November 4th & 5th, 2022
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Nominate a Community Superhero!
July 27, 2017

Nominations are open for the 2017 Cascadia Community Builder Award

The Cascadia Community Builder Award is designed to recognize work in software projects, non-profit organizations, outreach and education, hackerspace, user groups or any activity that promotes the adoption and appreciation of free software to new and larger groups of people. The awards committee is especially interested in individuals who have successfully reached out to traditionally under-represented groups, even if that isn’t their primary goal.

To nominate someone, please send us an email ( with the nominee’s name in the subject line.

  • Name and email address of the nominee (if you have it)
  • A sentence or two about why you think they deserve this award
  • Projects or organizations they serve through (links are very helpful!)

Please only nominate people who are doing their free software work in the Cascadia region and who are currently living. Thanks in advance for helping us honor a great community builder!

The award will be presented in October at SeaGL. Want to be part of the action? Our Call for Presentations is still open! Click here to propose a talk.

Our Amazing 2017 Keynotes
July 25, 2017

Announcing our Amazing 2017 Keynotes

We could not be more excited about our keynotes this year.

Nithya Ruff will be speaking to us on Friday morning. She has been a passionate advocate and a speaker for opening doors to new people in Open Source for many years. She has also been a promoter of valuing diverse ways of contributing to open source such as in marketing, legal and community. You can often find her on social media promoting dialogue on diversity and open source. She has spoken at multiple conferences such as LinuxCon, OSCON, All Things Open, SCALE, Grace Hopper, OpenStack and Red Hat Summit on the business and community of open source. In recognition of her work in open source both on the business and community side, she was named to CIO magazine’s most influential women in open source list. And most recently, the O’Reilly Conference awarded Nithya the 2017 Open Source award for exceptional contributions to open source software. You can follow her on twitter: @nithyaruff

Rikki Endsley will kick off our second day. She is an editor and community manager for where she mentors writers and helps people tell their tech stories. Previously she worked as a community evangelist on the Open Source and Standards team at Red Hat. Other hats she has worn include: tech journalist; community manager for the USENIX Association; associate publisher of Linux Pro Magazine, ADMIN, and Ubuntu User; and managing editor of Sys Admin magazine and In 2016 she won an O’Reilly Open Source Award for her tireless work to build a vibrant, creative and well-documented open source community. Follow her on Twitter: @rikkiends

Want to be part of the action? Our Call for Presentations is still open! Click here to propose a talk.

The 2017 SeaGL CFP is open for business!
June 19, 2017

Calling all speakers or speakers-to-be! Our 2017 Call for Participation is open!

SeaGL is dedicated to supporting newer local Seattle speakers! We welcome speakers of all backgrounds and levels of experience – even if you’ve never spoken at a technical conference. If you’re excited about Free/Libre/Open technologies or communities, then we want to hear from you!

Click here to propose a talk.

Target dates

  • CFP Opens: June 19th, 2017
  • CFP Closes: August 6th, 2017 - Midnight PDT
  • Speaker Notifications: August 28th 2017
  • Schedule Published: September 4th, 2017

Talk formats

This year SeaGL is looking for talks in two formats:

  • 20 minutes: Introduce the audience to a new technology, concept, or just recap an older idea which you think is really neat.
  • 50 minutes: Go more in depth! Do a demo! This is your chance to really educate the audience about something you enjoy.

Both of these time slots include the Q&A time. Please time your presentations accordingly. We suggest aiming for a 15 minute presentation for the 20 minute time slot and for 40-45 minutes for the 50 minute time slot, but as the speaker the final presentation time is up to you (as long as you don’t exceed your time slot).

Click here to propose a talk.

Topic ideas

Not sure what to propose? Here are some ideas!

  • How to get involved in free and open source software
  • DevOps, system administration, infrastructure
  • Career tips and strategies
  • Web development tools and techniques
  • Policy and licensing affecting free and open source software use or development
  • Hardware, embedded Linux, or the Internet of Things
  • The cloud and other distributed services
  • Building free and open source communities
  • Using free software at home, work, or school
  • Security and privacy online
  • Free and open software on non-GNU/Linux platforms (Windows, macOS)
  • Anything else that you think would be interesting to new or seasoned Free/Libre/Open source fans!

Click here to propose a talk.

Proposal and public speaking resources

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.

The Public_Speaking repository has collected a lot of resources to help you level up in your conference presenting.

Pay particular attention to the Proposing talks section of this page. Follow these tips and your talk proposals will stand a better chance of being selected.

PLEASE NOTE: Whether your talk is accepted or not often doesn’t have as much to do with how great your proposal is as it does with how many speaking slots the conference has available and the balance of the program the organisers need to craft. It’s nothing personal: we just don’t have enough time to accept all the great talk proposals we receive.

Don’t let that stop you from proposing! You can’t win a race you don’t even run, so click here to propose a talk.

CFP office hours

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 weekly office hours during the CFP. We’ll do everything possible to help you be successful with your proposal and presenatation. Office hour times:

  • 2-3 PM Pacific Time, every Wednesday until August 6th.

All office hours are held in the #seagl IRC channel on Freenode IRC. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with IRC. Just click here for the webchat, choose a nickname, and you’re good to go!

Speaker travel support

As SeaGL is a free to attend community-oriented conference, we regret that we are unable to help with the cost of travel and accommodation for speakers at this time.

Code of Conduct

All speakers and attendees of SeaGL must agree and adhere to the 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 within SeaGL community spaces.

No, really, click here to propose a talk. Please. We want to hear from you!

This post is copyright VM Brasseur and licensed CC BY-SA.

Announcing SeaGL 2017 Dates!
May 06, 2017

We’re excited to announce the dates for this year’s Seattle GNU/Linux Conference: Friday, October 6 and Saturday, October 7, 2017.

We’re also happy that Seattle Central College will once again host us this year.

Thanks for Making the Fourth SeaGL Amazing!
November 15, 2016

Thanks to everyone who helped make SeaGL amazing this year! We had lots of new sponsors and lots of returning sponsors that helped us provide coffee and donuts on both days, lunch on Saturday and pay for our lovely post-conference party. Sponsors also allow us to keep SeaGL a free as in cost (as well as a free as in freedom) event for attendees. We especially owe a huge debt to Seattle Central College. Their ongoing involvement allows us to keep running SeaGL as a grass-roots conference.

We had a really great line-up of speakers this year. Some people joined us from a few blocks away while others travelled from Indianapolis, Raleigh and even Lima, Peru. We had a wide range of topics from the practical; how to write a technical resume or compile your first kernel to specific; how to use IRC or understanding API’s. We also had talks that were more inspirational in nature on topics like the mission of free software or how to get amazing things done with volunteers. Our keynotes assured that us failure is ok and that we can be the future of free software. We could not be more pleased with this year’s content and look forward to sharing it with you as video in the coming weeks.

Thanks to everyone who attended SeaGL. Especially those of you who spent the day tabling and talking passionately about your organization or your workplace. We also appreciate everyone who invited their friends, colleagues and fellow user group goers. As a small conference, word of mouth is a crucial part of how we grow SeaGL each year.

Finally, I’d like to express what an honor it is to work with so many smart, dedicated and thoughtful volunteers. People woke up early to fetch coffee, they did unfun things like taking out the garbage or running back upstairs for the fifth time in an hour. They learned new things on the fly so they could get the talks recorded or make updates to this website. They asked for support from our community for cash and time and donations. They answered questions – large and small – from speakers, attendees, students and others. They did a lot of toting and carrying.

SeaGL is truly a community effort. I want to take this moment to thank everyone who helped make this year’s event happen, whether you attended every single weekly organizing call or hopped in to help when you arrived at Seattle Central.

I can’t wait to do it all again with you next year! Really!


Contact us either by emailing or visting us on IRC on Freenode in #seagl.

FAQ about SeaGL
November 09, 2016

Q: Is SeaGL really free?

A: We are both free as in cost and free as in freedom. We’re able to keep SeaGL free because of all the amazing support we receive from our generous sponsors. (Thanks, generous sponsors!)

Q: What kinds of people attend SeaGL?

A: Friendly folks who care about free software and increasing access to technology and people who are curious about free and open source software. We’ll have plenty of content for beginners, experts, free software advocates and everyone in between. There will also be an expo floor where you can talk with local employers and some of the dot-orgs that make the Seattle tech scene so vibrant.

Q: What about the Saturday night party?

A: First of all, it will be fun! We’ve got Corey Quinn and VM Brasseur hosting an interactive variety show. We’ve also got food (including snacks for vegans and gluten intolerant folks) plus we are providing both tasty non-alcoholic drinks and some alcoholic ones. The party will be all-ages and free to attend. (Thanks again, sponsors!)

Q: I’m sold. How do I get to SeaGL?

A: We put together a handy post with all kinds of travel and logistics information. If you still have questions, get in touch and we’ll do our best to help.

Contact us either by emailing or visting us on IRC on Freenode in #seagl.

SeaGL speaker Q&A: der.hans
November 08, 2016

der.hans gives his talk titled, “MySQL for the system administrator: !DBA MySQL goodness” on Saturday afternoon.

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: I’ve mostly been a sysadmin for many years, but have also been a full-time developer, managed IT and engineering teams, taught at a community college, pretended to be a DBA and generally tried to automate myself out of a job. I annually do not set myself on fire.

Q: Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: Pinatas. We should definitely have pinatas. They would be great. Since we just had candy fest the presentation will instead cover database stuff from a system administrator’s perspective. Leveraging the CLI, automating, restorals, usernames longer than 16 characters and generally keeping our standard sysadminny toolchest.

Q: Is this your first visit to SeaGL? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: Yes, this is my first SeaGL. Last year I ventured a bit further north for LFNW, then visited some friends in Seattle.

This year I look forward to catching up with conference friends and also meeting new people. The schedule has some great presentations and I’m certain the hallway track is marvelous.

As a desert dweller I’m also looking forward to the free water from the sky thing that I’ve heard so much about.

Q: nomyon6swobanon (nom-yon-SIX-swob-an-on)?

A: rherhothkufibfo (rher-hoth-kuf-ib-fo)

There’s no need for security questions and answers to make sense :)

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Jesse Walling and Matt Kelsey
November 07, 2016

Jesse and Matt give their talk titled, “i3-wm: Tiling never felt so good” on Saturday afternoon.

Q: Could you please introduce yourselves and tell us a little about your background?

A (Jesse): Hi! My name is Jesse and I am currently a junior in high school. My passions and hobbies include computers, design, Aikido (a non-violent martial art), robotics, running, and drawing. I frequently ask myself how I can make things better, and this is how I discovered GNU/Linux. In middle school, I would frequently find pages on GitHub for fascinating projects but get stuck on the ‘Installation’ section because I was using Windows command prompt. I did not realize this immediately, but I eventually discovered that there was a strange and foreign alternative to both Windows and MacOS. From that point on I found the freedom of the system very empowering. The freedom of the code. The freedom to do whatever I wanted to my computer that fit myself. Every person has their reasons for using GNU/Linux and mine is that I want to get the most out of what I have while making it suit my needs perfectly. My background is mainly in markup languages such as HTML/CSS and LaTeX/TeX since I am so passionate about design. In addition to this I know a moderate amount of JavaScript and increasingly smaller amounts of Java, C++, and Python. I use GNU/Linux multiple times each day and might consider myself an aspiring sysadmin as well.

A (Matt): I’m Matt. I am a programming enthusiast and workflow fanatic. I am a junior in high school and spend most of my free time developing code, rock climbing, and racing drones. I was first introduced to GNU/Linux through Ubuntu trying to avoid buying Windows for a spare computer. Initially I was skeptical but soon grew to love both the operating and what it stood for. I later gave up Ubuntu for Arch and decided to ditch Windows across all my computers. I have been running various distros of GNU/Linux as my daily OS for about 4 years now and have never looked back.

Q: Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: Good question! Expect to see two high school students (Matt and me) having a fun time presenting on a topic that we are very passionate about. There will be a tasteful amount of humor interspersed with the serious topic of i3-wm as well. Finally, we hope that afterwards people will leave with a large amount of useful information on the program and be able to look back over our presentation, which will be hosted on one of our servers, to go over things that may have been glossed over or unclear. Basically, two high schoolers having a fun time, some humor, and a surplus of information.

Q: Is this your first visit to SeaGL? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: For both of us this is our first visit to SeaGL. Last year we attended Linux Fest Northwest and loved every second of it, which initially inspired us to give this talk! If anything, we would expect a smaller-scale but similar format to LFNW.

Q: What is your most embarrassing mistake ever made with GNU/Linux?

A (Jesse): I was planning on testing a new GNU/Linux distribution on a flash drive and was using dd to move over the disk image. Instead of specifying ‘/dev/sdc’ I specified ‘/dev/sdb’ and accidentally wrote over my Arch Linux install. I spent the rest of my winter break reinstalling everything.

A (Matt): No comment.

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Tessa Mero
November 04, 2016

Tessa gives her talk titled, “Nom Nom: Consuming REST APIs” on Friday afternoon.

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: Yes! My name is Tessa Mero and I live for my family and the developer community. :-) I absolutely love encouraging and inspiring others and also bringing people together in a community and everyone sharing knowledge with each other. Currently I am a Developer Evangelist for Cisco DevNet. DevNet is a department that was born about 2 years ago to create a developer side of Cisco where we create new products from Open Source Software to APIs that will help make your work more productive and efficient. Cisco has also switched from a networking company to a software and services company and we want the world to know this. I specifically advocate on Cisco Spark (a chat/collaboration tool) and Tropo (a Voice/SMS API). I find these 2 API’s absolutely fascinating and love teaching people how to make their applications better by creating more automation for their work flows.

Q: Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: Since I love to teach, having a background in education, teaching web application development at Edmonds Community College (Lynnwood, WA), I love helping people extend their knowledge. I also love learning new things for the sole case of showing others how to do it. In this talk, I will be going over the basics of REST APIs and how they can easily get started with learning how to use ANY API. This is a basic level talk and does not require coding knowledge to join, so I encourage any level of expertise can be part of the talk.

Q: Is this your first visit to SeaGL? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: This will be my first time at a SeaGL event, specifically my first time at a Linux conference. I’m quite overwhelmingly excited and want to be more involved at events in the Linux community as I have heard nothing but positive feedback on the community. I’m really hoping to get the opportunity to learn from others and meet a lot of people.

Q: So, you run the local PHP meetup… what can you tell us about that?

A: Yes! I run the Seattle PHP User Group and the Pacific Northwest PHP Conference in Seattle. SeaGL was kind enough to offer us a booth (THANK YOU). I will have our Vice President of the Board be at the booth giving information about our community and how much we would really love the Linux community to be part of our events. We give talks with such a range that we would love to have more speakers on DevOps! There will always be topics that will work for any developer in general, so please check it out. Come find out more information at the SeaPHP Booth and also come there to get free goodies!

SeaGL speaker Q&A: Spencer Krum
November 02, 2016

Spencer gives his talk titled, “OpenStack for Humans” on Saturday afternoon.

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: My name is Spencer Krum. I’ve been doing Open Source things in the Pacific NW for the past several years. I work at IBM on the OpenStack project, making Open Source cloud software.

Q: Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: This talk is going to introduce OpenStack to people who want to know what it is, where it comes from, and what to do with it. OpenStack has been going for 5 years and there has been a lot of hype. I’m hoping to educate the audience on some simple use cases and answer some common questions. If you last checked in on OpenStack a few years ago, what you learn might surprise you!

Q: Is this your first visit to SeaGL? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: This will be my third SeaGL conference. Ever year I make sure to attend this event. It is such a good mix of community members, we are so privileged in the PacNW to have so many awesome people. You never know which OSI board member is sitting next to you in a session!

Q: What small thing makes SeaGL great?

A: I really enjoy the impromptu GPG keysigning party that always pops up. It’s always a small hoot.