Planning a real life BSP

If you plan to host a real life BSP, there are several things you should consider before announcing such an event:

Number of Developers

This is the most important aspect when planning a BSP. To make it actually worthwhile, you need more than one person attending. On the other hand, too many developers are often quite unproductive (at least regarding the objective of a BSP), as they tend to discuss unrelated issues.


After getting a rough idea how many people are planning to attend, two places need to chosen. One central place for the actual hacking, with a reasonable network connection and if possible a local server providing a Debian ftp-mirror. You also need to find one or more locations where the attending non-locals can sleep - they'll always bring sleeping bags and air mattresses, so only a bit of free space is needed. BSPs are not about comfortable sleeping!


Remember that hackers don't run on IP connectivity and pure air - they need something to eat and drink. This means that you should plan how this can be managed without too much improvisation. Noone expects you to pay, but perhaps a local sponsor can be found for the event. Please note that some people are vegetarians or vegans.


One of the ways to finance BSPs is to ask the DPL, see the Teams/DPL/Reimbursement process for more information.

Do coordinate with the debian-sprints mailing list.

Note that participants to a BSP can get a reimbursement of up to 100 USD for their travel fees. This reimbursement does not require pre-approval, but has to go through the regular reimbursement process.


You will need a reliable network infrastructure. Both a fast local network and a good connection to the internet are absolutely needed - most of the needed information for a BSP is stored in the BTS or PTS! A local mirror can speed up things a lot (and reduce the load on your internet connection). Depending on the number of participants, power might become an issue.


Choose the date carefully! Even hackers have non-computer interests, so the final game of the soccer world championship is probably not the best time for a BSP. :-)


You will want to have experienced Debian folks present so that they can help people who are not so experienced. The main places you can find Debian people from your city are the keysigning offers and need pages. The release party, Debian Day and local groups pages might also be of use in finding Debian folks in your city. If all of the above fail you can contact the Debian developer community to ask them to search the developer database.


It is important to publicise BSPs so that you get people coming to your BSP. Some ideas for publicity include: get your BSP added to the Debian events page, send a mail to the appropriate debian-events-* and debian-dug-* lists and debian-devel or debian-devel-announce (in a dedicated mail or via DevNews as appropriate), blog about your event on Planet Debian, get your event in the Debian Project News, post the BSP to Debian micronews and post about the BSP to the mailing list of your local LUG/OSUG/FSUG.

After the event it is a good idea to post a report about what you achieved and get that included in some of the above.

Other Informations

Have a look also at BSPMarathon, as well as at this other page with similar content.