Fedora, Red Hat

Fedora at Bratislava OpenCamp 2018

A few months ago I was invited to represent Red Hat and Fedora at a new conference in Bratislava – OpenCamp. All the Open Source/Linux conferences in Slovakia I’ve been to were rather small compared to Czech ones. But OpenCamp was promising a new fresh start. So I registered a Red Hat/Fedora booth and also submitted a talk on the present and future of Linux desktop.

I convinced Jaroslav “Rezza” Řezník to run the booth with me, so we could recall the good old days when we regularly staffed Fedora booths at conferences. Last Saturday early in the morning we loaded my car with Fedora and Red Hat swag, computers, and banners, and headed to Bratislava. Fortunately Brno and Bratislava are connected by highways, so the journey takes a bit over an hour.

opencamp
Me and Jaroslav at the booth.

EDIT: The original photo had Pepe the Frog and other references to the alt-right movement on the wall behind us. The wall was created by university students and because we’re not anyhow associated with the movement and don’t want the photo to send any unintented messages I just GIMPed it out.

The conference was located in the new building of FIIT of Slovak Technical University. I really liked the large hallway that had enough space for booths and hallway discussions. That’s something we miss for conferences at FIT BUT. In the morning we found out that our booth was located in an area where there was no power plug. So we had to be moved and it was a lucky move because we ended up in front of the main room and got a lot of visibility.

Snímek z 2018-04-23 15-28-46
Author: OpenCamp organizers, more pictures in the gallery.

The booth was mostly about showcasing Fedora Workstation. We had a HiDPI laptop connected to a standard DPI display to show people HiDPI support in Fedora. We also prepared 10 features that are the best in Fedora or even unique to Fedora. We picked those which are concrete and easy to show, and tried to avoid something like “Fedora brings new versions of software in a stable form” because it’s too vague and subjective.

Two days before the conference I found components for Fedorator in our office and under the impression that it only takes to assemble it and load a ready-to-use ISO on an SD card I asked Jaroslav if he could get it ready. Jaroslav spent two days and the whole conference day on it, but in the last hour of the conference he was able to create a Fedora installation USB drive with it 🙂

We got surprisingly a lot of attention, e.g. from Ubuntu users who feel the attention to the desktop is not the same any more there and look for alternatives. We were also quite new to people because although we had attended various conferences in Slovakia we never had a booth there. I made several new contacts for mojefedora.cz.

My talk was right in the morning and didn’t start very well. First we couldn’t get the projector up. When it was finally projecting something I couldn’t get any output to it (through USB-C->HDMI adapter). In the end I had to use a Windows 7 computer that was part of the room equipment. And even that didn’t work very well because the HDMI connector was aparently loose and the projector lost signal every time I touch the computer. Otherwise the talk went well and I got a fairly big audience in the room. Because we started 10 minutes late I didn’t have any time for questions and had to tell people to come to our booth if they want to ask me anything.

The only dark spot on otherwise a really good day was that someone scratched my car with another car. I still quite can’t imagine how he/she could manage it because the parking lot was almost empty.

Linux, Red Hat

Flatpak and Endless OS at InstallFest Prague

I spent the last weekend in Prague attending InstallFest 2017. The event is called InstallFest because many, many years ago it started as an event where students could come and get help with installations of various Linux distributions. Times of installfests are gone and this event has transitioned into an open source conference with more practical focus.

The event has moved to a new venue – Faculty of Electrical Engineering of Czech University of Technology. It’s where Red Hat recently started a new open source lab. The venue was larger than the one in previous years and hosted 3 tracks + a small booth area.

I came to talk on two things – Flatpak and Endless OS. My Flatpak talk was on Saturday and got a 55-minute slot which seemed like a lot of time, but if you want to cover all the specifics of the technology, even 55 minutes is not much. The room was pretty full and the topic apparently stirred some attention. There was even one person interested in porting Flatpak to another distribution.

c6fo3iawuain_sf
My talk on Flatpak

My talk on Endless OS was the first one of the second day. I only asked for a 25-minute slot which was just enough to make a brief introduction of the system. I also brought with me both Endless devices I have in possession – Endless One and Endless Mini. There were not as many people as at my Flatpak talk, but those who came seemed pretty interested. Almost none of them had ever heard of the OS and PCs before. They asked if they’d ever be available in Europe (which I couldn’t answer because I have no idea) or if you can connect extending hardware to the PCs just like to Raspberry.

As a side note, I was positively surprised how many people wore Fedora t-shirts at the conference.

c6jmrcqwmaadxej
Myself with the Endless PCs

 

Fedora, Red Hat

DevConf.cz 2017

Another edition of DevConf.cz took place last week. It was already the second edition I didn’t organize. This year, I was involved in the organization even less, just helping with the program and serving as a session chair for one day. So I could enjoy the conference more than ever before.

snimek-z-2017-02-06-16-37-47

DevConf.cz is still growing. This year, we had over 1700 registrations and ~1600 ppl actually showed up. This time, we also know for sure because it was the first edition when we did a registration and check-in. DevConf.cz is growing into a smaller FOSDEM with more focus on open source enterprise technologies and I think it even covers this area better than FOSDEM. The number of talks and workshops was also a bit higher, I think (200-250).

The opening keynote was pretty interesting. Tim Burke, the VP of Red Hat, announced a focus on integration of different Red Hat products and this year he showed it had actual results. People could see a demo of using different Red Hat products from hardware provisioning to deploying an app to OpenShift from JBoss Developer Studio. I hope that we as the desktop team will be able to contribute to this. Fedora Workstation is a great OS for developers and it should be the best OS for developers that want to develop on Red Hat platforms. I’d love us to get to the point where starting to develop with Red Hat technologies is just a matter of a couple of clicks/commands.

Another highlight of the conference was Hans de Goede’s talk “Making Fedora run better on laptops”. Hans announced a new team which is part of the desktop team and which will work on better hardware support in Fedora and RHEL (with the focus on laptops). We will finally have laptop models which will be officially supported!

The desktop track took place on Sunday. I session-chaired it, so I was more or less obliged to watch it all 🙂 Matthias Clasen prepared a very good presentation on Flatpak. His talk and, in fact, the whole track was interrupted when the projector system broke down. Unfortunately it was a failure in one of the main hardware components which couldn’t be fixed immediately. Matthias had to carry on without the projector and I must say that despite all the difficulties he did very well and there was a lot of questions. Meanwhile we managed to get a backup room where we moved the track once Matthias’ talk was over. Unfortunately the room was much smaller and a bit hidden which might have had an impact on attendance. So not so many people had an opportunity to watch another interesting talk – “Fedora Workstation – removing obstacles to success” by Christian Schaller who outlined some of our plans for the official Fedora desktop edition.

The weather during the conference was extraordinarily cold and a new term – devconflu – was invented. But I really enjoyed it, just had to give up FOSDEM for it. I was not up for another DevConf.cz+Red Hat internal meetings+FOSDEM this year.

BTW all the talk recordings are already online. Check out the DevConf.cz Youtube channel.

Fedora, GNOME, Linux, Red Hat

GNOME 3.22/KDE Plasma 5.8 release party in Brno

Last Thursday, we organized a regular Linux Desktop Meetup in Brno and because two major desktop environments had had their releases recently we also added a release party to celebrate them.

The meetup itself took place in the Red Hat Lab at FIT BUT (venue of GUADEC 2013) and it consisted of 4 talks. I spoke on new things in GNOME 3.22, our KDE developer Jan Grulich spoke on new things in Plasma 5.8, then Oliver Gutierrez spoke on Fleet Commander and the last talk was given by Lucie Karmova who is using Fedora as a desktop in a public organization and shared her experiences with the Linux desktop.

meetup

After the talks, we moved to the nearby Velorex restaurant to celebrate the releases. The whole event attracted around 25 visitors which is definitely above the average attendance of our meetups. Let’s see if we can get the same number of people to the meetup next month.

Last, but not least I’d like to thank the Desktop QA team of Red hat for sponsoring the food and drinks at the release party.

meetup2

GNOME, Red Hat

We’re looking for a GNOME developer

We in the Red Hat desktop team are looking for a junior software developer who will work on GNOME. Particularly in printing and document viewing areas of the project.

The location of the position is Brno, Czech Republic, where you’d join a truly international team of desktop developers. It’s a junior position, so candidates just off the university, or even still studying are welcome. We require solid English communication skills and experience with C (and ideally C++, too). But what is a huge plus is experience with GNOME development and participation in the community.

Interested? You can directly apply for the position at jobs.redhat.com or if you have any question, you can write me: eischmann [] redhat [] com.

198px-gnomelogo-svg

Red Hat

DevConf.cz 2016 is coming

DevConf.cz 2016 is just around the corner (starts on Feb 5th). If you’re going to attend the conference, the organizers have prepared useful information for you. Check devconf.cz and especially the transportation page. If any of your questions stay unanswered, you can ask the organizer directly in a group chat for DevConf.cz attendees on Telegram. The group chat will also be useful during the conference, but we will send important announcements there, attendees can share tips there etc.

Fedora, Red Hat

Schedule of DevConf.cz 2016 is out!

A couple of days ago, DevConf.cz 2016 schedule has been published. It’s bigger than ever before. This year, we have over 200 talks and workshops! There aren’t many bigger events devoted to open source in Europe. And I can finally enjoy it more because after 4 editions (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) I’m no longer the main organizer.

It takes a team of people to go through almost 400 submissions and make a schedule with over 200 of them. I put together desktop, Fedora, and CentOS tracks. So if you don’t like them I’m the one to blame 😉

Since there are many Fedora ambassadors coming to DevConf.cz anyway, we’ve decided to organize an EMEA Ambassadors Meetup which will take place on Sunday afternoon. I hope to see any ambassadors as possible there.

Fedora, GNOME, Linux, Red Hat

Most popular email clients among Fedora users

In the desktop team of Red Hat, I’m responsible for development and Fedora/RHEL maintenance of apps which also include email clients Thunderbird and Evolution. It’s quite useful for me to have a rough idea what email clients Fedora users use. So I went ahead and asked them on Google Plus and Facebook and here are the results:

Google+:

email-clients-gplusFacebook:

email-clients-fbThe results from Google+ are probably much more representative because they come from a much larger number of users. Facebook doesn’t support polls, so users had to answer in comments which resulted in much fewer votes. Polls in G+ only support 5 options, so if someone wanted to vote for a different client than web, Thunderbird, Evolution, Geary, or Kmail, they needed to write it in comments as well. It might have disadvantaged other clients a bit.

Web – this includes all web clients, vast majority of it is Gmail which seems to be by far the most popular email service among Fedora users. On Google+, web got almost 40% which is not a number that surprises me a lot. A fairly large portion of users doesn’t use desktop email clients any more, but it’s also not big enough to say that desktop clients are obsoleted. 2/3 of users still use desktop clients to access their mail.

Thunderbird – the most popular among desktop clients, it’s a solid email client with many years of development, and many users value its support for various platforms, so that they can use it on other OSes, too. The most mentioned weakness was (in)ability to be a good groupware client (calendaring, Exchange support,…). Some lost faith in Thunderbird after Mozilla announced it wanted to spin off its umbrella which many understood (probably wrongly) as killing it.

Evolution – the second most popular client is the default client of GNOME – Evolution. Clearly the most appraised feature of Evolution is its groupware nature and support of Exchange, it’s probably the only Linux client that reasonably supports Exchange. On the other hand, it lags behind Thunderbird in IMAP support and it’s Linux only. Like Thunderbird, it doesn’t have a big developer force behind it any more. Red Hat is currently the only one who invests in Evolution, unfortunately.

Geary – it’s the biggest surprise to me. Considering its author – Yorba Foundation – ceased to exist at the beginning of the year and Geary has been dead for months, it’s still pretty popular. It’s a modern client with really good support of Gmail, but if Thunderbird and Evolution don’t seem to face big future, chances that Geary will be further developed are currently minimal.

Kmail – another surprise to me, I thought the default client of KDE would be more popular, it may be caused by the fact that Fedora is primarily a GNOME distro, but it may also be caused by the fact that users have lost faith in it after many ups and downs in development after KDE 4.0.

Mutt – I expected Mutt to be in TOP6. A CLI client will never win popularity contests, but it has a fair amount of loyal users. Another CLI client Alpine only received less than half of votes.

Among other mentioned clients were Claws Mail, Sylpheed, Mu4e, Nylas N1, Lotus Notes, Pine, Zimbra, Seamonkey… but they each got fewer than 10 votes.

Linux desktop clients are not dead, they’re still used by majority of users, but none of the traditional ones has a larger community of contributors and very active development which brings poses questions about their future. It will be interesting to watch new approaches to desktop clients such as Nylas N1 which moves IMAP client to the server and provides just a really thin desktop client.

Red Hat

DevConf.cz 2015: Useful Info

I just returned from FOSDEM (will have to write about it when I have more time) and DevConf.cz is just a few days away, so I jumped into the final preparations right from the airport. Are you going to DevConf.cz? Here is some useful info:

  • Venue – I have spoken to several people who were completely surprised that DevConf.cz was not going to be at the campus of FI MUNI, but at the campus of FIT BUT. You can find instructions how to get to the new venue on the conference website. So make sure you’re going to the right place 😉
  • Streaming – can’t make it to DevConf.cz? No problem! We most likely will stream all six talk tracks. The stream will be available on our Youtube channel. It will also be linked on the conference website. The program starts at 8am UTC every day. If you miss the stream, no worries, recordings will be available on our channel as videos immediately.
  • Party – the conference is not just about talks and workshops. There will be a conference party on Friday. Again in Klub Fléda. You can get a ticket at the Red Hat booth at the venue during Friday. Make sure you’ll get it early enough because the limit is 600 people and we can’t exceed it because of safety limits of the club. Speakers and volunteers won’t need to get a ticket because their badges will serve as such.
  • Apps – you can have the schedule and important info in your pocket. We’ve created apps for Android, Blackberry 10, SailfishOS, just look up for them in respective catalogs. We’ve also created a DevConf.cz guide for Guidebook.com apps. You will find a schedule and important and useful info in it, all for offline usage.
  • Lightning talks – got an idea for a talk? You still have a chance to talk at DevConf.cz 2015, you can propose a lightning talk in the morning, people will vote during the day, and those with most votes will be picked for the last hour of the schedule.
  • Refreshment – besides your brain you also need to feed your stomach at the conference. We will have refreshment at the venue again so that you won’t die of hunger if you stay there listening to talks all day long. As a response to demand, we will have Club Mate (not for free, but for very reasonable price)! At the campus, there will be a nice cafe open if you’d like to have better coffee, some dessert, or beer (they have great beer Richard from a local microbrewery). If you want a full meal, there are several good restaurants within 100m from the campus including a really good Thai place.

See you in Brno!

Fedora, Red Hat

F21 Release Party in Brno

I finally found time to write a blogpost about our F21 release party in Brno office of Red Hat. It took place on the release date – December 9th. It was, as always, well attended. It’s hard to estimate the total number of attendees, but it was definitely over 100. Unfortunately, F21 DVDs had not arrived yet, but we still had other swag for people to take: Fedora product stickers, Fedora logo stickers, case badges, badges, pins, flyers,…

It was also the first time when we had all presentations in English. The event is primarily aiming at the Czech community, so it was always in Czech, but there are quite a few foreigners in Brno office and one of them asked if the presentations could be in English and because no one objected, we switched to English.

IMG_1429
Me demoing Fedora Workstation

I delivered the first presentation. It was on Fedora Workstation. I didn’t have any slides, and demoed all changes GNOME right away. The next presentation was by Petr Hracek who spoke on how to set up Android Studio via DevAssistant in Fedora 21. Then Dan Vrátil and Jan Grulich spoke about KDE Plasma 5 which you won’t find in Fedora 21, but you can easily try it from Copr and it will be included in F22. The last talk was by Fedora program manager Jaroslav Řezník who spoke about the recent changes in governance: Fedora Council, working groups, and also about “products” themselves. Too bad I didn’t find anyone in our office who could talk on Fedora Server, there were quite a few people interested in that.

Audience
Audience

Pictures were taken by Jiri Folta and you can find more of them in his G+ album.