Shilla Saebi

Behind open source, there is a strong culture, and sometimes in some organizations debate on whether or not to use it, or contribute to it, can rise. Open source strikes a challenge for people to approach things in an innovative way, look for solutions that are outside the traditional box, and doing so in a collaborative environment where transparency is the most significant asset.

Often times, enterprises struggle with the idea of using open source and major changes are needed to be able to play in the open source world. In this discussion, Shilla will talk about the importance of open source community collaboration and upstream contributions, and dive deeper into why community even matters.

Elizabeth K. Joseph

Open source is incredibly popular in today's technology stacks, and we've been seeing a shift in how infrastructures are being managed with open source tooling.

Well over a decade ago the LAMP stack broke us free from proprietary infrastructure tooling. With subsequent the rise of open source configuration management systems, websites sprung up so that common configurations, like Puppet modules and Chef recipes, from these systems could be shared between organizations using them in production.

Today, following a rush to cloud, companies are now looking for open source tooling to build cloud-like environments in their own new data centers. Technologies like OpenStack and DC/OS, powered by Apache Mesos, are allowing them to replicate much of the functionality that was previously only available with proprietary, hosted solutions. Taking this one step further, several open source projects and organizations have begun full-scale open sourcing of their infrastructures, allowing other organizations to directly benefit from their Continuous Integration tooling and more. Complete infrastructures have now become open source projects unto themselves, and operations engineers becoming more experienced open source contributors, alongside their developer colleagues.

Andy Wojnarek

Nigel's performance Monitor for Linux on POWER, x86, x86_64, Mainframe & now ARM (Raspberry Pi). This powerful utility was developed by Nigel Griffiths while working at IBM aimed at the IBM centric operating systems. Later it was written for Linux as well, targeting running on the IBM platforms and in 2009 it was open sourced.

The utility has two modes:

* In Online Mode it uses curses for efficient screen handling, which updates the terminal frequently for real-time monitoring.

* In Capture Mode, the data is saved to a file in CSV format for later processing and graphing. The file also includes important configuration details that are useful for recommending tuning.

In this talk I will show the strengths of nmon, and some tips and tricks in using this utilities.

Brent Saner

In this talk presented by Brent Saner ("r00t^2" from the Sysadministrivia podcast, now in its third season), one will be walked through some core ideology and the tech necessary to publish your ideas into a neat and compact format widely accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.

Brent Saner

In this workshop, attendees will learn how to create their own bootable live media (CD/DVD, USB, PXE/iPXE, etc.) custom-tailored to their own specific environment/datacenter/deployment's needs.


Free Open Source Software and Amateur Radio.

From programming your radios to moon bounce.

Including new'ish entries from the cross-connected Maker/Hacker communities.

When the cell towers are down.....


Why Should I Get Licensed?

Before you can get on the air, you need to be licensed and know the rules to operate legally. US licenses are good for 10 years before renewal and anyone may hold one except a representative of a foreign government.

First time testers should register with FCC for an FRN number.

All applicants (including minors) must bring two means of positive identification. Licensed applicants must bring the original, and one photocopy, of their license. You should also bring the original and a copy of any Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) needed to prove current status. A fee of $15 will be charged for all tests.


Bob Murphy

A brief introduction to GNU screen. (Or: how to make the command line work for you, especially when the network is conspiring to stop you.)

Screen is part of the GNU project, and is an overlooked utility that can make working on the command line much easier.

Screen is a terminal multiplexer that allows for disconnecting remote sessions, multiple ways to enhance use of your command line sessions, and better ways to capture data from those sessions.

I’ll show you how to use all of this, as well as how to install it under several GNU/Linux distributions.

Walt Mankowski

COBOL is the Rodney Dangerfield of programming languages — it doesn’t get any respect. COBOL is routinely denigrated for its verbosity and dismissed as archaic, and for good reason: COBOL bears little to no resemblance to modern programming languages. Yet COBOL is far from a dead language. It processes an estimated 85% of all business transactions, and 5 billion lines of new COBOL code are written every year!

Last year at FOSSCON I argued that COBOL isn’t such a bad language. This year we’ll journey deep into the past to recreate a retro bug that could only happen in COBOL! Our travels will include:

  • syntactic white space!
  • scotch tape!
  • dueling compiler options!
  • virtual punch cards!
  • sentences!
  • code blocks!
  • periods!

No punch cards were harmed in the creation of this talk.

R Geoffrey Avery

These Lightning Talks may be serious, funny, or both. They may be given by experienced speakers already giving full length talks or by first time speakers just starting out (this is a great way to get started if you have something to say). If you are a first time speaker you will win a tie with an experience speaker when the schedule is made if it comes to it. Today's first time speaker could be tomorrow's keynote speaker.

We will have about 5 Lightning Talks of 5 minutes each day. Submit your talk through the submit talk link on this website. The first deadline is with the full length talks. The second deadline is one week before the conference starts and many proposals will be accepted. At least one speaking spots will be held open until the day of the talks to give you a chance to see something at the conference and put together a Lightning Talk response. However if you wait for the later deadlines note that there are fewer spots available and you are less likely to be accepted so please try to submit more than a week before the conference.

In addition to the five minute Lightning Talks where you get to use your computer, slides, and any other tool, we will also have some Lightning Advertisements. These are only 30 seconds, you don't have to submit a proposal, you don't get any slides, and the only AV assistance offered is a microphone. If you have a BOF to announce, an auction item to advertise or any other short message you can use the transition time that would be otherwise wasted between Lightning Talks to share your message. Just show up before we start and take a seat in the assigned seats in the front of the room.

Why Would You Want to do a Lightning Talk?

Maybe you've never given a talk before, and you'd like to start small. For a Lightning Talk, you don't need to make slides, and if you do decide to make slides, you only need to make three.

Maybe you're nervous and you're afraid you'll mess up. It's a lot easier to plan and deliver a five minute talk than it is to deliver a long talk. And if you do mess up, at least the painful part will be over quickly.

Maybe you don't have much to say. Maybe you just want to ask a question, or invite people to help you with your project, or boast about something you did, or tell a short cautionary story. These things are all interesting and worth talking about, but there might not be enough to say about them to fill up thirty minutes.

Maybe you have a lot of things to say, and you're already going to give a long talk on one of them, and you don't want to hog the spotlight. There's nothing wrong with giving several Lightning Talks. Hey, they're only five minutes.

On the other side, people might want to come to a lightning talk when they wouldn't come to a long talk on the same subject. The risk for the attendees is smaller: If the talk turns out to be dull, or if the person giving the talk turns out to be a really bad speaker, well, at least it's over in five minutes. With lightning talks, you're never stuck in some boring lecture for forty-five minutes.

Still having trouble picking a topic, here are some suggestions:

1. Why my favorite module is X.
2. I want to do cool project X. Does anyone want to help?
3. Successful Project: I did project X. It was a success. Here's how you could benefit.
4. Failed Project: I did project X. It was a failure, and here's why.
5. Heresy: People always say X, but they're wrong. Here's why.
6. You All Suck: Here's what is wrong with the our community.
7. Call to Action: Let's all do more of X / less of X.
8. Wouldn't it be cool if X?
9. Someone needs to do X.
10. Wish List
11. Why X was a mistake.
12. Why X looks like a mistake, but isn't.
13. What it's like to do X.
14. Here's a useful technique that worked.
15. Here's a technique I thought would be useful but didn't work.
16. Why algorithm X sucks.
17. Comparison of algorithms X and Y.

Of course, you could give the talk on anything you wanted, whether or not it is on this list. If we get a full schedule of nothing but five minutes of ranting and raving on each topic, a good time will still be had by most.

Rachel Rawlings

Take a step into "chatops" with a bot that connects an Icinga2[1] monitoring system to your preferred chat service. Icinga2bot[2] is a plugin for errbot[3], a multiplatform chatbot written in Python that can talk to Jabber, Slack, IRC, and other networks.


John Ashmead

Call them Stargates, Jumpgates, Fargates, Hypergates or just an invitation to every pest from the far reaches of the Galaxy to visit, they would be invaluable in helping mankind break free of this solar system.

Are StarGates only a convenient plot device -- or could they actually be built? Accordingly to Einstein's Theory of General Relavity, they are possible -- at least in principle.

We will discuss how to glue black holes together to build a wormhole, how to avoid the dangers of spaghettification, radiation poisoning and paradox noise, and just what would it take to build one in practice.

Charlie Reisinger

What if schools could afford a technology-rich device for every child? What if we released schools from costly software upgrades? What would happen if we trust students with technology and offer the freedom to explore and experiment with school-issued devices?

Free and open source software offers affordable and powerful learning tools for public schools. And open principles promote intellectual curiosity and a collaborative community spirit. But non-free software and restrictive classroom technology policies still rule the playground. How do we upgrade more K-12 schools to open and empower students to change the world?

With more than 4000 student laptops running Linux and FOSS exclusively, Penn Manor School District supports the largest public school program of its kind in Pennsylvania. The district’s one-to-one laptop learning program, and unique student technology help desk, has received national awards and press. Using Penn Manor as a case study, this session will outline our open source educational philosophy and program, review challenges to the wide-scale adoption of FOSS in education, and share inspiring student success stories.

Mark Dominus

Moonpig is an innovative billing and accounting system that I helped develop for a Philadelphia technology company between 2010 and 2012, totaling about twenty thousand lines of Perl. It was a success, and that is because we made a number of very smart decisions along the way, many of which weren't obviously smart at the time.

You don't want to hear about the billing and accounting end of Moonpig, so I will discuss that as little as possible, to establish a context for the clever technical designs we made. The rest of the talk is organized as a series of horrible problems and how we avoided, parried, or mitigated them:

Times and time zones suck
Floating-point arithmetic sucks
It sucks to fix your mangled data after an automated process fails
Testing a yearlong sequence of events sucks
It sucks to have your automated test accidentally send a bunch of bogus invoices to the customers
Rounding errors suck
Relational databases usually suck
Modeling objects in the RDB really really sucks
Perl's garbage collection sucks
OO inheritance sucks

Moonpig, however, does not suck.

Some of the things I'll talk about will include the design of our web API server and how it played an integral role in the system, our testing strategies, and our idiotically simple (but not simply idiotic) persistent storage solution.

Much of the design is reusable, and is encapsulated in modules that have been released under free software licenses.

Trevor Vaughan

This talk covers the background and technologies used in the development of the Open Source System Integrity Management Platform (SIMP). The project is designed for automating operational compliance of Red Hat and CentOS-based systems with DoD, Federal, and Commercial regulations including, but not limited to, NIST 800-53, DISA STIGs, and PCI-DSS. Originally released as Open Source by the National Security Agency, the SIMP community is working toward an extendable platform that can help public and private systems meet regulatory requirements.

Jason Plum

Changing your internal model to Open-by-default can take a shift in your patterns. What does it take to work in the open, for the open?

I'm happy to be able to say that I work for a company that contributes back to the community directly, producing an open-core product that the community can use to continue the grand objective of FOSS. While I have been a part of this community for a short time, I have some insights on the change from
closed to Open as I re-framed my career and I would like to share those with anyone interested.

Nick Allgood

We use the internet in nearly aspect of our lives now, but many people are only aware of the basic level of networking involved to connect out to the internet. But what happens when the data leaves our humble little routers and traverses the magical series of tubes that is the internet? Well, if things are working, get our desired result, but how does it get there?

Here is a summary of what I will cover:

- Layer 1 - Routing basics - How do we get where now?
- Layer 2 - BG-What? An introduction to BGP
- Layer 3 - My brain hurts - some technical bits of BGP
- Layer 4 - Are we there yet? - Establishing a BGP peering
- Layer 5 - Can you see me now? - Adveritsing Routes
- Layer 6 - Don't tread on me - More technical bits of BGP and security
- Layer 7 - The application layer - Questions ?

Joe Rosato

Is bitcoin money?

Compare Bitcoin to other forms of money. Compare Bitcoin to VISA/MasterCard from a hardware/software viewpoint. Locate and understand what "control of value" is for different forms of currency.

Give overview of the technology behind bitcoin and how it combined three existing technologies to solve the The Byzantine Generals Problem. Review the basics of a blockchain. Comment on the current civil war within the bitcoin ecosystem. Question/answer time.

Andrew Rabert

Like having a smartphone, but hate the walled-gardens of Apple and the tightening grip of Google on Android? There is a somewhat-sane alternative: Android without Google!

A little more than a year ago, I set out on an experiment to exclusively use an Android phone without Google Play Services (nor Google apps). There were challenges, but also rewards.

I will talk about:
- The difficulties
- The rewards
- App and service alternatives
- Alternative app stores (F-Droid, Amazon, Humble Store)
- ROMs and devices

Austin Rochford

In the last ten years, there have been a number of advancements in the study of Hamiltonian Monte Carlo algorithms that have enabled effective Bayesian statistical computation for much more complicated models than were previously feasible. These algorithmic advancements have been accompanied by a number of open source probabilistic programming packages that make them accessible to programmers and statisticians. PyMC3 is one such package written in Python and supported by NumFOCUS. This workshop will give an introduction to probabilistic programming with PyMC3. No preexisting knowledge of Bayesian statistics is necessary; a working knowledge of Python will be helpful.

Chris Norton

Need help installing Linux? Got an installation going, but having issues with it? Need help dual booting Win 10 and Ubuntu? Come on down to the installfest and get help with all your lingering issues (computer related please).

Jerome St-Louis

An overview of the capabilities of the Ecere cross-platform SDK and eC language, and a walk-through to building an application that can ultimately be deployed on multiple desktop, mobile and web platforms.

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An introduction to the new bindings for multiple programming languages (including C, C++ and Python), and our tool to automatically generate them from an arbitrary eC library (positioning eC as a great language to build a high-performance multi-platform API).

A look at ECON, a superset of JSON with additional support for type specifiers, hexadecimal numbers, and more, which so happens to be directly compatible with the eC instantiation syntax.
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Learn about the eC programming language, a superset of C offering object-oriented constructs, properties, reflection and dynamic modules while keeping native performance and maintaining C compatibility.
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Learn about the Ecere IDE, a full-featured Integrated Development Environment capable of managing cross-compilers and with a powerful build system able to generate self-sufficient cross-platform Makefiles.
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Learn about the Ecere GUI toolkit, offering a flexible API to build interactive applications across multiple platforms.
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Learn about the Ecere 2D & 3D graphics engine which can serve as a foundation for putting together fun video games or other graphical software.
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A glance at Ecere's GNOSIS geospatial visualization toolkit, written in eC and leveraging our open-source software, the current driving force behind its continued development.
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Dan Langille

Let's Encrypt is a popular and free certificate authority (CA) and many end-user clients exist. Most seem to be designed to run on the webserver in question. What if you're not running a webserver? What if you don't want to maintain N-instances of a client? What if you want to centrally manage all of your certificate in a secure manner?

This talk describes how to create a centrally managed certificate service. It is specific to the Let's Encrypt client, but the strategy can be applied to any CA and any client.

The solution automates the renewal of certificates and relies upon a small shell script for downloading new certs from a webserver. All components are lightweight & commonly used tools. When used, shell scripts are easily configured and understood and are meant to run from cron jobs for unattended updates.

Distribution of keys is not automated and occurs out of band.

The solution authenticates via dns-01 challenges and uses nsupdate to modify TXT records on a hidden master. DNS changes are then propagated to the public servers, where Let's Encrypt can validate the certificate request.

Each step of the process is designed to minimize attach vectors and reduce exposure should a break-in occur.

The talk is designed for those who run their own websites or mail servers, are familiar with setting up a webserver, and already know how to install a new certificate.