Virtual Fedora 32 release party

We’ve been organizing Fedora release parties for the Czech community since Fedora 15 (normally in Prague and Brno, once in Košice, Slovakia), but in those coronavirus times it seemed like we were out of luck. Not quite. We’ve decided to organize a virtual release party everyone can join from the comfort (and safety) of their homes.

Originally I was planning to use Jitsi.org with streaming to Youtube. Speakers would join the call on Jitsi.org and attendees would watch it on Youtube and comment under the Youtube stream or in our Telegram chat. But the stream was one minute delayed behind the call which didn’t promise an interactive event.

In the end we were offered a solution from Czech Technical University (BigBlueButton running on powerful physical hardware and with a really good connectivity) and went for it which turned out to be a great decision. I have never had a better video call experience. It was the first time I could fully utilize my FullHD webcam, there were virtually no delays and BBB could hold 8 webcam streams in parallel and 40 participants in total without a hiccup. Afterwards people told me that when I was demoing GNOME 3.36 the GNOME Shell effects looked almost as smooth as performed on the local machine.

Fedora 32 release party in full swing.

We put together a program of 4 talks on Fedora topics and had an open discussion afterwards. Most people used the integrated chat to comment and ask questions, a few besides the speakers used their voice which is something I expected because most people feel too intimidated to speak in front of strangers who they can’t even see.

The event lasted for 3 hours and would have probably continued if I hadn’t had to stop it because I had to put kids to bed. The kids were the biggest challenge for me. Our offices were closed, so were public universities, so I couldn’t find any quiet private space to join the call from. So I was moderating the event and delivering my talk with my kids constantly crying in the background or demanding my attention. But I somehow managed and it was not a complete disaster.

What was originally an improvised solution turned out to be a pretty good experience. Participants said they would like to do it again or perhaps combine it with the physical release parties. Although the virtual event can’t deliver the same experience as in-person one, it brings some sense of equal opportunity. No matter if you’re stuck home with small kids, or with disability, or if you’re a young student living in countryside far away from a big city, you can join. In-person events are pretty selective in this.

We also have a recording from the event in case you’re interested (it’s in Czech).

If you can’t organize the traditional Fedora release party for your local community, don’t hesitate and organize a virtual one!

Fedora, Linux

F30 release parties in Prague and Brno

As it’s our tradition since Fedora 15 we’ve organized Fedora 30 release parties in the Czech Republic. Normally the Brno one is earlier, but this time the Prague took place one week before the Brno one – on June 4.

The Prague party was again held in offices of Etnetera, a Fedora-friendly software company. I was worried about the attendance because at the same time the biggest demonstration since 1989 (100+k people) was taking place in Prague. A lot of our friends went there. A lot of old faces didn’t show up, but they were replaced by quite a few new faces (which I think it’s partly due to posting an invitation to the biggest Czech Linux group on Facebook), and in the end the attendance was the same or a bit higher than last time – around 30 ppl.

F30 release party in Prague

We’ve prepared 5 talks for visitors. I started with news in Fedora Workstation and also added a pack of news in Fedora Silverblue. We try to make the release parties as informal as possible, so the talks should not be lectures where one is talking and the rest is listening in silence. My talk was again mixed with a lot of discussion and instead of 30-40 min, it took 1h20m.

Then Petr Hráček introduced the project he’s working on Packit. As someone who maintains packages in Fedora I find the idea interesting because in package maintenance there is a lot of work that can be automated and if there is a tool that can help you with that, great! The only thing that limits my enthusiasm about Packit is that it relies on having YAML files in the upstream repo. And you know how some upstream projects are dismissive to hosting any downstream-specific files…

The next two talks were delivered by Fedora QA guys – František Zatloukal and Lukáš Růžička. František talked on how they test Fedora, what tools they use and how you can help them. Lukáš talked on how to report bugs the useful way.

The 5th talk that was supposed to be on GNOME Builder was cancelled because we were considerably over time, but its author – Ondřej Kolín – promised that he’d change it into an article on mojefedora.cz.

To continue with the bad luck, the release party in Brno a week later had a time conflict with another demonstration against our prime minister. And this time it had an impact on the attendance, around 40 people showed up and we normally get twice more. I hope he will go away, so that there are no longer any demonstrations against him that lower attendance of our release parties 🙂

The party took place in the offices of Red Hat and the program of talks was exactly the same as in Prague.

F30 release party in Brno
F30 release party in Brno

At both parties we also had cool swag for participants. Especially brand-new Fedora hadbook that arrived from a printing-shop just before the Prague party.

New Fedora handbooks

F29 release parties in Brno and Prague

I’ve been organizing Fedora release parties in Brno since Fedora 15 (2011) and with the great release of Fedora 29 I couldn’t make an exception. With help of Květa Mrštíková, Lenka Čvančarová, and all speakers I organized F29 release parties in Brno (Nov 26) and in Prague (Dec 4).

The Brno one was hosted in Red Hat offices in Brno and all speakers were redhatters. I kicked off the event with a talk on news in F29 Workstation. Then Michal Konečný continued with his experience using Silverblue (OSTree-based Workstation). František Zatloukal talked on his passion – gaming on Fedora. After the recent release of Proton by Valve, there was a lot to talk about. The last talk was delivered by Lukáš Růžička and it was about maybe the biggest feature in Fedora 29 – modularity.

Michal Konečný talking on Silverblue.

The party was attended by 50+ visitors both from Red Hat and local community (mainly students). Besides food for their minds (talks) there was also refreshment and all kinds of Fedora swag.

A break between talks.

Fedora parties in Prague are usually smaller simply because Red Hat doesn’t have a large office there and visitors come from local community. A smaller number of people and a very cozy venue provided by Etnetera creates very informal atmosphere that generates interesting discussions. I must say I enjoyed this release party perhaps the most from all I’ve ever organized.

Christmasy atmosphere for the F29 party in Prague.

I started with a talk on Workstation and since there was no talk on Silverblue I also talked on my experience with it. My talk blended with interesting discussions about related topics and it took over an hour. But I really enjoyed it because it didn’t feel like talking to a silent crowd and some attendees contributed by interesting points and pushed me to clarify some things I talked about. We also had a talk on modularity, this time by Adam Šamalik and František Zatloukal came with me from Brno to talk on gaming on Fedora. I was really looking forward to the talk by Ondřej Koch from the National Library of Technology where they deployed Fedora Workstation on ~200 PCs. Unfortunately he didn’t show up. Then one of the attendees stepped up and gave a talk on how he created a backup solution based on ZFS for a really small municipality in his birth village.

Adam talking on modularity.
And people listening.
Fedora swag in Prague.

The number of attendees was around 25 and again besides talks we also prepared some food refreshment (courtesy of Red Hat) and a small keg of beer (courtesy of Etnetera). Lenka also surprised everyone by a cake for the 15-year anniversary of Fedora Project.

Lenka cutting the cake.

I’d like to thank everyone who helped with the events and Red Hat and Etnetera for providing venues and refreshment.

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.


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.


Fedora, Uncategorized

Fedora at Czech conferences

The busy autumn season of technical conferences is over. During that time, we represented Fedora at three conferences in the Czech Republic:

LinuxDays in Prague – over 1000 registered visitors make it the largest Czech Linux event (if we don’t consider DevConf.cz which is international). As every year, we had a Fedora booth there and we had the first opportunity to give away new Fedora handbooks. A couple of Fedora contributors also delivered talks, I myself spoke on Fedora Workstation and problems of Linux desktop in general.


OpenAlt in Brno – originally called LinuxAlt OpenAlt used to be the largest Czech Linux event, but the number of visitors has been stagnating or even declining. This year, the conference adopted a much broader range of topics and became a rather barcamp about “open topics”. This gave us an opportunity to approach different audience than the traditional Linux one. We again had a Fedora booth and because the conference is in Brno there were many talks by redhatters and Fedora contributors. I again had a talk on Fedora Workstation.


PyCon CZ – I didn’t attend this conference myself, but Miro Hroncok and Slavek Kabrda represented the Fedora Project very well there. It was the first PyCon in the Czech Republic, well attended. Fedora had a booth there and Miro and Slavek wanted to differentiate from others, so they purchased dozens of blue soda Zon and gave it away to thirsty visitors as a present from Fedora. This event allowed us to reach outside the traditional Linux community and approach our target audience – developers. I suppose Miro or Slavek will write a bit more about the event. And we’re already planning to participate in PyCon SK.

Author: Matej Stuchlik

We also organized a Fedora 23 release party in Brno which was extremely well attended. We picked the largest room in the new building of Red Hat (with 100 seats) and people couldn’t even physically fit in the room, so I suppose the attendance was >120 ppl.

This Thursday, we’re going to Prague to have a release party there. The release parties there are usually smaller (~30 ppl), but full of interesting people. For instance, the new Fedora handbook was an outcome of beer conversation after the F22 release party in Prague. It will be especially interesting because we were offered a venue in Etnetera, a company that use Fedora Workstation on a lot of PCs.

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.

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.


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


F20 release party in Brno

Fedora release parties in Brno office of Red Hat is already a tradition. We’ve been organizing them since F15 and it always attracted at least 100 visitors evenly distributed between redhatters and non-redhatters. But this time, it was a bit special because we also celebrated 10th anniversary of Fedora which is why we ordered a special and yummy surprise:


We prepared a set a talks. Jaroslav Řezník talked about the first 10 years of Fedora. We played a video with former Fedora Project Leaders and people could actually a lot of interesting facts from the history of Fedora Project. We also set a SelfTest session with questions from the history of the project, so people could use the information from the first talk in the quiz. The second talk was my traditional talk on new features in GNOME. When I was preparing the talk I realized there hadn’t been many large changes in the last release of GNOME which is definitely a sign of maturity. The third talk was on the graphical interface of DevAssistant (by Petr Hráček) which I find really cool. I wish something like this existed when I did my first attempts to program in Linux. The fourth talk was a bit shorter and Honza Horák gave us an update about the newest version of PostgreSQL. The last talk was delivered by Martin Holec who talked on Fedora on ARM and he showed Fedora running on a Cubieboard.

Before we all left for our homes, we announced the winners of the SelfTest contest. The most successful contenders could win a Fedora pillow, mugs, baseball caps,…

The release party was fund. Too bad that the next one won’t be earlier than in August.

Fedora, Linux, Red Hat

1600 km and three F17 release parties in five days

I set a pretty hard goal for myself this year – to organize three Fedora 17 release parties in three different cities. The last release party in Brno was really crowded, close to limits of our office rooms. So I decided to try other cities, too. Prague was an obvious option because it’s far the biggest city in the Czech Republic with a big Linux community. So it was already two. And then guys from Košice asked me to do one there. Košice is quite far away from Brno, but we had such a great experience there in March that I said “yes”.

All three release parties had different programs, different talks, and different speakers. I was the only one who attended all three and the traveling was exhausting. We traveled by trains carrying all things we needed for the parties. However, it absolutely paid off. We saw a lot of new faces that looked enthusiastic about Fedora (mainly in Košice), we also saw a lot of “old” faces that came to the party to meet each other (mainly in Prague). And I also saw that those events matter. When we were in Košice in March there were almost no users of Fedora in the audience, it was just a typical forest of hands when I asked who was using Ubuntu. This time, the number of Fedora users was much higher and many of them have become Fedora users after our first event in Košice.

So… another round of three release parties for Fedora 18? Maybe, a bunch of Fedora enthusiasts here in Red Hat Brno office is crazy enough to go even higher 🙂

 Hot dogs with many flavours. That was Fedora 17 release party in Brno.