one-year membership along with the lifetime benefit.

"As long as the Linux Foundation is in business, you're in business with your email," said Zemlin. "And we plan on being in business for a long, long time. So I think those people can count on us to provide that benefit."

Individual members can now also get up to 40 per cent off Lenovo devices and standard employee purchase pricing discounts from Dell and HP, according to Zemlin.

"What we really wanted to do is make it more than just a charity," he said. The PC vendor discounts are made available through corporate members of the Linux Foundation.

Zemlin switched to public television drive mode to encourage more than just kernel contributors to join the non-profit.

"The community is bigger than just developers when it comes to Linux. It's users and enthusiasts too. People forget, because Linux is such a successful commercial platform, that it also represents a real social good," he said. "And that social good is that a license of Linux requires people to share their code, which is important for mankind — for social benefit long-term."

A full run-down on new and existing membership perks is available here. ®

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