Linux Fest in the Lone Star State

Linux Fest in the Lone Star State

Article from Issue 167/2014

In June, Linux users and developers gathered at the Austin Convention Center for Texas Linux Fest 2014.

This past June in Austin, Texas, an ever-growing group of Linux aficionados, trainers, software developers, and those with a casual interest showed up at the Austin Convention Center to exchange ideas about everyone's favorite operating system (Figure 1).

"Linux fest started in 2010 at the Marchesa Theater" said conference chairman Cody Lee. "First year, I want to say we had 400 people." Lee continued, "The conference is about learning and meeting new people, learning about new topics, learning about new interests."

Looking at the conference schedule, it's easy to see that Texas Linux Fest [1] certainly caters to a wide range of learning possibilities. Five tracks on Friday and six tracks on Saturday plus "lightning" and "thunder" talks offer more than 50 talks ranging from learning the Chef language to technical interviewing skills and volunteer recruiting.

The keynote session Saturday morning was presented by Karen Sandler, Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy. She discussed the complicated decisions that arise when free software developers accept code submissions from outside their core group of developers. As the free software community grows, these issues will become more and more prevalent. How the community addresses these concerns will shape it as a whole.

Exhibits and Vendors

In the exhibit hall, which lent itself to casual conversation and impromptu exchanges of ideas, attendees could find representatives of software including MySQL, LibreOffice, and OpenShot; operating systems such as Debian, Fedora, FreeBSD, and Ubuntu (to name just a few); and community organizations including the ATX Hackerspace of Austin  [2].

The ATX Hackerspace is a community of people that loves to learn and make things. They create things and put them together in new and innovative ways. ATX Hackerspace is dedicated to promoting and encouraging technical, scientific, and artistic skills through projects, collaboration, and education by all legal means.

While attending Linux Fest, attendees can strike up conversations in the hallways, outside panel rooms, and even on the sidewalks around the convention center. Cody Lee concludes, "We're really an open source conference, designed for anyone and everyone that's really interested in open source software and Linux." If you find yourself in Austin mid-June, check and see if you can drop by Texas Linux Fest! You can find more information on the conference website.


  1. Texas Linux Fest 2014:
  2. ATX Hackerspace:

The Author

Scott Sumner is the Producer/Educator at the Mayborn Science Theater. When not attending Linux festivals, Scott can be found under the stars of the planetarium or playing with Lionel trains.

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