Inspired by the Fedora 4 foundations, these four words describe pretty much my FOSDEM experience. As this was the very first time for me to attend the conference I was looking forward to travel to Brussels the weekend that passed by. FOSDEM is (probably) the largest conference in Europe that promotes the wide use of open source technologies. Both software and hardware. This event attracts thousands of participants every year. And last week I got to understand why!

I arrived in Brussels late in the evening on Friday and I couldn’t wait to meet my fellow Fedorians despite the fact that I was tired. It turned out that myself was the last person to arrive in Brussels, as most of them had arrived early in the morning or on Thursday. The last time we met was in Cape Cod for Flock, 6 months ago! Still though everyone was pretty enthusiastic for the next days.

The old PC & the fedorator

On Saturday morning we woke up early in order to get to the event venue and set up our booth. Upon arrival we unpacked everything and started setting everything up. A few minutes later people started coming by our booth. The object at our booth that attracted most people’s attention was definitely the Fedorator. A ‘Fedorator’ is a device that was designed by a contributor from the Czech Republic. This device creates bootable USB sticks with the Fedora distro, with various Desktop Environments. The participants could see in real time how within 2-3 minutes they could have a live USB with the DE they had previously chosen at the home screen of the device. The Fedorator and the old PC from the “One laptop per child” initiative running an old version of the Fedora distro, were the two devices on the booth that impressed the most people that visited us. How controversial!

A Fedora candy 😍

There were many fedora contributors at the booth, so we had to take shifts in order to make sure that there will be always people present and that every one has the chance to explore other FLOSS projects. Right next to us was the CentOS booth from which we would frequently ask for more stickers. Sharing is caring… On Sunday, apart from the “booth duties” every contributor had to take a shift at the distributions devroom. Mine was the last shift on the schedule and after this we had to pack everything back. This practically meant that this edition of FOSDEM had come to an end!

The “Open Labs” community

Thanks to the Fedora community I was able to attend the conference this year and join the other members of my local FLOSS community in Tirana. In total, 12 local members of the Open Labs hackerspace traveled to Brussels as part of other larger communities, like Mozilla, LibreOffice, Nextcloud, FSFE or Debian. Furthermore, 3 remote members joined us as well. Justin and John traveled from the US and the UK respectively, while Jonathan is a permanent citizen in Brussels.

Overall? It was a great experience to be able to join the Fedora community at an event of this kind. Looking forward to more moments like these.  🙂