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frab - conference management system

frab is a web-based conference planning and management system. It helps to collect submissions, to manage talks and speakers and to create a schedule.

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frab was originally created for the organization of FrOSCon 2011. FrOSCon has previously used pentabarf (, and although frab is a completely new implementation, it borrows heavily from pentabarf.

Both FrOSCon and frab owe a lot to pentabarf. But sadly, pentabarf seems to be abandoned. And several problems make it hard to maintain. Thus we decided to create a new system.

Current Status

frab is under heavy development. There is no stable release yet. You may want to try to use frab regardless, but be warned, that it may be a rocky ride.

That being said, frab has been used to organize FrOSCon since 2011, a conference with more than 100 talks (and as many speakers) in more than 5 parallel tracks (plus devrooms) over 2 days.

The frab wiki hosts a list of conferences using frab. Take a look at the screenshots to get an idea of what frab does. The manual can be found in the wiki.


frab is a pretty standard Ruby on Rails (version 5.0) application. There should be plenty of tutorials online on how to install, deploy and setup these.

See installation for more frab specific information.

Rake Tasks

Export / Import conferences

Creates a folder under tmp/frab_export containing serialized data and all attachments:

RAILS_ENV=production CONFERENCE=acronym rake frab:conference_export

Import a conference into another frab:

RAILS_ENV=production rake frab:conference_import

Sending Mails

RAILS_ENV=production rake frab:bulk_mailer subject="Conference Invite" emails=emails.lst body=body.txt.erb

Migrating from pentabarf

frab comes with a script that offers limited capabilities of migrating data from pentabarf. For it to work, you need access to pentabarf's database and configure it in config/database.yml under the key "pentabarf".

Then simply run

rake pentabarf:import:all

Please note, that the script has not been tested with HEAD and will most probably not work. If you still want to try it out, checkout the code at the revision the script was last changed at and upgrade the code and migrate the database from there.

Create fake data

For development, it might be helpful to have some fake data around that allows for better testing. The following command will create a bunch of tracks, persons and events in a random existing conference. Call it multiple times if you need more records.

rake frab:add_fake_data

You may also call the following tasks manually.

rake frab:add_fake_tracks
rake frab:add_fake_persons

Ticket Server

frab supports OTRS, RT and Redmine ticket servers. Instead of sending event acceptance/rejection mails directly to submitters, frab adds a ticket to a request tracker.

The ticket server type can be configured for every conference.

The iPHoneHandle support needs to be installed in OTRS.

rake frab:add_fake_events


For updates and discussions around frab, please join our mailinglist

frab (at) - to subscribe just send a mail to it


frab is licensed under an MIT-License. It bundles some third-party libraries and assets that might be licensed differently. See LICENSE.