Tag Archives: fosdem

Conferences in February

Next month will start with conferences… Tomorrow I go for FOSDEM 2014 then one day break (to change bags) and then Devconf.cz in Brno, Czech Republic.

It will be 6th visit at FOSDEM for me. I do not plan to man a booth for any project and hope to find time to visit at least few talks — this year list is quite long:

  • A Method for Distributing Applications Independent from the Distro
  • Anatomy of kdbus
  • ARM: Allwinner sunxi SoC’s and the community behind it
  • CentOS: Planning for Variants and the Next Chapter
  • Ceph
  • Considering the Future of Copyleft
  • Cross Distro Automation
  • Debian Contributors
  • Discover DoudouLinux live!
  • GNURadio as a general purpose DSP environment
  • How we found a million style and grammar errors in the English Wikipedia
  • Introducing the Meson build system
  • IP risks for OSS developers
  • Is distribution-level package management obsolete?
  • Legal issues from a radical community angle
  • lima driver: Opening up the Mali instruction set
  • Lumicall — an open alternative to Viber
  • MINIX 3 on ARM
  • No more IPv4
  • Nouveau — On-going work, demos and research
  • OpenJDK on AArch64 Update
  • OpenPandora and a peek into the future
  • osmocom: Overview of our SDR projects
  • Persistent Memory
  • Porting FreeBSD on Xen on ARM
  • Reproducible Builds for Debian
  • Software Archaeology for Beginners
  • State of the X.org foundation
  • State of Thunderbird
  • Sunxi KMS driver
  • Technical introduction to the deeper parts of Sailfish OS, a Qt5-Wayland based mobile OS
  • Testing Kernel GFX Drivers
  • The evolution of Android’s runtime
  • The Lima driver
  • UEFI is not your enemy
  • Virtualization Dungeon on ARM
  • Who ate my battery?
  • Why You Should Be an Open Source Project
  • Xen on ARM

As usual it would be success if I will manage to see 30% of them as for me FOSDEM is a place to meet people from other projects to share ideas rather than spend time on sessions.

Next will be Devconf.cz but first ARM Hackfest a day before at Red Hat office (an option to check my badge). This conference is more Fedora related and I hope to meet interesting people there to discuss how to do some things. No talks selection as there will much smaller amount of them so I can do it between sessions ;D

If you want to catch me at conferences then use Google Hangout, Facebook Messenger or just mail me. I plan to have local SIM card to be always online.


Year ago we had Linaro Connect right after FOSDEM so I decided to skip and walk to Golden Gate instead. But this year there were no conflicts!

Months before we had discussion on SzLUUG mailing list about who goes for FOSDEM. There were about 9 people wanting and we ended with five. So on Friday morning friends arrived near my house, I jumped into car, we grabbed 4th one (Tomek was in London at that time) and went to Berlin Schönefeld airport for 07:00 Easyjet flight.

And we missed it… 5-10 minutes late we were ;( 75€ per person and 10 hours later he took off from SXF airport.

But that 10h was not wasted. Berlin has very nice Technical Museum with many trains, cars, planes and other exhibitions. And they had Trabant 601 as well:

My first time in Trabant

Then trip to shops (Saturn, Media Markt) in search for HTC Desire X case (Magda) and LG Nexus 4 (me). Avoid Saturn — they do not handle credit card payments at Alexanderplatz so I had to walk to the ATM. Two S-Bahns later we passed security check and went to the gate early enough to fly.

BRU airport… I think that (with exception of SXF/TXL) it is my most visited airport as it was my 5th FOSDEM and there was UDS-M around as well. But this time we took a bus instead of a train. 14€ ticket works for 72 hours so cover all trips perfectly. Few hours later we were joking that this multi country journey was exhausting as we were in Berlin, Brussels, went though Geneve (bus stop) to Luxembourg (square) and passed near London (restaurant) ;D

Hotel, drop stuff, connect chargers, went for beer event. Crowdy as usual it was. But I managed to meet some friends (but also missed lot of them) and grabbed few beers. Good spent time. Too bad that I was so tired that went back to hotel just right after midnight.


Breakfast in St. Nicolas hotel maybe is not the best but provides enough energy to survive a day. Met several guys there, Philip gave me Kindle Paperwhite which I bought few days before (with delivery to his house to lower price) and his famous Belgium/Holland/Luxembourg guidebook. I also got Beagle pendrive from Koen.

24-01-13 - 1

Then overcrowded bus 71 and FOSDEM! I told Bartek where things are (but at that time I had no idea of K building) and we split. In AW building I met friends manning OpenEmbedded stand just right in front of building entry.

OpenEmbedded stand

Circuitco had Beaglebone stand right to it:

Beaglebone robot

That robot was great example what you can do with enough signals available to drive all those motors. And what you can do with 3D printers ;D

I do not know is it due to crisis or something but AW building had just half of a space for stands used…

Then I went for talks:

  • “Embedded distro shootout: buildroot vs. Debian” — wasted time. Long discussion about Emdebian + short info that Buildroot works in other way. Could be nice talk if done in other way.
  • “Porting Fedora to 64-bit ARM systems” — talk done by Jon Masters and his clone. As usual first “what the hell is 64-bit ARM” and then how Fedora bootstraps itself. Nice talk, got some new stuff. Have to dig for Cavium SDK.
  • “Porting OpenJDK to AArch64” — interesting it was. Two speakers, lot of technical details.
  • “ARMv8, ARM’s new architecture including 64-bit” by Andrew Wafaa. Mostly to catch speaker in easy way ;D
  • “Bootstrapping Debian-based distributions for new architectures” – I was lazy to go somewhere else but it was good talk.
  • “Bootstrapping the Debian/Ubuntu arm64 ports” by Wookey. Kind of recycled talk from Barcelona but I like his presentations. Also first one without “what the hell is armv8” introduction.

I also had nice discussion with Jolla guys about their system/device and would I like to test it once they will have something ready for complains. Played a bit with Firefox OS on their reference developer platform and on Nexus S and was not impressed — for example it looked like they have to learn about DPI…

Then I met OE crew and few other guys and when finally noticed that it is time to go to the hotel and drop gear there. Once arrived it was a bit to late to go somewhere and search for some event so I joined SzLUUG team and we went for a meal, chocolates and then some drinking with Kerneliusz (SzLUUG mascotte):

Kerneliusz is hugging bottle


Breakfast, packing gear and go for a bus which was less crowded than day before (but we are a bit late as well). As we had to leave after 14:00 I managed only two talks:

  • “systemd, Two Years Later” — some Ubuntu trolling and project status. Nice talk.
  • “Porting applications to 64-Bit ARM Architecture” by Riku Voipio (main AArch64 porter at Linaro). Good discussion in a room, some nice hints and suggestions. Read his recent blog post about ARMv8 porting

Then walk, tram, bus and security check. This time I did not have to take developer boards from backpack as I gave them away during event. We arrived in Berlin and (due to Michał’s fosdem flu) I drove us back home.


It was great event as usual. But distance between K building and rest was too big for sessions which are one after another. I dropped some entries from my calendar just because it would be H->K->H->K switching.

Android application for schedule was ok. Would be nice to make a bigger effort and update it to cover K building as well and add a way to see what is going on in each building/room to reduce time before sessions.

Funny part

On Saturday I realized that for some reason I may remind Jon Masters… That’s due to hardware I had with me:

  • two developer boards
  • two phones
  • two tablets
  • 3 USB chargers
  • 4 microUSB cables

The good thing is that they were not of same type (except some cables) :D

Going for FOSDEM

This year no one blocked me from going to FOSDEM ;D

What are plans? There will be some AArch64 related talks which I want to attend:

  • Bootstrapping Fedora for AArch64
  • Bootstrapping Debian/Ubuntu for AArch64
  • Porting software for AArch64
  • Porting OpenJDK for AArch64
  • What the hell is AArch64

Few ARM ones:

  • Freedreno update
  • Open ARM GPU drivers
  • ARM status in Linux kernel

Few for entertainment:

  • Buildroot contra Debian
  • Baserock introduction
  • Eudev

Some for curiosity:

  • HipHop
  • Why there is no such thing as FOSS phone?

Original titles may differ. There are over 450 events during FOSDEM, several keynotes etc. There will be also few thousand people so I would rather not find a time to attend even half of sessions listed above… But for me this is how this conference work :D

Normally I do not take hardware with my (other than phone). This time I packed two boards, two tablets and hope to get rid of most of them ;)


Returning home now — sitting in the EasyJet plane somewhere over Germany and sipping coffee.

Tenth FOSDEM is past now. We had a stand as usual but this year it looked much better then ever: white sheet, less cables floating everywhere (one central power extender with 8 sockets helps), interesting devices on table… We had:

  • EVBeagle (German Beagleboard clone with blue PCB)
  • 2 BUGs showing different things (camera view on mine, dual screen X11 on Denis one)
  • Ulf bring new Atmel AT91SAM9M10 board (more on it in next days as it is in my bag above my head), there was also raffle in which other one was a price
  • Archos 7 media player
  • Psion netbook (with ‘Prototype’ text on it)
  • Openmoko Freerunner
  • HTC Dream (running OpenEmbedded distro instead of Android)
  • FriendlyARM with WVGA screen
  • Toshiba topas
  • Atmel NGW100 which uses AVR32 cpu
  • and some more which I forgot about

For next year it would be great to have power supply which would provide several +5V and +12V cables so there would be less plugs in use. Someone wants to donate such one? We probably need to think about creating kind of ‘standard stand stuff box’ which would be used on next events so no more grabbing power extenders, USB cables etc. This is a thing to discuss.

At stand there were many people asking different questions. Some thought that we are selling hardware, some known already what OE is.

But FOSDEM was not only OE stand. This year I decided that there are talks which I want to attend and did that. I saw (titles are not original ones):

  • ’20 minutes about Openmoko history’ by Mickeyl Lauer. I got there a bit late to check did he mentioned ‘super secret project’ name
  • ‘Freesmartphone.org — what it is and why it is cool’ also by Mickeyl. He shown few of his DBus related tools — I need to package them for Maemo5 as they should be useful. Talk was interesting and worth being there.
  • ‘Cross building systems: who we are and what our plans are’ panel was set of presentations from Ptxdist, OpenWRT, Crosstool NG, Buildroot, OpenEmbedded, cegcc projects. Everybody said that we need to share patches and help people to fix their software.
  • ‘Maemo Community Counsil: who, why, what for’ was nice talk by Dave Neary (sorry man, that we did not met for talk). MCC is between community and Nokia and they do good job.
  • ‘How to be good upstream’ by Gentoo developer was interesting as they have similar problems that we have in OE.
  • ‘MINIX 3: system which do not want to die’ was the best entertainment during whole trip. Author was blaming Linux for being terrible buggy while his ‘baby’ was nearly bug free. But maybe because of very small user base? Not that I have something against microkernel idea — I used AmigaOS which chosen that way and know how it works.

Met some people, some planned to but time was too short as usual… Some of new faces were nice surprise: Martin Guy (the only one who understand Cirrus Logic EP93xx FPU hardware bugs) or Bluelighting from OPIE project. Tias (author of XInput calibrator tool for making touchscreens work as they should) hunted me during whole event and finally we had occasion to discuss about changes which he did due to my suggestions or problems. I shown BUG with two screens for him and he understood why I need device parameter. And next year I need to catch one guy from staff and talk with him as this year again he told that he know me and I do not know him (something like that anyway).

There was one change when it comes to stands — this year we were not next to PostgreSQL because MariaDB was between. I hope that next year we will be still nearby as I got used to the youngest person in their team :)

Speaking about future: it was last year with Astrid for me. It is in nice location (direct bus to FOSDEM place, near to Delirium Cafe) but no free wifi available in XXI century starts to be an issue. And no more going to tourist area for dinner — it was too costly I think.

Now I am in a bus which is my last way of transport today. plan to be at home before midnight. Post has to wait for Monday.

Does Vortex86sx based devices are worth something?

At FOSDEM 2009 I grabbed one Vortex86SX based device — Koala Nano PC which is available at Koan software. Device came with Ångström distribution and was running 2.6.26 kernel. I wanted to get something more fresh on it and after some fighting I booted 2.6.29-rc5 kernel today.

Device use Vortex86SX SoC which is based on 486SX core. Yes — this is x86 machine without FPU. Overall speed of that is… nearly not existing.

First benchmark which came to my mind was “hdparm -T /dev/sda”. Results were dramatic: 9-13 MB/s for cached reads (with 133MHz memory and 300MHz cpu). I decided to compare against other devices:

DeviceArchCPUCPU speedmemory typecached reads
Koala Nano PCx86vortex86sx300MHzDDR29-13MB/s
old PCx86pentium2266MHzEDO DRAM33MB/s
ASUS WL-500gPmipsbcm3302266MHz46MB/s
Freecom FSG-3armipx42x266MHz43MB/s
iBook G3ppcg3300MHzSDRAM65MB/s
Koala nano33x86vortex86dx1GHzDDR274MB/s
Nokia N810armomap2420400MHzSDRAM82MB/s
Linkstation pro duoarmixp4xx266MHz147MB/s
kirkwood reference board1armkirkwood1200MHzDDR2209MB/s
my desktopx86core2quad2400MHzDDR23300-3500MB/s
Cliff’s desktopx86Core-i7 920 Quad2.67GHzDDR36400-7200MB/s

But remember that this test is not so good for benchmarking — I am preparing better set of tests to really compare speed of devices. So far it contains openssl speed and MP3 encoding/decoding.

But device has also few nice things. Everything is integrated so 12x12cm box is enough to keep everything inside. It has ATA controller, FastEthernet, graphics based on XGI core (with accelerated framebuffer able to do 1680×1050 resolution) and working USB. There is a place to put 2.5″ HDD inside (normally it boots from CompactFlash card), second Ethernet or WiFi are available options…

But what is use for such slow device? There are lot of ARM based ones which offer similar (or better) functionality and are faster… But wait — there is one use: event displays as this machine has nicely working framebuffer (I got even 1680×1050 resolution).

UPDATE: added results from iBook G3 300MHz and some other machines.

  1. kirkwood reference board uses same cpu as SheevaPlug device. 

Serial cables for BUG

During this year FOSDEM Bug Labs gave 4 BUG Starter Kits for people. Two were given for best ideas of application/module/way of using BUG — here Ken and Peter selected best entries. Other two were possible to win by donating FOSDEM.

I already knew two of those lucky guys. If you are one of other ones then I want to tell that I have Handylink connectors which can be used to build serial cables for BUG. If someone wants to also have Ethernet then all signals are in connector too — just proper RJ45 socket needs to be added.

How to get Handylink connector from me? Mail me at marcin@buglabs.net with your address and I will send you one connector (with cable ending in just wires) by normal post. No costs for You even — whole package costs me ~1€ so I do not need return of costs.

I am going to FOSDEM 2009

I already bought tickets for bus to/from Berlin, planes tickets and booked room in Astrid hotel.

The plan starts on Thursday with Berlinia bus from Szczecin to Berlin Schoenefeld (SXF) airport. Then Easyjet flight number 4701 (16:00) to Brussels (BRU) and from there to Astrid hotel. I will do return trip on Sunday — Easyjet flight number 4702 (20:50), then bus to Szczecin.

So if you want to meet me before FOSDEM crazy time you can catch me on Thursday evening or Friday (rather morning as I plan to do walk around a bit to see something other then hotel and conference).