GHM — GNU Hackers' Meetings

Infrequently Asked Questions

What is the Gnu Hackers' Meeting?

The annual Gnu Hackers' Meeting is an informal, but moderated meeting where maintainers, developers, contributors and users the GNU system can share experiences and exchange opinions.

How many people attend?

It varies. Between 20 and 50 have been registered at previous events.

Where does it take place?

Each year it is different. See the list of past events, and the upcoming events.

When does it take place?

Usually the last week or two at the end of August, but due to practical constraints some years it varies.

How much does it cost to attend?

In previous years there used to be no registration fee. Unfortunately people abused our good will and registered but never turned up. This meant that we wasted money on catering and hiring of a larger hall than was necessary.

So now we charge a very moderate, non-refundable fee. See the registration page for the current fees.

I am not a GNU developer or maintainer. Can I attend?

Yes! If you have an interest in GNU then you are welcome.

It is very technical?

GNU software is leading edge and of high quality. As such, some presentations are indeed very technical. However, this does not mean that non-technical topics are off limits. After all, GNU is also a social movement, and material relating to human factors and ethical issues are equally pertinent.

I might be interested in speaking. What could I talk about?

Any subject which has the potential to help the GNU project. For example a proposal for a new GNU program, a way to radically improve an existing GNU program, general ideas to improve the GNU system as a whole, ideas to increase the adoption of GNU, ways to encourage new hackers.

However, there are limited time slots available, so register your proposed idea early.

Last year, my proposal was rejected. Can I re-submit it for consideration this year?

Yes. It would be a good idea to heed any suggestions that were offered last time around. Unfortunately it is not always possible to fit in every proposal.

I'm not interested in speaking, but would like to attend just to listen. Is that possible?


Is there a dress code?

No. Jeans and T-Shirt is what most people come in. Usually there are T-Shirts available for purchase to commemorate the event.

I am confused. Is this a conference or just a gathering of hackers?

It's both. There are audio visual presentations like one might find at a formal conference. Presentations however, are typically not strongly vetted, and the tone more relaxed. The proceedings however moderated to ensure speakers do not exceed the allotted time (and to prevent outrageously unacceptable behaviour), but otherwise the presenting hacker has a free rein. During the evenings and lunch breaks there is ample opportunity for informal chat.

I'd really like to come, but the costs are too much. What can I do?

There is a limited budget to assist those who really cannot otherwise afford to attend. Preference is given to persons who have made a substantial contribution (in some form) to GNU in the past, and who have a tangible contribution to the meeting.