Food and Fun: Linux 18th Anniversary Picnic

Friday, August 21, 2009

The annual Linux 18th Anniversary Picnic happened last weekend at Sunnyvale Baylands Park in Sunnyvale, CA. It happens around the weekend following the Linux World Expo (now Open Source World) and generally in the same time frame as the anniversary of the announcement of Linux., a local non-profit, organizes this social event to get the Free and Open Source community together for a day of fun, and some form of the picnic has happened every year since 2001.

This year was great fun. I was responsible for buying the food for the picnic. In true Google fashion, there was a ton of food. After a few trips to supermarkets, we had more hamburgers, hot dogs, veggieburgers, sodas, and condiments than I had ever assembled for one event. Of course, we also had wifi for those working on their personal projects, provided by a portable point-to-point wireless link that was set up by some of the attendees.

Throughout the day, more than 250 people showed up to the picnic. Some brought their geeky gadgets to work on, some hacked on their Open Source projects. Others spent time getting some much needed socializing. When I wasn't making runs for more food or other supplies, I got to talk to some of the people about how they used Linux. A number of the people used it on their daily jobs as system administrators or software engineers. Some were there with friends to learn about Linux for the first time. I even demoed my laptop setup for some folks that were curious about the difference between what they were using and Linux.

All in all, the day went really well and helped draw out members of the Free and Open Source software community out under that weird ball of fire in the sky, and everyone had fun. We'd like to thank Google's Open Source Team and our other sponsors for making sure we all had plenty to nosh on whilst enjoying each others company. 

If you would like to get involved in the future, please see and We can always use additional help and would love to see you next year!

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Davis.