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2005 USENIX Annual Technical Conference

USENIX '05 Home

Conference Overview

Important Dates

Conference Organizers

General Session Refereed
Papers Track

Free and Open Source
Software (FREENIX) Track

Invited Talks and Guru Sessions

Training Program

WiPs, Posters, and BoFs

Sponsorship Opportunities

Call for Papers
in PDF Format


FREENIX is the USENIX Annual Technical Conference's forum on free and open source software. The FREENIX Program Committee is looking for papers providing practical and/or academic insight. FREENIX is an excellent showcase for the latest developments in and interesting applications of free and open source software. Any project with a focus on software that is redistributable in source-code form and available online is a good candidate for a FREENIX submission. (Submissions focusing on proprietary software will not be accepted.) Projects that, while not yet 100% finished, anticipate release in the near term are also good candidates for FREENIX. Submission of any sort of free and open source software-related work is encouraged, including:

  • Project reports
  • Academic studies and relevant theory
  • Usage and development experiences, both successful and unsuccessful
The emphasis of a FREENIX submission should be on clearly communicating important and technically interesting software ideas to a broad audience.

Areas of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Benchmarking
  • Cross-platform source portability and binary compatibility
  • Desktop metaphors
  • Distributed and parallel systems
  • Documentation
  • Embedded systems
  • File and storage systems
  • Graphical user interface tools
  • Highly available systems
  • Highly scalable and clustered systems
  • How free software is being developed and managed today
  • Interesting deployments of free software
  • Large-scale system management
  • Network design and implementation
  • Nontechnical aspects of free software: business, legal, etc.
  • Operating system design
  • Print systems
  • Reliability and availability
  • Quality assurance
  • Security, privacy, and trust
  • Software development tools
  • System and user management tools
FREENIX submissions will be judged based on the extent to which they express interesting, useful, thought-provoking, and/or novel work. Ideas should be presented in a form suitable for consumption by people with a wide range of technical abilities and backgrounds.

We strongly encourage first-time authors, including students, non-academic professionals, and amateur developers, to share their experiences. If you have something to share, you should begin thinking about writing a paper right now; a common mistake is to delay too long. If you would like help or comments on your paper idea, please feel free to email; we would be happy to guide authors toward a successful paper submission.

Paper Submissions
The FREENIX Refereed Track submission deadline is October 22, 2004, 11:59 p.m. PST. This is a hard deadline; no extensions will be given!

You may submit either a complete paper no longer than 8-14 pages, or a 4-5-page extended abstract of your work to date. The program committee reads these submissions to determine which papers to accept for the conference; it is important that you include enough detail that program committee members can know what you are doing. In no event should you submit a description in excess of 14 pages including all figures, tables, and bibliography. An example of a good FREENIX extended abstract is available here.

All submissions for the 2005 USENIX FREENIX Track will be electronic, in PDF or PostScript, via this Web form. Be sure your paper is formatted in US-letter style (8.5x11 inches) and please use only standard English fonts.

Authors will be notified of receipt of submission via email.

A good paper should:

  • Be informative. The readers of your paper should learn something from it. It should be clear whether readers can apply your work to their own environment, and how they would go about doing so. "Negative results" that contradict the conventional wisdom are often more important than positive results, especially in case studies.
  • Demonstrate the innovation in the work being discussed. Freely redistributable source code alone does not necessarily make a project innovative. Projects being discussed need not be major breakthroughs in their field, but should at a minimum demonstrate something new, potentially useful, and non-obvious. Papers should clearly demonstrate any improvements over the previously published work in their field.
  • Demonstrate the maturity of the work. The work described should be well under way. Most of the design and some of the implementation and testing should be accomplished by the submission date. You should have some initial results to report, including some idea of the performance of the work described (if appropriate). Final details are not needed at submission date, but should be presented in the final published work.
  • Describe a project which has freely redistributable source code, or work related to such a project. Authors are strongly encouraged to release any source code they have prior to initial submission, even if the sources are incomplete and may not compile. If your project is not far enough along for that to be possible, it may be more appropriate for a Work-in-Progress report. Similarly, if at all possible, final papers should include references to published source code.
  • Include sufficient references. Authors must provide citations and a bibliography to prior publications or projects, along with an explanation of how your paper builds upon or improves upon the related work. The program committee expects you to make a substantial effort to find related work, as part of the process of documenting what makes your paper interesting.
  • Be clearly written. Submissions should clearly describe the ideas, work already accomplished, and work to be completed. Authors are encouraged to use available online writing style guides if they need guidance in this area. (Good examples are available here and here.)
Whether you submit an extended abstract or a full-length paper, the qualities listed above should be evident in your submission. Furthermore, submissions should clearly detail where work is still to be done or explained. Papers previously published by USENIX, especially those published in the FREENIX Refereed Track, may be useful to help determine what is appropriate and to improve your paper. A list of papers previously published by USENIX is available in our Library of Proceedings.

Note: The USENIX Annual Technical Conference, like most conferences and journals, requires that papers not be submitted simultaneously to more than one conference or publication, and that submitted papers not be previously or subsequently published elsewhere. Papers accompanied by nondisclosure agreement forms are not acceptable and will be returned to the author(s) unread. All submissions are held in the highest confidentiality prior to publication in the Proceedings, both as a matter of policy and in accord with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976.

Authors will be notified of paper acceptance or rejection by December 7, 2004. Authors whose submissions are accepted are expected to produce a final written paper for the proceedings. Each accepted paper will be shepherded by a member of the program committee. Shepherds will help authors through the writing process prior to final acceptance for publication. Typically, authors and shepherds exchange 3-4 drafts of an accepted paper during the shepherding period. The effort involved by authors varies from paper to paper, but during the shepherding period authors will often spend a total of 7-10 full days of work preparing their papers for camera-ready submission. After shepherd approval, the correctly formatted papers must be submitted with the standard release form to the USENIX publications office by February 24, 2005. If you would like to avoid formatting changes, you may consult a predefined template which formats according to the USENIX guidelines: Troff, LaTeX and style file, Framemaker, and MS-Word, available here.

Final reports should be as polished as possible; higher quality submissions are often better received by the community. Your paper should describe work that has been completed as of the time of final submission. Your talk at the conference may describe not only what is in your paper but also the work completed between the time the final paper is submitted and the conference is held.

If you have specific questions about submissions, send them to the program chair via email to To help all authors, especially first-time authors, feel free to email with your ideas for a paper. We do not reject papers because they may be unpolished, and we would be happy to guide authors toward a successful paper submission.

Note regarding registration: One author per paper will receive a registration discount of $200. USENIX will offer a complimentary registration upon request.

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