Note: My “playbook” of specific contacts, etc. is not public, but I can share the concepts if there is interest. Just contact me.

Note To Self: If anyone asks, you keep the playbook with your secret notes :).

FOSDEM 2019 - Distributions Devroom Call for Participation

The Distributions devroom will take place Sunday 3 February 2019 at FOSDEM, in Brussels, Belgium at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

As more and more workloads are being considered for containerization in the future and are finally landing in virtualized environments today, distributions remain a critical success factor and are more important than ever. Containers, like virtual machines, are not magical and rely on piles of software being assembled in a way that is repeatable, reliable, and functional. This is at the very heart of the problem that distributions have always solved.

Each distribution is responsible for building, testing, and releasing software as well as managing the lifecycle of each application in the collection. Additionally, distributions do very important work in ensuring that various versions of upstream software work well together and can co-exist. Distributions are also, often responsible, for “de-vendoring” upstream software so that security fixes can be applied more quickly.

We welcome submissions targeted at contributors interested in issues unique to distributions, especially in the following topics:

Topics and Areas of Focus

Focus Areas

  • The ways that distribution technologies can be leveraged to allow for easier creation of a multi-verse of artifacts from single source trees. This includes the increasing move toward self-contained applications and providing multiple non-parallel installed versions of software.

  • Efforts being made in shared environments around Build/Test/Release cycles.

  • Topics related to the delivery problem as it impacts updates in terms of both size and rollback/reliability are expected to be featured.

Additional Topic Ideas

  • Distribution and Community collaborations, eg: how does code flow from developers to end users across communities, ensuring trust and code audibility

  • Automating building software for redistribution to minimize human involvement, eg: bots that branch and build software, bots that participate as team members extending human involvement

  • Cross-distribution collaboration on common issues, eg: content distribution, infrastructure, and documentation

  • Growing distribution communities, eg: onboarding new users, helping new contributors learn community values and technology, increasing contributor technical skills, recognizing and rewarding contribution

  • Principals of Rolling Releases, Long Term Supported Releases (LTS), Feature gated releases, and calendar releases

  • Distribution construction, installation, deployment, packaging and content management

  • Balancing new code and active upstreams verus security updates, back porting and minimization of user breaking changes

  • Delivering architecture independent software universally across architectures within the confines of distribution systems

  • Effectively communicating the difference in experience across architectures for developers, packagers, and users

  • Working with vendors and including them in the community

  • The future of distributions, emerging trends and evolving user demands from the idea of a platform

Ideal submissions are actionable and opinionated. Submissions may be in the form of 25 or 50 minute talks, panel sessions, round-table discussions, or Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions.


Submission Deadline: 02-Dec-2018 @ 2359 GMT Acceptance Notification: 7-Dec-2018 Final Schedule Posted: 14-Dec-2018

How to submit


1.) If you do not have an account, create one here 2.) Click ‘Create Event’ 3.) Enter your presentation details 4.) Be sure to select the Distributions Devroom track! 5.) Submit

What to include

  • The title of your submission
  • A 1-paragraph Abstract
  • A longer description including the benefit of your talk to your target audience, including a definition of your target audience.
  • Approximate length / type of submission (talk, BoF, …)
  • Links to related websites/blogs/talk material (if any)

Administrative Notes

We will be live-streaming and recording the Distributions Devroom. Presenting at FOSDEM implies permission to record your session and distribute the recording afterwards. All videos will be made available under the standard FOSDEM content license (CC-BY).

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the devroom organizers: [email protected] (


Brian Exelbierd (twitter: @bexelbie) and Brian Stinson (twitter: @bstinsonmhk) for and on behalf of The Distributions Devroom Program Committee