Nexedi at Coderbunker Shanghai: Prospering with 100% Free Software

Next week Jean-Paul will present Nexedi and our free software solutions at Coderbunker in Shanghai. The topic of the techtalk will be to introduce the tools used daily by Nexedians and how it is possible to run a succesfull business with free/open-source software.
  • Last Update:2016-08-22
  • Version:002
  • Language:en


Coderbunker is a software focussed hackerspace in Shanghai providing a community for programmers to foster their software development skills, interact, share and together raise the bar for software engineering excellence in China.

Coderbunker | Photo Hackerspace

Coderbunker is hosting regular meetups which include their techtalk series, which will feature Nexedi on Saturday, August 20th, 11:00am (meetup). Jean-Paul Smets, the CEO of Nexedi will introduce the company and how it's possible to run a prospering business developing free software. He will show many of the companies free software solutions being used on a day-to-day basis at Nexedi and walk through the setup of an Application Delivery Network via Nexedi's Grandenet.

Behind the scenes of Nexedi

The talk will concentrate around the great engineering challenges at Nexedi, their design choices, their technology stack, development philosophy, tools they use and development methodology with a particular focus on today's and medium term challenges.

The purpose of the talk is to let the co-learner gain insights in a real development environment. This will hopefully guide building their profile with skillsets useful to successful engineering teams in China.

The talk from the speaker will be for software developers and aspiring developers. We've specifically asked the speaker to not have a slidedeck and answer questions about his engineering team using actual code examples and infrastructure details. Audience is warned that they might expect to see some warts and imperfections as we look behind the curtain of a real engineering team.

Free software for a day

The techtalk will be structured similar to the journey across a typical working day of Nexedian engineer covering the tools used on a day-to-day basis.

  1. Meet NayuOS:  most Nexedians now use NayuOS, a derivative of Chromium OS for using Chromebooks without Google proprietary software and services (including in China). Jean-Paul Smets will show a tour of the unique features of NayuOS (nodejs, python, cryptography) compared to ChromiumOS, use the developer console and show one can "survive" without login. Previously, Nexedi was using only traditional GNU/LInux distros (Mandriva, Debian, SuSE, Fedora, Arch, etc). Some people were using MacOS at home (anything not Free is forbidden in Nexedi) It was thus a big change to abandon those environments. Jean-Paul Smets will explain why migrating everyone in Nexedi to "Web Only" was an important step for our engineering strategy.
  2. Meet Grandenet:  Jean-Paul Smets will then connect to Grandenet using a simple command line. He will show (with ifconfig ps and ip commands) how grandenet creates a random mesh network of latency optimized routes that solve all Internet problems one can face, especially in China (but not only).
  3. Meet SlapOS:  with a reliable IPv6 meshnet, he will access his developer workspace. Nexedi owns about 150 servers in 35 sites all over the world. All servers are managed by a system called “SlapOS” that acts as a decentralized cloud operating system. It could also be called nowadays a "hyperconverged OS". All computers and virtual machines in Nexedi, no matter whether they are baremetal servers, virtual machines or connected things, are operated as if they were a single computer spanning all over the world. Nexedi uses SlapOS to automate any tasks related to the build, deployment of services, configuration, monitoring, disaster recovery. In Nexedi, “everything is service”: database, ERP system, web IDE, VM manager, etc. Developers usually do their tasks on a Web IDE called "Web Runner". Sometimes they use a VM.
  4. Meet Webrunner:  Jean-Paul Smets will then open his personal development Webrunner environment and edit some code online. He will show one example of Webrunner to run ERP5 and another example to run scikit-learn. The Webrunner has two parts: one to edit the code (based on ACE) and another to edit the build script (based on buildout technology). Jean-Paul Smets will add some modules to the scikit-learn environment.
  5. Meet Wendelin.core:  he will then run a tutorial to demonstrate how to manage Big Data in python, namely ndarrays which size can be bigger than the size of RAM and which can be shared on a cluster of computers.
  6. Meet  he will then turn off network and write some text in OfficeJS, an HTML5 office suite than runs offiline and can synchronize with any backend.
  7. Meet ERP5:  the document written offline with then synchronize to ERP5 backend where Nexedi has all its corporate data.

Hands On with GrandeNet

The second part of the techtalk will focus on doing some hands-on work with Grandenet. The idea is to install a resilient IPv6 connection to a GNU/Linux server and access it through an IPv4 reverse proxy.

Applicable for:
  • Your server at home
  • Resilient hosting of applications, such as an ERP
  • Resilient web site hosting
  • Resilient data collection network for IoT, etc

  • GNU/Linux host (baremetal or VM) - no public IPv4 needed



  • Photo Jean-Paul Smets
  • Logo Nexedi
  • Jean-Paul Smets
  • jp (at) nexedi (dot) com
  • Jean-Paul Smets is the founder and CEO of Nexedi. After graduating in mathematics and computer science at ENS (Paris), he started his career as a civil servant at the French Ministry of Economy. He then left government to start a small company called “Nexedi” where he developed his first Free Software, an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) designed to manage the production of swimsuits in the not-so-warm but friendly north of France. ERP5 was born. In parallel, he led with Hartmut Pilch (FFII) the successful campaign to protect software innovation against the dangers of software patents. The campaign eventually succeeeded by rallying more than 100.000 supporters and thousands of CEOs of European software companies (both open source and proprietary). The Proposed directive on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions was rejected on 6 July 2005 by the European Parliament by an overwhelming majority of 648 to 14 votes, showing how small companies can together in Europe defeat the powerful lobbying of large corporations. Since then, he has helped Nexedi to grow either organically or by investing in new ventures led by bright entrepreneurs.
  • Logo Coderbunker
  • Ricky Ng-Adams
  • contact (at) coderbunker (dot) com
  • Photo Sven Franck
  • Logo Nexedi
  • Sven Franck
  • sven (dot) franck (at) nexedi (dot) com