November 13th and 14th, 2020


The Seattle GNU/Linux conference (SeaGL) is a grassroots technical conference dedicated to spreading awareness and knowledge about the GNU/Linux community and free / libre / open source software and ​hardware.

Our goal for SeaGL is to produce an event which is as enjoyable and informative for those who spend their days maintaining hundreds of servers as it is for a student who has only just started exploring technology options.

SeaGL’s first year was 2013.

When & where

November 13th and 14th, 2020, online


SeaGL is free to attend, and you do not need to register—just show up!

You may attend SeaGL without identifying yourself, and you are encouraged to do so to protect your privacy.

You may optionally register. This gives us more accurate estimates of attendance, which help us raise money for the conference. The registration system is free / libre / open source software and we promise to protect your data.

Call For Speaker Proposals: SeaGL 2020
July 14, 2020

We are more than excited to invite you to speak at SeaGL 2020! The Seattle GNU/Linux Conference (SeaGL) is a grassroots technical conference dedicated to spreading awareness and knowledge about the GNU/Linux community and free / libre / open source software and hardware. This year it will be held remotely for the first time, as we all cope with the global pandemic.

Our speakers play an essential role in the success of the conference. We welcome speakers of all backgrounds who have things they would like to share. Because we’re a community-focused event based in Seattle, we are a great venue for US Pacific Northwest related stuff, but in this unusual year it will be extra-easy for you to present from almost anywhere in the world.

We especially encourage first-time and inexperienced speakers: this is a friendly place to give that first talk. We are currently doing weekly proposal review/feedback sessions as well as email proposal review and feedback. Please bring us your talk ideas and proposals and we’ll help you polish them before you submit them to the CFP. See the Office Hours section of our Speaker’s Guide below for details.

CFP Dates

  • CFP Closes: August 19, 2020 - Midnight PDT
  • Speaker Notifications: September 11, 2020
  • Schedule Published: September 25, 2020
  • SeaGL!: November 13th and 14th, 2020

You can submit your talk proposal here, but we recommend taking a look at our Speaker’s Guide below first for important information.

Code of Conduct

All speakers and attendees of SeaGL must agree and adhere to the SeaGL Code of Conduct for the safety and enjoyment of all organizers, volunteers, speakers, and attendees. We ask that all prospective speakers review and confirm their willingness to abide by the Code of Conduct terms and expectations when interacting with SeaGL.

All members of the SeaGL Program Committee have agreed to operate according to the SeaGL Code of Practice.

Speaker’s Guide

Here’s some more detailed information about submitting your talk proposal to SeaGL 2020.

Talk Format and Timing

Talks will be presented remotely. Speakers may give their session live, or pre-record their session for the room moderator to play while they are in the chat session with the attendees.

Talk length is 20 minutes, with another 10 minutes allowed for questions, for 30m total.

We do not have longer time slots available at SeaGL 2020 because the online medium will make it more critical to present yourself concisely. Please do not propose talks that cannot be presented well within the allotted time. If you have a topic that absolutely needs more time, consider breaking your proposal into two talks: an introductory talk and a more “advanced” talk.

Audience Profile

SeaGL attendees are a diverse lot: in gender, race, and age, but also in technical background and open source involvement. The conference is a friendly one, with people eager to hear personal stories both of open source success and informative failure. The attendees have a high interest in open source community, particularly in ideas for promoting diversity, inclusiveness, and cooperation.

Talk Topics

We encourage almost any topic related to open source that you have a personal engagement with. We have created a list of topic tags you might choose to tag your proposal with — these might give you some ideas.

  • Security: Security Practices (Personal and Industry) and Security Career
  • Hardware: Free and Open hardware projects
  • Leaving the Walled Garden: Owning Your Own Data
  • Tools: Command line, databases, web tools, accessibility, open graphics tooling, and more
  • Tech Culture: FLOSS for EveryOne: how can FLOSS be of help to those outside our immediate community?
  • Community: Community building, labor rights, & advocacy
  • Virtual meetings & “meatspace”
  • DevOps: Open source DevOps, containers, continuous integration/continuous deployment, & monitoring
  • Licensing & Legal
  • Career Development in FLOSS software and hardware
  • Performance Art! Seriously :)
  • Misc: Have a great talk that doesn’t fit these categories? Submit it!

How To Submit

Important Note: Our conference software doesn’t currently support concealed reviews (talk authors are hidden from reviewers), but we do the best we can to review everything concealed anyway. For that reason, you must not include your name in your submitted abstract. The reviewers may reject proposals whose abstracts include author names.

When you are ready, submit your talk proposal to our conference management software here. The web form will ask you for your name, the title of your talk, and an abstract of less than 500 words that does not contain your name. The web form will also ask you to indicate whether this is your first time speaking, and whether you identify as a member of a group historically underrepresented at technical conferences. Once you have prepared and submitted this information, you may be asked for a bit more information to help identify the intended audience of your talk.

Talk Ideas

Not sure what to propose? Here are some ideas you might use for inspiration.

  • How to get involved in free and open source software
  • DevOps, system administration, infrastructure, CI/CD
  • Career tips and strategies
  • Web development tools and techniques
  • Free and open source licensing and policy issues for users and/or developers
  • Hardware, Embedded Linux, Internet of Things
  • Cloud and distributed services
  • Building free and open source communities
  • Using free software at home, work, or school
  • Free and open source relating to online security and privacy
  • Writing testable open code; testing in general
  • Effective documentation patterns and strategies
  • Free and open software on non-GNU/Linux platforms (Windows, MacOS, etc) These are just ideas: we would love to hear about anything that you think would be interesting to new or seasoned Free/Libre/Open source fans!

Resources and Help

Never presented at a conference or meetup before? Presented but still not feeling confident? It’s OK: even the most experienced conference presenters aren’t necessarily confident at this stuff. VM Brasseur’s Public Speaking repository has collected a lot of resources to help you level up your conference presenting.

Please Note: We always end up being unable to invite a bunch of really great talks. It’s not you, it’s us: we have a limited number of speaking slots and need to draft and balance the conference program. If we turn you down this year, we encourage you to try again in the future (here and elsewhere).

Don’t let fear of rejection stop you from proposing. Please run your talk idea by us — we need you!

Office Hours: Proposal Help and Mentoring

Want to propose a talk but want feedback on your idea, proposal wording, talk title or just on how to deal with nerves? The Speaker Committee is running regular office hours online. We’ll do everything we can to help you be successful with your proposal and presentation, from brainstorming to quick reviews to detailed walkthroughs.

Office hours will be held every Wednesday at 12pm Pacific between July 13 and August 19.

Office hours are held in the #seagl IRC channel on Freenode IRC. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with IRC. You can join IRC via this webchat interface: choose a nickname, and you’re good to go! If you’d like assistance outside of the office hours, please email us at

Final Note

It is easy but wrong to believe that you need to be some kind of professional presenter to give a good talk. SeaGL is a friendly audience who wants to hear your story! Heck, we won’t even have a conference without people like you to talk to us — that’s literally what this event is. Fancy slides and skilled oratory are nice, but all you really need to do is to tell people something interesting and/or fun. Don’t be shy. (If you are shy, check in at our Office Hours for advice on how to tell some friendly strangers a story with less stress — a good way to turn strangers into friends.)

We want your talk proposal! Sorry to sound all demanding and like that, but we couldn’t be more excited and pleased to work with you. Submit early, submit often!.

Finally, please find the plaintext link to our submission software here:

Program Committee Code of Practice
July 13, 2020

The Program Committee is the group responsibile for choosing and scheduling all of the great talks you enjoy at SeaGL. This year the committee steering the Program consists of:

  • Nathan Handler
  • Rachel Kelly
  • Alison Yu
  • Megan Guiney
  • Bart Massey
  • Lyz Joseph

Code of Practice

This is what we believe in and how we operate as we go about our business of building the best possible program and schedule for SeaGL.

As members of the SeaGL program committee and proposal reviewers, aside from the SeaGL Code of Conduct, we also agree to operate according to these values and statements:


We believe in the importance and power of free and open source software.

We believe in putting the needs of our audience and our community before our needs or those of our employers.

We believe in boosting the voices of others above our own.

We believe in mentoring and helping to create the speakers, leaders, and contributors of the future.

We believe in supporting diversity in thoughts and experiences in the talks and speakers we select for SeaGL.

We believe in creating and protecting a SeaGL environment that welcomes all people in safety and comfort.

But what does that mean? Like, practically?

How are these values reflected in how we operate as program committee members and reviewers? There could be many different ways, obviously, but here are some examples of what we will do our best to do:

  • Promote the CFP to all our communities
  • Seek out unreached/underrepresented/underserved communities and advocate for them and their talks
  • As time allows, assist people with their proposals, making it easy for them to propose and what they propose a higher quality
  • Do our best to do all initial reviews without knowing who submitted them, within the constraints of the system
  • Only vote on talks we feel qualified to review
  • Abstain from voting on talks where we made substantial contributions to the the proposal (but we can advocate during the review call)
  • As much as possible, don’t allow our personal or professional biases (or those of our employer) to influence our talk reviews
  • After proposals are accepted, and as time allows, assist people with their talks to help ensure that what they deliver is valuable to the audience

We’re all pleased to have the opportunity to serve the SeaGL community and share this Code of Practice with you. It’s our hope that we can serve as a model for other free and open source events, who can publish their own Codes of Practice.

To help with that, don’t forget that everything published here on the SeaGL website is licensed CC BY-SA. We encourage you to copy, modify, and redistribute this Code of Practice however you and your event need.

Black Lives Matter
June 12, 2020

SeaGL condemns racism in all its forms, systemic, personal, and otherwise. The organizers of SeaGL recognize the ongoing harm being done to the Black community and seek to support Black members of our community directly. To that end, we have allotted honoraria for all Black speakers at SeaGL 2020. We are also looking into the possibility of scholarships or other monetary support mechanisms for Black members of the FLOSS world. We are currently strategizing how best to support and amplify our sister technical organizations who focus on non-white members of our community — we welcome your suggestions of organizations to partner with and support!

In addition, we strive to not only make our community inclusive, but also to enforce BETTER behavior from our white community members. None of us are free from blame, including the nearly all-white organizing staff, and we are redoubling our efforts to combat institutional racism in the tech industry. Our goal is for SeaGL to be an equitable conference by seeking out BIPOC voices, and supporting the Black FLOSS community in every way we can.

Furthermore, we condemn in the strongest of terms, the actions of the Seattle Police Department’s unprovoked violence against the people of Seattle, particularly versus its Black community. We wholeheartedly support the collaborative spirit of the Capitol Hill protests. Our priority has always been to underserved and underprivileged communities, and we want to ensure that for anyone attending SeaGL, or participating in SeaGL-adjacent activities, there is agreement on this point. We recognize that all actions are political, and we will continue to stand by our Code of Conduct in our continuing effort to make SeaGL as free from racism as possible.

Thank you,
SeaGL Staff

Keynote Nominations needed for 2020
May 19, 2020

We need YOU! To help us select keynoters for SeaGL 2020! Please use our form to nominate a keynote speaker. We are looking for open source community members with experiences and stories to share. We are, as always, looking for new candidates who have not keynoted before, who have a different perspective to share. Our community is vast, therefore our keynotes must represent our community.

Submissions are anonymous and you can fill in the (very short) form for as many wonderful humans as you’d like to nominate, one form per nomination. This form will be open til May 24, 2020.

So, please, share

  • your pie in the sky picks
  • your mentor from your local user group
  • someone who has advocated for open source outside of traditional tech
  • someone who has worked on bringing open source to traditionally proprietary-only models
  • someone who has challenged social norms in open source
  • someone who has lifted others up who have challenged those norms
  • your tinker friend
  • your friend known for shitposting clever tweeting
  • someone in your office who recently showed you a shortcut through your favorite tools

And anyone else you think would make a terrific guest of honor at our community-focused open source conference! You can let us know right here. SeaGL will take place virtually and all over the world, November 13 & 14 2020.

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We will have a small hall available for exhibitors. Free tables will be available for free/libre/open-source software/hardware and non-profit organizations, and there are several sponsorship levels for everyone else. If your organization would like an exhibit table at SeaGL, please send an email to for our vendor prospectus.

Exhibitor space is limited, please contact us right away if you are interested in a table.


We can't do what we need to do without the support of the community. If you would like to offer financial support but don't need an exhibit table, please send an email to

Donate now

Our fiscal sponsor, Free Software Foundation, set up a donation page to support SeaGL. It accepts credit card or PayPal and provides instructions for donating via check or Bitcoin. Thank you for your support!

Donate to SeaGL

SeaGL is dedicated to a harassment-free conference experience for everyone.

Our code of conduct can be found here

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Unless otherwise specified, all website content is licensed CC BY-SA.