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openSUSE:Board election 2016 platform Knurpht

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Note: This page is used by the candidate of the board election as a platform to show his views and answer some standard questions.

Introduction and Biography

Contact Details edit

Gertjan Lettink

Contact Details

My contact details in short:

Hi, my name is Gertjan Lettink, 55 years old, and I live in Groningen, Netherlands with wife, 2 leftover kids and 4 cats. I work as a self employed ICT entrepreneur.

I started my linux life on S.u.S.E. 6.4, never missed a version since. From 2001 I've managed to keep our house windows-free, i.e. my youngest (13) has been using linux from birth ( her user account is a day younger than she is ).

My main activities in the openSUSE community have been in the forums, both in giving support and as a global moderator; on request of users I founded the dutch subforums. Over the years I've seen many parts of the openSUSE project: built nvidia packages in the early Tumbleweed days in OBS, built custom install media and appliances in SUSE studio, filed bug reports etc etc etc. From around 2010 I've co-organized dutch launch parties and tried to get lots attention for the oSC2015 in my country.

openSUSE is not only my home distro ( wife and kids all run openSUSE, most of them only openSUSE ), I also use it professionally and have been able to convert customers to openSUSE, both on desktops and servers, varying from NFS/NIS and LDAP based office networks to complete ICT infrastructures and cloud solutions. Most of my customers are in the non-profit area.

Above all, I'm not here for personal success, I'm a community person with a strong belief in "free", "open" and "community". In my life "success" means that others are happy with what I do.

Aims, Goals, Thoughts

  • The big points I'd like to make on the board can be summarized in one word: Communication.
    • On the one hand cross-community communication, imagine a mixture, a collection of,, and f.e. the mailing lists archives.
    • On the other hand external communication, personally I'm thinking of a kind of automated weekly report about what's going on in this community, spread through social media etc.
    • On yet another hand ;-) I'd like to get a discussion started on Portal, SDB, wiki etc, investigate our options to make our knowledge base more accessible and more easy to maintain.
    • In all this I see means to not only improve our overall presentation, but also to show that it's fun to contribute to the project, to get people do things. We're makers, aren't we?

  • Related to communication: Kolab. osc2015 was held in the Hague, in a joint event with the Kolab Summit. Ever since it has been on my mind that this initial cooperation could eventually lead to an awesome thing: integration of Kolab in openSUSE/SUSE. Picture a Yast module that sets up a Kolab server.
  • Another thing that has been on my mind since osc2015 is the release of SUSE's code base to openSUSE. Leap 42.1 has been the first proof of how we can benefit, but what more can we make happen?
  • Last but not least: given the fact that professional occupation plays a role in board communicaion, get talks started on maybe an extra board member.


None of the above is meant as criticism towards the current board or previous ones. The openSUSE Project is and will be a work in progress.

Role of the board

The openSUSE Board is a representation of the community. In all it's decision making that should be the leading principle. Apart from the tasks already described on the openSUSE:Board pages, and related to my main campaign issue I also see a task for the board to help propagate the project and it's achievements.

Why you should vote for me?

  • Number one: For my love and care for the openSUSE project. Found "all over the place".
  • For my skills as an allrounder: I'm able to be a bridge between tech- and non-tech people, I can talk as well as listen, write as well as read, plan as well as do, work on my own as well as a team member ( preferably as a team member though )
  • For my years of experience, not only in the openSUSE community, with volunteer projects.
  • My 10 years of giving support where ever I can. This in forums, on mailing-lists, Google+, Facebook, help testing, (co-)organize launch parties, workshops and so on.
  • Why not?


If you have any, please leave them below, you have my gratitude.

  • I've worked with Gertjan for a number of years as he is a frequent contributor and moderator to the openSUSE Forums ( and it's obvious he has a passion for making openSUSE the best that it can be. I heartily recommend him for a spot on the board. He would be a great addition and advocate for openSUSE - Kim Groneman
  • Gertjan is a valued member of the openSUSE forum team and has been for quite a number of years. Always a pleasure to get along with and certainly very knowledgable. Gertjan has a kindly way of conversing with others even if circumstances are somewhat inflamed. Without question, he has my recommendation. -- Carl Fletcher
  • As a fellow Dutchman, I know Gertjan also in the real world, meeting him on several openSUSE occasions. I can affirm that all that is said above is also applicable in the real world. I can surely recommend him and will be proud to have him on the board even though I know that in the board he will represent the openSUSE community in the broadest sense and not only the Netherlands' part of it. -- Henk van Velden