I had the pleasure of attending EuroBSDCon in Lillehammer, Norway this year. It was a first visit to Norway and my first time at EuroBSDCon. The conference felt familiar, as I saw and spoke to many of the people I’d first met in Ottawa during BSDCan 2019.

The first two days of the event were dedicated to the tutorials, and my Ansible tutorial on day 2 was, I believe, a success. We had a full house with, I’m told, 35 participants. There were lots of interesting questions, and I was dead tired at the end of the day, so it must have been good. :-)

Norway being Norway, everything is rather expensive, but we weren’t really concerned because the conference put up hectolitres of free homeopathic beer. WiFi at the Scandic hotel was excellent, and all-in-all the venue was comfortable, and we were served interesting and tasty snacks during the day.

The third and fourth days were conference days, and I opted to listen to these talks:

  • Patricia Aas gave the opening keynote, entitled Embedded Ethics, and she made me tear up. Literally. I recommend you listen to it if you can and as soon as the video is published.
  • Paul Vixie of DNS fame, spoke about blocking DNS over HTTPS. He gets very involved and as such he ran out of time unfortunately. I later chatted to him, and as I’d brought a copy of my “Alternative DNS Servers” book for him, I presented this signed copy to him, not that I believe he can learn anything from it!
  • Mischa Peters gave a talk entitled The OpenBSD hypervisor in the wild, a short story in which he explains the setup of OpenBSD.amsterdam which I knew of. I’ve also experimented with VMM/VMD open OpenBSD and learned some new things from Mischa’s talk.
  • Modernizing relayd and the road to HTTP/2, by Reyk Floeter, was a deep dive into the work he’s invested in modernizing relayd.
  • I then listened to Dan Langille speak about why he prefers thick jails over thin jails. I think there’s a lot of interesting stuff in his notes and await the publication of his slides for that.

I decided to take a break to give the old brain cells a rest and enjoyed some peace and quiet in my room until 17:30 at which time we assembled for the short walk to the social event at Maihaugen Open Air Museum. The weather was fine, the buildings nice to see, and I got told off badly by the school teacher in the 1866 school; very realistic!

Day two consisted of this program for me:

  • Philipp Buehler spoke about how he is adding OpenBSD VMM to packer.io. If this interests you, he has a bit of a remix on his vagrant and packer talks as presented in Warsaw earlier this year, and his presentations are here.
  • Dan’s ZFS for Newbies was a bit light in content for me: just mentioning commands didn’t impress me. A diagram or two on what a zpool or vdev is would have helped, in particular because a newbie (which I am) is likely quickly overwhelmed by terms.
  • Eric Allman gave a wonderful talk about “Lessons learned from Sendmail”, full of bits of history and humor. A bit of a highlight was when Paul Vixie came to the microphone to ask a question: two Internet giants next to each other.
  • Colin Percival gave a talk which was way over the top of what I can handle: 23 years of software side channel attacks was much too mathematical for me.
  • Last but not least, Pablo Carboni spoke about how he implemented Unbound on FreeBSD and the road to success for the project he undertook.

I very much enjoyed the conference. The hotel was adequate and comfortable, food was much better than I’d imagined it would be up north, and we made sure that the bar wasn’t empty.

Thank you to the EuroBSDCon Foundation for inviting me to give the tutorial.

conference :: 24 Sep 2019 :: e-mail