Debian-NYC invites you to to the first NYC-area Debian workshop. These workshops are designed to introduce Debian, Debian tools and techniques, and the Debian community as well as provide skills to attendees and helping Debian. This first workshop is targeted towards technically skilled people, who would like knowledge of basics of Debian packaging and how to contribute back to Debian.

Topics covered: Debian Developers Daniel Kahn Gillmor, Micah Anderson, and Mike O'Connor will present the basics of, getting Debian sources, rebuilding packages locally, locally modifying packages, creating local package archives, contributing fixes to the Debian Bug Tracking System(BTS), and many tools to help with this process. After a short presentation on packaging tools, the audience will search the Debian BTS for a bug or package they can contribute to, get the package, fix the bug or improve it, rebuild, and contribute the patch back to the Debian team maintaining the package. Attendees are encouraged to work on a package they use, in a language they know well. The knowledge of locally building and modifying packages should be useful in a variety of situations. This workshop will not cover building packages from scratch, but that is a tentative topic for future workshops.

Please bring: A Debian (or other Debian-based distribution such as Ubuntu) computer with your preferred development tools on it. Extra computers may be available for loan, please contact us.

Date/Time/Location: Thursday, October 15. 19:00--22:00(??). Location:, Dumbo, Brooklyn. Directions: TBA. Address: 68 Jay St. #413, 11201. (Email Richard for door code).

Registration: Spots are limited, RSVP to (rkd at (Note: one spot left)

Contact: IRC via #debian-nyc on ; ; Richard Darst (rkd at



What we actually covered

Planned technical program

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Organizer's area

Reminder email 1


If you are getting this message, then you have RSVPed to the first Debian Workshop. This contains the directions, reminders on what to bring, etc.

The wiki page for this conference is:

The workshop will be held at The address is: 68 Jay Street, DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY, 11201 #413. It is a few blocks north of the York Street F train station. To get in the front door, use the code "REMOVED" to enter the front door, take an elevator up to the fourth floor, and navigate the maze to Suite 413. (Hint: it is at the northwest corner of the building)

You should aim to arrive 18:45 to 19:00 (Thursday, October 15th). Let's try to start promptly at 19:00, so please arrive at the early range if possible. If you cannot make it, please let me know so that your spot may be freed for other attendees.

You don't need any preparation, besides knowledge of a Debian system and your preferred programming tools. If you would like, you could browse through the Debian Developer's Reference or the Debian New Maintainer's Guide to see what is in there. You don't need to know everything in here, the workshop is a gentle introduction to them. [0]

The goal of this workshop is to teach you enough to fix/improve a package, use it locally, as well as send a patch back to the Debian Bug Tracking System. Thus, if you can think of a package with a bug [1] that affects you that you would like to fix, it would let you get started with the workshop portion much quicker. The goal of the workshop is for everyone to have fixed one bug and contributed the patch by the end of the workshop.

You should bring a Debian-based computer you can do development on (unless you have talked with us to make other arrangements). We will have power plugs, wifi, and some ethernet cables.

If you have any questions, please ask us via IRC in #debian-nyc on ( You should also use this channel after the workshop to keep in touch, get questions answered, learn more, and help contribute back to Debian further.

Thank you,


[0] [1]

Follow-up email

Hello everyone who RSVPed for workshop #1 (and also debian-nyc),

I'd like to thank everyone who attended this workshop (and I'm sorry for me procreating sending this out). It was really great, and it seems like we all learned a lot and got many ideas for the future. I encourage you to stay involved in Debian. We put on these workshops so that we can get more local Debian contributors, and improve our community.

If you aren't on our mailing list, you should be! See:

You should consider dropping by our IRC channel. It's a great place to keep informed of what is going on, get help when you try your own hand at bugfixing or packaging, or get more involved in Debian. It's a great way to fill gaps in what you know. It is:

For further reading, you can look at:

In here, the Debian Developer's Reference lists standard procedures and tools used by Debian maintainers and developers, the New Maintainer guide lists steps to become more involved in Debian (it's slightly aged), and the Debian Policy tells all the nitty gritty details of what each package has to satisfy.

Any followups/outlines from the workshop may be posted here sometime:

Thanks for attending, and watch the mailing list for follow-ups. We plan on having a workshop2/bug-squashing party soon to use the skills from this workshop. In particular, see these two messages:

I really hope to see most of you all at a future event -- and more importantly, coming back to help teach an event sometime!

Thank you,

- DebianNYC people


If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Richard Darst (rkd at We are currently limited to 15 attendees due to space limitations, but future workshops are likely.