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.
When does it take place?
Usually the last week or two at the end of August, but due to practical constraints some years
How much does it cost to attend?
In the past, there has been no attendance/registration fee. However donations to cover costs are
appreciated. Prior registration is necessary so that we can ensure
that we can fit everyone in.
I am not a developer/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
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
I'd really like to come, but the travelling/accommodation expenses
are too much. What can I do?
There is a limited budget for travel assistance for people 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.