Portland and Linux seem like a natural fit. From its out-of-the-mainstream start, Linux has a woolly, countercultural aura that fits with the city's persona. Linux groups began appearing a decade ago, and one helped the regional education district to start using the software in 1999.
The city even has a thrift shop called Free Geek that's "helping the needy get nerdy." It sells used computer parts and recycles PCs. The machines are loaded with Linux and other free software and given to charities and volunteers.