Recent blog entries for amits

24 Mar 2015 (updated 31 May 2015 at 08:11 UTC) »

Live Migrating QEMU-KVM Virtual Machines: Full Text

I’ve attempted to write down all I said while delivering my talk on Live Migrating QEMU-KVM Virtual Machines.  The full text is on the Red Hat Developer Blog:

Syndicated 2015-03-24 15:53:40 (Updated 2015-05-31 07:55:13) from Think. Debate. Innovate.

11 Mar 2015 (updated 16 Apr 2015 at 14:14 UTC) »

FUDCon Pune 2015: CFP Closed, But…

The CFP for FUDCon Pune 2015 is now closed.  We have had an overwhelming response: 141 talks/workshops submitted.  This is more than twice the number of sessions we received for the 2011 edition.  Talk submissions were pouring in till the last minute when we flipped the switch for the CFP page.

However, there’s a twist in the tale, so people who couldn’t get their CFP in aren’t left out.

For FUDCon Pune 2011, we tried something new: instead of the regular barcamp style at FUDCons, we put out a CFP and accepted talks in advance.  This was done as we knew a FUDCon in India was going to be different than the usual FUDCons, where at most a hundred people turn up.  Barcamp style is manageable with those numbers.  We were proved right when the number of attendees exceeded 1000 then.  Setting up the Drupal + COD instance back in 2011 had helped us with getting talk proposals accepted, as well as opening voting for everyone, so we knew which talks were going to be popular and schedule accordingly.  Also, the voting aspect of it had a barcamp feel to it.

Fast forward to the 2015 edition.  The conference is happening end of June, and our CFP closes start of March.  That means there’s almost 4 months between the CFP close and the conference start.  People who plan late, and have something to bring to the conference, are left out (well, there always are hallway tracks, but that restricts the audience).  Also, just having the CFP isn’t traditional FUDCon style.

So I proposed in the 3rd March weekly FUDCon planning meeting that we do some barcamp tracks in addition to the regularly-scheduled tracks.  We squabbled a bit over the details on how to actually make this work — have a new CFP open / have people submit talks via our COD instance, or do it on a whiteboard at the venue / do we recognise barcamp speakers as our scheduled speakers (matters for the swag!) / do we provide subsidy to barcamp speakers / etc.

One thing became clear from these discussions: no one objected to having the barcamp; we just had to flesh out the details.  So here’s some good news for people who couldn’t submit their session for the CFP:

We’re going to have barcamp tracks at the FUDCon, and sessions can be proposed at the venue on the days of the conference.

One of the reasons to have a FUDCon is to get people together and work on stuff.  The traditional FUDCon style (i.e. barcamps) were designed so that people active in Fedora just turned up, and things happened.  It didn’t matter who got to speak officially; everyone just mingled together and had their say.  “Hallway tracks” are always the more interesting and productive ones than the scheduled tracks.  They’re also far more interactive and focussed.

We don’t want to take that away.  This obviously means that whoever turns up to the event gets to propose barcamp sessions.  So if people are thinking they’ll attend the event if their talk submission gets accepted, that’s the wrong way to go about it.  Just turn up, you’ll have a voice no matter what.

This also means people needing travel sponsorship need to put in their subsidy requests NOW.  We are soon going to start looking at requests already in the queue, so don’t be late for requesting subsidies.

Doing the barcamp in addition to formal scheduling is going to put a strain on the venue and logistics team, but we like challenges, and we’ll step up to them.

During the 10th March planning meeting, many people were of the view that we should not accept barcamp talk proposals on the COD instance.  Reasons were that’s not how barcamp submissions work, and a whiteboard at the venue can be used just as well.  That obviously means the barcamp tracks can only be held on the 2nd and 3rd days, since the first day people will have to come up, propose sessions, and vote on the proposed ones.

Since most of the people were of this view, we accepted this.  However, we may change this depending on how our scheduling goes for the main conference (we can’t really fit in 140 talks!) so we may just flip over the rest to the barcamp track, and have people vote beforehand.  I find there’s a certain appeal to using the COD instance to ease our jobs.  It also means we have a proper schedule to display on the web / print out, so people know where to head to, instead of looking at the schedule on the web for the formal schedule, and missing out on the barcamps entirely, or having to hunt for the barcamp schedule at the venue.  I’m sure we’ll have a lot more discussions around this topic as we approach the event.

The response to the CFP has been mind-boggling.  We can project that the event itself will witness more participation than the 2011 edition.  We did a fairly good job in 2011 handling 1000 people, 60 talks and 6 parallel sessions; this time we may have a much bigger scale, and we actually know what to expect; I’m confident we will execute it as well as the last time.

Update 16 Apr 2015: Corrected note about proposing barcamp submissions: can be proposed at the venue; instead of “till the day of the conference”.

Syndicated 2015-03-11 00:40:46 (Updated 2015-04-16 14:11:03) from Think. Debate. Innovate.

9 Mar 2015 (updated 31 May 2015 at 08:11 UTC) »

Easier Access to Random Numbers in KVM VMs

I’ve written previously about random numbers in virtual machines.  KVM still remains the only hypervisor to offer an RNG device to guests.

Quite a lot of exciting changes have landed in the upstream Linux kernel since that last post.  I have written an article in the RHEL blog about it: Red Hat Enterprise Linux Virtual Machines: Access to Random Numbers Made Easy.

That articles talks about the improvements in the recent RHEL 7.1 release.  In upstream terms, all the changes written about have landed in kernel 3.17; so Fedora 21 out-of-the-box, and Fedora 20 after updates, have benefited from the additions.

All the benefits listed in the article apply to all Linux guest VMs running under KVM if they have the virtio-rng device enabled, and run kernel 3.17+ in the guest.

Syndicated 2015-03-09 12:35:13 (Updated 2015-05-31 07:54:48) from Think. Debate. Innovate.

Fedora 21 Release Party at MIT COE, Pune


We had a F21 release party at the MIT COE, the venue for FUDCon Pune.  We were expecting about 20 people to turn up, we did not want to make this a big event.  The students from MIT who attended were enthusiastic and already use Linux for their coursework.  They use Ubuntu, and they were curious about what the differences in various distros are, and what to expect at FUDCon.

Pravin has written his experiences here, which have more details.

I’ve uploaded a few photos on the wiki page.


Syndicated 2015-03-05 13:19:02 from Think. Debate. Innovate.

FUDCon Pune: Now Accepting Subsidy Requests

If you’re planning on attending FUDCon Pune, and are going to need subsidy for travel and accomodation, you should head to this link to fill out the form requesting for one.

You may have some questions about this, and we already have some answers.  Feel free to hop on to the fedora-india list or the #fedora-india IRC channel on Freenode if you have other questions.

Syndicated 2015-02-26 15:27:31 (Updated 2015-02-26 15:28:12) from Think. Debate. Innovate.

This Saturday: Fedora 21 Release Party in Pune

Fedora Ambassadors from Pune are hosting the F21 release party at the MIT COE, on Saturday, 21st Feb, from 10:30.  Details on the party page.

It’s been a while since F21 released, but with the FUDCon preparations + planning and travel of the ambassadors for conferences, hosting the release party was delayed.

This is also a good opportunity for us to visit MIT COE, the FUDCon venue, and interact with the folks there and prepare them for what’s coming in June.

PS: CFP for the FUDCon is open as well!

Syndicated 2015-02-19 07:04:24 from Think. Debate. Innovate.

FUDCon Pune 2015 Planning Meeting Minutes – 17 Feb

We had a good productive meeting today in #fedora-india as well as on phone + in-person at the Red Hat Pune office.

We used the Etherpad at for keeping notes.

Highlights are:

  • We’ll soon add a code of conduct / anti-harrassment policy for the event
  • Outreach: everyone focussed on spreading the CFP message
  • Current logo draft looks good, minor tweak suggestions to be put on ticket
  • FUDPub venues being evaluated, but we’re getting a good deal from one of them

The entire minutes are appended below.

Last meeting :

Agenda + Minutes
 * Creating FAQ for FUDCon India 2015
   * Kushal to draft it
   * Kushal has a list of Q
     * Amit will get creative with answers.
 * Code of Conduct / Anti-harrassment policy
   * In the works; mail sent to ambassadors@
   * Siddhesh + Rupali
   * draft based on Ryan Lerch's Flock planning content + + Linux Foundation texts
   * Every other confence is using PSF/PyCon's CoC (info)
   * (idea) One person should be listed as contact as go-to person for violations
     * have one email + one person on-site?
       * Rupali nominated! (+4)
 * The end date of CFP, March 9.
   * I think it is early for Fudcon as the conf is in last week of June
   * 2months for Visa and travel plans and 3 weeks for confirming the talks = around 3 months should be fine (Kushal: Having a strict date will give organisers enough time to handle the schedule properly.)
   * Possible negatives: tickets get costly; visa processing takes time; people have to make plans at short notice, etc.
   * Let's see the response on 9th march, and then decide on extension?
     * We can perhaps give leeway for intl speakers who missed cfp deadline
     * Ok. works for me
   * Fudcon date is very near to RH summit. People attending RH summit can't attend Fudcon Pune
     * Unfortunate; can't alter this now.
     * People typically who attend Summit are not our audience / target speakers etc.?
       * There are some overlap , but it is very less.  May be around 10 or so
 * Outreach
     * this is for industry + mailing lists (communities)
     * we need help here with more lists + more volunteers to do the outreach.
     * this is for colleges / educational institutes
     * separate cfp needed because we need to mention open source in education here -- we could have a track for professors / teachers here to get them together and discuss problems specific to their area.
   * For Outreach, we can do this offline based on both the etherpads.
   * Please think of more companies which deal with RH / CentOS / Fedora; reach out for CFP.
   * Video series
     * Videos from FPL (Matthew Miller), jsmith, Kushal, Parag, Rahul, Joerg, etc. -- extolling the virtues of FUDCon + Pune
       * Let's ask Nitesh for this
 * Website
   * website up
     * just need to figuire openid thing now
       * Praveen + Siddhesh.
   * Finalize CfP text (done)
   * Graphics status update?
     * Two draft logos ready - Suchakra + jurankdankkal (Fedora-Indonesia)
     * We need to give feedback on the ticket:
     * Latest Draft:
       * This logo looks good to several people; minor tweaks are needed.
       * Looks good with small + big sizes - fit for website logo + banners.
       * Soni suggests adding flag. (+1 amit)
       * Currently it's a choice between this one and the older logo from FUDCon Pune 2011.
   * SSL support?  Asked Saleem about it
     * We're still figuring this out.
 * Wiki
   * Help editing this wiki - content + categories.
 * Accommodation (done)
   * We negotiated good rates with Cocoon (INR 3000 + taxes)
   * Double-occupancy, Free wifi, breakfast
 * Travel updates? (after CFP closes + speaker selection)
 * Marketing
   * Fedora magazine
     * CFP article out
     * One more CFP article at -1 week (1 March).
       * Amita
   * Make a list of MLs to post the CfP to
     * also reach out to ambassadors in apac for confirmation / planning
       * Siddhesh
     * send email to fudcon-planning about CFP
       * Siddhesh
   * Video update?
     * is good for sharing between a few people (for these meetings)
     * Pankaj has emailed kpoint folks (the ones who did video last time)
     * Last option will be to have a tiny webcam doing live Hangout -- advantage is it has auto-archival on youtube.
     * Kushal will check with hasgeek for video.
     * will need some trac ticket?
     * Siddhesh
   * Twitter
   * Facebook
   * Google Plus
   * LinkedIn group
     * Chandan to send out cfp blurbs on all these social sites [DONE].
 * Budget
   * Make and maintain a publicly visible sheet to track expenses?
     * I  think we should have a wiki where we export the sheet in use.   ethercalc lets anyone edit, which is not exactly ideal for a  budget-tracking sheet.  For people interested in handling budget, just  contact the owner for budget acc. to the wiki
       * publicly visible, not editable :) So wiki would be fine
   * Sponsorship
     * Can we get partial funding for RH people?
       * This will come later -- after we get all others done and we have extra budget.

 * FUDPub
   * Rupali reached out to Venue1
   * Venue1
     * Space for 100 people
     * Reasonable (approx 1800 per person)
     * RH has relationship; payments are easier
     * Close to cocoon
     * No limitation on sound limits - a nice party can be had.
   * Rupali continuing to reach out to others
   * In any case, we can close this by next week.

 * Swag
   * Niranjan suggests some programmable arduino boards manufactured locally with our logos
     * About ₹750
   * Swag for Volunteers
     * tshirts
   * Swag for Organisers?
   * Swag for Speakers
     * Umbrellas (for sweet Pune rains)
   * Fedora badge for attendees?(added to the FAS account)

 * Mobile Application

Syndicated 2015-02-17 12:24:48 from Think. Debate. Innovate.

7 Feb 2015 (updated 24 Mar 2015 at 14:12 UTC) » talk: Live Migration of QEMU/KVM Virtual Machines

Yesterday was the first day at 2015. It’s my first, and I’m impressed by the large turnout and the perfect management of the event by the organizers.

Yesterday was also the day I presented my talk on live migration of QEMU/KVM VMs. The slides are here. There was also live video broadcast; and the recording is at this link.  You’ll have to select the E104 section to view my talk.  Also, that selection process needs flash.  Unfortunate.  I’ll check if there’s a direct link to my part of the talk.

Update: The direct link to the talk is here, thanks Donovan.

I will also do a follow-up post with a textual version of the talk in a few days’ time.

Update: Text version of the talk is now up at the Red Hat Developer Blog.

Syndicated 2015-02-07 09:44:48 (Updated 2015-03-24 13:20:58) from Think. Debate. Innovate.

Get ready for FUDCon APAC 2015 in Pune, India!

Mark your calendars for Jun 26 – 28 for FUDCon Pune.  Start making travel arrangements. Think of topics to speak on, workshops and hackfests to organise, and have fun with friends.

FUDCon Pune is being hosted at MIT COE.  They have excellent infrastructure and an amazing team of people who have been really helpful in addressing our needs to host a large conference.

Hop on to #fedora-india on freenode and the mailing list for information on volunteering.  The etherpad has all the to-do items, feel free to jump in and help!  The Twitter, Google+ and Facebook pages will have announcements and Planet Fedora will have blog posts from various people involved with the FUDCon.

It’s going to be a blast organising a FUDCon again!

Syndicated 2015-01-24 07:37:31 (Updated 2015-01-24 07:41:14) from Think. Debate. Innovate.

Pune Bidding Again for FUDCon APAC!

When the call for bids for FUDCon APAC 2015 was put out, a few of us huddled together to discuss a bid from India.  We had already organised a successful FUDCon in Pune in 2011, so our initial conversations were around which city to host it in.  Pune won again, just because the number of volunteers available in Pune are more than any other place in India, and Pune has several technical colleges, which makes hosting the event at one of them easier.

This time around, we’re proposing to host the FUDCon at the MITCOE campus, more details in the bid page.

I was very pleased the last time around as an organiser of the FUDCon: everything had gone according to plan, even the 6 parallel sessions were going on schedule, and logistics was taken well care of.  The speakers and visitors were happy with how the event was run smoothly; despite the scale of the event – hundreds of attendees, making it the largest FUDCon ever.

We had extensively documented the planning process – even face-to-face meetings were recorded on etherpads and posted as blog posts.  That exercise was to ensure people who wanted to join in and volunteer anytime weren’t felt left out, and also to serve as useful documentation and platform for people to organise a future FUDCon at a similar scale.

That time has now come again, for us.  As part of our kickstart activities for FUDCon 2015, I went through several blog posts, event reports, and planning details from 2011.  I compiled a list of the most useful ones for the planning process, which I have appended to this blog post.

On voting for Pune again: One of the purposes of planning for a FUDCon is to involve the local non-Fedora community, like students, professors, and professionals.  Pune is fondly known as the Oxford of the East, which signifies it has a lot of education opportunities, and the city is brimming with students.  There are several colleges affiliated to the University of Pune, as well as some independently-run colleges and universities.  This gives us a lot of potential to tap into a huge student pool.

The other goal of planning a FUDCon is to involve the regional community, who know the city, its language, and so on, to pull off a successful FUDCon.  Pune fit the bill perfectly on these two counts.

When we started scouting for locations, we reached out to institutions we had had some contact with: several of us keep doing talks / sessions at events which are hosted with colleges.  One of such talks was delivered by Siddhesh at the MIT college.  He was very impressed with the students there: they already have a FOSS chapter going, the students were genuinely interested in technology and solving problems themselves.  They also use Linux as part of their activities at the college, and a few also use Linux on their personal machines.  As with all things new, there was also a lot of interest in Android and writing apps, but as long as students are actively involved in technology, and doing fun things, we know we’re going to have a very interested gathering for the FUDCon.

So based on this experience, we approached MIT to ask if they were willing to host the FUDCon.  We met with the MIT-COE folks; the HOD of the Comp. Dept., and a few professors.  They were very eager to host the event.  They offered us all kinds of assistance with hosting the event, offering their huge auditorium, and a few classrooms.  The facilities are nice, and we were impressed.  They do not have wireless on campus, but they said they will fix this by the time the event starts!  They wlil also arrange for power extension boards in the auditorium.  All this just in the first meeting, and before we even won the bid!

The professors too showed a keen interest in technology, and what we did as part of the Fedora project.  They asked us what kinds of talks they should expect (we showed them the schedule from the previous iteration), what would they gain from hosting the event — they were concerned we would step in, organise the event, and go away.  We ensured that won’t happen, and that their students will be involved in the organising of the event, and that we would also do a few things we did the last time, like organising FADs to prepare the students and faculty for the kinds of talks and discussions we’ll have at the FUDCon, setting up a local Fedora mirror, etc., and also some more – like introducing more upstream as well as direct Fedora technology.

In addition to the FUDCon, we also have planned to host one FAD (or a Fedora meetup, focussed on one topic) per month.  We’ve done a few of those at the Red Hat Pune office, but we plan to go to colleges for the next ones.  We also mentioned we could host such events at their colleges if they have interest.  They were eager to host such events too.

Overall, we felt MIT-COE and us would have a great time organising the FUDCon together.  It was really easy to decide on the venue based on these discussions.  The only point which we had to have some discussion around was the timing of the event – Mar-Apr is exam time for the colleges, and that wouldn’t have been ideal.  We went with June 2015 as a month when we all would be able to participate better.  The students will be fresh after a (almost) month-long vacation.Another encouraging thing with scouting for locations was that there were several colleges that showed interest in hosting the FUDCon, as well as the smaller events.  We can’t host the FUDCon at those venues, but we can surely host the smaller events (and the upcoming release party) at these locations.  I’m sure we’ll get quite a few people (students + faculty) involved with Fedora and FOSS technology if we go through with our plans.

This post is already too long; I will save the rest for later (and for others to chime in).  As promised earlier, these are the links (in reverse chronological order) with information that will help organising a large FUDCon:

Syndicated 2014-12-11 06:42:30 from Think. Debate. Innovate.

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