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The Ottawa Linux Symposium (OLS) is a hardcore technical conference held annually in the capital of Canada, Ottawa. Targetted at kernel hackers and other hackers working on GNU/Linux infrastructure, the conference draws about 500 people to Ottawa each year.

Organized by Andrew Hutton, the conference is in its 5th year of bringing together the core of Linux development. There is no showroom floor, and the commercial presence is at a minimum. This is strictly a by hackers for hackers conference, papers are presented in three or four rooms, with a salon area full of terminals for socializing and email.

Additionally, there are usually a number of birds of a feather sessions (BOFs) held, since many hackers who work on various subsystems are generally present, allowing for face to face discussion, as opposed to the normal conversation on the mailing list. Also, beginning in 2002, a number of tutorials have been run on topics like configuring FreeS/WAN and compilers.

All in all, it is a very well rounded experience, held over four days in July (except 2002's was in June). Papers presented range on topics from the kernel, to hardware, to glibc, to userspace things like X, KDE, and GNOME. There is truly something for everyone interested in Linux

References:
Being present at the event
http://www.linuxsymposium.org/ --- OLS website

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