OpenBSD Journal

EuroBSDCon 2005 Review

Contributed by dhartmei on from the axe-grinding-living-dead dept.

Many thanks to Marcus Glocker for sending his report:
The fourth EuroBSDCon, which was held from November 25th to 27th 2005 at the University of Basel, Switzerland is over now. It was a very nice and interesting event. Totally 224 people from 27 countries attended. I try to track down roughly what happened in some words for those who couldn't attend.

Day One, Friday

Friday was Tutorial day. We had four different Tutorials running:

Parallel to the Tutorials the FreeBSD Summit was held in a conference hall on the same floor, which started on Thursday already. Max Laier reported recently that it has been a very productive two-day DevSummit. For lunch we went to a restaurant near the campus, where we had the chance to make first contact with new faces, talking to the known suspects and enjoying lunch. At about 17:00 o'clock the Tutorials were finished, and we closed the first conference day with a nice apero at the University, discussing the visited Tutorials and other topics.

Reyk explaining something at the Tutorials Apero

As people who are visiting Switzerland mostly want to eat Cheese Fondue, a bunch of about twenty OpenBSD fellas went for Cheese Fondue dinner on Friday evening at a restaurant near the Hotel Europe, where a lot of the attendees were placed.

mickey at the Cheese Fondue dinner on Friday evening

Day Two, Saturday

On Saturday the rest of the attendees arrived to register and received their conference pack which included the Proceedings book with all Talks, an actual iX magazine, some other stuff you need for conferencing, and a cool looking EuroBSDCon 2005 T-Shirt.

EuroBSDCon 2005 T-Shirt

The conference was openend with a Welcome Session where Vera Hardmeier and Marc Balmer said some words, and André von Raison (iX magazine) and Prof. Dr. Christian Tschudin (Computer Sience Department, University Basel) were telling us why they don't use BSD Operating Systems. André von Raison also encouraged people who are interessted in writing articles for the iX magazine, with more BSD specific topics, to get in touch with him. Poul Henning-Kamp closed the Welcome Session with a brief and humorous history of BSD and a conclusion how it comes that other Operating Systems are more wide-spread than BSD. To quote him: "We BSD people are an elite bunch of snobs!". The question, if it is actually worth to grow to larger dimension, like some other Operating Systems, was kept open.

Afterwards the twelve talks for Saturday started, running in two parallel tracks:

When the time allowed me, beside organizing stuff, I also attended some Talks. The Talks were well prepared and of high quality.

To pick out one of my favorite Talks; Ryan McBride's Building Robust Firewalls with OpenBSD and PF. We were all sitting in the main conference hall and Ryan was giving an interesting talk how CARP works to build redudant firewalls. He was demonstrating with two firewalls, mounting an nfs directory which contained mp3 files through the firewall and played songs from the band The Plaid Tongued Devils who did the OpenBSD release songs. He rebooted the firewalls alternatingly, and the sound continued playing without interruption. After some more manipulation like plugging the ethernet cables out, Ryan said something like "still not convinced?", grabbed beneath his desk and finally stood there with an axe in his hand! Damn, is he going to kill us because we use CARP too little or what? No, he wants to cut the ethernet cables with the axe to give us the ultimate proof (or the ultimate show? ;). The sound was playing and the audience began laughing, mumbling, and Ryan started to hack on the ethernet cables with an evil expression on his face. People were standing up and running to Ryans speaker desk to take pictures, the cables were cut, brief interruption of sound, *silence*. And there we are, the sound continued playing. The audience was raving and applauding, you could feel the energy of two hundred amazed BSD fellas. That was a cool show and an exciting demonstration.

"Hacker" Ryan McBride at work ;)

After the last Talks and the BOF were finished, the social event called Night Of The Living Dead was waiting for us in a large shrove cellar near the University and beside the pathology hall of the University Hospital :) I picked up about fifty BSD people at 20:00 o'clock at the Hotel Europe and walked with them straight through Basel, leading them to the Night Of The Living Dead, which was a pretty funny looking karawane. We had good food, nice talks, and a lot of beer. HUMPPA!

Night Of The Living Dead - The bar keepers also like BSD

Day Three, Sunday

Ok, day three, come on, get serious again! To my suprise when I arrived at 08:55 o'clock on Sunday morning at the Universtiy to unlock the doors, there were already the first people waiting to get in, then we still had more interessant Talks to hear:

The attendees were really busy hunting from one Talk to the other, and checking out stuff at the Exhibitors Desks. OpenBSD (Wim Vandeputte) was exhibiting Shirts, CDs and embedded devices. Willystudios (Massimilliano Stucchi) offered a large collection of O'Reilly books and IT Garage presented PC Engines WRAP embedded computers.

Wim's OpenBSD Exhibitor Desk missused for hacking

The conference ended with the Closing Talk, where Benedikt Stockebrand, Poul-Henning Kamp, Daniel Seuffert, and Wim Vandeputte started an open discussion about the future of BSD and announced the next two EuroBSDCon destinations:

  • EuroBSDCon 2006, Italy, Milan organized by Massimilliano Stucchi
  • EuroBSDCon 2007, Daenemark, Copenhagen organized by Poul Henning-Kamp

Final words

The Key Talks were filmed, and interviews were made with some of the speakers talking mainly about the future steps in their projects. Speaker interviews were made with; Claudio Jeker, Henning Brauer, Adrian Steinmann, Ryan McBride, Matthias Hopf, and Matthieu Herrb. The EuroBSDCon 2005 DVD is in production and can be pro-ordered at soon.

We are happy that we received a lot of positive feedbacks from the attendees and speakers.

Main EuroBSDCon2005 organizers, Vera and Marc (mbalmer) at Hotel Europe

Thanks to all who made that conference possible and to Marc Winiger for taking the pictures. And a special Thank to Vera Hardmeier and Marc Balmer, the main organizers who had a lot of work, but I'm sure also a lot of fun. We are looking forward to the next EuroBSDCon 2006 in Italy.

(Comments are closed)

  1. By Giedrius ( on

    It would be nice to see filmed talks and interviews :)

    1. By Marc Balmer ( on

      The talks have not been filmed. There will be no such material. The DVD we are making contains interviews with developers, fotos, impressions, the papers and slides.

  2. By fecks0r ( on

    Thank you very much for the report and the photos.

    I still insits though that cheese and therefor cheese fondue, is inherently evil.


    1. By Michael Knudsen ( on

      > I still insits though that cheese and therefor cheese fondue, is
      > inherently evil.

      Seconded. Cheese is just a fancy word used because ``stale milk''
      doesn't sell very well.

    2. By djm@ ( on

      cheese is essential

      1. By Cheese Worm ( on

        East Asians do just fine without it.

  3. By David ( on

    When the presentations will be available for download?
    I'm especially interested in reyk's and tedu's ones...

    1. By niallo ( on

      A couple of them have appeared at

      The others...well you'll have to wait for the developers to stop slacking ;)

  4. By Anonymous Coward ( on

    is that a picture of Michael Shalayeff ?

    1. By pedro ( on

      yes, that's him

      the next thing to find out now is

      where was he sticking his left hand?

      1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

        looks more like a right hand

        1. By corentin ( on

          If you are speaking about his right hand, then it probably looks like a right hand :]

  5. By Amir Mesry ( on

    I am waiting for Reyk to post his tutorial, I am very interested in it.

    1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

      hmm, I bet he won't post his tutorial

  6. By Tom Van Looy ( on

    Who has/where are more pictues of mcbride with the axe?

  7. By Fábio Olivé Leite ( on

    I spent a few years working with high-availability in Conectiva (latin american Linux vendor, now part of Mandriva) and always wanted to pull a show like that, with an axe cutting the wires and stuff. The most I dared to do was to bring some toy gun and "shoot" some servers, but the axe stunt has always been in my head.

    Another thing I'd suggest for the next show is to wire up the firewalls' (or servers') reset buttons to big red push buttons stuck to some dry-wall like material and giving the audience lots of tennis balls. "Just shoot and watch as they reboot, and the sound is still playing!". :)

  8. By Ray ( on

    …André von Raison (iX magazine) and Prof. Dr. Christian Tschudin (Computer Sience Department, University Basel) were telling us why they don't use BSD Operating Systems…

    What were the reasons?

    1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

      > What were the reasons?

      They do not have axes.

      1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

        I thought that was axen.

    2. By Janne Johansson ( on

      One was that when they had started using free unices, BSD was locked in the licensestruggle so he got "accustomed" to using linux and therefore taught to students the free unix he knew how to code for.
      Since the students were to code for that OS (kernel coding) it was essential for him to be able to teach it well, since most of the time for the students was meant to be spent on writing code, not actually learning all intricacies of the internals before coding, he opted for the "familiar" unix.

      Thats the impression I got from the talk.

  9. By m0rf ( on

    X + auto{make,conf,header}?

    I can hardly wait.

    1. By Janne Johansson ( on

      If you bang your head against Imake in the meantime, it will feel SO good to stop when the gofigure-version of X11-building comes out. Even if that one probably will be moderately painful.


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