June 7-9, 2024
Sheraton Charlotte Airport
Charlotte, NC

Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel


SELF 2024: Save the Date

SELF 2024 will be June 7-9, 2024 at the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel in Charlotte, NC.

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SELF 2023: Registration Open

Registration is now open for SELF 2023, June 9-11, at the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel in Charlotte, NC. If you are Staff, Volunteer, Speaker, and/or Sponsor please check your email for special registration instructions.

For the regulars and newbies, please review our schedule to get a feel for what’s happening at this year’s events. For the newbies, be sure to read our About Us page to understand a bit more about the event in general.

Our food trucks this year are: The Hog N Dog, Sprinkles, and Asian B On Wheels.

Our theme this year is FOSSbusters, a riff on Ghostbusters. Yes, there will be people cosplaying Ghostbusters. And at least one ECTO-like vehicle.

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SELF 2023: I Aint Afraid of No Bug

Are you troubled by strange alerts in the middle of the night? Do you experience feelings of dread in your datacenter or homelab? Have you or any of your family seen a kernel panic, zero day, or old .NET code? If the answer is yes then don’t wait another minute. Pick up your phone and call the professionals: FOSSbusters. Our courtious and efficient code is on call 24 hours a day to serve all of your technology remediation needs. We’re ready to relieve you!

SELF 2023 is go for June 9-11. Our theme this year is a parody take on Ghostbusters. We’re pleased to announce our Call For Speakers, Call For Sponsors, and hotel room block are now open. We’ll be aggressive with early speaker acceptance again this year, so get those talk submissions in early. Please be sure to read our About Us page, as it has been overhauled. Confirmed major parts of SELF 2023:

  • LAN Party
  • Ham Radio Special Event Station W4L
  • FREE Amateur Radio License Exams
  • NEW: Attendee Lounge (LAN Party, Tabletop gaming, Refreshments, Lockpicking Village)
  • Friday and Saturday After Parties featuring the Craft Beer Bottle Share
  • Geeks With Guns (Non-Free)

By popular request this year we are adding an Individual Sponsorship option for some of our biggest supporters and fans. For $500 you get all the benefits of a speaker including two tickets to the catered speaker BBQ dinner, access to the hospitality suite with 24/7 food and refreshments, thank you in the program guide, t-shirt, and stickers.

Registration will open 5/16. Join our low traffic announce only mailing list to be notified as soon as that happens.

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SELF 2022: Registration Open, Schedule Release

Registration is open! (If you’re a speaker, sponsor, or volunteer, look for an email containing your coupon code by Monday morning, 6/6.)

Here is the schedule for SELF 2022 in full. Note the new for 2022 addition of a lock picking village. Bring your own picks! We welcome donations of locks you have laying around to be added to the village in perpetuity. We have a variety of lock types, cores, and security levels. A simple pick and turning tool will be sufficient for most of the locks we have. Though a few higher security locks will require disc detainer picks or dimple flag picks.

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SELF 2022: Coming Down The Home Stretch

  • In addition to our earlier early talk approvals, we’ve released another batch of early talk approvals. It will take us until Noon Monday to read and go through the submissions that are in, so call for speakers has been extended until Noon Monday ET, 5/23. You have just hours left to get your talks in! Click here to submit.
  • We had added more rooms into our room block. Our room rate discount with free WiFi expires 5/24. Get what is left of the rooms before they run out or get more expensive! Click here to book.
  • If you would like to volunteer (volunteers typically help at registration or with room moderation during talks), please contact us here. If you’ve filled that form out to volunteer, we’ll be contacting you this week for details.
  • For those interested in sponsorship or having a booth for their .edu/.org, here is our sponsor prospectus. Some sponsorship levels are almost gone: We are down to two Gold sponsorships left available, 1 Silver sponsorship left available, and several Bronze sponsorships available. The T-Shirt and WiFi sponsorships have also been claimed. One evening party sponsorship is still available. Email info@southeastlinuxfest.org for sponsorship inquiries.
  • Registration will open along with publication of our draft schedule this week!

Confirmed Special/Other Events at SELF 2022 at this time:
– LAN Party (Friday through Sunday)
– Retro Linux Ragchew (Saturday night)
– Craft Beer Bottle Share (Friday/Saturday night… if sponsored, open to all. If not sponsored, to get in you must be a speaker, sponsor, volunteer, supporting attendee, or have brought some to share. Sealed cans and bottles only please!)
– Ham radio special event station W4L (Fri-Sun/we send QSL cards!)
– FREE ham radio license testing (Saturday night)
– GPG key signing (Saturday night)
– Geeks With Guns (Friday night/Held at Blackstone Shooting Sports indoor range)
– /dev/random Track (Non-FOSS content still of interest to geeks … past talks include building your own house and the Battle of Jutland)
– Onion Futures Market Track (Non-FOSS content focused on high level intellectual discourse and self-improvement and where free speech is encouraged)
– We will once again have Birds of a Feather (BoF) rooms with full A/V kit for impromptu loosely scheduled talks/breakouts. First come first serve on time slots, sign up / see the schedule at registration.

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SELF 2022: Additional Early Talk Approvals

Charlie LiRunning your favourite Linux distribution on FreeBSD: the LinuxulatorFreeBSD is one of those non-Linux open source operating systems, but the ability to run unmodified Linux binaries is a secret weapon, particularly if only Linux binaries are provided. We will demonstrate choices of Linux userlands running on FreeBSD, particularly CentOS and Arch.
Zach UnderwoodAutomating a Linux festThis is intro/overview on how we automated the this Linux Fest using mostly open source software. We record speaker sessions, upload videos to youtube/other services, count people entering each session, show session info on displays outside of each room, record attendees votes on the session and more with automation.
Jeff PropesMake Ansible Suck LessAnsible has followed a similar trajectory to MySQL; its success came too early, cementing many very poor design and implementation decisions before they could be addressed. In this talk, I will rant about^W^W discuss some of the roughest edges of Ansible that I encounter every day at work and how you can smooth them out or avoid them all together.
– How to eliminate hosts: all from your playbooks. Rely no more upon the dangerous limit feature!
– Writing playbooks & roles that perform equally well both on the command line and in AWX/Tower
– Inventory and playbook tricks so you don’t have to input passwords every invocation
– When and how to use custom plugins
– A good old fashioned rant about the hash merge setting
Perry GagneLinux Network Performance monitoring with LNSTRed Hat Network Services uses LNST for regularly monitoring the performance of the networking bits of the kernel and other software as part of our CI process.

Rob BeatyModernizing a legacy PHP stack application for a serverless container based worldHow to take a traditional web stack based PHP application and migrate to a serverless container based deployment. Using Linux containers, Nginx, php-fpm and more to bring a legacy application into a modern deployment system.
Aaron HoneycuttPushing open hardware into Space!We’ll talk about the story of the Thelio and Launch lines from design to an actual product. We also go over why do they exist and the benefits
Mark UlmerDid you bring a Windows Laptop to a Linux Conference?In this session for beginners, we understand full immersion into Linux is not always possible. Windows happens and is sometimes required; presented here are some options to interact with Linux from Windows. Windows Services for Linux and Remote Desktop options.

When you are ready to put on the Tux, we’ll share some ideas, options and tips. Meetup groups can help you as you get started.
Bruce MomjianMastering PostgreSQL AdministrationThis talk is designed for PostgreSQL administrators. It covers all aspects of PostgreSQL administration, including installation, security, file structure, configuration, reporting, backup, daily maintenance, monitoring activity, disk space computations, and disaster recovery. It shows how to control host connectivity, configure the server, find the query being run by each session, and find the disk space used by each database.
Bruce MomjianSecuring PostgreSQL From External AttackThis talk explores the ways attackers with no authorized database access can steal Postgres passwords, see database queries and results, and even intercept database sessions and return false data. Postgres supports features to eliminate all of these threats, but administrators must understand the attack vulnerabilities to protect against them. This talk covers all known Postgres external attack methods.
Yulia KuznetsovaWhy 10% of women in the conference program does not mean gender quotasIn this talk I would like to challenge a belief that a goal of a certain percent of women in the conference program, workplace or any other IT-related enterprise can only be achieved by gender quotas. I will show that instead, this goal can be achieved through the correct outreach and informing the potential candidates about the possibility. I will also demonstrate that doing this will actually increase the quality of the candidate pool.
Matt YonkovitDatabase Observability and Troubleshooting: Finding and Fixing Application Bottlenecks With Open Source ToolsAll applications that use databases will eventually run into a database bottleneck or slowdown. Being able to quickly find and resolve those bottlenecks will be the difference between happy users and angry users. We will show you the top conditions and alerts you should set up to alert you to issues before they happen. We will then walk you through how our experts at Percona find issues walking you through performance metrics, data, and query analytics.
Alexander RubinPen-testing opensource databases (MySQL and PostgreSQL)Are your database secure? No, not the application, the database! Usually, everyone is focused on the application security and consider the database server to be “protected” by the network firewalls. But what if the first layer of defense fails and your database is exposed from the internet or via SQL injection? Penetration tester’s goal is to pretend to be a “bad actor” and try to find all the week spots in a simulated scenarios. I will show a number of “week spots” when dealing with opensource relational databases (MySQL and PostgreSQL) and how to protect from them.
Luke SmithA Private and Sound Global Currency with Free SoftwareIf libre and privacy-respecting software can run a personal computer, can it run a global financial system? How to store and exchange value has been a decades-long puzzle among cypherpunk and FLOSS circles, resulting in many payment processors, ecashes, Bitcoin, Monero, GNU Taler and many other projects. This talk overviews the core issues and solutions, and what hope we can place in free software to secure our privacy and access to sound money.
Ian BrueneHow To Start a 3D Printing Addiction.Goes over the basics of getting started with FDM 3d printing, and where to go from there.
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SELF 2022: Early Accepted Talks

We’re pleased to announce the following talk(s) have been accepted for SELF 2022:

JT PenningtonIntroducing Swap-as-a-Service (yes really!)An absolutely dumb, yet functional solution to an edge case developer problem. This talk will dig into the idiotic depths of the insanity that you can engage in when the Unix Philosophy of “A tool should do one thing and do it well” is taken to its logical (or rather illogical) conclusion.
Toyam CoxTraditional VMs in the era of ContainersStateless repeatable app deploys in VMs with Hashicorp Packer and careful control of stateful mounts
Noah ChelliahEntering The MatrixImagine a communication & social platform that’s built around privacy and freedom of speech. Self hosted, federated, and under your control!
Mike RalphAutomating FreeIPA installation and configurationWe will go through the process of how to automate the installation and configuration of FreeIPA. This will not only save you time but help with consistency and efficiency.
Striker LeggetteSmart Card Auth and You (Fedora/IPA/AD)This talk will go over Smart Card (CAC/PIV) authentication into Linux domain clients of Active Directory and IPA.
Jonathan A. PurdyAutomate yourself out of a job, or die trying.Humans are great at a large number of things but we aren’t perfect. While we try our best, we can’t do even one thing the exact same way every time. That’s why we need to automate every part of our job that we can.
Matthew HigginsLinux is the Future, but What Will That Look Like for End Users?To say that Linux has a promising future is an understatement. Linux-based operating systems have acquired an unmatched level of success on servers and supercomputers and there is no evidence of this changing anytime soon; however, when it comes to the use of Linux on desktop computers, operating systems based on the Linux kernel only make up between one and five percent of surveyed devices. Although Linus Torvalds suggested that the path towards a successful Linux desktop may be through Chromebooks and Android devices at the 2019 Open Source Summit, neither OS provides an ideal Linux experience for those interested in the freedoms and capabilities provided by Linux distributions such as Fedora, openSUSE, Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, etc.. In this talk, I will discuss several potential opportunities for Linux-based operating systems to establish a stronger presence on end users’ devices over the next few years and potential to positively impact the user experience. I will also identify several challenges and limitations that both old and new Linux users are likely to experience if the Linux desktop is to establish a stronger presence.
Kenneth BinghamA more flexible approach to network securityLower layer networking protocols are designed to naively and reliably deliver packets. Mid layer protocols can have crude rulesets base on IPs and ports that don’t translate to real world use cases in motion. Only upper layer protocols can effectively control access. We need convenient, secure-enough layers of security that are as flexible as the application itself. There’s no substitute for adopting a secure networking framework in every distributed application, and it’s getting real with these new SDKs.
Darrell LittleRF: It’s Everywhere. An introduction to SDRA brief review of radio frequencies and the electromagnetic spectrum. What are traditional radio receivers and transmitters and what is SDR (software-defined radio). Beyond basic communications, take a look at how RF is used in business, industrial and medical applications (ISM). Then comparing some of the reasonably priced SDR devices available for research and testing use, along with the Open Source software tools to implement these devices.
Kenneth BinghamHow my self-hosting homelab works without any vLANs, VPNs, firewalls, or port forwardingIt’s one thing to defend a perimeter around your servers and most people make the perimeter tighter to decrease the risk of lateral movement in case of compromised server. Another way is to use an overlay network so the servers only listen on loopback at most, and some can even be isolated to the process space by importing an SDK. Now everything has an identity, not an IP address, and things get weirdly wonderful from here on out.
Daniel ColsonNmap scripting for sysadmins and network troubleshootingIn this talk, we’ll explore the scripting capabilities of Nmap. Many useful scripts are included with Nmap that allow for everything from advanced service discovery and troubleshooting to vulnerability scanning and testing. We’ll look at how some of these can be used for troubleshooting hosts and networks as well as how to write your own scripts to pull in more information from outside sources or perform your own version checking or other information extraction on scanned services.
Daniel ColsonTraefik routing for your Docker infrastructureIf the list of Docker containers you’re running is getting long, you’re having trouble remembering which port each service is on, and you’re having to map ports for those services to some random non-standard host ports to fit everything in, Traefik might be the next Docker container you should add! In this talk, we’ll cover how to use Traefik to access your Docker container services using host or domain names, set up automatic LetsEncrypt TLS, and make services accessible externally.
John Scott HoodWhat Can Linux Do For You?Discussion about what GNU/Linux environment is and what open source products can do for you, the Linux curious computer user.
Leander Huttondarktable: Digital Photo Processing on LinuxLibre and Open Source creative tools have advanced by leaps and bounds in the last decade, darktable is a RAW photo processor that uses an advanced but approachable scene-referred workflow suitable for curious beginners all the way up to advanced color gurus. This is a user friendly talk on how to use this software for RAW photo development and asset management. From importing, tagging and a very straight-forward development in the scene-referred mode to ensure the best color and dynamic range out of your shot.
Matt YonkovitOpen Source: For Love? Money? Or BothThe open source landscape is changing. More and more companies are using open source as a tool to generate valuations and buzz, sometimes to the detriment of the community. What good is coming from this? Some… what bad? Some as well.., lets highlight the dangers we see from the current trends in open source.
Matt YonkovitThe Dumbest Mistakes I have seen in my 20 year career in Open SourceI have seen some pretty dumb things over 20 years in the open source business. From bad business plans ( a social media app for your music ) to horrible stewardship of projects that led to good projects failing. Walk with me through a journey of the idiotic, the funny, and the sad of how people have used, abused, and been successful despite themselves.
Dwain SimsAn Intro to Rancher DesktopDo you have a need to run Kubernetes on you desktop system to test container development? Concerned about “new” licensing requirements of popular Kubernetes Desktop software that is NOT Open Source? Then you need to take a closer look at Rancher Desktop, an Open Source project backed by SUSE. Rancher Desktop runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac. Developers can easily change container runtimes and Kubernetes versions to match deployment targets. All free to use and totally Open Source.
THE Alan HicksWhy IPv6 Will Never Be AdoptedEver wonder why IPv6 hasn’t received wide-scale adoption despite strong pushes for the last two decades? We’ll explore why, from the adoption of alternatives to the fundamentals flaws of the IPv6 protocol itself.
Eric RaymondDynamiting the software forgesEvery git repository is a full code history of its project. That could be wonderful for robustness against single-point failures, but we’ve largely thrown that possibility away by hosting our projects on forge sites that have only one copy of issues and merge-requests and other project assets that don’t happen to be code. There’s a better way; by replacing the forges with a decentralized networks of Git repositories that embed all these assets we can eliminate dangerous technical, economic, and political chokepoints. This talk is about software that does that, and what needs to happen next.
Eric RaymondA Geek’s Guide to the Russo-Ukraine WarThe Russo-Ukraine War is a complex and messy conflict with deep roots in history that is generally obscure to Americans. I will explain it from the point of view of a military- and general-history buff. Areas to be covered include the long shadow of the Kievan Rus, Russian grand strategy and geopolitics, the sources of Ukrainian national identity, the challenges of logistics in the region, what we’ve seen in operational maneuvers, and similarities/differences from WWII. My goal is to share with you the context you need to understand the news from the war.
Kevin HowellCommunicating Software Architecture with Open Source ToolsSoftware architecture is hard to reason about, let alone communicate. Visualizing architectures using diagrams is a great technique for both. I’ll share diagramming techniques that have worked well in past experiences, ideas for incorporating diagrams into your processes, and provide a list of open source tools worth exploring.
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SELF 2022: A Return To Normalcy

We’re go for the return of IRL SouthEast LinuxFest at the normal date of the second weekend in June. A few things to get out of the way off the top as we get back to normal from COVID:

  1. This will be a community heavy year. Clarity that we’d fully open didn’t happen until March/April, which is typically too late in the game for corporate sponsors and conference budgets to have returned to normal. We’ve had some sponsors reach out proactively, but we expect the corporate participation to be lighter than normal this year.
  2. While there are still some mask mandates in effect for the Charlotte, NC metro area, they are all set to expire well before SELF. We do not anticipate any mask mandates being in effect. SELF will not have a mask mandate of its own for attendees. You are free to wear a mask if that is your personal preference.
  3. SELF will not be enforcing a vaccine mandate on attendees. That decision is between you and your health care professional. Having said that, SELF encourages you to be vaccinated against COVID particularly if you have comorbidity factors, are in an at risk group, or just want peace of mind.

The Call For Speakers is now open, with early decision acceptances made on 5/7 and 5/14 and a final deadline to submit of 5/21. All decisions for speakers will be made by May 22nd. We strongly encourage you to get your submissions in for early decision!

The Call For Sponsors is now open.

The Room Block at the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel is now open for you to reserve your room.

Registration will open after the speakers have been selected and a draft schedule published (5/23-ish). There will be a requested new attendee type this year: Individual Sponsor. Individual Sponsors will have all the same bonuses as Supporting Attendees but they also get access to our hospitality suite during the event.

Confirmed Special Events at SELF 2022 at this time:
– LAN Party (Friday through Sunday)
– Retro Linux Ragchew
– Craft Beer Bottle Share (Friday/Saturday night)
– Ham radio special event station W4L (we send QSL cards!)
– FREE ham radio license testing
– GPG key signing
– Geeks With Guns (Held at Blackstone Shooting Sports, details available when registration opens)
– /dev/random Track (Non-FOSS content still of interest to geeks … past talks include building your own house and the Battle of Jutland)
– Onion Futures Market Track (Non-FOSS content focused on high level intellectual discourse and self-improvement and where free speech is encouraged)

The theme for 2022 will be Chmod 777: License To Be Killed. The conference t-shirt will be a t-shirt tuxedo with a tux in the breast pocket.

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SELF 2021 Virtual Event Details

We’re proud to announce our schedule for a virtual SELF to be held Saturday and Sunday this weekend.  This a relaxed affair with modest expectations that is totally free for anybody to attend.  We had tons of submissions for only a tiny number slots.  To compensate and gauge interest in frequently requested lightning talks, we are turning Sunday into a block of 15-minute lightning talks.  We are opening submissions for those lightning talks …. NOW.  We strongly encourage regular folks who haven’t spoken much before to step up and give a lightning talk a shot.  We’re low pressure, there’s no audience this year to give you stage fright, and we pride ourselves on always giving a chance for the local new speakers to have a shot to speak shoulder to shoulder with some of the big people in FOSS.  We’ll accept lightning talks on the same broad “FOSS centric but anything geeky goes” topics.   More details about lightning talk submissions (including our streaming platform for the event) can be found on the lightning talk submission page. 

This year’s schedule is hightighted by another Opinion Dominion old hardware ragchew back by popular demand, Ask Noah Live, Interviews, One Hour Talks, 15-min lightning talks, virtual ham radio exams, virtual ham radio test crams, and a ham radio special event station.  Our full schedule at a glance:

Saturday, June 12
1-Hour Talk Sessions: 11:00 AM ET – 5:00 PM ET

11:00 AM-12:00 PM ET: Matthew Yonkovit (Head of Open Source Strategy, Percona) – The Business of Open Source
12:15 PM-1:15 PM ET: der.hans (CDE, Object Rocket) – Personal Online Security, Privacy, and Password Management
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM ET: Susan Sons (President, OFML) – Security On A Shoestring
2:45 PM – 3:45 PM ET: Peter Zaitsev (CEO, Percona) – MySQL 8 Observability
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM ET: Zach Underwood (Network Engineer, WiFi MSP) – Intro To IPv6

Ask Noah Show Live (War Stories): 5:00 PM ET – 6:00 PM ET
Sunday Lightning Talks Announced: 6:00 PM ET – 6:10 PM ET
Opinion Dominion Retro Linux Ragchew: 6:15 PM ET – Until We Stop

Sunday, June 13
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM ET: Ham Exam Cram (Contact proctor for info.)
Live Interview Guest: Steve Ovens, Red Hat:  Noon ET – 1:00 PM ET
15-Minute Lightning Talks: 1:00 PM ET – 4:00 PM ET. 

Sun: 12:00 AM – 12:15 PM ET: TBD Lightning Talk 
Sun: 12:30 AM – 12:45 PM ET: TBD Lightning Talk 
Sun: 1:00 PM – 1:15 PM ET: TBD Lightning Talk 
Sun: 1:30 PM – 1:45 PM ET: TBD Lightning Talk 
Sun: 2:00 PM – 2:15 PM ET: TBD Lightning Talk 
Sun: 2:30 PM – 2:45 PM ET: TBD Lightning Talk 
Sun: 3:00 PM – 3:15 PM ET: TBD Lightning Talk 
Sun: 3:30 PM – 3:45 PM ET: TBD Lightning Talk 

Virtual (REMOTE!!) Ham Radio Exams: 4:00 PM ET.  Yes, you read that right.   We’ll get you licensed to be a ham REMOTELY.   Details/Register here.
Live Interview Guest: Matthew Hodgson, Matrix.org:  4:15 PM – 5:15 PM ET.
Sign Off/SELF 2022: 5:30 PM ET.

Ham Radio special event station W4L will be operating live from various locations and operators in the greater eastern seaboard area from Virginia to the Carolinas to Indiana.   We will be sending QSL cards for succesful contacts.  We’ll be operating on 20, 40, 80, dmr, and 2m throughout the event.  Checkout our live event page (linked below) during the event for exactly what frequency we’re on at a given time.

Before we get to all the relevant links a special thanks to those who helped make this streaming event possible:
– Speakers from originally planned 2021 speaker pool
– Regular attendees and fans like you who submit lightning talks
– Ask Noah Show @asknoahshow
– Opinion Dominion
– SELF Staff
– SELF Ham Radio Team

Without further ado:  SELF 2021 Virtual Event Page

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IRC Changes

Effective immediately, #southeastlinuxfest and #self-offtopic in IRC Freenode are no longer operated by SELF. They have been taken over by the entity that has taken over Freenode. Do not use these channels or this network any longer. We have migrated to #southeastlinuxfest and #self-offtopic on Libera.chat. We have an unofficial contingent on OFTC as well

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