Solutions Linux Paris 2004 -- Report

Solutions Linux Paris was held from February 3rd to 5th. Debian has been offered a booth in the .Org Pavilion, as for the past few years. The .Org Pavilion slightly moved compared to the previous years. It was closer to the entrance of the exhibition, located on the left side of the exhibition floor rather than on the back.

The people manning the booth this year were Thomas Seyrat, Benjamin Drieu, Samuel Hocevar, Christophe Le Bars, Bill Allombert, Jean-Michel Kelbert, Yann Dirson, Aurélien Gérôme (non-DD), Niv Altivanik (non-DD) and myself.

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004

We set up the booth on Monday evening, which meant installing the 3 machines HP lent us for the exhibition, among other things. It went well, except the (integrated) network cards (Broadcom 5782) weren't recognized by Debian-installer beta2 (and the 2.4 kernel in general), so it took a little longer than expected to get the machines installed with the base system.

We had to finish installing the machines before the opening of the exhibition, which wasn't much of a problem. A lot of people stopped by our booth to say hello or ask for the release date of Sarge. As always, the first day wasn't the busiest one.

A French web radio asked for an interview: a few simple questions about Debian in general and the upcoming release of Sarge.

Bill Allombert spent the day on the booth with us, Arnaud Quette was there for the day too so a few DDs ended up doing a small meeting.

Wednesday, February 4th, 2004

This was the longest and the busiest day of the exhibition. A lot more people visited the exhibition than the previous day, and everybody on the booth was kept busy for the whole day.

A couple of people stopped by for keysigning. Some people asked for help installing their machines (especially laptops). We saw quite a number of companies interested in getting support or consulting on Debian. I had the impression that it was more than last year. Seems to be a side-effect of the recent changes that happened at Red Hat.

We finally begun selling the posters we had printed for the occasion. We sold about 70 posters, 7 times more than on Tuesday. Good news. Lots of people looking for CDs, but unfortunately we had none.

I gave 2 talks related to Debian. The first one was part of the official conference sessions, the other one happened on the Linux Magazine France booth. Details and slides (in French) are on my personal report of the event.

Jean-Michel Kelbert spent the day with us. Quite a few French Debian developers were present at the exhibition, even if not for Debian. Rémi Perrot was here, too. He gave a talk in the same conference session as I did.

Thursday, February 5th, 2004

The shortest day, but still a lot of visitors keeping us busy. Still the same questions, though.

Pierre Machard, Christian Perrier, Yann Dirson and Christophe Le Bars visited us. The more Debian developers the better, really! We had quite a few interesting talks with some of the visitors stopping by, about Sarge, debian-installer, how Debian and Free Software are making their way into the French administration, etc.


Thanks to HP for lending us the demo machines, you guys rock. Thanks to Linux Magazine France who shipped part of our material, Sirius Technologies who paid for our flyers, Loic Bernable who organized the .Org Pavilion (and he did great!), our DPL, and everybody who helped with the booth or stopped by to say hello.

Next year

We'll be there next year too. See you!

Julien Blache