A Linux Foundation event

LinuxCon 2009

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Linux kernel developers, community members, and industry leaders gathered in Portland for The Linux Foundation's first LinuxCon.

Members of the Linux community gathered for The Linux Foundation's first LinuxCon, which was held September 21-23 in Portland, Oregon [1]. Linux Pro Magazine partnered with The Linux Foundation to provide live streaming from this first LinuxCon event; keynotes were streamed for free.

Linux by the Numbers

During his opening remarks, The Linux Foundation's Executive Director Jim Zemlin talked about Linux by the numbers. He said there's only one Linus Torvalds, but 2,700,000 lines of code were added to kernel in the past year. Zemlin said that 10,983 lines of code are added to kernel every day, and 5,547 lines are deleted. "Quantity and quality, that's the important part," he said.

Zemlin went on to say that the ratio of men to women working on Linux is 100 to 1. "We need to change this ratio, people," he added. Other interesting – and sometimes amusing – numbers according to Zemlin include 501 (the brand of jeans most Linux developers wear, whereas Microsoft developers prefer Dockers), US$ 10.8 billion (how much it would cost to rewrite Linux now, US$ 0 (the cost of getting Linux source code), and US$ 99 (what it costs to be member of Linux Foundation). Zemlin offered 600 as his final number, which was the number of attendees at LinuxCon 2009. Then he introduced Bob Sutor, the first keynote speaker of the day.

Keynotes

In the afternoon of day 1 of LinuxCon, the Linux kernel developers took the stage for a panel discussion. Panel member Linus Torvalds said that the Linux kernel is a lifelong calling. "I've been doing this pretty much half my life," he added. When asked what he says when people say next year will be the year of the Linux desktop, kernel developer Ted T'so jokingly replied, "Next year will be the year of the Linux desktop because 'next year' is always the year of the Linux desktop."

On day two of LinuxCon, openSUSE's Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier gave a keynote about how Linux is like the Ramones. He explained how Fedora is like Frank Zappa, and then told audience members that they were taking the analogy too far when they pointed out that Zappa is dead. Brockmeier said that Ubuntu is like Duran Duran because they came out of nowhere and then were huge. He said that Debian is like the Velvet Underground: "Not many people bought the Velvet Underground albums," Brockmeier said, "but everyone who did went out and started a band." Later in his talk, Brockmeier talked about unity in FLOSS and pointed out that we all have the same goal of getting Linux out there. "Everything you do on a mailing list is PR," he said. He added, "Think before you flame."

To see all the LinuxCon keynote video archives, including Mark Shuttleworth's closing talk, visit the Linux Magazine website [2].

Planning Future LinuxCons

At the Intel-sponsored closing reception on Wednesday night, I spoke with Zemlin about the lack of women speakers at the first LinuxCon. "I'd love to see more women at events," he said. One member of the program committee told me that they received 144 talk proposals, and of those, only three were submitted by women.

Amanda McPherson, VP of Marketing and Developer Programs at the Linux Foundation, told me that she created LinuxCon, named it, got the funding together, and did the entire speaking program, but she would have liked to have more women represented. She said, "I really do feel it's my fault as I could do more personal outreach. I know lots of women who would make great speakers – I just have to do more to encourage them to speak."

LinuxCon offered a nice mix of attendees and a good vibe overall. If you didn't make it to this inaugural event, check out the video archives for a glimpse of what you missed.

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