November 3 - 4, 2018, Bristol/United Kingdom

freenode #live

freenode #live is a community-focused live event designed to build and strengthen relationships between Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) developers and users. freenode live seeks to raise awareness of and promote FOSS alternatives to proprietary software. Facilitating face-to-face interaction, creative workshops, talks and think tanks, freenode #live will bring developers and users together in a nurturing and dynamic environment stimulating the free exchange of ideas and information while fostering cross-project collaboration and dialogue for innovation.

freenode has been supporting free and open source software and other peer-directed project communities since 1998, and we are excited to now be able to invite you to the second annual freenode #live conference.

We would like to thank Bytemark, Falanx, openSUSE, Private Internet Access, Ubuntu and Yubico for supporting last year’s event, and we also want to welcome PIA back as the lead sponsor again in 2018! Get in touch with us via e-mail to [email protected] if you would like to find out about sponsorship opportunities for 2018!

Replay the Talks

The second freenode #live takes place at We The Curious (formerly At-Bristol Science Centre) in Bristol, UK on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th November 2018. The inaugural freenode #live conference in 2017 saw just over 250 attendees from a wide range of FOSS and other peer-directed projects come together for a weekend of excellent talks and plenty of networking opportunities.

We look forward to welcoming you to Bristol for a weekend of talks, workshops and exhibitions from various Free and Open Source Software and other peer-directed projects.


Conference Updates

Code of Conduct

On freenode, we believe that most of our users are intelligent and well-intended and we are loathe to tell people what to do, but just as we have expectations for conduct on the freenode network, we also have expectations for conduct at our live conferences... read more


The schedule has been published on, check it out... view schedule

Sponsors and Exhibitors

Private Internet Access
Free Software Foundation

Media Sponsors

Linux Journal

For sponsorship, exhibiting or media partnership enquiries — please e-mail [email protected]


Image of Leslie Hawthorn
Leslie Hawthorn

Developer relations strategist, speaker and author. Senior Principal Technical Program Manager on Red Hat’s Open Source Team.

As an internationally known Developer Relations strategist and Community Management expert, Leslie Hawthorn has spent the past decade creating, cultivating, and enabling open source communities. She’s best known for creating Google Code-in, the world’s first global initiative to involve pre-university students in open source software development, launching the second-most trafficked Google Developer Blog, receiving an O’Reilly Open Source Award in 2010 for her work to grow the Google Summer of Code program and her contributions to Humanitarian open source projects. During her 15+ years working in the technology industry, Leslie has developed, honed and shared open source expertise spanning the Enterprise to NGOs, including senior roles at Google, Red Hat, the Open Source Initiative, the OSU Open Source Lab and several startups, including Elastic. Born and raised in Silicon Valley, she and her family now call Amsterdam home, though she travels worldwide to keynote about open source, and building products and teams that are built to last. You can follow her adventures on Twitter @lhawthorn. Image and text from Hawtorn Landings [CC BY 3.0]

Image of Chris Lamb
Chris Lamb

Project Leader of the Debian GNU/Linux project and a member of the Board of Directors for the Open Source Initiative.

Currently Project Leader of the Debian GNU/Linux project and a member of Board of Directors for the Open Source Initiative, Chris is a freelance computer programmer, author of dozens of free-software projects and contributor to 100s of others. He has been official Debian Developer since 2008 and is currently highly active in the Reproducible Builds sub-project for which he has been awarded a grant from the Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative. In his spare time he is an avid classical musician and Ironman triathlete. Chris has spoken at numerous conferences including LinuxCon China, HKOSCon,, DjangoCon Europe, LibrePlanet, OSCAL, All Things Open, SCALE, Software Freedom Kosovo, #freenode Live, FOSS’ASIA, and many more.

Image of Kyle Rankin
Kyle Rankin

Chief Security Officer at Purism, SPC. Tech Editor and columnist at Linux Journal.

Kyle Rankin is the Chief Security Officer at Purism, SPC and a Tech Editor and columnist at Linux Journal. He is the author of Linux Hardening in Hostile Networks, DevOps Troubleshooting, The Official Ubuntu Server Book, Knoppix Hacks, Knoppix Pocket Reference, Linux Multimedia Hacks and Ubuntu Hacks, and also a contributor to a number of other O’Reilly books. Rankin speaks frequently on security and free and open source software including at BsidesLV, O’Reilly Security Conference, OSCON, SCALE, CactusCon, OpenWest, Linux World Expo and Penguicon. You can follow him at @kylerankin.

Image of Bradley Kuhn
Bradley Kuhn

Distinguished Technologist at Software Freedom Conservancy, and editor-in-chief of

Bradley M. Kuhn is the Distinguished Technologist at Software Freedom Conservancy, and editor-in-chief of Kuhn began his work in the software freedom movement as a volunteer in 1992, as an early adopter of GNU/Linux, and contributor to various Free Software projects. Kuhn’s non-profit career began in 2000 at FSF. As FSF’s Executive Director from 2001-2005, Kuhn led FSF’s GPL enforcement, launched its Associate Member program, and invented the Affero GPL. Kuhn was appointed President of Conservancy in April 2006, was Conservancy’s primary volunteer from 2006-2010, and has been a full-time staffer since early 2011. Kuhn holds a summa cum laude B.S. in Computer Science from Loyola University in Maryland, and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Cincinnati. Kuhn received an O’Reilly Open Source Award, in recognition for his lifelong policy work on copyleft licensing.

Image of VM Brasseur
VM Brasseur

Vice President of the Open Source Initiative, moderator and author for, and an author for Linux Journal.

VM (aka Vicky) spent most of her 20 years in the tech industry leading software development departments and teams, and providing technical management and leadership consulting for small and medium businesses. Now she leverages nearly 30 years of free and open source software experience and a strong business background to advise companies about free/open source, technology, community, business, and the intersections between them. She is the author of Forge Your Future with Open Source, the first book to detail how to contribute to free and open source software projects. Think of it as the missing manual of open source contributions and community participation. The book is published by The Pragmatic Programmers and is now available in an early release beta version. It’s available at Vicky is the Vice President of the Open Source Initiative, a moderator and author for, an author for Linux Journal, and a frequent and popular speaker at free/open source conferences and events. She’s the proud winner of the Perl White Camel Award (2014) and the O’Reilly Open Source Award (2016). She blogs about free/open source, business, and technical management at {anonymous => ‘hash’};.

Image of Jose Antonio Rey
Jose Antonio Rey

Ubuntu Community Council, Author of the 8th and 9th editions of the Official Ubuntu Book, and Technical Support Engineer for Auth0.

Ubuntu Community Council, Author of the 8th and 9th editions of the Official Ubuntu Book, and Technical Support Engineer for Auth0.

Intro to Identity Management

You might be working on an open source project, and it seems that you will require people to sign up to use for your service. Seems easy enough, right? But, what happens when you start collecting user information? What are the implications? How do you keep the information secure? How do regulations like GDPR impact the service that you will be providing? The top concern of many open source users is privacy, and making sure that their private and personal information and details do not get leaked, misused, or abused. During this talk, you will learn what identity management is, what are some best practices around gathering and storing user information, and about a couple tools that you could find useful for making this job easy. You will also learn a bit more about the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union, which was implemented on May 25th. What information is covered under this regulation and what changes with it? Who are going to be affected?

Image of Kaspar Emanuel
Kaspar Emanuel

Developer and electronic engineer. Creator of

Kaspar is a software developer and electronic engineer and is passionate about free software and open source hardware. Kaspar is the creator of and various tools surrounding it to make it easier for people to share and replicate electronics designs.

Making electronics

Open source electronics is only useful if you actually know how to make and assemble a given design. In this talk Kaspar will walk through the build of an electronic circuit assembly: from ordering or making the board, getting the parts and soldering them on to get to a working project.

Image of Daniel Thompson
Daniel Thompson

Support and Solutions Engineering Team Lead at Linaro.

Currently working at Linaro where I am tech lead for the Support and Solutions Engineering team. This team provides a mixture of technical support (for developers), training and custom engineering services to Linaro members and our professional services customers. As part of my work at Linaro I have become a co-maintainer of the Linux kernel kgdb/kdb and backlight sub-systems. I am also heavily involved in the 96Boards activities at Linaro.

Struck entropy! Finding true randomness from sensor data

Generating random numbers is essential to cryptography and providing a source of true randomness is an important feature for modern systems. The kernel provides a software implantation but this often lacks sufficient entropy at critical points (especially at boot), is not trusted by components running in secure contexts such as Arm TrustZone, and an equivalent rarely exists in the small RTOSes that power the IoT. An alternative is a hardware true random number generator (TRNG) but what if you are working on a system without one? This session is a case study describing our work to bring an OP-TEE port and a hardware TRNG to the 96Boards Developerbox. This platform does not include a TRNG peripheral so we had to find an alternative. We wrote an OP-TEE static Trusted Application (TA) to collect entropy using thermal noise from the on-chip thermal sensors. The data we got required conditioning to eliminate bias but with simple conditioning we were able to generate sequences of numbers that pass suitable fitness tests. We will also look at how we optimized entropy collection using secure timer interrupt to avoid busy loops.

Image of Corbin Champion
Corbin Champion

Long time hardware engineer, turned open source developer, turned company lead for two open source startups who still doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up.

Corbin lives to build things that should exist, but don’t yet. Creator of the first app that allowed people to run linux distributions on Android without requiring root, GNURoot, is back with something that will push this concept much further and empower more people with Linux, UserLAnd. Corbin is a long time hardware engineer, turned open source developer, turned company lead for two open source startups who still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up.

UserLAnd - Use Linux Anywhere

The devices and applications that users engage with are being made in such a way that the user loses the capability to fully take advantage of the power of their device. This then limits the freedom the user has to do or create whatever they want. For example, modern mobile devices are built on top of the Linux (or similar) kernel, but they don’t easily allow users to install or build anything they like. This is even more concerning given that, for many children and for many people in developing countries, a mobile device is their only computing device. UserLAnd will remedy this situation by providing applications and cloud services that make sure Linux and all of its capabilities are never out of reach. This talk will start at the problem, then discuss our existing solutions and what is coming in the future and then dig even deeper into how we make it all work (including tricks like system call manipulation and the use of LD_PRELOAD). There will be something for everyone.

Image of John Sullivan
John Sullivan

Executive Director at the FSF, with roots in writing and a passion for communication.

John Sullivan has worked in several different positions at the Free Software Foundation since 2003, including Shipper, Campaigns Manager, and Manager of Operations. He became Executive Director in 2011. Since 2011, the FSF has grown by over 50% in staff size. John is deeply involved in every area of the Foundation’s work, including outreach and advocacy, licensing education and enforcement, technical development and infrastructure, and business operations. His background is mainly in the humanities, with an MFA in Writing and Poetics from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, and a BA in Philosophy from Michigan State, but he has been spending too much time with computers and online communities since running a BBS on a Commodore 64. He’s a dedicated GNU Emacs user, and has contributed code to several of its extensions. Prior to the FSF, John worked as a college debate team instructor for both Harvard and Michigan State University.

How can free communication tools win?

The free software movement aims to have all software be free “as in freedom.” But communication tools are especially important, because they are fundamental to the movement’s infrastructure, and its self image. We are supposed to be the experts in distributed, online collaboration. Communication and collaboration tools are also where we have had some of our greatest disappointments and challenges in recent years – consider the popularity and subsequent network effects of tools like Skype, Slack, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. Can free tools – IRC, XMPP, GNU Ring, WebRTC, and others – overcome or even just compete with the network effect of the proprietary platforms? If so, how? What’s the current state of affairs and what should we be focusing on?

Image of Danica Sergison
Danica Sergison

Tech enthusiast with a passion for people and community.

Danica is a tech enthusiast with a particular passion for people and community. She currently provides community support on Snoonet IRC and also manages peer support communities on IRC, Discord, Facebook and reddit. Danica is a practicing Canadian lawyer with past experience in project and community management for tech projects. She also works for an innovative mental health non-profit for young adults and serves on the board of directors for a local women’s shelter & support organization.

Beyond karma: Rewarding & incentivizing participation from volunteer #contributors

Someone believes in you, loves what you’re doing, and wants to contribute their time to your project - it’s a great feeling! But how do you keep your volunteers and contributors engaged and motivated, especially when you’re not in a position to pay them? This talk will explore different ways to reward and encourage the volunteers who dedicate their time, skills, and energy to your projects and to your communities. In addition to a discussion about leadership practices and some of the psychology behind volunteer engagement, you also should come away with some practical, easy-to-implement ideas for your projects.

Image of David Leadbeater
David Leadbeater

Was the author of CGI:IRC, but suggests you use something else now.

David (“dg”) has been on IRC for many years, he was the author of CGI:IRC, but suggests you use something else now.

CGI:IRC - A retrospective

A lot has happened since CGI:IRC was first released. The first versions didn’t even use JavaScript; now JavaScript webapps are taken for granted. This talk may contain nostalgia.

Image of Sarah Julia Kriesch
Sarah Julia Kriesch

German Computer Sciences student and openSUSE board member.

Sarah Julia Kriesch is a Student in Computer Science at the Technische Hochschule Nürnberg in Germany. This semester she is a Study Abroad Student at the University of Bristol. Sarah has got a German education in Information Technology as a Computer Science Expert for System Integration (IHK) before her studies and worked as a Linux System Administrator for 4 years. She started with openSUSE contributions in the last year of the dual education. She is contributing to Translations, the System Administration and the Release Management. In addition, she is an openSUSE Board Member.

openSUSE Kubic - the container platform by openSUSE

This talk should represent the Container as a Service platform Kubic by openSUSE. You will receive an overview about the docker based image with openSUSE Tumbleweed and how to benefit from all the features other Linux distributions don’t provide.

Image of Philipp Krenn
Philipp Krenn

Developer advocate at Elastic. Constantly traveling to discuss open source software, search, databases, infrastructure, and security.

Philipp lives to demo interesting technology. Having worked as a web, infrastructure, and database engineer for more than ten years, Philipp is now working as a developer advocate at Elastic — the company behind the open source Elastic Stack consisting of Elasticsearch, Kibana, Beats, and Logstash. Based in Vienna, Austria, he is constantly traveling Europe and beyond to speak and discuss about open source software, search, databases, infrastructure, and security.

Open Source as a Business: Strategy, Struggle & Success

How do you build a lasting and successful company that also stays true to its open source roots? This talk takes a look at why open source is important to business and three essential elements of this path: Strategy: How can you monetize your open source product? Is it support, an open core approach, cloud services, or a combination of the three? And which ones are the features you can even commercialize without alienating your community? Struggle: “You received a 100 million dollars in venture capital and yet you have so many open issues?!” Once money is involved the dynamics often change. How can you manage expectations and still build on a flourishing open source community? * Success: How do you balance open source and commercial success? How do you align engineering and sales decisions? This talk takes the perspective of Elastic, the company behind the open source products Elasticsearch, Kibana, Beats, and Logstash, which makes its money with support, the commercial X-Pack extensions, and cloud offerings. But we are also taking a look at how others are approaching this challenge, what worked, and what failed.

Image of Leah Rowe
Leah Rowe

Founder of Libreboot, and a free software and free culture advocate.

Leah is a free software and free culture advocate. She’s also the founder of the Libreboot project and involved with free software in general.

Libreboot: Free your BIOS today!

Libreboot is a free (as in freedom) BIOS or UEFI replacement, initialising the hardware and booting your operating system. It replaces the proprietary BIOS/UEFI typically found on a computer system.

Image of Sachin Patil
Sachin Patil

Uses Emacs and is convinced that you should too. Works at Red Hat.

Sachin works at Red Hat and is passionate about Free and Open source software. He is avid GNU Emacs user and likes to talk and write about open source, GNU/Linux, Git, and Python. He works on OpenStack & ManageIQ. He also like to explore Swift Object Storage in spare time. He can be reached on IRC as [email protected]{Freenode, OFTC, gnome}. Sachin blogs at

GNU Emacs for all

Having using GNU Emacs for more that 6 years now and doing Python development for equal amount of time I’d like to share my experience with this great GNU software which has been for 30 years. I’d like to go through how I use Emacs for almost all my tasks like note taking, agenda, LaTeX, reveal.js presentations, IDE, and IRC. In this talk I’ll demonstrate how Emacs can be configured to do all such thing without a need to a dedicated application for each specific task. I’ll also talk about how to maintain Emacs configurations using org-mode and literate programming.

Image of Rahul Bajaj
Rahul Bajaj

Associate Software Engineer at Red Hat working in Ruby.

Rahul is an Associate Software Engineer at Red Hat. He is a Rubyist and has been programming for the better part of 3 years now. He is also the organizer of the Foreman Pune Meetups. He loves to travel, code, talk and drink beer!

Configuration Management at its peak with Foreman!

The talk will explain the key features like provisioning, monitoring, and configuration management in brief and how easy it becomes to have all these features under the same hood. The talk will consist of how foreman manages to solve real-world problems and how I began my journey with the Foreman project. Lastly, I will show you, how to contribute to the project and the benefits of the same.

Image of Clifford Perry
Clifford Perry

Engineering Manager within the Red Hat Product Security team.

Clifford Perry, Engineering Manager within the Red Hat Product Security team is focused on newly discovered flaws. His team of expert security analyst are responsible for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and many of its layered products. Cliff has been with Red Hat for more than 14 years, focused on Systems Management and security, being a strong advocate for driving customer satisfaction. Cliff currently lives near Newport, Wales.

Customer Focused Product Security - a Meltdown/Spectre story

With security issues regularly hitting press, we are more worried than ever about our reputations. How do you know if the newest security flaw to hit the news is a panic situation or not? Come along to discover some of the processes, data, tools and communications that the Red Hat Product Security team uses to help our customers and the community stay safe. Using Meltdown/Spectre, we will walk through behind the scenes of what happens within the Red Hat Product Security team, the decision making processes, work with researchers and the community, and ultimately the resulting customer facing fixes and content we publish.

Image of Doc Searls
Doc Searls

Editor-in-chief of Linux Journal, author and director of projectVRM.

Doc Searls is editor-in-chief of Linux Journal, author of The Intention Economy, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, director of ProjectVRM at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, co-founder and board member of Customer Commons, and — in all those capacities — an advocate of both personal agency and the free and open Internet.

Image of Simon Phipps
Simon Phipps

Founding principal of Meshed Insights Ltd, director of the UK's Open rights group and of The Document Foundation.

Simon Phipps is a consultant providing insight and knowledge on open source, digital rights and the emerging meshed economy to businesses and governments worldwide, as the founding principal of Meshed Insights Ltd. His writing is regularly featured in a variety of global publications and he is a frequent keynote speaker. He is a pro bono director of the UK’s Open Rights Group and of The Document Foundation, creators of LibreOffice and of the Open Source Initiative, the non-profit organisation that acts steward of the canonical list of open source licenses and the Open Source Definition. He is currently also President of the Open Source Initiative. Before his current work, he was involved at a strategic level in some of the world’s leading technology companies. In addition to senior leadership positions he has worked in such hands-on roles as field engineer, programmer and systems analyst, as well as run a software publishing company. He worked with OSI standards in the eighties, on the first commercial collaborative conferencing software in the nineties, and helped introduce both Java and XML at IBM. He was a founding Director of the Open Mobile Alliance. In mid-2000 he joined Sun Microsystems where he helped pioneer Sun’s employee blogging, social media and community engagement programmes. In 2005 he was appointed Chief Open Source Officer, coordinating Sun’s extensive participation in Free and Open Source software communities until he left in 2010. In that role he oversaw the conversion to Free software of the full Java platform, the Solaris UNIX operating system, the SPARC architecture and the rest of Sun’s broad software portfolio, all under OSI-approved Free licenses. He holds a degree in electronic engineering and is a former Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the British Computer Society. His personal home page and blog is

Image of Christian Boltz
Christian Boltz

long term openSUSE contributor, and one of the openSUSE Heroes founders.

Christian Boltz is a long-term openSUSE contributor, starting with lots of bugreports in the time when it was still named ‘SUSE Linux”. Nowadays, he maintains the AppArmor and PostfixAdmin packages, including lots of upstream contributions to those projects. He is also one of the founders of the openSUSE Heroes (admin team).

Heroes, not Superheroes

The openSUSE Heroes (that’s the fancy team name of the openSUSE admins) were founded two years ago. In this time, we worked hard to maintain and enhance the openSUSE infrastructure, but talking about that would be boring. Of course, if you do a lot of things, you’ll sometimes also make mistakes. Have a lot of fun with some of our failures, what we learned from them and where we still have room for improvement.

Image of Amir Montazery
Amir Montazery

Vice President of Business Development for OSTIF

Amir Montazery is the Vice President of Business Development for OSTIF, the Open Source Technology Improvement Fund. With OSTIF since its founding, Amir brings diverse experience from Silicon Valley to Chicago and has a passion for assisting and expanding the open source community.

The Cost of Good Open Source Software: A Case Study

Amir Montazery is the Vice President of Business Development for OSTIF, the Open Source Technology Improvement Fund. With OSTIF since its founding, Amir brings diverse experience from Silicon Valley to Chicago and has a passion for assisting and expanding the open source community.

Image of Neil McGovern
Neil McGovern

Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation

A long term contributor to Free Software, Neil McGovern has held posts at Software in the Public Interest, Open Rights Group and served a term as the Debian Project Leader. Neil currently works as the Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation.