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FOSDEM 2024 Retrospective

4 min. read

Phibasara Wanniang

Phibasara Wanniang

9 February, 2024



This year, the Passbolt team had the opportunity to participate in FOSDEM 2024, one of the most significant gatherings for free and open-source software enthusiasts held annually in Brussels. It's an occasion that allows us to connect with like-minded individuals, learn from other open-source communities, share insights, and explore the latest innovations in the world of open-source software.

FOSDEM 2024 was particularly memorable for us, not only because of the chance to engage with users and the open source community at large but also because we had the opportunity to contribute. Remy Bertot, Passbolt's CTO and co-founder, presented two insightful talks that provided our perspective on the future of authentication technologies and sparked meaningful discussions afterwards.

Passbolt Talks

Passbolt - Open source password manager for teams

On Saturday, in this lightning talk, Remy gave a high-level overview of the origin and philosophy of the Passbolt project, its differences with other credential managers. Remy provided a quick retrospective of the features shipped in 2023. Additionally, he gave an overview of the roadmap for 2024 and beyond, offering insights into the future trajectory of Passbolt's development and enhancements.

Fig. Remy giving his presentation on Passbolt
Fig. Remy giving his presentation on Passbolt

Beyond passwords: secure authentication with passkeys

Fig. Remy giving his presentation on Passkey
Fig. Remy giving his presentation on Passkey
Remy's talk on Passkey

On Sunday, Remy discussed the future of authentication technologies, focusing on the shift from traditional passwords to passkeys. He highlighted the weaknesses of password-based systems, such as susceptibility to attacks, and introduced passkeys as a more secure alternative. Remy explained the concept of passkeys, including device-bound and synced types, and discussed challenges in implementation and interoperability. He also touched on the FIDO2 project's standardization efforts. Addressing account recovery, Remy suggested a multifaceted approach, advocating for community involvement in overcoming implementation challenges and promoting a secure authentication landscape. He emphasized education, standardization, and collaboration as key factors in transitioning to passkey-based systems.

Fosdem Talks, the team’s selection

Alongside attending Remy's presentations, our team members explored a wide range of topics covered by other speakers. These sessions offered fresh viewpoints and inspired us to think beyond Passbolt. Below, we share some of the talks that resonated with us the most, reflecting our diverse interests and the breadth of knowledge available at FOSDEM.

Clayton: GPL’s Termination under German Law 

This informative session delved into the complexities of GPL (General Public License) violations in accordance with German law. The talk shed light on the options for both creators and those infringing the license, offering a thorough examination of the probable legal consequences. It provided a comprehensive understanding of the legal structure surrounding open-source licensing in Germany.

Kevin: Post-Quantum Cryptography transition: where we are now

Equally engaging was a session on the advent of post-quantum cryptography. This presentation ventured into the realm of post-quantum algorithms, highlighting the performance and security trade-offs we might face. It is a good primer to understand the challenges of the transition towards quantum-resistant cryptographic standards.

Diego: The Four Horsemen of Bad Rust Code

I loved this talk for many reasons. Not only is the content a good introduction to rust common mistakes but also the format of the talk is great. It tells you a story keeping the audience engaged from the beginning to the end which is something that I missed in some other talks. Great content, great memes, great storytelling. The ultimate trifecta!

Daniel: Reinventing database exploration with Azimutt

In this talk Loïc Knuchel introduced a tool for Database exploration called Azimutt. The tool is designed to facilitate the work of developers when dealing with large schemas. We were impressed by the slick UI and its focus on the database developer’s experience. 

Remy: Outreachy: 1000 interns

This keynote celebrated the Outreachy program, reflecting on its significant impact. This retrospective examined the program's provision of three-month paid internships, especially for underrepresented individuals in open-source projects. Recognizing this milestone emphasizes the substantial role Outreachy plays in promoting diversity and inclusion within the open-source community.


FOSDEM 2024 has come to a close, marking another fantastic gathering of open-source enthusiasts, developers, contributors, and founders. Reflecting on our first attendance back in 2004, it's remarkable to witness the exponential growth of this event over the years. The university was abuzz with packed rooms and an extensive array of talks covering diverse topics, making for an incredibly enriching experience. 

It was a pleasure catching up with familiar faces like Emily Omier, Mike Schwartz, Thomas Oberndörfer, Alexander Todorov, and many others. A big shout out to the conference organizers for orchestrating such a successful event. Until next year, FOSDEM!

Fig. Passbolt's Team at Fosdem 2024
Fig. Passbolt's Team at Fosdem 2024