Feb 2 – 4, 2024
COEP Technological University
Asia/Kolkata timezone

A Layman's Guide to Sustainability with Free Software

Feb 2, 2024, 12:00 PM
Conference talks


Mr Karanjot Singh (Contributor @ KDE Eco)


The manufacturing, usage, and disposal of hardware has a direct impact on the environment. Often overlooked is that it is software that determines for how long and how efficiently hardware is used. In this talk I will discuss the inherent sustainability benefits of FOSS in enabling customizability, efficiency, and longevity of software -- and thus hardware.

Specifically I will cover the work of the KDE Eco project, which aims to assess and reduce the ecological footprint of the KDE desktop environment and applications. In particular, I will present my Google Summer of Code Project with KDE entitled 'KEcolab'. KEcolab is a tool that allows developers to measure their software's energy usage using the CI pipeline in Gitlab. KEcoLab automates the entire measurement process, including data analysis with OSCAR (Open source Software Consumption Analysis in R). The analysis enables both data-driven decision making in software development as well as eco-certification with the Blue Angel ecolabel, the official environmental label of the German government.

KEcolab makes it possible for developers worldwide, no matter where they are, to measure and build more energy-efficient applications. Through examples of active projects like KDE Eco, I will conclude my talk by demonstrating how the FOSS community is taking responsibility to mitigate the environmental impact of computing and providing concrete ways we can all get involved in adopting sustainable practices in software development.

Social Links

Website: https://drquark.tech
Invent KDE: https://invent.kde.org/drquark
Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/13tcluelessbird


  • The talk shows how software plays a key role in environmental sustainability, a topic often not given enough attention. It emphasizes that the way we design and use software can directly affect how long and how efficiently hardware lasts, which in turn impacts the environment.
  • The audience will be introduced to the KDE Eco project and KEcolab, tools that help developers around the world create more energy-efficient software. This is especially important in today's world, where people are becoming more aware of their environmental footprint.
  • The talk shows how the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community is taking steps to lessen the environmental impact of computing.
  • It provides practical ways for people and organizations to get involved in using sustainable practices in software development. This is vital in a time when working together and sharing knowledge are key to solving complex sustainability problems.
  • Finally, the talk will give examples of active projects like KDE Eco, showing how these efforts are truly helping to promote digital sustainability. This can inspire and motivate the audience to take action in their own ways, whether as developers, users, or supporters of FOSS.


Karanjot Singh is a Software Engineer @Atlan and also a Contributor to the KDE Eco Project. He's been involved in different Free & Open Source programs, including Season of KDE, Google Summer of Code, and Linux Foundation Mentorship. He's passionate about the KDE Eco Project because it aims to make Free Software more sustainable during its development and use.

Headshot Link https://drquark.tech/_astro/profile2.a252a249_1GWQ4G.webp

Primary author

Mr Karanjot Singh (Contributor @ KDE Eco)

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