LCA2013 Earlybird Registrations Open

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Let the Celebrations Begin!, one of the largest open source conferences in the southern hemisphere, has now opened registrations. For a strictly limited time, discounted 'early bird' tickets are available through the conference website at

The 2013 conference builds on a long tradition of sharing technical know-how between seasoned open source gurus and newcomers to the community. Since its inception in 1999, the conference has moved around Australia and New Zealand, most recently to Ballarat, Victoria, and Brisbane, Queensland. This year, the conference is in Canberra in celebration of our national capital’s centenary year. The conference was last hosted in Canberra in 2005, and it has grown significantly since then, bringing some unique challenges to the organising team.

In true open source style, the conference is run entirely by volunteers, who are often drawn from a local Linux user group. This year is no exception, with the core organising team all being long standing members of the Canberra Linux Users Group (CLUG), which hosts meetings at the Australian National University (ANU) once a month. CLUG and the ANU have been major supporters of for many years running, and are proud to be involved again this year.

Many of the original 2005 organisers have returned for the 2013 effort, including Michael Still, who has stepped into the shoes of Conference Director (and is affectionately referred to as “The Grand Catamaran” for reasons known only to the core organising team). Michael says that, while the role of Conference Director is time consuming and sometimes stressful, it also can also be very rewarding: "the opportunity to work with so many talented people, to rub shoulders with the open source elite, and of course to develop skills in new areas, is very valuable and also a whole lot of fun".

The current organising committee has been working together since mid-2011 in order to bring the 2013 conference together. There's a lot to do, with the conference running over six days, offering over 100 presentations (including four keynotes and twelve miniconferences), four formal social events, delegate accommodation, hundreds of giveaways, and moving over 500 potential delegates into and around the city. The group is as diverse as the tasks they need to complete, though, with highly experienced developers, systems administrators, engineers, and technical communicators amongst the team.

Perhaps the most important part of any conference is the speaker lineup. has broken with tradition and announced their conference programme much earlier than usual. Featured on the programme this year are open source luminaries such as Jonathan Oxer, Noirin Plunkett, and local developer Andrew Tridgell. The conference organisers, together with the papers committee, have gone to great effort to ensure that the programme is stocked with deep technical content. The focus this year is on what's coming on the technical horizon, from the latest developments in the the Linux kernel, to working with remote clusters and cloud technology. Still to be announced, however, are the four keynote speakers. Traditionally, conference keynotes are big names in the open source space, with previous years boasting such respected speakers as Jacob Applebaum and Vint Cerf.

The social events are also an important part of the experience for delegates, with the main conference dinner, called the 'penguin dinner', the highlight of the week. This year, delegates are being treated to a relaxed evening on Mount Stromlo, where they will be able to delight in some of the best views the city has to offer, and enjoy a relaxed 'backyard barbecue'-style dinner. The team are also promising some other events for the evening, just in case the view isn't quite exciting enough for you. The other highly anticipated event is the Professional Delegates' Networking Session (PDNS), which for the first time is being held as a breakfast, located in the breathtaking Gandel Hall at the National Gallery of Australia.

As an open source event, the conference is largely reliant on their sponsors. is overseen and managed by Linux Australia, who use the conference as their primary incubator for open source development throughout Australia and New Zealand. This year, is also supported by IBM, HP, Anchor Systems, Defence Signals Directorate, and Linux Magazine. Without the generous help of these partner organisations, there would be no

Canberra is expected to be in full party mode during 2013, with the ACT Government spending over $30 million to ensure that the city celebrates its 100th birthday in serious style, and 2013 will be no exception. Head on over to now and grab your discounted early bird ticket quickly while they last. Then go and put your party shoes in your suitcase, because you're going to need them.

About showcases the best of open source and community-driven software and hardware, and it’s coming to the Australian National University from 28 January to 2 February, 2013. The conference provides a great opportunity for open source developers, users, hackers, and makers to share their ideas and further improve their projects. More information and tickets are available from