BSD at the Karlsruhe LinuxTag 2002
Hubert Feyrer, June 2002

From 6th to 9th of June 2002, "LinuxTag" took place in Karlsruhe, Germany. The event consisted of what was said to be the biggest Linux exhibition in Germany (Europe?), plus presentation and talks. There was also a BSD booth, informing people about alternatives to Linux, showing what BSD looks like, and offering merchandising material.

Intention was to show each of the BSDs on a machine, plus one Shark running a slideshow. Unfortunately we didn't get FreeBSD and OpenBSD machines, but had only about 4 machines running NetBSD. The shark doing the slideshow, a PC running -current with bare-bones twm config, a Laptop with KDE2 and Mozilla 1.0, and several other laptops. For better presentation, we will try to have CRTs/TFTs in upcoming events, as things are better to see at a distance, attracting more people's interest.

Besides KDE2+Mozilla, other things people were interested in were Opera showing Flash movies (with sound - big attractor!), and other Linux binaries running on NetBSD. Just click on that PDF in KDE2 and see Acrobat start.

Besides machines, we had lots of other "hardware" to show (and hand out ;) to people. Starting with several BSD-related books ("Design and Implementation of the 4.4BSD Operating System", "BSD mit Methode", "FreeBSD"), a printout of Federico Lupi's "NetBSD Guide", flyers (BIM information about all BSDs in German language, see; maybe print on non-white paper for better visual performance next time), some NetBSD stickers Bernd Sieker brought, two NetBSD posters (see and, some leftover NetBSD CPU badges and Wasabi NetBSD stickers. We also had CDs with FreeBSD 4.6RC2 (1 CD), NetBSD 1.5.2 all archs/no packages (2 CDs) and NetBSD 1.5.2 i386+pkgs (4 CDs) on offer.

On late friday, Wim Vandeputte arrived with a big truck of OpenBSD merchandising, including many t-shirts, posters (excellent design!), and more CDs. No display of OpenBSD on a machine, though. Many people still already knew OpenBSD ("It's secure!" :-).

Experience shows that people at the Linux event either haven't heard of BSD at all (which were about the people that just installed SuSE and were more or less happy with it, but who don't understand all what's going on, components of the system etc.), and others that already knew about BSD or had tried it and were rather happy with it. The most-heard argument for BSD use was that it's a small base system that's easy to administrate and that's not bloated. The usual questions ("what is the difference between linux and bsd?", "what is the difference between the various bsds?") was answered many times, but there were also questions on some details of the system, WRT security in general, firewalling, RAID config, filesystems etc.

Other interesting bits:

All in all, the BSD booth at the Karlsruhe LinuxTag was yet another big success showing people some alternative. I can only encourage others to also run BSD booths on Linux events.

Some pictures and links:

- Hubert