The Linux Foundation is expanding its events schedule to add a conference focused on a broader attendee base.

The organisation has held an invitation-only conference for key open-source developers and community members in each of the past two years,but now wants to hold an event called LinuxCon next September that will be open to anyone who wants to attend.

The first LinuxCon will be held in Portland, Oregon, and will include a technology showcase as well as technical sessions, tutorials, keynotes and targeted mini-summits on topics such as enterprise open source, mobile computing and embedded systems. LinuxCon will take place simultaneously with the foundation's second annual Linux Plumbers Conference, a previously planned event for leaders of the open-source development community.

"People who've attended our other events have asked for [a conference like LinuxCon], including people who are members of the foundation who'd like to open it to a broader audience," said Jim Zemlin, the consortium's executive director.

The foundation's annual Collaboration Summit, which most recently was held in April, is designed to gather a small group of open-source community leaders to work on the issues and challenges facing the community.

In New York next month, the group will hold its inaugural End User Collaboration Summit, a similarly invitation-only event aimed at enabling Linux users and developers to interact with one another.
LinuxCon, on the other hand, will be a larger and more inclusive event, according to Zemlin. "It will be open to anyone," he said, adding that the new conference will have "a broader focus than some of our other events have."

Zemlin said LinuxCon also is being organised in response to trends in the IT conference business, with a bent toward user-to-user conversations and connections, as well as technical training and education - not glitzy displays and vendor marketing pushes. "It's been a long time coming, but I think we can all acknowledge that the days of Comdex and huge trade-show floors are waning," he said.

Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier, community manager of the OpenSuSE open-source project, said that he expected LinuxCon to "meet a crucial need" for the open-source community. "We don't have a single forum where Linux contributors and users can collaborate on real issues at every level," he added.

The Linux Foundation was created early last year through the merger of Open Source Development Lab and Free Standards Group, which at the time were the two primary evangelists for Linux.