Linuxing in London

Last Tuesday, I was in London to present syslog-ng at the Linuxing in London meetup. It was my first trip to the UK, so I had some trouble with vehicles driving always on the unexpected side of the road. 🙂 As it was my first time in London, I took a two-hour walk along the Thames, enjoying the unusually warm and sunny weather.


The venue for the meetup was a lecture room in Skills Matter’s event and community space in central London called CodeNode, where software engineers can come together to improve their skills. There were three presentations at the Meetup, given in front of a full and enthusiastic room.

Ian Massingham brought us a few Raspberry Pi machines to show, all of them equipped with different sensors and colorful LEDs. Ian talked about the Internet of Things (IoT), and how Amazon Web Services (AWS) supports working with these devices. He not only talked about the technology but also demonstrated it. I haven’t done any coding recently, but after his presentation I’m more than eager to do some, at least for the fun part of it. 🙂

If you ever need to display a list of images, movies and HTML content, Screenly from Viktor Petersson is what you need. His digital signage solution also runs on Raspberry Pi. Even if the hardware has its limitations, it is cheap and – unlike a random self-built PC – the exact limitations are well known.

My presentation came last. I was a bit nervous and fully aware that some people were probably already half asleep by the end of the day, but luckily that was not the case. I talked about how log routing and scaling of syslog-ng can be improved using message parsing. New features of syslog-ng 3.8.1 were also shared in my presentation. Based on the questions I received, message parsing in Rust was by far the most popular topic.

Being the last one to give a talk also had an unexpected side effect: practically unlimited question time. There was the scheduled five-minute Q&A session after my talk, which was followed by a raffle for goodies among meetup participants. But as soon as it was over (and even while it was still on), people started coming to me with more questions. As a result, I ended up talking about syslog-ng for over an hour, about writing parsers in Rust and how syslog-ng compares with competitors, how syslog-ng clients can authenticate using TLS mutual authentication, and many other topics.

It was my first ever presentation at a meetup, and it was a very good experience. If you know of a meetup where participants might be interested in syslog-ng, please let me know! I can be reached on Twitter as @PCzanik and also on LinkedIn. Maybe I’ll see you there!