A conference for

Developers of package management software

Software packagers

... and communities

We’re working hard on the organization of the first “PackagingCon”. A conference for developers of software package management software, as well as software packagers and communities! Packaging Con is going to be a two-day virtual event with contributors from all over the planet. Our mission is to bring different eco-systems together: from Python’s pip to Rust’s cargo to Julia’s Pkg, from Debian apt over Nix to conda and mamba, and from vcpkg to Spack we hope to have many different approaches to package management at the conference.

When and where:

The PackagingCon conference will be virtual and will span two days, the 9th and 10th of November 2021.
Tickets will be sold at a pay-what-you-want basis, with suggested prices.

Register for PackagingCon

Register now to receive updates for PackagingCon 2021. We will keep you in the loop on all things PackagingCon!

Suggested Ticket Prices:

While PackagingCon has no costs for venue or catering, there are still costs associated with bringing the event online. Additionally, revenue from the event will be used for next year’s conference and to support open source scientific computer programming through NumFOCUS, a nonprofit organization that sponsors 43 Open Source Projects, and organizes community-driven educational programs for users and developers of open source scientific tools.

For this reason, we have chosen to sell tickets with a pay-what-you-can pricing model.

  • $20 for students
  • $50 for professionals
  • $100 for professionals (reimbursed by employer)

Packaging Con 2021: Call for Presentations

Software complexity is on the rise, but thanks to package managers, reusing software is easier than it’s ever been. In 2021, nearly every operating system, language ecosystem, and framework has a package manager or several. Package managers take over where your compiler left off; integrating different versions of packages and ensuring they can be installed safely, reliably, and in a compatible configuration on your system. Where compilers integrate large applications, package managers integrate software ecosystems.

Despite their success, package managers are something of a black art. Working on a package manager requires a broad range of expertise–from language runtimes, to OS deployment policy, distribution management, dependency solving and developer workflows, package managers bridge the gap between developers and last mile software deployment.

We want to understand what brings package management communities together and what sets them apart. What makes communities work together on a particular software ecosystem? Are the differences mainly in the implementation language, or are there other key distinctions to software management methodology? How can we get better interoperability and/or cooperation among package manager teams, and what’s missing/required to enable that? Is dependency solving fundamentally the same problem across systems, or does each package manager do it differently?

If any of these questions interest you, we want to hear from you! Packaging Con is a a conference for developers of software package management software, as well as software packagers and communities! Anyone is welcome to participate. Our mission is to bring different software ecosystems together: from Python’s pip to Rust’s cargo to Julia’s Pkg, from Debian apt over to Nix to conda and mamba, and from vcpkg to spack, and even to npm, we hope to have many different approaches to package management at the conference.

See details on submissions below.

Organizing Committee:

Are you interested in helping out with the organization of PackagingCon 2021? We would love to hear from you: send us an email.

  • Wolf Vollprecht (QuantStack, mamba)
  • Todd Gamblin (LLNL, Spack)
  • Rok Garbas (Tweag I/O, Nix)
  • CJ Wright (Citadel, conda-forge)
  • Cheng H. Lee (Anaconda, Inc., conda)
  • Logan Kilpatrick (Julia, Pkg)

Important Dates

  • Submissions open: 20 July 2021
  • Submissions close: 31 August 2021
  • Notifications: 13 22 September 2021
  • Conference date: 9 & 10 November 2021

Submissions are due at 23:59 ``anywhere on Earth’’ on the specified date. Specifically, this is 23:59 IDLW, i.e., UTC–12:00. You can use this converter to figure out the deadline for your time zone.

Note: US and European timezones will be targetted for the main conference event.


We encourage submissions in a wide range of areas related to package management, including but not limited to:

  • Deep dives on particular packaging systems.
  • Package management vs dependency management
  • Issues between distro-provided and developer/language-specific package managers
  • Software supply chains, pipelines, and vulnerabilities
  • CI for package managers and how to scale it
  • Modeling software ecosystems in package managers
  • Modeling compatibility (semver, API/ABI analysis, etc.)
  • Versioning
  • Software release methodology: rolling / LTS / others
  • Monorepos and package management
  • Reproducibility in package managers
  • Functional package management, how it relates to other systems
  • Reliability/robustness of software ecosystems
  • Dependency solving: modeling, methods, and scalability
  • Intersection of containers, registries, and packaging

This list is by no means exhaustive – any topic related to package management is welcome to attend.

How to submit

The presentation length is 20 minutes with 10 minutes for Q&A right after the talk. All talks will be held live via video chat and are recorded (speakers can opt-out of the recording). We will have lightning talk sessions with lightning of max 2 minutes. There is no deadline for the submission of lightning talks. Submissions are handled by “pretalx” and will be reviewed by volunteers from the community.

Code of Conduct

In the interest of fostering an open and welcoming environment, pledge to make participation in Packaging Con a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, level of experience, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation.

By participating in the conference you agree to abide to the NumFOCUS Code of Conduct.


The PackagingCon conference could not happen without support from amazing sponsors.
Are you interested in becoming a sponsor?
If so, please see our sponsorship prospectus or contact us at info@packaging-con.org