Flock to Fedora 2023

WARNING: This post is very image-heavy with full-res images.

Last week I had the opportunity to attend Fedora’s annual Flock event in Cork, Ireland. Flock is unique among conferences that I attend for/with AlmaLinux because it is 100% developer, contributor, and community-focused. There are no booths, no exhibitors, and little to no corporate influence. As a result, it’s a very different type of experience for me compared to other conferences.

Generally, I’m sitting/working at the AlmaLinux booth when we exhibit at conferences. I attend very few if any talks. Truth be told, most of the talks at conferences we attend don’t interest me anyway. Flock was different. I had a schedule packed full of talks that interested me and in quite a few cases I had to choose one talk over another since I couldn’t be in two places at once, or in some cases three.

This year Flock was held in Cork, Ireland, and getting there was not without its challenges. The incoming plane for my very first flight was diverted due to weather and it was just downhill from there. After four hours on the phone with the airline, a rebooking of the flight, a missed flight (technically not missed, the airline took my bag off the plane…), another rebook, and a few more delays I finally made it to Dublin. From here Cork was a nice two-and-a-half-hour train ride through the amazing countryside of Ireland.

Train in Cork, IE

After a quick dinner in the hotel restaurant, which was surprisingly good, and 14 solid hours of sleeping - it was time for things to get started. The night before the conference started we were treated to a sponsor dinner which was my first opportunity to start putting names to faces of many people that I’ve been working with online for nearly a year now.

Flock to Fedora 2023 Sponsor Dinner

CentOS Connect

CentOS Connect was co-located with Flock this year. Given my involvement with AlmaLinux, naturally, I have an interest in CentOS Connect as well.

I was able to enjoy talks from many different folks about topics ranging from secure boot to EPEL to KDE (in EPEL) to automated release monitoring and beyond. I was able to sit in a single track for basically the entire day and absorb immense amounts of information. The afternoon of this day I took a shift volunteering to operate the camera for the live stream. It was a win/win since it was in the track (CentOS connect) that I wanted to be in anyway.

Camera Duty

This was my second CentOS Connect, the first having been co-located with FOSDEM back in January of this year. It’s wonderful to see the CentOS community continuing to develop several years after the infamous CentOS to Stream changes. The community is vibrant and growing every day doing things that simply weren’t possible under the traditional CentOS Linux model.

International Candy Swap

At Flock, there is an event known as the international candy swap. This is a culmination of candies and treats from all over the world brought by attendees. In short, it is a diabetic’s worst nightmare.

International Candy Swap

I believe this year there was representation from every continent except Antarctica. My contribution was Jolly Ranchers, Fruit Gushers, Peanut Brittle, and Pecan Brittle. I didn’t partake in eating any of the candy except for one packet of Fun Dip…tons of sugar plus beer and a lack of water just didn’t seem like the best idea at the time. This was my second trip to Europe and I find myself in a constant state of thirst when I’m there but that’s a topic for another time.


The next two days were filled with many great sessions that were mostly tailored to Fedora…you know, the event’s namesake. As I sit here reviewing the schedule it’s hard to figure out where to begin because all of the content was so good.

Something unique to Flock this year was a panel about upstream collaboration from the Enterprise Linux ecosystem and I was honored to be invited to take part in it. Fedora holds a unique position in the ecosystem because no matter what Enterprise Linux variant you use, be it RHEL, AlmaLinux, Rocky Linux, CentOS Stream, etc. - Fedora is the upstream. Fedora is where the magic happens. It is where innovation and real community collaboration come together to create something truly incredible - an incredibly stable free and open source operating system for the masses.

I was joined on stage by Matthew Miller of Fedora acting as the moderator, Neil Hanlon representing Rocky Linux, Brian Exelbierd representing Red Hat, and Davide Cavalca representing CentOS Stream. The panel started, I think, a bit awkward for all of us on stage given the recent online drama surrounding the EL ecosystem, but I feel like we all got our bearings towards the middle and end of the panel and it turned out to be a very good conversation. I think there is interest to continue this type of panel at Flock in the future and I sure hope to be invited to participate again!

Did I mention this was my first public speaking event…ever? 🙂

Panel: Upstream collaboration & cooperation in the Enterprise Linux ecosystem


Flock was easily one of my favorite conferences to attend. I cannot wait for next year, especially since I’ve been assured it will be back in the USA. I’m not a traveler so I like keeping things close to home.

The opportunities to meet people that I’ve been working with for so long were priceless. I’d like to especially thank Fedora and by extension Red Hat for welcoming me and AlmaLinux to Flock with open arms. It was an experience that I’ll never forget. I’m thankful to AlmaLinux for sponsoring my travel and trusting me as a representative of our great community and Fedora along with my good friend Carl George for helping to make it all come together at the very last minute with the hotel.

Tivoli Room


Guinness is still terrible, even in Ireland. I found a nice Italian beer, Pironi, that I really enjoyed, as well as Moretti. The Irish (at least the ones I crossed paths with in pubs) seem to think that Jack Daniels is good bourbon…which it is obviously not.

Cork is not exactly Ireland apparently, or it’s at least like the Texas of Ireland. It’s Ireland but also its own thing.

The weather in Ireland is quite nice actually. I didn’t mind the off-and-on drizzling rain, and having highs of 65F in the middle of summer compared to 90-100F at home in Alabama was a nice change of pace.

I was extremely worried about no A/C in the hotel or most buildings in general but it turned out to not be that bad. We did have the windows of the hotel room open the entire time we were there, and we did get extra desk fans from the hotel…but it all worked out.

There’s no way Europeans drink enough water to stay hydrated. It’s easier to get beer and wine than just regular ol’ drinking water I swear.

Flock Game Night Flock Registration Desk Cork, IE