UnixReview: Overview of Extreme Linux Developers Forum (ELDF)

“As you leave Albuquerque Airport heading north on Interstate
25, you leave big city civilization behind for the scrub brush and
pink sand of the high plains outside Santa Fe. When you make the
last turn off paved roads onto the dirt entrance of The Bishop’s
Lodge in Santa Fe, you get the feeling that you’ve left the beaten
path behind — which is an appropriate setting for the fourth
Extreme Linux Developers Forum (ELDF).”

The tone of ELDF is strictly technical and, in fact, no
marketing rhetoric or self-promoting speeches are tolerated. There
is actually a gong (it looks more like an industrial strength dog’s
water dish), and as soon as someone touts his own product or
mentions a word like “synergy,” the gong keeper gives the dog’s
dish a whack, and the speaker’s topic is unceremoniously
Perhaps because of the strictly technical,
no-nonsense approach, some of the biggest techies in Linux
development attend ELDF, including: Donald Becker, CTO of SCYLD
Computing; Jon “Maddog” Hall, Executive Director of Linux
International; Pete Beckman, Director of TurboLabs and the founder
of the Extreme Linux series of workshops; Al Geist, senior staff
scientist at Oak Ridge National Lab who headed the PVM development
team; Greg Lindahl of Creative Computers; Rob Pennington, Director
of Computing and Communications at the National Center for
Supercomputing Applications (NCSA); and Ron Minnich from Los Alamos
National Lab, a real techie’s techie. But each of the 40 or so
invitation-only attendees is somehow twisting, shaping, or
generally warping Linux to do something extreme and, perhaps,
outside the original vision of Linux.”

“The first two days of sessions were broken into four topics per
day, with three half-hour presentations on each topic. Topics ran
the gamut from the somewhat pedestrian “Cluster Building
Fundamentals” (“label your cables, dude”) to a point-counterpoint
session on why Open Source is/isn’t more secure than proprietary
source, to a really off-the-wall talk on how to get your Linux
cluster to approach an inner state of homeostasis. Following is a
synopsis of some of the more interesting talks.”

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