Bootlin welcomes Clément Léger in its team

Welcome on board!Since June 1st, we’re happy to have an additional engineer in our team, Clément Léger!

After graduating from ENSIMAG in 2012, Clément spent 9 years working for Kalray, a silicon vendor company based in France, designing and producing an innovative and advanced new multi-core CPU architecture. At Kalray, Clément was in charge of porting a bootloader and the Linux kernel to this new CPU architecture, working on all aspects needed to support the CPU in the arch/ of Linux (syscalls, interrupts, exceptions, MMU, etc.) as well as developing a number of core kernel drivers such as pinctrl, irqchip, remoteproc and spimem.

In our engineering team at Bootlin, Clément will help our customer with bootloader porting, Linux kernel porting, device driver development, integration of complete Linux BSPs and more. He brings an additional significant experience in low-level kernel development and debugging to our team of experts. Clément will be working remotely from Grenoble, in tight connection with our team in Lyon.

See Clément Léger’s page on our site, as well as the rest of our team.

Bootlin acquired by Bootlin CTO Thomas Petazzoni and engineer Alexandre Belloni

We are happy to announce that Bootlin (formerly Free Electrons) has been acquired by two of its employees, Thomas Petazzoni and Alexandre Belloni.

Bootlin was founded in 2004 by Michael Opdenacker, with the goal of promoting the use of Linux and Free Software in embedded systems worldwide.

Thomas Petazzoni joined Bootlin in 2008, as the first employee. Thomas expanded the company offering by starting an engineering services activity, contributed to the growth of the company and took a CTO position. Thomas has a strong technical, open-source and embedded Linux background: he is the co-maintainer of the Buildroot project, has contributed to the Linux kernel, spoke at multiple international conferences and is the member of several embedded Linux conferences program committees. As Bootlin CTO, Thomas has been in charge of the complete engineering services activity: communication, sales, customer interaction, project management, scheduling and review.

Alexandre Belloni joined Bootlin in 2013, as an embedded Linux engineer. Alexandre has a deep open-source and technical background as well: he is the maintainer of multiple subsystems in the Linux kernel to which he has made significant contributions, and is an expert of the Yocto Project. He has been working closely with Thomas for many years in expanding and managing the engineering services activity.

As part of this acquisition, Thomas Petazzoni will become Bootlin’s CEO, while Alexandre Belloni will take the role of Bootlin’s COO. Michael Opdenacker will stay within Bootlin as an embedded Linux engineer and trainer.

“This acquisition is a logical continuation of my involvement in Bootlin and in the broader embedded Linux community” said Bootlin’s CEO Thomas Petazzoni, who added “I am proud to be leading the excellent engineering team at Bootlin, who will continue to offer the same training and engineering expertise to its customers worldwide”.

Alexandre Belloni, Bootlin’s COO, continued: “with two owners having both a strong technical background and a deep involvement in the open-source community, we intend to continue driving Bootlin with the same core values: technical excellence, open-source contribution and knowledge sharing”

Michael Opdenacker, Bootlin’s founder and former CEO, concluded: “Maria Llavata and I, after more than ten years of dedication to Bootlin’s customers and to the worldwide community of embedded Linux users and developers, are really happy to hand over the baton to Alexandre and Thomas, who have all the energy and enthusiasm needed to continue, expand and renew this beautiful adventure. I believe that Bootlin still has many new things to offer to the world, the fact that I am still on board is a proof of our trust in its new leadership.”

Internships for 2020 at Bootlin

Note: these internship positions have been filled. We can only accept new interns from mid-June 2020 on. Don’t hesitate to apply if you are interested.

Bootlin penguins at workFor 2020, Bootlin proposes five internship topics, this time open to all students from the European Union, studying in European Universities.

All these topics will give you an opportunity to make substantial (and very useful!) contributions to an open-source project.

Here are the details about our internship topics:

As you can see, all these topics propose both a challenging technical opportunity, but also require strong interaction with the community of users and developers of free and open-source software used in embedded projects.

More details are available in the descriptions. The internships can start from February 2020, for a minimum duration of 4 months. These internships will take place either in our offices in Toulouse, Lyon or Orange, in France, depending on the topics. These internships are open to all students from the European Union.

For all questions about our internships, please contact jobs@bootlin.com

Follow Bootlin on Mastodon

We’ve started to use Mastodon (in addition to Twitter and LinkedIn) to share quick news with you: new blog posts, contributions to Free Software projects, photos at events, etc.

Did you know Mastodon? I’ll like Twitter, but better, decentralized and really free (as in Free Software). I discovered it by attending one of the conferences we sponsor (Capitole du Libre in Toulouse, France) and by following the efforts of Framasoft to provide decentralized Internet services.

There is a very nice article introducing Mastodon and its strengths vs Twitter: Mastodon Is Better than Twitter: Elevator Pitch.

Here is a summary of Mastodon’s advantages:

  • Being Free Software and not biased by the need to maximize revenue for its investors
  • It’s decentralized and therefore controlled by its users. You are free to join an instance that matches your interests and sensibility, but of course you can follow anyone on any other instance. It’s also easy to move to another instance or even host your own one
  • There are no Retweets but Boosts. Retweets allow to share a post with your own comments to all your followers. This creates flame wars in the best interest of Twitter. Twitter needs its users to spend as much time as possible viewing the content they host (and therefore their promoted content at the same time). Instead, Mastodon only allows to “boost” the visibility of someone else’s post, without allow you to add your own comments. Mastodon has no interest in making you stay as long as possible by creating flame wars. It just lets you focus on the content your are interested in.

In a nutshell, using Mastodon contributes to a better world in which users are in control of their data, interests and time.

What about joining the Mastodon network and give it a try ! Go to https://joinmastodon.org, choose your perfect community (your Mastodon instance… we are on https://fosstodon.org), and follow us if you wish on https://fosstodon.org/@bootlin.

We hope that you will like the experience.

Free Electrons becomes Bootlin

Bootlin logo

Free Electrons is changing to a new name, in the context of a trademark dispute.

Reasons for changing

On July 25, 2017, the company FREE SAS, a French telecom operator, known as the owner of the free.fr website, filed a complaint before the District Court of Paris against Free Electrons and its founder Michael Opdenacker for infringing upon 3 trademarks which include the word “free” and on FREE SAS’s rights on its domain name and its company name.

In this complaint, FREE SAS asked, among others, the French judges to order Free Electrons and its founder Michael Opdenacker to pay the total sum of 107,000 euros on various grounds, to order Free Electrons to change name, to delete the domain name “free-electrons.com” within 15 days and to cease all use of the sign “FREE ELECTRONS” but also of the term “free” alone or with any other terms in any field in which FREE SAS is active or for any goods and services covered by its prior trademarks.

Michael Opdenacker and Free Electrons’ management consider that these claims are unfounded as both companies were coexisting peacefully since 2005.

The services we offer are different, we target a different audience (professionals instead of individuals), and most of our communication efforts are in English, to reach an international audience. Therefore Michael Opdenacker and Free Electrons’ management believe that there is no risk of confusion between Free Electrons and FREE SAS.

However, FREE SAS has filed in excess of 100 oppositions and District Court actions against trademarks or names containing “free”. In view of the resources needed to fight this case, Free Electrons has decided to change name without waiting for the decision of the District Court.

This will allow us to stay focused on our projects rather than exhausting ourselves fighting a long legal battle.

The new name

Amongst all the new names we considered, “Bootlin” came out as our favorite option. It can’t express all our values but it corresponds to what we’ve been working on since the beginning and hope to continue to do for many years: booting Linux on new hardware.

Of course, “booting” here shouldn’t be limited to getting a first shell prompt on new hardware. It means doing whatever is needed to run Linux by taking the best advantage of software and hardware capabilities.

Same team, same passion

Nothing else changes in the company. We are the same engineers, the same Linux kernel contributors and maintainers (now 6 of us have their names in the Linux MAINTAINERS file), with the same technical skills and appetite for new technical challenges.

More than ever, we remain united by the passion we all share in the company since the beginning: working with hardware and low-level software, working together with the free software community, and sharing the experience with others so that they can at least get the best of what the community offers and hopefully one day become active contributors too. “Get the best of the community” is effectively one of our slogans.

Practical details

The only thing we’re changing is the name (“Bootlin” instead of “Free Electrons”), the domain name (bootlin.com instead of free-electrons.com) and the logo. The two penguins, our mascots which have been the key identification of Free Electrons for many years will stay the same. Except for the domain name change, all URLs should stay the same, and all e-mail addresses too.

For the moment, we’ve just migrated the mail and main web servers. The other services will be updated progressively.

For practical reasons, the name of the company running Bootlin will remain “Free Electrons” for a few more months. Until then, there won’t be any impact on the way we interact with our customers. We will let our ongoing customers know when the legal name changes.

What about links to free-electrons.com resources, made by community websites but also in mailing lists archives and in public forums? Of course, we redirected the old URLs to the new ones, and will continue to do so as long as we can. However, depending on the outcome of the legal procedure, we may not be able to keep the free-electrons.com domain forever. Therefore, we would be grateful if you could update all your links to our site whenever feasible, to avoid the risk of broken links in the future.