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Sun, 18 Nov 2012

22:17:38 18 Nov 2012
(Posted by: Holger Levsen)

Wireless setup for DebConf7

Only in the beginning of May it became clear that we need a new wireless sponsor this year, which quite quickly was found:, which is a german grassroot movement, connecting people and communities with mesh networks.

As some of them are also upstream OpenWRT developers, we didn’t only get 19 accesspoints, but I also got quite some intensive training, which resulted in this wikipage with quite extensive documentation and a nice 3D map, how+where+why to place accesspoints.

So we’ll use the Kamikaze version of OpenWRT, whereever possible. Despite it’s name, Kamikaze is the new stable release of OpenWRT, the successor of WhiteRussian.

The accesspoints will be simply running in bridge mode (and using DHCP to get their IP and not running a DHCP server themselves) and provide unencrypted wireless (authentification via chillispot, you’ll have to login once via a webfrontend, then your MAC address will be recorded and you don’t need to login again) on the ESSID DebConf7. We’ll have 802.11b+g everywere and additionally 802.11a in some places.

We calculated that for Teviot we’ll need approximatly 15 accesspoints and three extra for the hackcenter we’ll be using at night. As we got 19 from freifunk, we should have enough. But I like to have some more, to be on the safe side and to be able to replace the least powerful ones with better ones.

If you can bring an accesspoint that runs OpenWRT, please send a short mail to We prefer OpenWRT, so we can easily include them into our monitoring with munin and because it’s a PITA to deal with lots of different web interfaces for administration (and look up lots of different manuals on different webpages…). If you really want to bring an AP which doesn’t run OpenWRT, make sure the config described above is possible and please pre-configure it like that.

You can check if your accesspoint can run OpenWRT, a modell with broadcom or atheros chips would be best, simply because I already have preconfigured images. Alternativly, the above mentioned wikipage has instructions how to build an image. (And I have a build environment on my laptop. But that’s easy to setup.)

On a personal note, I intend not to be much involved in the wireless setup this year after unpacking the hardware, there is a nice admin team this year and I want to concentrate on the video team and our work there.

And last but not least, but again: don’t just plug your AP into the network in Teviot. God might kill a kitten, and we might loose our uplink if you do :-)

22:17:38 18 Nov 2012
(Posted by: Moray Allan)

Healthcare during DebConf

If you are coming to DebConf from an EU member country, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, or Switzerland, you are entitled to free healthcare in the UK (not including elective treatment or non-urgent pre-existing conditions).

To prove that you are entitled to this, you need a free European Health Insurance Card. The arrangements for getting one will depend on your country, but if you don’t yet have one you should apply as soon as possible, to get one in time for DebConf.

Residents and citizens of many other countries are entitled to a more limited level of free healthcare, as listed on the DebConf7 website.

22:17:38 18 Nov 2012
(Posted by: Peter Nuttall)

DebConf7 accommodation

As Moray blogged last week, there are spare beds in the hostel block booking. If you haven’t already written in ask for one, and you would like to stay with the sponsored DebConf attendees, please write to now. The plan is to close this option in about 24 hours, so please be prompt.

The spare beds will be allocated to people in the order emails are received; the price per night will be £12 (currently €17.60), which is a special reduced rate due to our large bookings.

22:17:38 18 Nov 2012
(Posted by: Moray Allan)

DebConf7 accommodation

It looks like there are still a few spare beds in the hostel block booking for DebConf. So if you don’t have sponsored accommodation for DebConf, but would like to stay with other DebConf attendees, write to now.

The spare beds will be allocated to people in the order emails are received; the price per night will be £12 (currently €17.60), which is a special reduced rate due to our large bookings.

22:17:38 18 Nov 2012
(Posted by: Jon Dowland)

DebConf7 accommodation: breakfasts

Hi there! We are working away on preparing an infomail for DebConf7 attendees, which will cover the specifics of Hostel check-in times, what to bring, key arrangements, etc. etc.

However, we could really use some figures on who might make use of the breakfast facilities offered by one of the two hostels, Budget Backpackers.

BB offer an uncooked breakfast (cereal, toast, tea and coffee, etc.) at a rate of 2 GBP per morning, payable on the morning. They are keen to know who might be interested in this service in advance, so they can prep the kitchen if the numbers are huge.

Both hostels have very good kitchen facilities and I’d expect that most people would be more inclined to group together and buy communal milk, cereal, etc. which is likely to work out cheaper too.

If you are staying in Budget Backpackers (check here if you are not sure) and you think you will be using the breakfast service, please mail as soon as possible with the days you may be doing this so I can let the hostel know and they can ensure they are adequately prepared for the demand.

Thank you!

22:17:38 18 Nov 2012
(Posted by: Joerg Jaspert)

DebConf7 Final Report

After a lot of work, the DebConf7 Final Report has been released. The report is intended for a large audience, and includes impressions and facts from the conference. Whether you were there or not, we hope you will find the report an interesting read!

The report is available as a PDF.

Many thanks to those who assisted in the production of this report, and to all those who were there at DebConf7! See you in Argentina, August 2008!

22:17:38 18 Nov 2012
(Posted by: Joerg Jaspert)

DebConf7 Gallery

Similar to last year we opened a DebConf7 gallery on our gallery server.

We would like to have this again as a central point for all pictures taken at DebConf7, so we would really appreciate if you can (in addition to your own gallery) upload there.

As it is open for everyone just create a user and send a little mail to to get your account activated if you do not have one already.

22:17:38 18 Nov 2012
(Posted by: Holger Levsen)

Streams are up

To say it again and upfront: streaming is optional. While we do try to make them work as best as we can, we also want to state again, that our priority is to preserve DebConf7 for eternity and not for the viewing pleasure of those few, who can’t wait :-D

That said, is up and running. Yay! Yay! This time also with a lolstream over night.

That announced, we’re still sorting out minor and not so minor glitches. So, I’ll stop blogging now.

And we’re still looking for more servers in Australia, Asia, Africa and Antarctica :-)

And now let’s hope everything will work out in the real world! Have fun at DebConf or watching on your sofa, if you’re lucky :-)

22:17:38 18 Nov 2012
(Posted by: Joerg Jaspert)

LPI exams during DebConf7

As already announced, we’ve arranged for interested people to take LPI exams during DebConf7.

As the announcement says, you need to register for the exams in two places. First go to the LPI system to get an LPI-ID, and then register for this event, so the LPI people know how many attendees to expect, and for which of the 6 possible tests. (Ignore the MySQL ID, no MySQL certifications will be carried out).

You will see that there are currently two timeslots to choose from on 19 June, one at 10:00 and one at 14:00. This should be enough for the number of people we expect to show up, but if not we will arrange more slots with the LPI team.

As also stated in the announcement, there is a special pack available. If you registered for DebConf7 and also reconfirmed in time, you can take two LPI exams for only 95 EUR, which is less than one exam normally costs.

If you haven’t managed to register and reconfirm in time, don’t worry: the LPI exam will still be available at half the normal price.

Oh, and someone just asked: you can register for the LPI exams right up to the day they’re held at DebConf. Only the special pack is limited to those who registered and reconfirmed for DebConf in time…

22:17:38 18 Nov 2012
(Posted by: Moray Allan)

DebConf7 logo

DebConf7 has a new logo:

Thanks to Valessio Brito for coming up with it!

22:17:38 18 Nov 2012
(Posted by: Holger Levsen)

Some more streaming relays wanted

It’s 24h until DebianDay, the day promoting Debian to the general public in Edinburgh, which is the preceeding event of DebConf7. The video setup is almost completly done now. It will allow us to publish the recordings shortly (within hours) afterwards, with very little manual work. Today we’ll be polishing it some more and test everything with three simultaneous streams. Yesterday we successfully tested mixing video from three cameras, which was recorded and streamed to the net.

While recording has still the highest priority, the streaming setup this year will (hopefully) also really rock: thanks to the help of some friendly OFTC people we’ll use geoDNS, so that there will be one DNS name for all and the users will automatically be directed to the closest server. The problem is, there is only one server in Australia, and no servers in Asia, Africa and Antarctica.

If you have a server in one of these regions, and if can open port 8000 in- and outgoing, please contact us, as described in this mail. Clients will use about 300 kbit/s each.

As soon as the geoDNS is in place, I’ll blog again and publish the URL, so that you can watch us testing… :-)

22:17:38 18 Nov 2012
(Posted by: Holger Levsen)

Damn statistics ;-)

Looking at the munin stats of the video streams watched (link only works from the DebConf7 network) today was a bit disappointing. About 40 viewers in average for all four rooms combined, worldwide and on the local network together. The upper talk room alone had a peek of 35 viewers today.

But I think (or hope?) the streams were and are still useful, since they allow Debian contributors to participate in DebConf, who otherwise couldn’t. So if you’re one of those, please let us know what you think about the streams, and recordings as well.

What I am really happy about is the software framework we created before and during DebCamp and DebConf. IMO it is really impressive and very very helpful, compared to previous workflows. Ben already blogged a about it a bit. Unsurprisingly the documentation can be improved still and it’s not the only thing that can be improved. And we do have more great stuff in the pipeline for DebConf8 :-)

22:17:38 18 Nov 2012
(Posted by: Holger Levsen)

Yet another camera…

We’re sitting in Teviot, the network is up and running and everyone here is happily hacking. So we can make detailed and concrete plans about the video setup now. And we just realized, that seven cameras are just not enough ;-)

If possible we would like to use eight cameras, because we’ll be switching between three cameras in the two main talk rooms, plus another camera in each BOF room. So if you happen to have another DV camera, please get in contact with us (to make sure we don’t end up having fourteen cameras…) and then bring it with you. That way, we won’t have to switch equiqment around and the people operating the cameras will always know what to expect in a certain venue.