FOSDEM is one of largest free software conferences in Europe. It is run by volunteers for volunteers and since 2001 gathers together more than 8000 people every year. Sure, during first years there were less visitors (I had been lucky to actually present at the first FOSDEM and also ran a workshop there) but the atmosphere didn’t change and it is still has the same classical hacker gathering feeling.

In 2018 FOSDEM will run on the weekend of February 3rd and 4th. Since the event has grown up significantly, there are multiple development rooms in addition to the main tracks. Each development room is given a room for Saturday or Sunday (or both). Each development room issues own call for proposals (CfP), chooses talks for the schedule and runs the event. FOSDEM crew films and streams all devrooms online for those who couldn’t attend them in real time but the teams behind actual devrooms are what powers the event.

In 2018 there will be 42 devrooms in addition to the main track. Think about it as 43 different conferences happening at the same time, that’s the scale and power of FOSDEM. I’m still being impressed by the power of volunteers who contribute to FOSDEM success even long since the original crew of sysadmins of Free University of Brussels decided to stop working on FOSDEM.

Identity management related topics has been always part of FOSDEM. In 2016 I was presenting in the main track about our progress with GNOME desktop readiness for enteprise environments, integration with freeIPA and other topics, including a demo of freeIPA and Ipsilon powering authentication for Owncloud and Google Apps. Some of my colleagues ran freeIPA presentation well before that too.

We wanted to have a bit more focused story telling too. Radovan Semancik tried to organize a devroom in 2016 but it wasn’t accepted. Michael Ströder tried the same in 2017. Getting a devroom proposal to pass always comes with a fair amount of luck but finally we suceeded with FOSDEM 2018. I’d like to thank you my colleague Fraser Tweedale who wrote the original proposal draft out of which grew up the effort with Identity and Access Management devroom.

We tried to keep a balance between a number of talks and a variety of topics presented. We only have 8.5 hours of schedule allocated. With 5 minutes intervals between the talks we were able to accomodate 14 talks out of 25 proposals.

The talks are structured in roughly five categories:

  • Identity and access management for operating systems
  • Application level identity and access management
  • Interoperability issues between POSIX and Active Directory environments
  • Deployment reports for open source identity management solutions
  • Security and cryptography on a system and application level

Admittedly, we’ve got one of smallest rooms (50 people) allocated but this is a start. On Saturday, February 3rd, 2018, please come to room UD2.119. And if you couldn’t be in person at FOSDEM, streaming will be available too.

See you in Brussels!