KWLUG Meeting: Monday, March 4, 2019, 7pm

UEFI/GUID Partition Tables, Pop!_OS

Meeting Date

Logos for UEFI, Pop!_OS

Note: The location for this meeting has changed. It will now be held at TriOS College.

Chris Irwin will give us a practical overview of UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface), the successor to computer BIOSes, and GUID partition tables, the successor to MBR tables.

Jason Eckert will tell us about Pop!_OS, a Linux distribution by hardware manufacturer System76. This presentation will be beginner-friendly.



Unfortunately Tom will not be able to present the Linux Mint presentation this month.

File Attachments

Attachment Size
Chris Irwin's UEFI slides 555.67 KB

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, February 4, 2019, 7pm

Game Emulators, Bottleneck Evaluation tools

Meeting Date

Note: The location for this meeting has changed. It will now be held at TriOS College.

Tim Laurence will lead a discussion on tools you can use to identify bottlenecks in systems.

Brent Clements will talk about game emulators in Linux.

Note: Benjamin Tompkins's presentation on virtual machines has been postponed.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, January 7, 2019, 7pm

Windows Subsystem for Linux, Tiling Window Managers

Meeting Date

Important: We have had a last-minute switch in meeting location. For this month's meeting we will meet at our old location, St John's Kitchen.

Jason Eckert will discuss the care and feeding of the Windows Subsystem for Linux, which allows you to run Linux "natively" on a Windows 10 machine.

Update: Jason has provided his slides, and written a blog post about this presentation's contents.

Lanny Cox will talk about tiling window managers -- in particular the i3 window manager.

File Attachments

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, Dec 3 2018, 7pm

Linux Containers, SSH Tricks

Meeting Date

Mikalai Birukou will give us an introduction to LXD, the Linux container management system. LXD provides a cheap way to experiment with different installations. He says this is a beginner-friendly talk for those who dabble on the command line or are beginner sysadmins.

Jason Eckert will discuss interesting SSH tips and tricks.

Update: Jason has uploaded his slides. He notes that the Star Wars ASCII art is available by telnetting to, and the book he mentioned is here:

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, October 1 2018, 7pm

Programming Microcontrollers

Meeting Date

Khalid Baheyeldin has been playing with inexpensive Wifi and Bluetooth enabled microcontrollers. These can be programmed using the Arduino IDE or Micropython (which runs on the chip instead of an operating system). He  will tell us about the Internet of Things (IoT) and how to use such microcontrollers to interface devices to things like home automation packages (e.g. Home Assistant), and much more. 

File Attachments

Attachment Size
2018-10-01-microcontrollers-iot.pdf 2.2 MB

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, September 10, 2018, 7pm

GitLab, Swap Meet

Meeting Date

Colin Knapp will update us on GitLab, the "open core" Git-repository manager. He calls his presentation "Creating Problems to Solve Problems in GitLab". Some of the topics he will cover include:

  • How to organize and compartmentalize projects to reduce testing and growing pains.
  • How to deal with increased complexity in compartmentalized projects
  • The GitLab development cycle tools he uses when working on Tugthr.
  • How he uses the built-in Kanban boards and commit messages to close tickets
  • How GitLab-Runners work, and the difference between shared cloud runners and runners on your own hardware.

The remaining time will consist of an electronics swap meet. Do you have useful electronics that are no longer of use to you? Would you like to pick up some electronics for an upcoming project? Do you have stories to tell about cool older technology. Bring your things to giveaway and trade. If you have surplus, it will be sent to an organization that will dispose of it responsibly (Kwartzlab or Computer Recycling).

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, August 13 2018, 7pm

High Availability, Life as a Debian Developer

Meeting Date

Note: This meeting will be held at a new location, the Google Community Space. Future meetings will be held at the usual location.

Also Note: Due to illness, James Kelsh will have to delay his presentation. He will reschedule.

In celebration of the Debian Project's 25th anniversary, Hubert Chathi will talk about his experiences as a Debian Developer, including technical components (such as building Debian packages) as well as non-technical aspects (such as Debian's history).

Update: Hubert's slides are here:

Madison Kelly will give a high-level overview of high availability technology.

File Attachments

Attachment Size
Hubert's Slides on Debian 85.18 KB

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, July 9 2018, 7pm

Qubes OS, Automated Sprinkler System

Meeting Date

Benjamin Turnbull will tell us about Qubes OS, a "reasonably secure operating system".

Tim Laurence automated the watering system for his garden using a Raspberry Pi. He will tell us how he did it. This will be a beginner-friendly presentation. 

File Attachments

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, June 4, 2018, 7pm

Living With the Linux Desktop, PostgreSQL

Meeting Date

Note: For this meeting we are trying a new meeting location. See the 283 Duke St page for details.

James Kelsh will tell us about using the Linux desktop day to day, including work, fun, and maintenance. This presentation is intended to be accessible to new Linux users.

Hadi Moshayedi will discuss different indexing types available in PostgreSQL, discussing the pros and cons of each. He will cover B-Tree, GiST, GIN, Hash, and   BRIN indices.

File Attachments

Attachment Size
Living With the Linux Desktop Slides 2.95 MB

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, May 7, 2018, 7pm

Backups with dump; Mail-in-a-Box

Meeting Date

Khalid Baheyeldin will talk about the backup strategy he uses at home. He achieves versioned, incremental, off-site backups without relying on third-party services, using the dump utility. This presentation is intended to be accessible to new users.

Update: Khalid has posted his slides on his website:

Colin Knapp will demonstrate the setup and use of Mail-in-a-Box.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, April 9 2018

An End User Journey, VoIP Security

Meeting Date

Update: Sandeep's slides are here: 2018-04-Linux_and_Me.pdf;, and Mike's presentation is linked here:

Sandeep Johri is a non-technical end-user of Linux and free software. He will talk about his journey: how he bounced from distro to distro, how he landed where he is now, where he sees himself going in the future, and lessons learned from the experience. This talk is intended to be accessible for beginners.

Steve Walker (the CTO at Telium)  will discuss the challenges facing the operators of VoIP based PBX equipment,  and how to secure the PBX from hacking and fraud.  The presentation will examine how and why hackers / fraudsters want to attack your PBX, and the risks and costs associated with these attacks.  The presentation will then focus on the attack surface of the PBX, review common vulnerabilities, and describe detection of hacking / fraud, with an emphasis on Asterisk based PBX's.  Finally Steve will take us through best practices in securing the PBX (and telephony environment), including the tools and techniques you should implement to protect your business (or home) system.                   
Since VoIP PBX technology is now within reach of the small business and home user, this presentation should be of interest to anyone involved with VoIP.  If you already operate VoIP equipment and are wondering if this applies to you, here is  a video showing a company that had to pay a $400,000 USD telephone bill after a single weekend attack on their VoIP PBX.

File Attachments

Attachment Size
2018-04-Linux_and_Me.pdf 1.91 MB

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, March 5 2018

Laptop installation, Kubernetes

Meeting Date

Jim Kelsh will demonstrate how to install Linux on a laptop. He may cover different installation methods and different distributions. This presentation is intended to be friendly to beginners to Linux.

Update: Jim's slides are here: 2018-03-05-linux-installation.odp

Charlie Drage will discuss his work (and contributions) to Kubernetes.

File Attachments

Attachment Size
2018-03-05-linux-installation.odp 5.39 MB

KWLUG Meeting: Monday February 5 2018, 7pm

Data Visualization with ElasticSearch

Meeting Date

Mary Loubele will lead an interactive demonstration of how to use Elasticsearch to visualize the Twitter API. Bring your laptop loaded with VirtualBox. You will also need a Twitter login to access the API.

To participate, please follow these instructions:

The virtual machine for you to download is here:

The demonstration will cover the following topics:

  • How to install Elasticsearch and Kibana on a virtual machine.
  • How to get Twitter data from the Twitter API into Elasticsearch.
  • How to build insightful visualizations with Kibana.
  • How to perform text classification with Elasticsearch.



KWLUG Meeting: Monday, December 11 2017, 7pm

Curv, Mattermost

Meeting Date

Note: We have shifted this meeting a week forward. Cory Doctorow will be giving a talk on Dec 4 at the University of Waterloo, and there is some chance that tickets will be made available to the public. In this case many KWLUG members would prefer to attend that talk rather than this meeting.

Doug Moen will tell us about Curv, a 3D modelling language he is developing for making art using mathematics. Jonathan Fritz will tell us about his work on Mattermost, an open-source alternative to Slack.

Doug writes:

Curv is an open source 3D solid modelling language, oriented towards 3D printing, procedurally generated art, and mathematical visualization. It's a pure functional language where geometric shapes are first class values, and are constructed by transforming and combining simpler shapes using an unusually rich collection of operators.

Instead of polyhedral meshes or other boundary representations, Curv represents shapes as pure functions (Function Representation or F-Rep). This is a volumetric representation, where a function maps every point (x,y,z) in 3D space onto the properties of a shape. This representation is powerful, supporting a wide range of shape operators, and is a good match to the volumetric nature of 3D printing.

F-Rep is well suited to being directly rendered by a GPU. To achieve this, Curv code is compiled into GPU shader programs or compute kernels.

Jon writes:

Mattermost is an open source alternative to popular enterprise chat applications like Slack, HipChat, and Microsoft Teams. It can be used on the web, your desktop, or your mobile device. The project is MIT-licensed, with an enterprise version available for paid customers that need additional functionality.

Special Event: Cory Doctorow in KW: Monday, Dec 4 2017

Booksigning and evening lecture

Meeting Date

Note: This visit is being organized by the University of Waterloo Cheriton School of Computer Science;, as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations, but the organizers have kindly opened the evening talk to the general public as well as the UW community.

Blogger, activist and author Cory Doctorow will be giving two events in Kitchener-Waterloo on Monday, December 4.

  • At 3pm Doctorow will be doing a reading and book signing at the central branch of the Kitchener Public Library. The event is free but tickets are required. See to get tickets.
  • At 7pm Doctorow will be giving a talk at the Modern Languages building of the University of Waterloo. It is titled "Dead canary in the coalmine: we just lost the web in the war on general purpose computing" This event is also free, but tickets are required (and the event is expected to sell out). See for the talk description and a link to get tickets.


KWLUG Meeting: Monday, November 6, 2017, 7pm

Large-scale Open Source Storage and Filesharing

Meeting Date

Lori Paniak will describe a project he worked on at the University of Waterloo. He writes:

The University of Waterloo School of Computer Science (SCS) recently undertook a project to provide several hundred TB of redundant, multi-building distributed high-performance storage for SCS users and infrastructure use. The first part of this talk will recount the non-linear trajectory of the project from the formulation of goals through to the delivered Ceph system.

The design of this system allows for the modular addition of services utilizing the storage. The first such service, SCS Nextcloud, provides a DropBox-like functionality across all popular client platforms. We will give details of a high-availablity implementation of Nextcloud built using haproxy and containers.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, October 2, 2017, 7pm

Open Source for Astronomy

Meeting Date

Khalid Baheyeldin has been dabbling in a new hobby: amateur astronomy. In this talk he will share some of the surprisingly capable open source software he has found for astronomy, and has been using. This includes: planetarium applications, drivers for telescope control, astrophotography, astrometry, object databases, and more.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, Sept 11 2017, 7pm

Shell Script Ruination, JOSM OpenStreetMap Editor

Meeting Date

Tim Laurence will talk about "How to ruin your life using shell scripts".

Andrew Cant has been playing with JOSM, the Java-based OpenStreetMap editor. He will discuss his experiences thus far.