The 4th edition of LinuxCon Europe took place in Düsseldorf, Germany, last week and Fedora was there again like at the first three editions. It was the first time the Linux Foundation asked us to pay a fee. In the past, we got a booth and 4 passes for free. This time, we had to pay $750 for the booth and 3 tickets (we could get 4, but only 3 people signed up for the booth duty) which I think is still a good deal because the standard ticket to get to the event is $600. And I also think it’s an amount that is worth paying to have Fedora at the event.
LinuxCon Europe differs from other Linux and open source conferences. The audience is very different. It’s mostly (upstream) developers, devops, an consultants. So you’re not “selling” Fedora to average users who have little or zero experience with Linux. At LinuxCon, you’re selling it to very experienced users. One would say you don’t have to introduce Fedora to such users. But the opposite is true. Not many people can keep their fingers on the pulse of the industry and know about everything that is going on in the world of Linux. And if we want more corporate users of Fedora, and perhaps corporate contributors eventually, we need to promote Fedora to them.
People were more interested in Fedora Server which is different from most events where people are mostly interested in Workstation, but it’s not surprising considering the audience. It really helps to advertise a specialized product because you can clearly say: if you’re interested in server OSes, this is what we have for you and it has these interesting features. That’s why I’m glad we have Fedora Server. From the marketing point of view, it’s much more appealing to have a solution (server product) than just a lego to build it. Quite a few people were interested in Fedora as a future of enterprise Linux because what they work with and care about is Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
We had two demo computers at the booth. One was showcasing Fedora Workstation with GNOME on Wayland and the other one had Fedora Server running with Cockpit, so that people could check out one of the main features of Fedora 21 Server. We also had a plenty of swag (stickers, case badges, badges, DVDs, fliers,…). A lot of Fedora users stopped by to grab a sticker for their computer. Some of them use Fedora on servers or cloud in production, some use it on developer machines.
LinuxCon is also great for networking. You can meet people from all kind of open source projects, from companies where they use Linux heavily, you can learn how they use it, what their needs and expectations are etc. We were lucky that our booth was on a very visible place and Fedora was the only community distribution which had a booth there. So we were getting quite a lot of people at the booth and I brought a handful of business cards of interesting contacts.
I would like to thank the Fedora Project for paying the booth fee and covering lodging for me. I’d also like to thank Christoph Wickert for doing the booth duty with me and Felix Kaechele for not only doing the booth duty, but also for being a local organizer (accommodation, driving, contact for shipping, evening program,…).
Hope to see you at LinuxCon Europe 2015. Where? It hasn’t been announced yet AFAIK.