August 16th, 2019

Flock Fedora Conference 2019

I attended the annual Fedora Flock conference this year at Budapest, and has been one of the most productive conferences so far. Here is a brief trip report.

Day 1:
Mathew Miller, Fedora Project Leader gave a brief key note about how Fedora was generally doing with his usual graphs to show download stats per version. This was followed by a talk on how functional teams work and how to convert a failing team to a functional team. There was been a trend in flock for a few years now to get someone to give an inspirational or a some kind of management talk to contributors.

Two people from Facebook spoke about Fedora deployment in facebook. Seems like they replaced most of the Ubuntu desktops with Fedora which seems like a big win to me. Being the person who designed/worked internal builds used in Red Hat i totally synced with they were saying including the hurdles etc they faced.

Post lunch, there were back to back sessions of podman, buildah and skopeo. Sadly Dan Walsh could not come, because his tickets were from India and he had issues with getting an Indian visa. Talks were taken by Valentin and took a deep technical dive into the above 3 tools. Talking about features which are normally not used but quite useful, how they
work and several advance features as well. Overall extremely useful, It would be nice to have Dan hear about them, but Valentin did good work as well.

Dominik spoke about packaging horror's which i totally relate to, because i have seem some horribly packaging with RHEL packages as well

Day 2:
Denise Dumas gave a talk called "Fedora, Red Hat and IBM". Her aim was to get across the whole idea across to Fedora contributors that, post acquisition "Red Hat is still Red Hat" and therefore "Fedora will still be Fedora".

After that Brenden Conoboy, Paul Frields, Denise Duman and Aleksandra Fedorova spoke about how rhel-8 was different from Fedora and discuss other details about rhel-8. They also mentioned that Red Hat is trying to ensure that we release a major version of RHEL every 3 years.

Post lunch, i gave my talk on "State of Fedora Security". I gave them a demo of security review tool which we use internally to conduct automated security review. This tool is based on Fedora review
( tool and told them that we will contribute the patches upstream soon.

There was a lot of interest and excitement on seeing the demo. After the talk, it lead to a discussion specially with folks from FESCO.

I attended a few talks on Fedora Silverblue and flatpaks which looking at the way things are going, may very well be the default fedora desktop soon

Last talk of the day were a few students from India, talking how it was difficult for students in developing nations to contribute to Fedora and get their universities to give them credits for the same.

Day 3 and 4:
I was a lot relaxed since my talk was done. So i attended a talk by GSoc and outreachy students, where they talked about various projects they were doing for Fedora.

Post lunch i attended the Packit work shop. ( Packit is a tool for packaging upstream projects. And spoke to a few devels specially talking about flatpaks, rpm-ostree and security around these products. Day 3 ended with a walking tour of Budapest.

Last day, i attended a talk on "Automatic Bug reporting for dummies" where they discussed abrt, faf, and retrace server.
Post lunch there was a panel discussion with FESCO, i asked questions about several concerns of mine specially the ones related to:

The conference ended with a quick wrap up session.

Overall an extremely productive conference.