Abhas is a hacker, entrepreneur and free software activist.

As the founder of DeepRoot GNU/Linux, an twenty-three-year-old Free Software Business that provides support, services and solutions for Free Software deployments. DeepRoot builds mail servers and clusters, provides hosting & support for a variety of Free Software tools and helps organisations of all sizes choose self-hosting for their infrastructure in general.

Abhas also leads a hardware venture called Mostly Harmless, where he experiments with and builds Libre and Liberated Hardware (like hackable mechanical keyboards, liberated computers, home automation solutions and more. The goal is to build and sell hardware put owners in control of their lives by enabling them to run free/libre software on more hardware than usually possible.

Mostly Harmless operates the LibreTech.Shop - India’s first store for hackable and ethical products that offer convenience.

Abhas is a member of the the Free Software Foundation, India working group and has been a participant in the community in India for many years.

Accepted Talks:

Home Automation using Free Software

Most off-the-shelf home automation hardware products run proprietary software. We usually purchase them for the additional convenience they might provide us.

However, its very possible to do control our lights, switches, networks, music and much more using Free Software exclusively.

As a part of this workshop, I will offer a practical hands-on demonstration of running a wide variety of devices that can be used in a typical home network using Free Software.

This includes:

  1. A home server using Yunohost & Home Assistant (on Debian)
  2. A wireless router using OpenWRT
  3. Off-the-shelf tube-lights flashed with free software firmware (Tasmota)
  4. Electrical switches with Tasmota & Espurna firmware
  5. Monitoring power consumption
  6. Building colourful lights using WLED
  7. Integrating self-hosted voice assistants like Mycroft with Home Assitant
  8. Integrating and bridging communications systems: Matrix, XMPP and more.

I will setup a network with all these hardware and walk the participants into how to integrate and use them.

My hope is that via this workshop some people will want to build such a “playground” for themselves. And that will encourage more activity into integrating these tools better with Debian so that they’re easier for others to use.