Linux luminaries bound for Dunedin

Aussie Linux group will meet on the Mainland

In an unprecedented move, Linux Australia will host next year’s annual conference in Dunedin and hopes to attract some of the big names in the open source community to the deep south.

Internationally, Linux.conf.au is one of the three major grassroots open source conferences held each year and Linux Australia holds an annual bidding contest for the city to host the event. The Dunedin Linux Users Group beat out Melbourne for the 2006 hosting rights.

One of the co-organisers of the Dunedin event, Drew Whittle, says the group is thrilled with the win.

“In the past these events have drawn the likes of Linus Torvalds to them so we hope to see someone like that this time round.”

Linux Australian vice president Pia Smith says New Zealand-based users groups have been pitching to host the event for the past few years.

“I went to Dunedin to find out why they were going for it and to look at the university, and we realised they’re very keen to enter into the spirit of the event,” she says. Smith hopes hosting the event in New Zealand will help bring the two countries’ user groups closer together.

“We’ve had a lot of feedback from our international speakers who are keen to go to New Zealand.”

Smith says Linux International director Jon “Maddog” Hall is confirmed as a keen speaker but won’t be drawn on who else is likely to attend. Other than Torvalds, the creator of Linux, previous conference guests have included kernel hacker Dave Miller, PHP creator Rasmus Lerdorf, Andrew Tridgell of the Samba project and Gnome's Havoc Pennington.

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