DebConf Video team sprint (and stuff) @ MiniDebCamp FOSDEM 2020

Over the three days of the MiniDebCamp at FOSDEM, members of the DebConf Video team, and their friends, have assembled to participate in a sprint.

MiniDebCamp @ FOSDEM 2020

I’ve been (very pleasantly!) surprised by the number of people present at the MiniDebCamp, as well as the variety of topics they were working on. A great atmosphere, the welcoming environment provided by the HSBXL, and the low-key organization were something that I think other event organizers can get inspiration from: just get a room, and basic amenities (power, tables, seats, heating), and this will turn into a successful event!

Debian hackers at the HSBXL
Busy Debian hackers at the Brussels Hackerspace

On to what the Video Team members (and their friends!) did:


Jonathan spent time setting up the Debian PeerTube instance to accept videos, as well as adapting our video upload scripts, which feed from our video metadata repository as well as our main video archive, to upload our videos to PeerTube.


My primary contribution to the Video Team sprint was bringing our team hardware from Paris for others to play with. I had a conversation with tzafrir to review the video team list of requirements for DebConf 2020, and I helped phls to get up to speed on our ansible setup.

Most of my time at the MiniDebCamp was actually spent getting a local test setup for piuparts.d.o running, so I can be more confident making changes to Debian’s piuparts infrastructure, which I’ve adopted a few weeks ago, without breaking it too much (considering that piuparts is in the critical path for testing migration, bugs can become very noisy very quickly).


Paulo spent time to get up to speed on our ansible setup; His goal was to become more confident setting up video recording and streaming for the upcoming MiniDebConf in Maceió at the end of March. He used this opportunity to re-master our MiniDebConf video mixing/recording PC under Buster, and using our current (post-DebConf19) ansible playbooks.


Stefano worked on our NeTV2, a recent Open Hardware, FPGA-based HDMI device by bunnie that the Video Team acquired a few months ago. He worked, with the help of Tim from TimVideos, as well as others, on getting up to speed on the FPGA toolchain the board uses, and trying to get the recently developed PCI-e capture feature to work.

…and friends of the Video Team!

Doing a sprint in a “shared” context is an opportunity to get more collaboration going. I’ve been quite happy to see that Tim Ansell and folks from antmicro decided to join the MiniDebCamp to work on improving the cool open hardware video projects that we’re either currently or looking forward to using!

Team-wide conversations

Other members of the team (h01ger, ivodd, nattie, tzafrir, urbec, …) were present during the event. While most of spent their time was spent working on their other respective areas of interest (in no particular order, the organization of DebConf 2020, Release Team work, Reproducible Builds, …), they contributed to various video team-related conversations during the sprint.

For instance, we’ve discussed the setup for DebConf2020, and we’ve brainstormed on a list of prospective hardware purchases, to try to make shipping our hardware to upcoming events in Europe and elsewhere easier.

Now that we’re all at FOSDEM, we’ll surely come across some interesting topics for discussion!


Many thanks to the folks at HSBXL for hosting us, to Holger Levsen from following through with organizing the MiniDebCamp, to Kyle Robbertze for setting up the Video Sprint in the first place, even if he could not join us (we miss you paddatrapper!), and to the many donors and sponsors of the Debian project! Holding these sprints would be impossible without your support.

It is complete!

(well, at least the front of it is)

After last week’s DebConf Video Team sprint (thanks again to Jasper @ Linux Belgium for hosting us), the missing components for the stage box turned up right as I was driving back to Paris, and I could take the time to assemble them tonight.

The final inventory of this 6U rack is, from top to bottom:

  • U1: 1 Shure UA844+SWB antenna and power distribution system
  • U2 and U3: 4 Shure BLX4R/S8 receivers
  • U4: 1 Numato Opsis, 1 Minnowboard Turbot, 1 Netgear Gigabit Ethernet Switch to do presenter laptop (HDMI) capture, all neatly packed in a rackmount case.
  • U5 and U6: 1 tray with 2 BLX1/S8 belt packs with MX153T earset microphones and 2 BLX2/SM58 handheld microphone assemblies

This combination of audio and video equipment is all the things that the DebConf Video Team needs to have near the stage to record presentations in one room.

The next step will be to get the back panel milled to properly mount connectors, so that we don’t have to take the back of the box apart to wire things up 🙂

You may see this equipment in action at one of Debian’s upcoming events.

Report from Debian SnowCamp: day 1

Thanks to Valhalla and other members of LIFO, a bunch of fine Debian folks have convened in Laveno, on the shores of Lake Maggiore, for a nice weekend of relaxing and sprinting on various topics, a SnowCamp.

This morning, I arrived in Milan at “omfg way too early” (5:30AM, thanks to a 30 minute early (!) night train), and used the opportunity to walk the empty streets around the Duomo while the Milanese .oO(mapreri) were waking up. This gave me the opportunity to take very nice pictures of monuments without people, which is always appreciated!


After a short train ride to Laveno, we arrived at the Hostel at around 10:30. Some people had already arrived the day before, so there already was a hacking kind of mood in the air.  I’d post a panorama but apparently my phone generated a corrupt JPEG ?

After rearranging the tables in the common spaces to handle power distribution correctly (♥ Gaffer Tape), we could start hacking!

Today’s efforts were focused on the DebConf website: there were a bunch of pull requests made by Stefano that I reviewed and merged:

I’ve also written a modicum of code.

Finally, I have created the Debian 3D printing team on salsa in preparation for migrating our packages to git. But now is time to do the sleep thing. See you tomorrow?

My attendance to SnowCamp is in part made possible by donations to the Debian project. If you want to keep the project going, please consider donating, joining the Debian partners program, or sponsoring the upcoming Debian Conference.

DebConf 17 bursaries: update your status now!

TL;DR: if you applied for a DebConf 17 travel bursary, and you haven’t accepted it yet, login to the DebConf website and update your status before June 20th or your bursary grant will be gone.

*blows dust off the blog*

As you might be aware, DebConf 17 is coming soon and it’s gonna be the biggest DebConf in Montréal ever.

Of course, what makes DebConf great is the people who come together to work on Debian, share their achievements, and help draft our cunning plans to take over the world. Also cheese. Lots and lots of cheese.

To that end, the DebConf team had initially budgeted US$40,000 for travel grants ($30,000 for contributors, $10,000 for diversity and inclusion grants), allowing the bursaries team to bring people from all around the world who couldn’t have made it to the conference.

Our team of volunteers rated the 188 applications, we’ve made a ranking (technically, two rankings : one on contribution grounds and one on D&I grounds), and we finally sent out a first round of grants last week.

After the first round, the team made a new budget assessment, and thanks to the support of our outstanding sponsors, an extra $15,000 has been allocated for travel stipends during this week’s team meeting, with the blessing of the DPL.

We’ve therefore been able to send a second round of grants today.

Now, if you got a grant, you have two things to do : you need to accept your grant, and you need to update your requested amount. Both of those steps allow us to use our budget more wisely: having grants expire frees money up to get more people to the conference earlier. Having updated amounts gives us a better view of our overall budget. (You can only lower your requested amount, as we can’t inflate our budget)

Our system has sent mails to everyone, but it’s easy enough to let that email slip (or to not receive it for some reason). It takes 30 seconds to look at the status of your request on the DebConf 17 website, and even less to do the few clicks needed for you to accept the grant. Please do so now! OK, it might take a few minutes if your SSO certificate has expired and you have to look up the docs to renew it.

The deadline for the first round of travel grants (which went out last week) is June 20th. The deadline for the second round (which went out today) is June 24th. If somehow you can’t login to the website before the deadline, the bursaries team has an email address you can use.

We want to send out a third round of grants on June 25th, using the money people freed up: our current acceptance ratio is around 40%, and a lot of very strong applications have been deferred. We don’t want them to wait up until July to get a definitive answer, so thanks for helping us!

À bientôt à Montréal !