posted on Tue, Jan 26 '21 under tag: debian

MiniDebConf India 2021 Online happened past weekend. It was fun!

There was a Malayalam track in DebConf 2020 and the recordings of that made me think about Debian (“de” in Debian is pronounced like “developer” and not like “debug”). It is afterwards that I started contributing to Debian as well.

I love and use ArchLinux on my computer. Why would I still contribute to Debian? Because Debian is the universal operating system and is completely free. Debian is the reason why my mom and dad can use GNU/Linux on their computer (through Ubuntu, etc). Debian makes GNU/Linux and freedom accessible and affordable to everyone on the planet.

That’s why I jumped in to volunteer when I got to know that the Debian community in India is planning an online MiniDebConf with tracks in English, Malayalam, Hindi, and other languages. I knew many of the other volunteers from Free Software Camp and that made it even more fun.

Debian community has been doing conferences for a long time and there is a lot of infrastructure they have - DebConf modules for wafer, Schedule Bot, a video team who runs a full-blown event management service (live streaming, stream mixing, video reviews, jitsi, etherpad, …).

We had to bring in speakers though. The publicity team made many posters and posts about call for proposal and we had about 50 submissions when we woke up on the day past deadline. Since the event was only a Saturday and a Sunday, we had to make it two venues running parallely.

There were many meetings and lots of activity before the event and if I have no idea how many people were involved in total. Most of them are present in #minidebconf-india on OFTC (bridged to matrix).

The talks were fun. I wanted to talk, but couldn’t find an appropriate topic. I compensated by jumping into a couple of BoFs. The recordings can be seen on Debian’s meetings archive. Some very interesting hacks include Adblocker for television and running Debian on chromebook. I attended BoFs on privacy (with my broken Hindi) and Rust lang. A talk on virtualization which I was talkmeister for made me start reading about the whole Kubernetes, Docker, Containerd, blah blah blah. I will write about that soon.

The conference made me realize the importance of communities and events like this. I also was inspired to focus on the project ideas I had and really see them to completion. On the homepage of Debian you will see Debian defined in two ways. Debian is a complete free operating system. And Debian is a community of people. Debian, to me, represents the spirit of hacking and cooperation. Can’t wait for the next event.

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