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About the Linux Plumbers Conference

The Linux Plumbers Conference is a developers conference for low level system infrastructure (aka, the Plumbing of Linux). This includes the kernel, the desktop, system utilities, graphics and libraries. It is a "working" conference, bringing together developers to discuss and solve problems which would benefit from face to face interaction. This especially includes problems which cross project boundaries, brainstorming sessions, or problems which need consensus building.

Linux Plumbers Conference Steering Committee

The Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC) Steering Commitee is a team comprised of the Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board (TAB) as well as other representatives of the Linux Foundation.

Role of Linux Foundation LPC Steering Committee

  • Award next year's conference to a group
  • Be fiscally responsible for the conference.
  • Ensure fiscal responsibility on the part of the LPC team.
    • Should the Steering Committee determine that the LPC planning team is not being responsible, they have the right to pull funding from the conference.
  • Advise and support LPC planning team, specifically by placing up to two TAB members on the LPC planning committee
  • Assist with fundraising through Linux Foundation channels
  • Work closely with LPC media team to ensure that messages are consistent and distributed via Linux Foundation media channels
  • Provide accounting services and insurance coverage.

Role of LPC planning team

  • All decisions are made by the LPC team
  • LPC will regularly report overall status to LF steering committee via the TAB members on the LPC planning team
  • LPC Finance team will regularly report to LF Finance via a designated liaison provided by the LF

Application Process

The Linux Plumbers conference is a short but intensively technical conference. We believe that attendees who wish to travel to LPC get more value for their travel dollar if we co-locate Plumbers with another Linux Foundation hosted conference - LinuxCon. This makes hosting the LPC a little bit more complicated than if the conference were to stand alone. As the planning team for LPC, you are not expected to participate in the planning for LinuxCon, however, it is imperative that the LPC planning team cooperate with the LinuxCon planning team on things like venue, dates, events etc. In practice, this means that the dates and location of Plumbers will effectively already be decided by the location of LinuxCon but in return, the Linux Foundation will handle most of the venue logistics. Provision does exist to host LPC stand alone (not co-located with any other conferences) as was done in Santa Rosa in 2011. However, because of venue booking constraints, stand alone proposals need to be submitted at least two years before the actual conference occurs. Your proposal should also not rely on any logistical help from the Linux Foundation (this makes the conference much more difficult to run and is another good reason to co-locate).

The format of Plumbers has traditionally been Discussion or Microconference based (Usually 2.5-3h in length and run by discussion leaders who are selected by the Plumbers committee). We have run Plumbers with two tracks of Microconferences and one Refereed presentations track, and also a different format where the Refereed track went into LinuxCon and we had three tracks of Microconferences. The LPC Steering Committee will accept any format consistent with facilitating discussions and if you have a novel format proposal, please document it in your application.

LPC is a developer centric conference, although the conference is open to all to attend. LPC should be kept fairly small to ensure that attendees can interact effectively. 350 attendees should be the maximum, with 300 being about optimal.

LPC venue and location requirements (if not co-located)

  • Within reasonable distance of an airport
  • General session room for 300-350
  • at least one room which seats 150, at least 2 others which will seat around 80
  • Common space for breakfast, breaks, and hallway track
  • smaller reservable rooms for BOFs and group meetings and Hack Spaces

Plumbers Specific Events

In general, the Linux Foundation will share at least one LinuxCon evening event with Plumbers. However, it is important and a signature of the conference that at least on the last night of Plumbers, there be an event which is Planned specifically by the Plumbers committee and which is open only to Plumbers attendees and which is designed to appeal specifically to the plumbers audience.

Submitting an Application

The Plumbers Steering Committee will put out a call for applications shortly after the end of the previous plumbers conference stating the chosen co-location venue. This venue is not entirely fixed, and may be negotiated to be any Venue which the Linux Foundation can accommodate a conference the size of plumbers.

Applications to do plumbers stand alone may be submitted at any time (but at least two years before the proposed conference dates).

Teams interested in hosting LPC should submit an email application to tech-board@lists.linux-foundation.org

This application should include:

  • A paragraph or 2 on why you want to host the conference
  • A list of who will make up your planning committee. You need at least three people for the roles of General Chair (in overall charge), Finance and Operations chair and Events chair.
  • Contact information and a Bio for each of these people
  • A budget for the conference - including venue cost, costs for food that will be provided during LPC, costs for events that you would like to provide during LPC, speaker travel budget, etc.
  • plan for audio/video recording - who will provide this service and what will it cost
  • logistics plan for the during conference - including how many volunteers you'll need and where you'll get them
  • marketing plan for the conference - what outlets besides the LF do you plan to utilize to advertise your conference
  • an approximate schedule of planning activities - including when CFP opens, registration opens, etc.
  • Approximate format for the conference (number of tracks, how broken up and how discussion will be facilitated).

In addition, if not co-locating with a Linux Foundation event, you also need:

  • Venue information - dates available, space available, etc.
  • Plan for network services during the conference - will the venue provide, or will you need to provide?

You are welcome to include any supporting material that you feel will strengthen your application - such as photos or video. The Steering committee will review the applications and work with the LF conference planning team to determine which team is the best fit for that years conference. Teams will be notified about two months after the initial call for applications goes out.

You may be contacted during the review process by the LinuxCon planning team or the Steering Committee with questions or clarifications.

Planning Your Conference

This section below is a continual work in progress. These are suggestions or recommendation based on what has worked for us in the past, so you are not required to be bound by these suggestions. Also, feel free to contribute to this living document.

The Planning Team

You should have a set of core people who are committed for a year to help plan your conference. The roles that have developed in past conferences are:

The General Chair

hiring, firing, project oversight, the one who ultimately is responsible for all decisions. Ensures the success of the conference by making sure that teams are properly staffed, have a plan, and are meeting deadlines. Also the main public interface for the conference.

Finance and Operations

Plumbers finances and payments are ultimately run by someone at the Linux Foundation. However, the budget has to be constructed and proposed activities costed. The role of the Finance and Operations Chair is to liaise with the Linux Foundation on every aspect and ensure that the costs are all checked and accounted for.


The role of the Events chair is to scout out the most "Plumbers appropriate" venue for the final party (and possibly other events should you decide to do them separately from LinuxCon). This will include visiting the Conference location at least once and will also include doing the liaison between the chosen event venue and the Linux foundation (things like ensuring proper costing and that the payments for the venue are made on time).


Sponsors are recruited in partnership with the Linux Foundation. The Linux Foundation will approach a set of potential sponsors that they have relationships with on behalf of LPC as part of a broader conference fundraising effort. Any fundraising in addition to that should be handled separately by the LPC planning team - although contracts will need to be approved and handled by the LF.

IT Team

Plumbers IT is hosted separately from the Linux Foundation. The current IT system for plumbers is hosted by the OSU/OSL under the agreement that they get a free pass to the event as well as a notation on the site. We currently use the Open Source bridge system for handling proposal submissions and scheduling and a wordpress site for making announcements about the conference. Someone on the planning team needs to become responsible for the IT systems and take charge of day to day administration (with the help of OSU/OSL, who provide administrative support, but not website design or backend functions)

You don't have to use the bridge system, and, provided you can support whatever conference system you chose and it doesn't burden OSU/OSL too much to run it, you may have a reasonably free hand to redo the systems (in prior years, we have used Ubuntu summit to plan the conference).


Currently the website is hosted by the OSU/OSL under the agreement that they get a free pass to the event as well as a notation on the site. The domain is held by Linux Foundation.

You may chose to keep the current hosting scheme, or use a different hosting service.


Responsible for the conference schedule - times, tracks, etc. Owns the submission, review and selection process. Recruits people for the "content committee." Recruits the keynote speaker (if you choose to have keynotes).


The Linux Foundation has a registration system that they will let you use for your conference if you would like. This makes it easier on you because this way you can have attendance fees more easily deposited into the Linux Foundation's LPC directed account. Refunds would also be much easier to handle. However, you may chose to use a different registration system, in which case you would need to work with the Linux Foundation to setup a method of deposit into the conference account.

Mailing Lists

The following mailing lists have been utilized by the conference (all @lists.linuxplumbersconf.org):

  • session-leads@ used to liaise with the people organising the microconferences
  • contact@ used as the general point of contact from outside. It should be routed to a subset of the planning team who will handle general queries
  • lpc-planning@ the internal mailing list used by the planning team
  • announce@ an open list anyone can subscribe to for email announcements. All announcements that go on the website blog should also be sent to announce@


Sample timeline goes here.

Wrapping it Up