Contest Takes SXSW Experience Outside of Austin

Spring Break is upon us, and the destination of choice for geeks to take their annual spring sojourn is the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin.  Not all those who wish to go will get the expense approved and instead will end up stuck sifting through a barrage of blog posts and event hashtags in order to get their SXSW fix. Showing some compassion for those techs left out in the cold, technology assessment company TrueAbility is launching a skills contest aimed at bringing the competition and prizes often found in the exhibit booths in Austin, to Linux administrators anywhere.

Appropriate with it’s Texas theme, the Linux Showdown is a five-day event that pits online challengers against each other and SXSW attendees with the goal of solving a simulated server administration crisis.  The top five finishers each day will win a Raspberry Pi, and the top 15 finishers each day will be invited to compete in an online final on March 14 to win a MacBook Air, 256G SSD Drive, or Pivos Android Media server for first, second and third place, respectively. 

Event organizers say that each contestant is limited to 20 minutes to solve the problem successfully, and that competitors will be ranked by their score and completion times. For anyone wishing they could be there, this seems like a good way to enjoy a bit of SXSW from the comfort of your home or office. 

The Linux Showdown opens today, and runs through March 12.  To sign-up or for more information, visit the Linux Showdown page at


Carlie Fairchild is the publisher of Linux Journal.


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