LibrePlanet talks

Hi everyone,
I wanted to highlight some past LibrePlanet talks that you might be interested in!
I first attended in 2018 and it was definitely a place that made me feel welcome and like i could be part of the free software community. I still feel super betrayed by what happened this year and I’m certainly not alone but a lot of the people and organizations who have given talks are still doing great work and are worth following! This is just some highlights of talks I’ve enjoyed, but it’s a starting point! (ie I have missed cool orgs and people here, apologies, this is just a few starting points in case you’re interested)

2021, Luis Villa (Tidelift) and Katherine Maher (Wikipedia) talking about change at big values centred non-profits, very interesting stuff (I was very hopeful when I saw this talk title on the program re: the FSF situation with RMS and the board. But I should add that both of them said they wouldn’t have done this talk if they’d known about RMS coming back ahead of time. still worth a watch though!)

2021, Mariah Villarreal, some really useful thinking about the responsibility educators have towrads students, chromebooks in classrooms, etc, that certainly has relevance for libraries:

2021, Folks from Right to Repair and iFixit:

2018 and 2019:

Shauna Gordon McKeon on free software as a commons – v. useful and interesting background re: economics in terms of the “tragedy of the commons”, myths around that, and Elinor Ostrom’s work (she won a Nobel Prize)

Totally fascinating talk about free software at the Department of Defense (US):

Software freedom and health devices, from Dana Lewis working on openAPS for people with diabetes to Karen Sandler’s story of her defibrillator software: Freedom, devices, and health — GNU MediaGoblin

Karen Sandler of Software Freedom Conservancy on GPL enforcement and Outreachy

LFI’s talk of course!


Thanks for sharing Mariah’s talk!

I have seen some open source solutions for Student Information System’s, Employee Management, Professional Development Management and others, but I don’t know if schools want to invest upfront in training IT to work with FOSS.

In addition, there are so many requirements from the state, that all the SaaS providers provide integrated in the products to make reporting super easy. I’m specifically thinking about IEP’s and 504’s (accommodations made for students that are legally binding) that are easily accessible through the paid services.

I know I am thinking out loud but do you/anyone else have personal experience with this? Has anyone seen a Graphic Design class taught with GIMP? Has anyone seen a statistics class use Libre Calc?

On the topic of Chromebooks…I hate to admit that when the district relied on Chromebooks, life was a little more harmonious. But to support FOSS, has anyone put any other OS on it? I spent a lot of time researching how to potentially put Linux on it and was thinking of doing Arch because of this forum. I chickened out after I took the battery out because I found out the district still monitors them. Have you/anyone else put a Linux distro on a Chromebook? Anyone successfully flash seaBios? Successfully installing Arch/Debian/Ubuntu/etc… could be a real game changer for school districts that have machines but don’t want to pay for licenses, support, etc…

I’m tagging in @librarianbryan because he’s the FOSSiest person in LFP. He may have done some of the things you’re asking about here. As for Linux on a Chromebook, I have heard Ubuntu is pretty seamless. Arch feels a little heavy for most patrons but then again I haven’t used Arch in years.

Yeah, I think it’s really hard when people are stressed out and under-resourced when Google comes in and says we’ll solve all your problems (even when it actually costs more than other things might it is often sort of an all-in-one solution that is very appealing); part of what I appreciated about Mariah’s framing was thinking about it in terms of our responsibility to students (or library patrons) in terms of what we are using and teaching in the classroom – that choice of technology is as much a pedagogical responsibility/opportunity as curriculum design or something.

Re: the options vary a bit depending on the Chromebooks in question, my partner and I have experimented a bit with a few that we have (he got a box of used ones to experiment on off ebay lol so we have a stack in varying states of usability). The two main resources I’d mention are:
Crouton: GitHub - dnschneid/crouton: Chromium OS Universal Chroot Environment
Mr Chromebox:


That’s what is frustrating. It is not cheaper to pay Google, Apple AND Microsoft. It it just more convenient.

I remember Mr Chromebox but I’ll check out Crouton too if I get a chance in September. Out of that stack of Chromebooks, are any of them a Samsung 5 (or 5/500) or any HP’s?

There are a couple different ones but they’re all ASUS
two are for sure ASUS C201, not sure off the top of my head about the rest!
And yeah it’s always interesting in the context of schools and other orgs with budgetary challenges what they can and can’t find money for :confused:

I always dream about FOSS for bureaucracy, basically, like you could have all the typical government software and HR software and stuff for schools maintained as FOSS projects and if these orgs paid the FOSS projects even a fraction of what they pay big tech companies I’m pretty sure it could be sustainable and even cheaper! some places have FOSS baked into their civic infrastructure, hopefully we will see more of it…

(I also think there’s something to be said for the kind of transparency we’ve talked about in class, like you might have to use Google stuff but that doesn’t mean you have to do Google PR work – like when we talked about how if you can’t change things at least informing library patrons about where their data or security camera footage goes, for example)


Am I replying too late? I’ve installed Ubuntu on a library Chromebook. It’s been a few years but remember it was some kind of dual boot or there was a way factory reset because I had to return the Chromebook to the library and I removed Ubuntu before I did.

Installing a less obviously spyware OS than ChromeOS on library/school Chromebooks is a great idea. The pain point would be enterprise maintenance/support but your Linux admin flex might encompass that. If so, go for it. This would be argument against Arch; i.e., constant maintenance, possible instability, a lot more work upfront.

If the intention here is general use by patrons/students, Ubuntu LTS or Debian with MATE or XFCE desktop. Install Ubuntu on a Chromebook | Ubuntu Note the alternative options on step three.