Issue #9 July 2005

FUDCon convenes in Karlsruhe

In many ways, Karlsruhe, Germany is the perfect town to host an open source event. It's a university town, home to the oldest technical university in Germany. Heinrich Hertz discovered electromagnetic waves in Karlsruhe in the 1880s. Karlsruhe was the location of the first internet backbone connection in Germany. The forerunner to the bicycle was also invented here, a fact commemorated by the recent visit of this year's Tour de France. Karlsruhe clearly has a history of attracting innovators.

Since 2002, Karlsruhe has also been the host city of LinuxTag, one of the largest annual gatherings of the open source community in the world. LinuxTag celebrated its tenth anniversary at this year's event, and organizers estimated attendance at more than 16,000 people. A number of exciting announcements were made, most notably the release of Knoppix 4.0 and the new relationship between Wikipedia and the KDE project.

The Fedora Project was proud to be a participant and sponsor of this year's event, holding the second Fedora Users and Developers Conference (FUDCon) at the Kongresszentrum. Following on the success of the first FUDCon in Boston this February, the turnout for the sessions at FUDCon 2 was impressive; some of the sessions were crowded enough that organizers were forced to turn people away.

Among the highlights of the sessions at FUDCon 2:

Daniel Veillard discussed Xen
Daniel discussed Xen, the new paravirtualization technology that made its debut in Fedora Core 4. His talk provided both a broad overview of virtualization principles and specific implementation details. This talk was among the most crowded of the conference. (details)
Figure 1. Daniel Veillard's Xen presentation packs the crowds in.
Mark Cox discussed security issues in open source
Mark, lead for Red Hat's security response team, discussed security issues in open source in general. He also talked in detail about recent innovations that help make Fedora more secure, including SELinux, exec-shield, malloc checking in glibc, and fortify source. (details)
Figure 2. Approximate world walrus population: 250,000. Mark Cox, Red Hat security response team guru, is not one of them.
Alasdair Kergon led an in-depth LVM technical session
Alasdair led an in-depth technical session about logical volume management (LVM), with an emphasis on the new features in LVM2. (details)
Ralf Spenneberg gave talks on firewalls and VPNs
Ralf gave two talks: one on implementing transparent firewalls with Fedora Core (details), and one on building VPNs with Fedora Core (details)

The strong technical focus of the presentations drew a knowledgeable crowd. "What set this show apart from similar shows I've worked in the USA was the technical calibre of attendees," Mark Cox said. "They didn't come up to ask for a free hat. They came to grill us on our choice of SELinux targeted policy daemons and the internal workings of ExecShield."

Over a dozen sessions took place over the two days of FUDCon; the (mostly) complete list of sessions and presentation materials can be found at fedoraproject.org.

Figure 3. Warren Togami, Chris Blizzard, and Paul Nasrat unwind after a long day on the show floor.