Linux, musical road-dogging, and daily life by Paul W. Frields
UTOSC 2009, Day 3.

UTOSC 2009, Day 3.

I’m sitting in the pleasant (and free wifi-equipped!) Salt Lake City airport, waiting for my plane back to DC and my home and family. I’m really looking forward to seeing them for dinner and a few hours of together time, before I motor off to Raleigh early tomorrow morning.

Yesterday was the final day of the UTOSC 2009 conference, and it was set aside as a “Family Day,” just like last year. And as with last year this was one of my favorite days to be at the conference. Not only were there lots of cutie-pie rugrats running around the area, but we had goodies galore for them — buttons, stickers, and temporary tattoos, which they made off with by the score.

I spent part of the morning helping Mark Clanton get his new Compaq laptop loaded with Fedora 12 Beta. Because someone removed the httpd binary from the second stage installer, I couldn’t play the neat trick I used in earlier releases. I worked around this unhappy situation by having a Fedora 11 DVD ISO available on the installation source, a USB hard disk, and loop mounting it and its contents in succession to get to the old httpd binary in Fedora 11’s second stage installer.

Of course, if we’d waited for the actual Beta release we could just use a standard DVD, network URL, or NFS installation, but where’s the fun in that? Everything worked out in the end and Mark also has all the kernel mode-setting bling provided in Fedora, from a beautiful graphical boot with Plymouth to a smooth fade into the login screen. Nice!

I worked on a couple tasks for the upcoming release, such as updating the press briefing sheet we send out with our Fedora 12 Live USB previews. I also caught up  with Adobe’s open source director to talk to him briefly after his keynote, and of course spent a good amount of time at the Fedora booth talking to families about Fedora, open source, OLPC, and Sugar. Larry Cafiero was Johnny-on-the-spot with T-shirts, making sure everyone could show off Ian Weller’s new “splatter” design — and of course their love for Fedora and free software!

In the afternoon I actually made it to a talk, which ended up being a two-hour workshop on advanced git. It was paced and positioned perfectly from my perspective, given by Tim Harper, a great instructor and an experienced Rubyist, not to mention a super-friendly guy. I got so much out of this talk, it almost seemed like the whole trip was worth it just for those two hours.

By the time I returned from the talk, I found that Larry and Ian had already spirited everything from the booth back into boxes and bins, and it was ready to be shipped off to the next great community event Fedora is attending. Ian and I talked about some FUDCon travel subsidy matters, which Mel Chua and I are working on finalizing, to bring in more community members. Then it was time to say goodbye to all my UTOS friends and thank them for another amazing conference.

Once again, UTOSC has grown from the previous year, and I would safely say that it is now one of the best-organized, most successful and well attended community conferences in the USA. A great assortment of community spokespeople, users, developers, business owners and entrepreneurs, and system administrators makes this a can’t-miss event for networking, learning, and just plain fun. My hat’s off to you guys, UTOS, for a wonderful UTOSC 2009. I’m already looking forward to UTOSC 2010!


  1. The existence of the httpd “binary” was always just a side effect of having busybox with some random compile time options. We could put busybox back (the main binary, not the special weird anaconda one) but the semantics it gave were always kind of odd

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