Fosdem 2020 Distributions Devroom Submission

Title of Devroom: Distributions

Elaborate description of proposed devroom(Including possible Topics):

Distributions still matter in a world filled with containers and single-task virtual machines. Without distributions, software can be bespoke to install and difficult to audit and manage at a large scale. Distributions have responded to the changing nature of workloads by specializing and become more flexible. This has kept distributions as a critical component in the devops transformations that require assembly piles of software into delivery vehicles ina repeatable, reliable, and functional manner. This is the core problem that distributions have always solved.

Every 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.

For this distributions devroom, we want to focus on the ways that distribution technologies can be leveraged or reused to ease creation of a multi-verse of artifacts from a single source tree. We also want to continue to highlight the huge efforts being made in shared environments around Build/Test/Release cycles. Hot topics related to the delivery problem as it impacts updates in terms of both size and rollback/reliability are expected to be featured along with new solutions being developed for containers, virtual machines, and IoT.

Why does it fit FOSDEM?:

Far from from being just something cared about by “the old guard,” distribution developers and maintainers are widely represented at FOSDEM. Many attendees are involved (in one form or another) in the distribution space, and would benefit both as a speaker or in the audience of the devroom. Additionally, as the OpenSource community grows, many FOSDEM attendees don’t realize how much of what they rely on is provided by distributions. This is not a platform for debate about the merits of distribution A vs B as much as a statement about why picking a distribution remains a critical success factor for many applications.

The talks are only part of the story, since many folks are interested in the distributions space it’s not uncommon to start a piece of software or feature request only to find that the principal authors (or commentors) are all in the room. Building in a dedicated space for this augments the fantastic hallway track at FOSDEM.


  • Preferred slot: Full Day

  • Primary Contact: Brian Exelbierd, Fedora Community Action and Impact Lead

  • Secondary Contact: Brian Stinson, CentOS Infrastructure Team

  • Secondary Contact: Vipul Siddharth, CentOS CI Infrastructure Team