How to organize a GNOME-related Hackfest

A hackfest is an event where people gather to work on a specific topic. You are welcome to organize new hackfests and can request sponsorship for these from the GNOME Foundation.

What does this page cover?

This page is a guide to help you create a GNOME-related hackfest that you can list on our main Hackfests page.

There are other types of events that you can organize which are not covered here. You may also be interested in:

What event qualifies as a GNOME hackfest?

Hackfests are short events where members of the GNOME community get together to work on furthering the GNOME project. This can include:

  • Developing and designing GNOME software
  • Translating GNOME software
  • User and developer documentation
  • Websites, marketing and engagement
  • Project leadership and strategy
  • Training for community members

All hackfests are listed on the GNOME wiki hackfests page.

Who is responsible for what?

As the organiser of a hackfest, you are expected to:

  • set up the hackfest page on this wiki

  • arrange the venue
  • announce the hackfest to

  • work with the Engagement team to promote the event

  • ensure that attendees send in travel and accommodation sponsorship requests well in advance of the hackfest
  • help attendees and travel committee with accommodation and travel suggestions
  • Hackfest organizers are responsible for ensuring that the GNOME Events Code of Conduct is enforced during their event.

The GNOME Foundation can support events by helping you:

  • understand the processes of setting up a hackfest
  • identify and invite the right attendees
  • understand how to request Travel and accommodation sponsorship

  • find sponsors
  • find a venue
  • promote the event

If you need help from the GNOME Foundation to organize your hackfest, or have any questions, please mail

Step by step guide

  1. You (the organiser) should come up with initial details for the hackfest:
    • pick potential dates
    • pick potential venue
    • talk to key attendees to confirm attendance
  2. You create a new hackfest page at Hackfests following the template.

  3. You pin down the details of the hackfest, completing your hackfest event page.
  4. You announce the event on and any other mailing lists and social media channels you see fit. You can ask the Engagement team for help here if needed.

  5. If you expect attendees to need travel sponsorship, you should contact all attendees and ask them to send their requests to the Travel Committee as soon as they start considering attending the hackfest and ideally no later than 8 weeks before the hackfest.

  6. Attendees send in their travel requests.
  7. As part of your hackfest, you are encouraged to reach out to the wider local community. That could mean organizing a presentation for the local Free Software community after working hours, or having a social event with them. If your event can be open to newcomers, that’s even better and you should advertise it. You can find information on how to organize such an event and request budget for it here: Hackfest social events.

  8. If you would like the board to give you assistance, you will need to email the board with what you want the board to do for you at Please note that you do not need the Board's approval to organize a hackfest, they are there to assist you if you need help.

    • The board will discuss your request and contact you with a response.
  9. If you would like the Engagement team to promote your event, help you with marketing material, or send you stickers and SWAG for your event, you will need to email the Engagement team with your request and a link to your hackfest page at

  10. Event happens.
  11. Attendees blog about event.
  12. Attendees receive reimbursements for any Travel Committee requests.

Things to consider

  • Start planning early: last minute hackfests are expensive and more difficult to attend. (I.e., we recommend 2-6 months in advance.)

  • Location. How difficult is it to get there from your continent? Other continents? (E.g., Amsterdam is easier for people to get to than Isle of Man.)

  • Attendees & Travel. Who do you definitely want to attend? Who has committed? What costs will they have? Do you need help reaching out to other groups or identifying participants? (E.g. if you have 5 attendees in Europe and 1 on a tropical island, hold the event in Europe, not on the tropical island.)

  • Venue & Accommodations. How many people are attending? Is there reliable internet and can you use IRC/git? Try to get at least two quotes from hotels; ask them for a conference rate.

  • Agenda. Why do you want to have this Hackfest? What do you aim to accomplish during the Hackfest?
  • Schedule. It helps to have an idea of when you expect things to happen. This will help set everyone's expectations and can allow people to comment if they think something is unreasonable or of concern.
  • Local outreach. Can you invite any local groups? Can you get the local students involved?

Miscellaneous notes about reports, blogging, ''etc.''

Here are some guidelines:

  • You should promote the event and report on it. If you are a Foundation member, we encourage you to blog posts on so they show up on Planet GNOME

  • Sponsored attendees use a Sponsored by the GNOME Foundation badge (available on the Travel Committee page) for your blog, avatar, tweets, etc. You are even invited to create a few real-life badges with the SVG made by Vinicius Depizzol.

  • Try to write a report for each day of the event, be detailed about what was discussed, some keywords that help for this type of writing: who (said it/did it), what (is it/does it do), why (is it being done/it needs work), how (is the goal progressing/the team organised).
  • Make sure any marketing you do for the event is in compliance with GNOME's brand guidelines.

  • Take lots of pictures! (after asking if people mind). Consider sharing some of those with the wider GNOME community and GNOME Engagement team so we can use them to promote GNOME. Find out how to submit photos to GNOME.

  • Create a tag/hashtag for your event in Flickr, Twitter,, Facebook, with the same name as the wiki page if possible, for example: #bananahackfest2010 or #BananaHackfest2010, whatever reads better in the service that you are using.

Hackfests/New (last edited 2019-08-21 08:55:11 by FedericoMenaQuintero)