conference manangement system
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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.


frab was 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 2011, a conference with more than 100 talks (and as many speakers) in more than 5 parallel tracks (plus devrooms) over 2 days.


frab is a pretty standard Ruby on Rails (version 3.1) application. There should be plenty of tutorials online on how to install, deploy and setup these.

Basically, to get started you need git, ruby (>= 1.9.2) and bundler and follow these steps:

  1. Clone the repository

    git clone git://

  2. cd into the directory:

    cd frab

  3. Install all necessary gems:

    bundle install

  4. Install Imagemagick:

This is a dependency of the paperclip gem. Imagemagick tools need to be installed to identify and resize images.

Imagemagick should be easy to install using your OS's preferred package manager (apt-get, yum, brew etc.).

  1. Create (and possibly modify) the database configuration:

    cp config/database.yml.template config/database.yml

frab bundles all three built-in rails database drivers. And it should work with all three, although it is best tested with MySQL and SQLite3 (for development).

  1. Create and modify settings:

    cp config/settings.yml.template config/settings.yml

  2. Create and setup the database

    rake db:setup

  3. Precompile assets (only needed for production)

    rake assets:precompile

  4. Start the server

To start frab in the development environment simply run

rails server

To start frab in the production environment make sure you did not skip step 8 and run:

rails server -e production

(Note that for a "real" production environment you probably do not want to use this script, but rather something like unicorn or passenger.)

Navigate to http://localhost:3000/ and login as "" with password "test123".

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.


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