Balkan FLOSStival 2020

Hello everyone!

We are super happy to introduce Balkan FLOSStival, our latest initiative to promote software freedom , open-source software , online privacy , open data and open knowledge in the region, even during the COVID-19 crisis.

What is Balkan FLOSStival?

Balkan FLOSStival is an event that will take place this year for the first time, completely in the form of an online conference to promote software freedom , open-source software , online privacy , open data and open knowledge in the Balkan region. This idea is initiated by Open Labs Hackerspace and every organization in the region is invited to join forces with us and keep spreading awareness and knowledge for all!

Why and how to join: Become a partner host

THIS EVENT IS NEW FOR US TOO! We have a plan and the good will, but not everything is crystal-clear!

Please, if you want to take over this challenge with us, don’t hesitate to join the organizing team. We will discuss, plan, organize everything together, exchange experiences and ideas. Our mutual aim is sharing FLOSS knowledge and skills and we can do it better together. This would be an opportunity to bring many small Balkan events into ONE comprehensive conference for all.

Interested? Shoot us an email at:

Note that this invitation is for all Balkan Individuals, organizations, universities, public funded institutions and companies agreeing to the following rules:

(a) you use free open source software for the activities;

(b) your focus is free open source software/hardware, online privacy & freedom of expression, open knowledge and open data;

(c ) you respect the code of conduct;

(d) all the outcomes (recorded audio & video) of the FLOSStival are published in a permissive license and

(e) you are dogfooding, which means we are all using free, libre open source infrastructure during the activities.

The sooner we have a team ready to go, the sooner we’ll be able to:

  • decide on the dates of the event - convenient for all team members

  • discuss tasks and responsibilities

  • get started!!!

  • add your item :wink:

How & why did we come up with this idea?

And here’s a touch of storytelling!

The original idea of the festival was initiated from the cancellation of OSCAL, the in-person event about software freedom in Tirana and other events in the region such as SFK, due to the COVID-19 crisis and safety measures taken globally this year.

As things didn’t go exactly for the better, a “new era” in event organizing and knowledge sharing started taking place: the online conferencing - a new experience, creative and safe solution. Balkan FLOSStival would be a collaborative effort of Open Source promoters in the region to deliver for the first time one single online conference to a larger, no-border audience! Think of Balkan FLOSStival like a Balkan open-source alliance.

We are calling all organisations and free libre open source communities in the region to join us in promoting and shaping the first Balkan FLOSStival together. We, free libre open source contributors, have the same goals and face the same challenges - let’s work together on creating transnational networks of solidarity, knowledge-sharing and resistance with each other for a future where free libre open source software, the right to online privacy and open data are the standard.


Agenda and plans

Balkan FLOSStival will be an online gathering of Free Libre & Open Source Software communities and contributors, to celebrate, share, connect and learn from each other.

Fellows from all over the world are invited to participate in diverse formats including, but not limited to workshops, presentations, late night fire-chat talks and basically any format that you, the participants, bring in the table.

This event is planned to take place at the end of this year, maybe first or second week of December might be an option. But final dates are not decided yet. We would like to have your opinion about the dates as well :slight_smile:

What do you think about this event? If you have any idea, feedback, proposal or comments please do share with us!

Cheers from hot burning summer of Tirana! :sunglasses:


Last time I heard from them, FLOSSK was planning to hold oFSK (online Free Software Kosova) on September. I admit that they are a bit secretive and even I don’t know much about what is going on. But more importantly, it seems that they have also failed to coordinate/collaborate with you (at least this is what I get from your announcement).

The idea itself seems nice, and yes I am interested (as a Balkan Individual) to discuss more about it. You can shoot me at my email address if you wish.


Do you know where is it going to take place?

It will take place online :slight_smile: due to the restrictions in relation to gatherings.


Here’s the blogpost on the Open Labs website as well:

Sharing this on social media and/or among friends is much appreciated!! :heart:


Shared on the Libre Hosters forum as well


1 Like

Hello, can we apply as volunteer to?

1 Like

First thoughts:

  1. Big Blue Button: I guess there are going to be 2-3 rooms. Usually, bbb needs supercomputer to operate. If we cannot find a host, we can have at least 2-3 people on (the presenter and moderator) and the rest can watch it on youtube.
    At GUADEC the admins have deactivated the chat and they had a pinned message with a room where everyone could write down something and an etherpad where they could write the questions for the presenter.

  2. So install where everyone can hang out and chat.

  3. Regarding papers-schedule etc.
    GUADEC: We used
    As far as I see it has cfp, schedule, attendees etc

FOSSCOMM: The guys used for cfp.

I guess @kominoshja can check the above software and tell us his ideas.


Hi @iosifidis!

  1. Regarding BigBlueButton, the deployment we have in mind of implementing is very modular. We plan to have a load balancer, and then connect various BigBlueButton instances to that load balancer. In simpler words, we plan to have a software that monitors the traffic and the health of the BBB servers, so that it can send users to the most optimal server. Such an approach should allow us to have a (theoretically) infinite amount of participants, depending on the number of BigBlueButton servers. This also allows other organizations to offer their BBB instance for the event, decentralizing the infrastructure of the event. Regarding YouTube streaming, as of right now based on my knowledge BBB doesn’t yet support it.
  2. We can have either or Mattermost for the event. I personally don’t have any strong opinions on this topic since both platforms work very well, maybe it’s best to leave it up to the community to decide
  3. Pretalx is very good, and we have used it before at Open Labs, so we can definitely use it for the FLOSStival aswell, if eventyay doesn’t support CFP application

I don’t think BBB needs a supercomputer to work normally. If all the cameras are kept closed and all the mics muted (except for the presenter and moderators), you can have a pretty large number of people on the same room. I think that a server with 16GB RAM would be sufficient for 500-1000 participants.
Actually you can install a BBB on 4GB RAM, scale it up only for the days on the conference, and later scale it down again.

Anyway, consider using also the OL BBB infrastructure, which seems to be quite advanced and flexible (as described by kominoshja).

Maybe can do this part. But I don’t have much experience with it.

I correct myself on this. The general opinion is that not more than 100 users should be allowed on the same room, although there are some people who report success with up to 500 users (with some optimizations like disabling chat, etc.). For more details:

Just increasing resources does not give better results because BBB currently has a bottleneck, which is nodejs/meteor.