It’s time to kick off LinuxFest Northwest 2020! Our theme this year is Be Excellent To Each Other! We want to share with you, and you with us, a conference that encourages collaboration, teaching, and lifting each other up.

Our call for proposals is open now through January 15, 2020, and we’ve shaken things up a bit. We’ve changed the session types and added a few new ones, we’re not suggesting specific tracks, and we’ve tried to clarify the difficulty levels. Read on for more details.

Our call for sponsors is open as well. If your organization supports our mission, we would appreciate your financial assistance - LFNW is the largest free open source conference in North America, and our sponsors keep it that way. If you would like to come and meet our awesome attendees through a booth in our Expo Hall, we would love you have you. Please check out our sponsorship prospectus for details, and reach out to

Session Types

We’ve changed up the session types, to clarify what happens during those sessions (and to have some school-themed fun).

  • Lecture and Long Lecture
    These are your ‘typical’ sessions - lecterns & projectors figure prominently. Session lengths stay the same, at 45 and 90 minutes.
  • Lab and Short Lab
    These are hands-on sessions - we used to call these Tutorials, but that was confusing, as many tutorials are submitted, but they’re not hands on. These sessions will be in rooms equipped with 24 PCs, so you can work along with the session leader. Lab sessions are 90 minutes by default; Short Lab sessions are 45 minutes. This is a little shorter than in prior years, but it’s going to make it easier for you to attend both labs and lectures.
  • Assembly
    Want to lead a Q&A, have a discussion about a topic, or set up a panel discussion? This is your session type. We’ll keep these at 45 minutes too.
  • Recess
    This is something new for us this year! Are you interested in organizing a fun, collaborative activity outside the lecture room? Here’s your session type! We’re thinking nature walks, meditation sessions, collaborative outdoor art, but we’re more excited about what you think!


You’ll notice our normal list of tracks is missing this year… we have only one track for you to keep in mind as you make your proposals - our theme: Be Excellent To Each Other. We’ll derive more granular tracks based on the accepted sessions… we just wanted to see what emerges this year, instead of you shoehorning your amazing session into a track list that didn’t quite fit.

Difficulty Levels

Nobody wants to submit a hard session… we get that, but we want to encourage sessions that dive deeply into a narrow topic, and we do not want to discourage sessions that require some previous experience. These can be exceptionally valuable sessions. So, we’ve changed our difficulty levels to be a bit less judgmental (and school-themed, too ;-).

  • 100-level
    Events are understandable for everyone without knowledge of the topic.
  • 200-level
    Events require a basic understanding of the topic.
  • 300-level
    Events require expert knowledge of the topic.

We hope this will clarify the level as based on your experience as an attendee, and not discourage proposals that are challenging, or require some prior knowledge.

Now go submit some excellent proposals!