Froscon 2013, a Mini Review

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending Froscon, a weekend event held Bonn annually. This was the 2nd time Ive been able to attend but each time only on the 2nd day. Froscon is your typical Open Source event, with organised talks, a vendor area and an exhibition.

As  I was only able to attend the second day, I made sure I was there nice and early, so as not to miss anything. The standard ticket price is 5 Euros for the weekend, although there are other tarifs available. I planned to spend the morning section in a workshop and the rest of the day exploring the rest of the event. As I had arrived early, I decided to pop in and take a look at the Fedora booth and have a chat with the guys on the stand there. This year the Fedora booth was complete with a 3D printer, utilising the new 3D Printing Support in Fedora 19.

After checking out the Fedora booth, it was time for me to get over to the Workshop. The workshop was an introduction to Hadoop, run by a guy called Uwe Seiler from Codecentric. He had prepared a VM image for us to use during the workshop. It was available as a VMware image or a Virtual Box image.  While I has used to like Virtual Box I had recently removed it from my laptop. So I could either re-install it OR try and get it to work with KVM.

I started off just importing the .vmdk file and telling KVM that it was a vmdk file, but whileI did see grub, once the system started booting, I was getting lots of disk errors. I decided to convert the vmdk file to qcow2 using the following command

qemu-img convert -O qcow2 <sourcefilename>.vmdk <destinationFilename>.qcow2

Unfortunately this took the file from 2.4G to just over 7G but it did mean that it booted perfectly, with no errors. In retrospect, I realise that it was because I missed the compression option off. Doing the following, means the filesize stays as 2.4G

qemu-img convert  -c -O qcow2 <sourcefilename>.vmdk <destinationFilename>.qcow2

The image had been setup with some tutorials included, so you could work at your own pace and ask Uwe if you needed assistance.

After a couple of hours there I decided to go and investigate the exhibitors area a little more. One of the stands I walked past was the Piwik stand. I had run Piwik in the past but not for quite a while. I was impressed with how good it was looking these days, so I decided it was high time I installed it again. Now that I host my website in OpenShift I was wondering how I would be able to add Piwik. It turns out that someone has made an Open Shift Piwik application cartridge, so it was very simple to get a Piwik instance up and running.

Next I went to a talk in the Fedora room, about OpenScad. I hadent heard of it before but I was very quickly impressed with just how simple it was to use. Using it is like writing a bash script and you get instant results. There are some well documented examples over here

Next up I went to take a look at Freifunk which lets you, via alternate firmware on your router, setup up a mess network and offer free internet access to all. Its a great concept and I think mess is a very important next step in the evolution of networking, especially in light of recent revelations about wide scale internet snooping. At anytime you can see realtime stats of your local area – mine looks like this

The final talk for me was a quick overview of the new features/changes that will be in the next version of Fedora (Fedora 20). These are far too  numerous to list but can be found here.  I think Fedora 20 looks like being an excellent release

In other news, this weekend I also had a first look at OpenShift Origins (via an all in one VM). I have really come to like OpenShift, I have to admit, at first I wasnt too interested in PaaS as Im more of an IaaS person, but OpenShift has totally won me over.

All in all, it was a great geeky weekend, hope yours was too


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