Manchester Free Software Festival

Manchester Free Software Festival

Manchester Free Software Festival

Dates: 3rd-7th February
Booking: Sign up for events via EventBrite

Get ready to celebrate:
Manchester’s first Free Software festival has arrived!

Free Software is the radical tech movement behind projects like WordPress, Android, Bitcoin, Firefox, GNU/Linux, LibreOffice, and many more. It guarantees you the freedom to use, study, change, and share your computer software and has spawned a generation of creativity by empowering millions. The chances are you have been using Free Software for years – this is a great opportunity to learn more about what that means, how you can get involved and most importantly celebrate this fanatic movement with canapés, cake and company.

Events going on during the week:

Volunteer Planning – Monday 3rd February
Bitcoin Bonanza! – Tuesday 4th February
WordPress: Freeing your Business  - Wednesday 5th February
Cryptoparty 2.0 – Thursday 6th February
Free Your Android – Friday 7th February


Bitcoin Bonanza! – Bitcoin intro & workshop

For the Free Software Festival, Bitcoin Manchester is putting together an intro and workshop on Bitcoin. It will be in three parts:

Intro to Bitcoin: A short talk on what it is, how it works, and why it it’s so important

Demo on creating and using Bitcoin wallets. We’ll show you how to sign up for an easy, convenient wallet on, suitable for everyday use and small amounts. We’ll also show you the more technical but extremely secure Armory wallet and how to keep your coins off the internet entirely.


WordPress: Freeing your Business

If you use (or would like to use) WordPress for your business then you are in good company: WordPress is used by around 19% of the top 10 million websites in the world, and there are more than 60 million WordPress sites in total. WordPress gives you the freedom to get involved in your own technology and makes building and maintaining a website for your business or hobby simple and affordable… but the freedom you have with WordPress it part of something bigger.

WordPress is Free Software; it is part of a global movement that has changed computing forever. Free Software is created by communities of people who have made a radical decision: to licence their work so that anyone can use, share, change and study it.

This event is designed for businesses, self-employed people and groups who use or want to use WordPress (however anyone interested in WordPress is welcome to come along). There will be two talks, a chance to network and you can get help and advice about WordPress. Refreshments will be provided.


Free Your Android

Android is a mostly free operating system mainly developed by Google. Unfortunately, the drivers for most devices and most applications from the “market” are not free (as in free speech, not free beer). They frequently work against the interest of the users, spy on them and sometimes can not even be removed. Find out more on FSFE’s Free Your Android campaign page.

In this workshop we will look at FDroid, a market app containing only free and open source applications (which can be installed without rooting the phone); and, for the more adventurous, CyanogenMod an entire aftermarket distribution which gives you more freedom over your device than most stock firmwares.


Cryptoparty 2.0

Cryptoparties are open to everyone from complete beginners to
technical experts. Activists, lawyers, journalists, doctors, small businessmen and the general public will come together to understand how to protect their documents, emails and passwords from being accessed.

Specifically we’ll look at technology such as the Tor network (to browse the internet anonymously) , public key encryption PGP/GPG (to send encrypted email), and OTR (Off The Record messaging for encrypted live chat)