Category Archives: conferences

Conference Videos/Slides

Kris and Ken attended BSDCan 2015 last week and had an amazing conference. The videos of the conference were just put online within the last couple days, so if you were not able to attend, you might want to take a look!

  • BSDCan 2015 Videos from the conference (not all of them were video recorded, but a lot were).
  • The video of Ken’s session about Lumina-DE. There is a bit missing at the beginning of the talk, but not too much was missed. The video is fairly dark, but you can also find all of Ken’s slides on SlideShare.
  • It does not appear that a video was recorded for Kris’s session about package/jail management, but you can find the summary/paper on the conference website linked above.
  • EDIT: There was a video recording of Kris’s session, but it has just not been put up yet. Stay tuned to the BSDCCan playlist to catch it when it gets uploaded. You can also find Kris’s slides from the session here.

At the same time as BSDCan, Joshua Smith attended the SouthEast Linux Fest (SELF) and gave a presentation titled “PC-BSD 10.1.2: Whats New?”.

If you have the opportunity to attend one of these conference in the future I highly recommend going!

Have you never been to BSDCan?

I remember a time when I’d never been to a conference related to my passions. Once I went, things changed. I realized that making strong working relationships with others who share my passion is important. Not only does this solidify the community of which you are a member, it also helps you personally. Every conference […]

Trip Report from USENIX ATC 2013

I spent half of the week at USENIX ATC in San Jose. I previously attended in 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2004, and I have been to other more academic USENIX conferences in the intervening years such as FAST and OSDI, but I have not made it back to Annual Tech in nearly a decade.

The conference is very familiar but has also definitely changed since '04 (no more terminal rooms and the BoF board was nearly empty!) I was very happy with the caliber of the accepted papers in the main conferences as well as in many of the workshops of Federated Conferences Week (HotStorage, HotCloud, etc.). There is less industry and open-source participation now, but still a variety of really interesting talks about storage, networking, operating systems, virtualization, and more from academia and (a smaller subset of) industry.

As I've previously noted on this blog, I think the BSD conferences are great, but that it is very important for the FreeBSD community to also present work at some of the broader open-source and academic systems conferences. I would be much more likely to attend EuroBSDCon if it were held adjacent to EuroSys or FOSDEM, for example. And would be more likely to attend a U.S.-based BSD conference if it were held adjacent to a USENIX or O'Reilly Strata event.

On Wednesday my team presented one of our main projects of last year, Janus: Optimal Flash Provisioning for Cloud Storage Workloads. This work describes a method for automatically segregating hot and cold storage workloads in a large distributed filesystem, formulates an optimization problem to match the available flash to different workloads in such a way as to maximize the total reads going to flash, and then places that hot data on the distributed flash devices instead of distributed disk devices.

There were a number of other really interesting talks about flash, virtualization, and distributed storage systems, but I wanted to highlight two short-papers that I think would most appeal to the FreeBSD audience here:

  • Practical and Effective Sandboxing for Non-root Users, Taesoo Kim and Nickolai Zeldovich, MIT CSAIL
    This was a nice practical short paper about interposing system calls, using unionfs in a clever way, and taking some revision control ideas for a nice little tool.
  • packetdrill: Scriptable Network Stack Testing, from Sockets to Packets, Neal Cardwell, Yuchung Cheng, Lawrence Brakmo, Matt Mathis, Barath Raghavan, Nandita Dukkipati, Hsiao-keng Jerry Chu, Andreas Terzis, and Tom Herbert, Google
    Another practical short paper about a portable tool, which works on FreeBSD or Linux, that enables testing the correctness and performance of entire TCP/UDP/IP network stack implementations, from the system call layer to the hardware network interface, for both IPv4 and IPv6. This tool was instrumental in identifying 10 bugs in the Linux network stack and enabling the development of three new features: TCP—Early Retransmit, Fast Open, and Loss Probes.

I'm not sure if I'll go to FAST, or USENIX ATC, or both next year, but it's likely I'll attend at least one. What other industry conferences outside of the BSDCan/EuroBSDCon circuit does the FreeBSD community congregate at these days? For folks that have been in industry 10+ years, do you go to more or less industry conferences now than in the past?

BSDCan 2013 – registration now open

BSDCan 2013 will be the tenth BSDCan. This will be big. A huge party is planned for the Friday night. We’re also bringing in some big-name speakers for the tutorials and talks. Do not underestimate how much you’ll learn, how much fun you’ll have, and how many good working relationships and friendships you will develop […]

FreeBSD Foundation at FOSDEM

Erwin Lansing from the FreeBSD Foundation will be available at the FreeBSD booth during FOSDEM, to be held in Brussels, Belgium, February 5-6. If you're at this event, drop by to say hi, discuss the Foundation's work, pick up a Foundation flyer, check out the swag, or make a donation. FOSDEM is free to attend.

There will be a BSD devroom during FOSDEM with network/internet connectivity and projectors. DevRooms are a place for teams to discuss, hack and publicly present latest directions, lightning talks, news and discussions.

Philip Paeps, a FOSDEM organizer and FreeBSD committer, will be proctoring the BSDA examination. More information about the examination is available here.

FreeBSD Foundation at FOSDEM

Erwin Lansing from the FreeBSD Foundation will be available at the FreeBSD booth during FOSDEM, to be held in Brussels, Belgium, February 5-6. If you're at this event, drop by to say hi, discuss the Foundation's work, pick up a Foundation flyer, check out the swag, or make a donation. FOSDEM is free to attend.

There will be a BSD devroom during FOSDEM with network/internet connectivity and projectors. DevRooms are a place for teams to discuss, hack and publicly present latest directions, lightning talks, news and discussions.

Philip Paeps, a FOSDEM organizer and FreeBSD committer, will be proctoring the BSDA examination. More information about the examination is available here.

Report from KyivBSD

The Foundation was a sponsor of this year's KyivBSD, held in Kiev, Ukraine on September 25. Alexander Yerenkow, the conference organizer, provided this report on the conference:

KyivBSD was the second installment in a newly created series of BSD-related conferences held in the Ukraine. The conference was attended by people from the Ukraine as well as Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. The Foundation's financial support helped to make both this and last year's conference possible.

This year we were able to attract new partners and sponsors. Last year it was difficult to attract local companies as many were unfamiliar with BSD. This year, having last year's success as an example, was a lot easier. The local branch of D-Link was interested in sponsoring the conference and gave away three brand new WiFi routers. We received proposals from a few companies to place advertisements at the conference for money, but at the moment, we have no need for additional funds. We saw first-hand that many companies, individuals, and users have become more aware of FreeBSD and believe that the conference played a role in raising this awareness.

During the conference we ran a lottery with donated placards, books and routers for prizes. The funds raised from the lottery will be donated back to the Foundation at the end of this year.

The day after the conference we proctored the BSDA certification, which was the nearest certification event this fall for exam candidates from Russia and Kazakhstan. We were happy to provide them with the opportunity to take the exam.

Looking forward to next year, we hope to attract even more companies and attendees.

FreeBSD Foundation at Ohio LinuxFest

The FreeBSD Foundation will be represented at the *BSD booth during Ohio Linuxfest this upcoming Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. This conference is free, but you need to register by midnight this Wednesday.

The *BSD booth will be available from 8:30 to 19:30 and we'll have Foundation pamphlets and swag available and can accept cash donations. As always, donations will be recorded on the Foundation website.


Earlier tonight, on December 7 2009, a friend and me booked our flight tickets for FOSDEM 2010. I am really excited that I am going to attend another open source & free software conference. It has been a while since I had a chance to meet with other BSD people. The last time was in Milan, in EuroBSDCon 2006. It will certainly be tons of fun to meet in person with other free and open source fans, contributors and developers!


FOSDEM is an open conference, organized every year by volunteers to promote the widespread use of Free Software and Open Source Software. It takes place in the beautiful city of Brussels (Belgium). FOSDEM meetings are recognized as “The best Free Software and Open Source events in Europe”.

This year’s FOSDEM will take place on February 6-7 of 2010. The web page of the conference is already online at Updates about the organization of the conference, transportation tips, accommodation options, the dev rooms and talks available this year, and any other bits that may be useful to attendees are often posted there by the organizing team. So if you are planning to attend, add this link to your bookmarks and keep up with the news until we meet in Brussels.

More Updates

That’s all for now. I will be posting more details about the conference and my trip to Belgium as they become available.

Posted in Computers, Conferences, Free software, FreeBSD, GNU/Linux, Open source, Programming, Software Tagged: Computers, Conferences, Free software, FreeBSD, GNU/Linux, hellug, Open source, Programming, Software

The Importance of Speaking at Conferences

In Why We Send Developers to Conferences, Thomas Abthorpe discussed the value in face-to-face networking with both committers and BSD users.

In this post, Ion-Mihai Tetcu discusses the importance of BSD developers speaking at non-BSD specific and international conferences. His report also shows some of the lessons that can be learned from meeting with users and learning first-hand how a global project is meeting their local needs.

I had the opportunity, with the Foundation's help, to participate as a speaker at FISL 10 in Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. This year's anniversary edition had 8,232 paying attendees, speakers from 28 countries, a lot of vendors and user groups, and a powerful media presence. FISL was sponsored, among others, by the Brazilian Federal Government and Brazil's President Mr. Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva gave a nice speech .

Open source in Brazil has a powerful momentum, being promoted by the federal and various states and local governments. It is seen as a way to reduce the country's dependency on foreign companies, a way to reduce unemployment, and generate local revenues and expertise. It is used by the national bank, federal government institutions and even by local subsidiaries of big multinational companies. Open Source in Brazil pretty much equals Linux, especially RedHat, Suse and Debian (who all have powerful user-groups) and a few local distributions. (Free)BSD is also used, especially by telcos and in the embedded market. More that 50% of the attendees didn't understand English and the situation is even worse in the general public. This practically implies that, without localization, a software product can not have any significant market share in Brazil.

Apart from my DSPAM talk, I gave a general talk about FreeBSD ports and packages and PCBSD's PBIs, was one of the hosts of the BSD-Meeting and assisted at the FUG-BR stand. Unfortunately, the other BSDs had zero presence. The 6 hours of the BSD-Meeting were a micro-conference attended by 65-70 people. Of the 5 talks, 3 could have easily found a place on the main schedule and I repeatedly kicked those speakers for not submitting their talks to FISL organizers. From the Brazilian user's perspective, the biggest problem faced is the lack of a localized version of FreeBSD. For example, I was asked if we could provide a framework for localizing the OPTIONs and pkg-message of our ports. When faced with a new operating system, many users will choose a localized Linux variant over the effort of learning both a new operating system and a new language. As a first step, I am pursuing with the PC-BSD folks the idea of doing a custom-built PC-BSD variant localized for Brazil. Marcelo Araujo presented what the translation process implies and one of the results of the BSD-Meeting is a restart ofthe Brazilian Documentation Project.

Lacking any promotional materials except a few posters, the FUB-BR booth didn't attract as many people as the other booths. However, it was a place where people could meet some FreeBSD committers and we had many interesting discussions with both FreeBSD and Linux users. One of the things practically everybody I spoke with during the conference told me was that they desire international speakers. At least 30 people attended FISL because there was a FreeBSD speaker from abroad. I think this is an important idea and that we should also encourage developers to give talks at general F/OSS conferences.

Why We Send Developers to Conferences

You probably know that the FreeBSD Foundation provides travel assistance for developers to attend conferences. If you've ever attended a BSD conference yourself, you have experienced first hand the value in networking with both committers and BSD users.

We'll be asking developers we've sponsored to share their experiences and will start with Thomas Abthorpe, a FreeBSD ports committer who attended this year's BSDCan. In Thomas' words:

It is an over used and abused saying, and I will invoke it, "Been there, done that, got the t-shirt". On the back of the shirt I received at registration it said "FreeBSD it's all about the people, from all around the world". For me, attending BSDCan was an opportunity to meet the people behind FreeBSD face to face. Email and IRC are great ways to collaborate with other developers, ideas can be shared, and projects brought to fruition, but in the end, the opportunity to get together with like minded people and just brainstorm in person is still the best way to get the job done.

I live in Thunder Bay, Ontario, a small city in central Canada, just north of the Minnesota border. My day job is as a Systems & Networks technician for the Canadian Grain Commission. FreeBSD is what I do for "fun" on my own time. Where I live, there are no local/user groups for any form of open source software. I have to rely on Internet technologies to reach out to others interested in FreeBSD. My interests in FreeBSD ports are quite varied; I maintain approximately 40 ports of various descriptions. Before I became a ports committer, I participated regularly in ports related bug busting weekends. Since becoming a committer,I worked with the FreeBSD KDE team that was instrumental in introducing KDE 4.x to the ports tree. I have also worked actively with the donations@ team, and have mentored other ports committers up through the ranks...

You can read the rest of Thomas' writeup in this PDF.