FOSS Club STIST - Updates

This topic is home to the FOSS Club at St Thomas Institute for Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram. We’ll post the events and activities of the club in this thread.

The Club

The club is open to everyone and do not require any formal process or approval to join.

Core team

Core team consists of 10 members: 4 first years, 1 second year, 2 third years and 3 fourth years. The core members do not have any permanent roles and we have decided that volunteering for roles for each event is better for the team.

The core members were chosen with a two round test including a CryptPad quiz+test and Jitsi interview. The team had an onboarding call to familiarize with the club and introduce themselves.

Plans for 2023

We have prepared a three month plan for clubs from October to December

October – all done


  • Internal events for core team members (Linux installation, git, fediverse, etc)
  • Spread awareness through social media
  • Treasure hunt and game sprinkled with FOSS tech
  • Talk on cybersecurity – we require resource person from FOSSU
  • Get more members

December – 'tis the season for exams

  • Linux installation party
  • Plan for January
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October 2023 – Event 1

We did our first event, FOSS101, a talk on FOSS and git and a recipe game to help them understand version control. The talk and game were done by Vishal DS on October 3, Tuesday.



The event was attended by the staff coordinator, HODs of all departments, the principal and members of the FOSS club. The customary speeches and inauguration was done by the principal and HOD of the CSE department. It was followed by Vishal’s talk on FOSS and the club in general. The talk focused on the concept of version control and why it is relevant. Later the audience was divided into two teams A and B and played a recipe game to familiarize them with version control. Team B won🎉 for making the recipe first, and both recipes were later hosted on the website.

The good

  • Good participation
  • There was interaction between the students
  • Almost no expenses for the event, except for printing the poster

The bad

  • Only FOSS club members were given permission to participate, even though the official inauguration was on that day. On the bright side, we got more than 50 members even before the official inauguration
  • We found a CSS bug that prevented scrolling in the website way too late

The ugly

  • The game, which was supposed to select and host the best recipe, had to be stopped midway and the team that finished creating the PR first was declared the winner because of lack of time alloted.
  • Also, we couldn’t host the website live during the event

Updates from catch-up call #1

Attendees [ @Pranav1 @wisharya Ansh]

Updates from the club’s end

  • 2 events have been conducted so far with a good response
  • Event 2 report yet to be documented.
  • A FOSS themed treasure hunt and a Linux Installation Fest is being planned

Core team Selection Procedure

  • A form was rolled out for recruitments to check the applicants’ knowledge about FOSS
  • FOSS is something new to the campus, selections were based on technical background
  • Since the current lead is in 4th year and very occupied right now, we discussed how we can instill the philosophy in other members of the core team and have somebody from them lead the club going forward
  • No potential future leads as of now, need to encourage juniors to take up initiatives more actively

General discussion

  • Club structure right now is 3 fourth years, 2 third years, 1 second year, 3 first years
  • There is a participation problem at the campus. Students are not very interested
  • A resource person was invited from FSUG to give a talk but could not come,something like that would be beneficial
  • The lead feels someone from FOSS United talking to the students might motivate them.
  • The visit and a speaker will be arranged after considering the academic schedule of all years, tentatively in Feb

There is a messaging problem with the club - it is not making students interested.


November Updates

Event 2: a talk Red Teaming and Dependencies on Open Source was done by Davis Sojan, security engineer at UST. The event focused on how organizations protect themselves from cyberattacks and he showed vulnerabilities in an intentionally insecure website without wearing a hoodie and pressing inspect element. He showed open source tools used to exploit vulnerabilities and explained how open source is important and cool in the hackerverse.

The good

  • Informal talk, with Q&A
  • Presentation was sprinkled with memes
  • 74 attended – 12 more than the number registered online
  • Talk started on time
  • Tea for the participants
  • Registration not limited to FOSS Club members this time

The bad

  • Unlike the previous event, fourth years did not show much participation. Participation from first year CSE was also very low.
  • Participation of girls was low compared to that of boys
  • We had many last minute registrations, and tea was ordered for only 47
  • We had asked for resource persons and were directed to FSUG TVM. There was some communication delay and we had to find a resource person by other means.
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It doesn’t look like there’s a participation problem among students :sweat_smile:, this seems amazing

I had missed out a few details during the call.

We got 41 responses for the form and we shortlisted 18 candidates based on the response. We (a small team of fourth years and third years) did a 1 hour jitsi interview for each of them and evaluated them based on how well they could learn new things, like understanding a FOSS project from its README or learning to code from w3schools example.

I was wrong there. Core team structure is 4 first years, 1 second year, 2 third years, 3 fourth years. Also, we decided not to have sub teams as at least half of us will be occupied at any given time. We mostly volunteer for different things for each event.

What I meant was that while the number of students who register and participate is high and they listen to talks, we haven’t been able to connect with them the way we wanted to. The college management sees this as just another club that does events and the students seem to have a similar view. The problem as I see it is that they are used to studying or coding for getting grades, not building software or applying the things they learn since that’s how they grew up. Changing that is not an easy task since it involves some other factors, like social privileges. I might be wrong but the people I know who have worked with FOSS projects all had the privilege of growing up with computers and internet (including me) and I think that it had a role in building the free culture in them. But not everyone has the privilege of having the right conditions that could lead them to embrace the open source philosophy. We students can connect with each other better than teachers but there are limits to what we can do. Hopefully things are going to get better after the visit in February, since volunteers at FOSSU have more experience working with people at the ground level.

I agree with that and we’ll try to fix that. I’ve noticed communication problems inside and outside the core team, and one of the things we did to reduce that was to use taiga to communicate and document things. This is something similar (and better) to issues in github, gitlab, etc except we use it for non-software stuff. We’re just beginning to use it, and it won’t be entirely hassle-free.

There are some colleges with mailing lists or website subdomains to inform students of events and other stuff. We don’t have anything like that and currently we use social media for spreading word (Instagram, Telegram, WhatsApp, PixelFed) and print posters a few days before the event. If there are suggestions on how we can improve that would be great.


I can relate to this a lot, and I’ve seen this not just among club members but also in our audience at city chapters.

Yes, @wisharya let’s also try to get somebody in out network to give a talk at one of the clubs’ events, maybe someone from the Kochi chapter might be interested.

You will be provided with a portal for the club in the upcoming FOSS United Platform that should be able to help create events, manage participants, we can also help with managing a mailing list. The club members can also start working on a website for the club? Would be a good project for first/second years.

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Sharing this in the Kochi community.


I would honestly say that it feels like you are trying to rush. You can’t force yourself to learn about FOSS or generally get interested into it. It will be very easy for someone who can catch up with the concept and starts enjoying it.

Have been in your shoes. I noticed the same problem and tried making a change but only was able to change 3 people. Even those 3 haven’t changed properly, 2 of them are still lurking behind things like “Good Grades == Good College == Good Placement”. I constantly try manipulating their thoughts by knocking them with real life. You can try talking with them and in the same way give them anecdotes on how the ratio for self learning and academics should be. The problem is not with them, those folks are actually ready to accept it but don’t want to accept the reality as “Good Placements” again block their vision for freedom and FOSS>

Other than this I barely can say anything, as this is something like fighting against the system.


December - Linux installation fest

We conducted a Linux installation fest on December 21. It was our first event not restricted to the CSE department. We got 7 registrations and 5 attended. Everyone was busy with last minute classes, internal and external lab exams, submission of pending works, Christmas decorations and celebration works, etc. and we were allotted December 21 for the event.

Most of us aren’t familiar with different flavours so we asked some questions in the registration form to help participants choose a distro. Based on the responses we decided to show them elementary OS, Zorin and KDE neon but in the end everyone wanted Zorin.

The Good

  • Open to everyone
  • Attended persons were happy with the distro and they helped in the event
  • Zero costs

The Bad

  • Only 9 attended, including the core team
  • More than half of the core team were busy
  • No one from other departments participated

Future events

We have semester exams in January and we are planning to conduct our next events in February and March. We got a volunteer from FOSSU Kochi group and we’ll plan our next event after the university issues the academic calendar for the next semester.



I think this should be shifted be shift to the Good assets, 9 for the first Linux Installation Party is more than enough.

I remember back on 7th July this year, for the first time we started with the idea of Linux Installation Party with the Pune Team. And, it was a 95%+ no show.

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You should consider having a small part of the regular club events dedicated to installation fests, like they now do in chennai chapter.


2024 plans


  • Exam time, no events planned
  • Shared the FOSS101 posters and link on social media
  • Core team meetup after exams to talk about the club and new events, and to get feedback


  • Classes start after exams
  • Jobin has volunteered for a session
  • We’re expecting more attendance since no one will be busy with exams and assignments in Feb
  • Treasure hunt


  • College tech fest planned on March 22 & 23 (Friday & Saturday)
  • Fest is open to everyone
  • FOSS club is conducting events and we’d like support from FOSSU. The core team had discussed the events we’re doing and after taking events by other clubs and communities into account this is the event structure we decided:
    • Talks related to FOSS: 20 mins to 2 hour talks (around 5 talks, day 1 and day 2)
    • Linux installation party: always-on basis in computer lab, day 1&2
    • Competition: game similar to treasure hunt (4 hours)
    • Workshop: hands-on workshop on any topic (one day)
  • We would like feedback and suggestions on the plan and would like volunteers for the talks and workshops

PS I’ve asked the staff coordinator about hosting FOSS Hack 4.0 in STIST and I’ll post after she asks the principal’s opinion.

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I had asked the staff coordinator about hosting FOSS Hack 4.0 here. College needs to know the “prerequisites” like what we’re expecting from the college to do, how many rooms we’ll need, wifi, duration, etc.

If there are no other plans to host FOSS Hack 4.0 anywhere else in Thiruvananthapuram, we’re willing to host it if our college accepts the prerequisites/requirements.

Major requirement will be for the college to be open to accept participants from outside the college as well.

Apart from that, you should have a better idea about the turnout and expected participation. We can get multiple classrooms or a single big hall accordingly.

Wifi and a projector will be helpful.

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The staff coordinator said she will ask the authorities on Monday. I’ll post when I get a response.

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Inter-college tech fest

The college is planning an intercollege tech fest on 2024-03-21T18:30:00Z2024-03-22T18:30:00Z. The fest consists of events (talks, workshops, competitions) by different clubs in the college and registration will be open to students of all colleges. The FOSS Club has planned the following structure for their events:

  • One hands-on workshop related to FOSS (full day with lunch break in between) - Guidelines
  • Talks related to FOSS (day 1 and day 2, 10 mins to 2 hours) - Guidelines
  • Linux installation party (2 days)
  • Competition (game similar to treasure hunt, 4 hours)

Requirements from FOSS United

  • Speakers for the workshop and talks
  • Swags (t-shirts for core team and stickers for talk&workshop participants)
  • Sponsor snacks and tea for participants, and prize money for competition
  • Feedback and suggestions

So far

  • Core team has finalized the structure
  • Competition plan is almost ready
  • Prepared for Linux installation party (reusing OSes from previous Linux fest)
  • @ansh is helping with making a CFP and reaching out to speakers
  • @wisharya says he’d like to give a talk after checking with the dates
  • All events will be free to register

Please send an email to, mentioning the expenses and approximate monetary requirements from our end.

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Goal-Driven Triumph: Navigating Challenges to Success by Jobin Selvanose

We’re doing a session this Friday on developing an interest in coding and helping students think like a dev. The speaker is a 20 year old web developer from Thiruvananthapuram. It’s open to all students in the college. Draft registration form

Requirements from FOSSU

  • Fund for tea and snacks (I’ll email the invoice after the event)