But over the last few years, the organisers have also got the great unwashed involved by holding an open day for the public.
This year, the open day will be held on the Saturday of conference week, January 23, at Wellington Town Hall and will be open from11am to 2pm. The Town Hall is also the venue of the conference.
There will be 35 stalls at the open day, set up by companies and community groups, aiming to show the public what free and open source software is all about.
Big companies like IBM, Red Hat, and Google will have their own stalls and local firms CatalystIT and DigitalNZ, among others, will also be present.
The One Laptop Per Child project will provide a demonstration of its hardware for children and for the hackers who visit, there is a hackfest being organised.
Greenstage , a Kiwi outfit which is making electric cars, will be on hand to show off some of its technologies. The company uses open source technologies wherever possible.
Former Linux Australia president Jonathan Oxer will give a talk on souping up one's car using simple gadgets, a subject he dealt with at last year's Linux conference under the topic "Geek your ride."
The open day will also feature two more talks - one on open source for newbies by Leslie Hawthorn and Cat Allman of Google, and a second on "50 ways to love your project" by Josh Berkus and Selena Deckelmann.
The open day activities are being co-ordinated by LCA 2010 organising committee member Jayne Foster.