Microkernel Devroom at FOSDEM 2021

Call for Participation

The developers and users of several free and open source microkernel-based operating systems will meet on-line as part of FOSDEM 2021 and will share a developer room. The devroom is currently looking for content in the form of talks and activities related to the area of microkernel-based, unikernel-based, component-based operating systems and similar topics.

The devroom has been scheduled to Saturday February 6th 2021. The devroom takes place during European day hours.

Possible topics of the devroom include, but are not limited to:

This is a call for your participation. We kindly ask you to submit your proposals no later than on December 26th 2020. Please use the Pentabarf website to submit your proposals. If you already have a user account in Pentabarf, please do not create a new one.

Please make sure to select the Microkernel devroom as the track when submitting your talk and include at least the following information in your proposal:

The talks will be pre-recorded in advance in January 2021 and streamed during the event. This means that you will need to complete and submit a recording of your talk by January 15th 2021. However, each speaker should be also present on-line just after the streaming of the talk for a live Q&A. You can specify your preferred time slot of your talk. The communication language of the devroom is English.

The official devroom schedule (along with the accepted talks) will be announced on December 31st 2020 on the devroom's mailing list and the speakers will be notified via e-mail. The schedule will also be published on the FOSDEM website.

You are also invited to send any other suggestions for what you want to see or do at the devroom to the mailing list.

About the Devroom

Since the first Microkernel devroom at FOSDEM 2012, this devroom has been part of each following FOSDEM. The focus gradually widened to include component-based and unikernel-based operating systems. By now it has become a somewhat institutionalized tradition for the community to meet there. To this date, over a dozen projects have participated in one way or another. Each of the projects face similar challenges but come up with partially different solutions. Therefore, the goal of the devroom is to bring the various projects together, let them exchange ideas, cross-pollinate and socialize.

Microkernel Dinner

Sadly, it will not be possible to arrange our traditional microkernel dinner and other in-person social gatherings in Brussels this time. However, we plan have the panel discussion that is closing the devroom as a loose approximation of the microkernel dinner. The discussion will start in a structured and semi-formal way, but it should gradually turn into a less formal meeting and continue beyond the schedule of the devroom.

We encourage the on-line participats to bring their own food and beverages.


FOSDEM is a two-day event organized by volunteers to promote the widespread use of free and open source software. FOSDEM is widely recognized as one of the best such conferences worldwide. FOSDEM covers a wide spectrum of free and open source software and hardware projects and offers a platform for people to collaborate.

To this end, FOSDEM has set up developer rooms (devrooms) where teams can meet and showcase their projects. Devrooms are a place for teams to discuss, hack and publicly present latest directions, lightning talks, news and proposals. Besides developer rooms, FOSDEM also offers main tracks, lightning talks, and in the past instances certification exams and project stands.

In recent years, FOSDEM has been hosting more than 5000 developers at the ULB Solbosch campus. Due to the circumstances, FOSDEM 2021 will be organized as an on-line event. Despite this, the participation in FOSDEM is still totally free, although the organizers gratefully accept donations and sponsorship. No registration is necessary, but attendees are expected to follow the FOSDEM's code of conduct.

Important Dates Recap

Deadline for talk proposal submission
Schedule published and speakers notified of acceptance
Deadline for talk pre-recoding submission
Devroom taking place on-line


In case of any questions, comments and suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact the devroom organizers via the devroom's mailing list.

The primary organizers of the devroom in 2021 are:

Extraordinary Circumstances in 2021

Due to the extraordinary mode of organization of FOSDEM 2021 (being an on-line event for the first time), many practical aspects of the devroom are still in the process of determination. This article describes what could be generally expected regarding the organization during the devroom.

The talk videos will be published under Creative Commons license by FOSDEM. By submitting a recorded talk, the speaker agrees to have it made available publicly indefinitely. For organizational purposes, we also need contact information of the speakers of accepted talks.

Please check the official CfP page of our devroom regularly. We will keep updating it as new guidelines will be determined by the FOSDEM organizers.

Talk Recordings

Technical requirements for the video:

The upload system will verify that you did indeed follow the above constraints. If you did not, the video will be transcoded first (but this will take longer).

Please make sure that the length of your recording is strictly shorter than the length of your talk slot. It is strongly suggested that it is also shorter than the length of your talk slot minus 10 minutes (reserved for Q&A). FOSDEM 2021 works on a strict broadcast schedule. The system will ruthlessly cut your talk off at the end of your slot.

Content hints: Please do not overload your slides. Make sure everything is readable when scaled down slightly.

Upload: You should upload your recording through Pentabarf. In the properties of your talk, you should see the Pre-recorded Video Upload URL item that points you to the upload page. Here is a video tutorial.

Some tutorials for recording the talks (source):