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Xen Project Developer and Design Summit 2017 CFP Guide

We’re excited to announce the call for speaking proposals for Xen Project Developer and Design Summit 2017, which will be held in Budapest, Hungary, July 11-13, 2017. The Xen Project Developer and Design Summit combines the formats of Xen Project Developer Summits with Xen Project Hackathons in a larger and combined event, bringing together the Xen Project’s community of developers and power users for their annual developer conference.

Dates to Remember

  • CFP Close: Friday, April 14, 2017, 23:59 PDT  Friday, April 21 (Extended due to Easter), 2017, 23:59 PDT
  • CFP Notifications: Friday, May 5, 2017
  • Schedule Announced: Week of May 16, 2017
  • Event Dates: July 11-13, 2017


Several Formats are Being Accepted for Speaking Proposals, Including:

  • Presentation (2 speakers maximum)
  • Panel (4 panelists maximum; New for 2017 at all Linux Foundation Events: All panels are required to have at least one female speaker.)
  • Interactive Design and Problem Solving Session (2 speakers maximum): Design and problem solving sessions can be submitted as part of the CFP, but we will reserve a number of design sessions to be allocated during the event. Proposers of design sessions are expected to host and moderate design sessions following the format we have used at Xen Project Hackathons. (If you have not participated in these in the past, check out past event reports from 2016, 2015 and 2013).


First Time Submitting? Don’t Feel Intimidated

We know that the open source community can be very intimidating for anybody who is interested in participating.

Xen Project events are an excellent way to get to know the community and share your ideas and the work that you are doing. You do not need to be a maintainer or a chief architect to submit a proposal. In fact, we strongly encourage first-time speakers to submit talks for all of our events. In the instance that you aren’t sure about your abstract, reach out to us and we will be more than happy to work with you on your proposal.

Our events are working conferences intended for professional networking and collaboration in the Xen community and we work closely with our attendees, sponsors and speakers to help keep Xen Project events professional, welcoming and friendly. If you have any questions about participating please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Submit a Proposal




Suggested Topics for Presentations and Panels*:

Xen, QEMU, Linux and Other Operating Systems

  • Architecture ports
  • Community related topics
  • Desktop virtualization
  • Firmware: ACPI, UEFI, coreboot, u-Boot, etc.
  • Graphics virtualization
  • Hardening and security
  • High availability and continuous backup
  • Kernel performance and other improvements
  • Live migration and fault tolerance
  • Nested virtualization
  • New storage features
  • Real-time guest support
  • Resource management (CPU, I/O, memory)
  • Scaling and optimizations
  • Schedulers
  • Security features (including Disaggregation, XSM, Live Patching, KCONFIG, Isolation, etc.)
  • Security practices
  • Testing and Quality
  • Unikernels and related technologies
  • Xen Project in embedded and automotive

Management and Infrastructure

  • Managing Xen: XL/LibXL, XAPI, Libvirt, OpenStack, etc.
  • Network function virtualization
  • Performance tuning
  • Provisioning
  • Security
  • Software defined networking: Open vSwitch, OpenDaylight, etc.

*Panel Discussions: If you are proposing a panel discussion, please make sure that you list all of your potential panelists (4 maximum) in your abstract. We will request full biographies for each if a panel is accepted.

Note: New for 2017 at all Linux Foundation Events: All panels are required to have at least one female speaker.


Suggested Topics for Design and Problem Solving Sessions:

The aim of the Design and Problem Solving sessions are to give developers the opportunity to meet face-to-face to:  

  • Coordinate and plan upcoming features
  • Discuss and agree on best practices and changes to how the community works
  • Discuss and agree on the design and architecture of future functionality
  • Interactive lessons learned sessions covering experiences of contributors, users and vendors

Examples of Design and Problem Solving Sessions from past Hackathons were: 

  • Cadence of Xen Project and maintenance releases
  • Changes to the COLO architecture and interdependencies with migration v2
  • Developing the architecture and design for Xen Project live patching
  • Effectiveness of new Xen Project security policy
  • Evolution of virtual machine introspection (including HW assistance) in the Xen Hypervisor
  • How to de-privileging QEMU and the x86 emulator to reduce the impact of security vulnerabilities in those components,
  • Implementing KConfig support which allows to remove parts of Xen at compile time and run-time disablement of Xen features to reduce Xen’s trusted computing base.
  • Planning the next stage of PVH (which led to a re-think and PVH v2)
  • Planning sessions for Xen Hardware support, including:
    • How to implement PCI passthrough on ARM
    • How we can improve testing for the increasing range of ARM HW with support for virtualization
    • How to implement alt2pm on Intel architectures 
  • Release planning
  • Restartable Dom0 and driver domains
  • Testing and testing frameworks


Submit a Proposal


Proposal Guidelines

While it is not our intention to provide you with strict instructions on how to prepare your proposal, we hope you will take a moment to review the following guidelines that we have put together to help you prepare the best submission possible. To get started, here are three things that you should consider before submitting your proposal:

1. What are you hoping to get from your session?

2. What do you expect the audience to gain from your presentation?

3. How will your presentation help better the wider Xen Project ecosystem?

At the heart of Xen Project and open source is the technology. We definitely do not expect every presentation to have code snippets and technical deep-dives but here are two things that you should avoid when preparing your proposal; because they are almost always rejected due to the fact that they take away from the integrity of our events, and are rarely well-received by attendees:

1. Sales or Marketing Pitches

2. Unlicensed or Potentially Closed-Source Technologies

There are plenty of ways to hold about projects and technologies without focusing on company-specific efforts. Remember the things to consider that we mentioned above when writing your proposal and think of ways to make it interesting for attendees while still letting you share your experiences, educate the community about an issue, or generate interest in a project.


Submit a Proposal


Sample Submissions


  • This is your chance to *sell* your talk to the program committee, so do your best to highlight the problem/contribution/work that you are addressing in your session. The technical details are still important, but the relevance of what you are presenting will help the program committee during the selection process.
  • This is the abstract that will be posted on the website schedule, so please ensure that it is in complete sentences (and not just bullet points) and that it is written in the third person (use your name instead of I).

Example: Kernel Weather Report (Jon Corbet, - The Linux kernel is at the core of any Linux system; the performance and capabilities of the kernel will, in the end, place an upper bound on what the system can do as a whole. In this presentation, Jon Corbet will review recent events in the kernel development community, discuss the current state of the kernel, the challenges it faces, and look forward to how the kernel may address those challenges.

Tell us how the content of your presentation will help better the ecosystem.

*Note: We realize that this can be a difficult question to answer, but as with the abstract, the relevance of your presentation is just as important as the content.

Example: Kernel Weather Report (Jon Corbet, - This presentation will help existing and new kernel developers better understand the state of the Linux kernel and will hopefully encourage them, and the companies that they work for, to participate more in upstream kernel development.

Panel Discussions

If you are proposing a panel discussion, please make sure that you list all of your potential panelists in your abstract. We will request full biographies if a panel is accepted.

Note: New for 2017 at all Linux Foundation Events: All panels are required to have at least one female speaker.

Design and Planning Sessions

If you are proposing a design and planning session, please clearly state:

  1. The problem that you are trying to solve
  2. How attendees of the session can contribute to solving your problem
  3. Whether any preparation work is desirable (including links to existing material)

The proposer of design and planning sessions is expected to moderate sessions, which are held in smaller breakout rooms that are equipped with whiteboards. Some rooms will also contain projectors. Moderators can give a short presentation to introduce the problem, but design and planning sessions are not presentations. As a guide, presentations should not exceed more than 25% of the overall session time. Sessions will not be recorded, but we expect that the moderator either takes minutes or nominates an attendee to do so. Minutes will be posted on the relevant mailing list. (Note that design and planning sessions only scale well to a maximum of 30 people.)


Submit a Proposal


How to Submit

We have done our best to make the submission process as simple as possible. Here is what you will need to prepare:

  1. Choose a proposal title: A proposal must have a short, specific presentation title (containing no abbreviations) that indicates the nature of the presentation.
  2. Choose a submission type: Presentation, Panel, Design and Planning Session
  3. Select a speaker/moderator for your proposal: Name, email, title, company, and bio will be required for submission.
  4. Choose the category for your proposal: Hypervisor, Tools, Performance, Community, Unikernels, Embedded / Automotive, Case Study / User Story
  5. Choose the audience type: Developer, User, or both
  6. Select the experience level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Any
  7. Provide us with an abstract about what you will be presenting at the event (900 characters maximum).
  8. Tell us how the content of your presentation will help better the ecosystem (900 characters maximum).
  9. List any technical requirements that you have for your presentation over and above the standard projector, screen and wireless Internet.
  10. Review and agree to the Code of Conduct: Read here

Submit a Proposal


Speaker Information

Should your submission be accepted, please note the following speaker information and resources. 


Complimentary Passes for Speakers

In the instance that your submission has multiple presenters, only the primary speaker for a proposal will receive a complimentary pass for the event.

For panel discussions, all panelists will receive a complimentary conference pass; maximum 4 panelists and moderator.


Submitting your session slides

Slides will be requested and expected in advance of the event. Further details on how to submit slides will be provided to accepted speakers. We only accept presentation slides in PDF format to ensure that there are no formatting issues.


How to Give a Great Tech Talk

In the instance that your talk is accepted, we want to make sure that you give the best presentation possible. To do this, we enlisted the help of seasoned conference speaker Josh Berkus (PostgreSQL Experts) who has prepared an in-depth tutorial on “How to Give a Great Tech Talk”.

You may not instantly become a brilliant orator overnight, but we strongly encourage all of our potential speakers to watch this tutorial and hopefully you will see more of the audience watching and listening to you as opposed to checking their email during your presentation.

Skills you will learn include: 

  • Know your audience
  • How to prepare for a talk
  • Nobody cares about your slides…but make good ones anyway
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Speakers
  • Clock-watching
  • Audience interaction 101
  • When your demo crashes
  • The audience outside the lecture hall
  • Common presentation issues and tips

View Part 1 here.

View Part 2 here.


Submit a Proposal