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report from Debian booth at FOSDEM 2021


The Fosdem Debian booth was great, despite just being virtual (although there
have been rumors of a physical booth in the Netherlands and even some visitors
and keysigning, see https://wiki.debian.org/DebianEvents/be/2021/FOSDEM .)

Most activity happened on the matrix channel, that was bridged to IRC on
freenode/#fosdem-debian-stand. There have been over 200 inhabitants of that
channel, that spent time talking about Debian (the 10.8 release, getting matrix
working on Debian systems, discussing debian-localgroups, debian-academy,
helping a student from India finding their way around to get started
contributing, debugging laptop hardware issues, ...) of course it was also a
place to just hang around and say hi to old friends, even Saturday Night and
Sunday Morning saw some activity.

Some meeting also took place in the booth's jitsi channel on matrix and on the
inofficial one on debian-social. There also was an ad hoc demonstration about
how to upload a Debian package.

Merchandize could be bought using the webshops listed under
https://www.debian.org/events/merchandise and there has been at least one
attempt to get stickers shipped around. There where also demands of waffles and

The 3 video's we shared with our visitor are still available from

Volunteer adria commented: "Being part of the Debian (virtual) stand for my
very first time was a great experience.  Although I haven't met many people
I've met some and I had fun.  I would recommend it to you if you're considering
it either virtual or in the real life: you'll enjoy a good time hanging out
with Debian folks - they are really nice people!  However, do a minimal plan in
advance and align with the tasks that you'll be in charge of. They are simple
and easy to do, but doing things in the last minute, specially if you aren't
experienced in them, will result in extra pressure. That would be my advice.  I
had the feeling I asked too much, but sometimes it's worth to ensure you're in
the right path until you feel comfortable. However I was supported by others
more experienced and that was a relief.  It's a different way of enjoying
FOSDEM, you can combine it with attending talks or other stuff, so what are you
still deciding? Join the team! :)"

We'd like to thank the FOSDEM and Matrix crew, the stand volunteers adria,
bittin, donfede, joostvb, nattie, stappers, texou, urbec and utkarsh and others
and our sponsors Hendrikx ITC https://hendrikx-itc.nl/ and Spoorzicht 013
https://spoorzicht013.nl/ for offering physical space to enjoy and help making
online FOSDEM happen.

Of course, the Debian booth at next FOSDEM will again need and welcome anyone
who wants to help us out :)

For the Debian FOSDEM booth crew,

urbec and joostvb

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