We I have just returned from my anual trip to FOSDEM, held in Brussels. FOSDEM is one of my favourite conferences, there are so many interesting tracks and the, already large, conference seems to grow bigger each year. FOSDEM is entirely free and exists on a combination of donations and sponsorship, a model which clearly seems to work.

Like all good conferences you are inevitably faced with with the problem that there are multiple talks that you would like to see but the are being held at the same time. Some of the talks inevitably make it online and this years is now exception. They are available here

Of course, like most conferences, its not all about the tech. FOSDEM is the conference where I see the most socialising. I guess the fact the Belgium has some of the finest beers in the world helps this no end

Each year I come away from FOSDEM itching to get my hands on some of technologies that I have heard about, and this year is no differnt. Spacewalk is a project Ive been interested in for about 6 months now and it seems to have had some really nice features added soon. Im just waiting for them to break the need to use Oracle before I really dive back into it. PostgreSQL is on the roadmap and should be here soon.

There was an interesting talk by Linsay Holmwood about Flapjack, Cucumber Nagios � Visage, both of which Id like to have a play with. Another very interesting talk was give by a couple of Guys from Facebook. They were talking about how they have scaled Facebook with Open Source tools and the additional tools that Facebook have created and Open Sourced. Full marks have to go to Facebook for this, nice to see a company contributing back to Open Source so much. You can go to to find out about this.

I have also come away from FOSDEM ready to give OpsView another try, @dotwaffle extoled its virtues, so I certainly need to take a look at that. I have to say it was a real priviledge to listen to Andrew Tanembaum talk about Minix as well, I had no idea about some of the cool technologies included in it such as the reincarnation service. He was an entertaining speaker also which always helps.

I mentioned that FOSDEM seems to grow each year and take on more and more talks, inevitably this leads to some talks being put in rooms that are too small for the level of interest. I really wanted to take a look at some of the Coreboot talks but the room seemed to be at capacity right from the start. I guess I need to use those online videos I mentioned above.

Each year there also the usual swag available and this year was no different. I came away with a new TShirt and Max Spevak (Fedora Community guy) had brought over some excellent “powered by Fedora” case stickers. Spreaking of which, Max had also organised a Fedora Activity Day on the Friday afternoon, which was a nice way of starting off the weekend, a kind of pre-con. It was great to see so many Fedora Ambassadors at FOSDEM again this year.

All in all I had a great time there, a time that always seems to be over too quickly. It would be great to seem then extend the conference by a day or two. There were over 200 lectures given over the space of two short days, so Im sure there is enough content. I guess it depends if they could secure use of the University on weekdays that may be the limiting factor.

Anyway, a *very* big thanks to the organisers, the sponsors and the people who volunteer their time to make sure that the conference runs so smoothly. If you have never been to a FOSDEM, please make sure to see if you can go next February – watch the site for the exact date.

Other Conferences

While Im talking about conferences, please be sure to check out

LOAD April, Antwerp BE

OGGCamp March, Liverpool UK