The tools we use

Remember: OSGeo started in 2006 and since then, most of the technical tools remain the same. Some of them were pretty modern back in the days (like Wiki), some up-to-date (e-mail), some were considered old-time even in those days (IRC), but we did not find anything better.

OSGeo UserID

Get your UserID, you may use it for various services within OSGeo.

Mailing lists: For daily communication

OSGeo uses GNU Mailman for empowering the lists infrastructure.

Mailing lists are the heard and soul of OSGeo community communication. 99% of what is happening in the community, all the organisation happens in asynchronous mode via mailing list.

What is an mailing list?

An electronic mailing list or email list is a special use of email that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users. It is similar to a traditional mailing list - a list of names and addresses - as might be kept by an org anization for sending publications to its members or customers, but typically refers to four things:

  • a list of email addresses,
  • the people (“subscribers”) receiving mail at those addresses, thus defining a community gathered around a topic of interest.
  • the publications (email messages) sent to those addresses, and
  • a reflector, which is a single email address that, when designated as the recipient of a message, will send a copy of that message to all of the subscribers.

In short: you send e-mail to one address and it will arrive into mailbox of another thousands of people, who subscribed for it.

Where are relevant mailing list of OSGeo? What the one interesting for me?

You go ti and see the list. There are at the moment (summer 2019) 296 (!) mailing lists. You have to choose one by name and description.

Generally speaking, there are several types of e-mail lists within OSGeo:

  • Organisational and about OSGeo itself
  • Local chapter mailing lists
  • Projects mailing list.
Which mailing lists is worth to follow?
This depends on your focus and interest. It’s always good to watch your project user list (e.g. If you are interested in OSGeo itself, you may follow one or two OSGeo lists.

Some of the OSGeo mailing lists and their purpose


This is, where most of the day-to-day communication within OSGeo takes place. If you are looking for some hint or need to talk to most of the people within OSGeo, this is the place to go.

Archive Expect traffic about n*10^1 emails per week.

This is the place, where all the communication within the Board’s topics is taking place. If you want to watch Board in action, go there.
FOSS4G Conference-dev
Everything new about conference organisation. Each FOSS4G has it’s own mailing lists (e.g. FOSS4G 2019)

How to subscribe to mailing list

  1. Pick the topic you would like to join (e.g. OSGeo-Discuss),
  2. Fill the details in the registration form
  3. Confirm link in the confirmation e-mail
  4. Set filters in your mail box!
  5. Consider fine-tuning your “out-of-office” automatic response
May I greet everybody, once Ḯ’m in?
No. Write only, if you have something real to say. It’s ok to introduce yourself if you did not do it so far, but stick to the topic and try to keep to traffic as low as possible.

How to send e-mail to mailing list

Once you are registered, you can write e-mail to specific address, e.g. - it will be received by everybody else.

How to unregister

In the same form, you registered

The Wiki: Archive and documentation

OSGeo uses MediaWiki

Wiki is the archive and way how to create documents collaboratively. There is track of all the documents, users, day-to-day records for the committees and ad-hoc teams.

Of course, it’s a Wiki, that means, that there is a lot of informations, some of them up-to-date, some of them not so up-to date.

Everybody can create new page any time, but search twice and things at least twice, before you start a new page - maybe there is already just existing something similar, which you can pick and start to work at.

IRC: oneline chat

For online chat as well as for committee meetings, we use IRC (Internet Relay Chat) - protocol, which was created in 1988(!). Even it’s possible to install IRC server on your own hardware, OSGeo uses service provided by the Freenode server.

All you have to do, is to go to the webchat, pick you nick name and know the chatroom you want to join. There are permanent chatrooms as well as temporary for ad-hoc meetings.

Within OSGeo, several permanent rooms are available, namely

  • #osgeo
  • #grass
  • #qgis
  • #gdal

You can find more at OSGeo IRC Wiki

Software for IRC protocol

The easiest option is the Web interface. Most of the old-school chat programs, like Pidgin and others do have support for IRC.

Trac: original ticketing system

Trac was one of the first ticketing and source-code managing systems used within OSGeo. It’s still used by some projects and also for some of the internal agendas (like the SAC team).


You man need the OSGeo ID for being able to add new tickets to Trac.

Gitea: new ticketing system

New times bring new services, and so GIT arrived to OSGeo. OSGeo Gitea instance is the preferred way, how to keep track of projects. It is also one of the services, OSGeo offers to new projects (if you are unhappy with one of the commercial services for your source code).


You man need the OSGeo ID for being able to add new tickets to Gitea.