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As the corporate event came to an end, the community event got underway. As SUSECon, the SUSE Linux conference concluded in Orlando, Florida, on Friday afternoon, part of the venue was taken over by the community to set up things for the second openSUSE summit.

openSUSE is the community Linux distribution established by SUSE in 2005. It holds an annual summit in the US and a conference in Europe; the latter pulls a much bigger crowd because more people from that part of the world are involved in the project as volunteers. For the event that got underway on Friday, about 50 people were present. Some more people were likely to land up by Saturday morning.

Some employees of SUSE are involved in the openSUSE project; there are also many outsiders who play a vital role. The project has a six-member board including a chairman; the latter is appointed by SUSE.

But the separation between the two entities is not one of master and servant; openSUSE makes its own decisions and there is no interference.

The current board chairman, Vincent Untz, and Robert Schweikert, a member of the board, gave a joint informal keynote at the opening of the summit on Friday afternoon.

The summit runs for the remainder of Friday, and until noon on Sunday. There are a number of technical sessions on both days and a good number of social activities as well.

For the openSUSE crowd, many of them volunteers, it is a chance to put a face to a name or an email address, which helps the project to improve collaboration and co-operation.

Earlier, at the conclusion of SUSECon, Michael Miller, the vice-president for global alliances and marketing, announced the next conference would be held in Orlando from November 17 to 21 next year.

The writer attended SUSECon as a guest of SUSE.


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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.