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Welcome to Sudo Room! This page should help answer any questions you might have about Sudo Room, how to be a member, how to access the space, and more!

What is Sudo Room?

Sudo Room is an open membership hackerspace in Oakland, California.

We are a collaborative and creative community of technologists, activists, artists, and all combinations inbetween and beyond. Most importantly, we are all human beings interested in and working toward positive social change. We strive toward horizontal leadership, meaning all members are equally empowered leaders in the community. Sudoers present and future have a great diversity of interests, so we emphasize inclusivity and solidarity amongst ourselves and with others.

You can read more about Sudo room's vision, values, and mission here.

What's a hackerspace?

Watch this KQED Video Open Source Creativity: Hackerspaces:

"It's not easy to say what a hackerspace is exactly. You know it when you're in one, but they're all unique because people are so unique."
Mitch Altman of Noisebridge

What does "sudo" mean?

Sudo is a software command that stands for "super user do". It's pronounced "sue-dough" or "sue-due".

Who is welcome at Sudo Room?

Sudo Room is committed to ACCESS, so anyone is welcome! You don't have to be "techie," you don't have to be a member, you don't have to know about computers or know how to write code. If you're not sure whether you are the kind of person who is welcome at Sudo Room, the answer is YES.

We are wheelchair accessible.

Young children need to be supervised by a guardian. We don't have childcare available. Sorry!

Where is Sudo Room and how do I get in?

Sudo Room is located at 4799 Shattuck in north Oakland. The building, called the Omni Oakland Commons, is home to several other collectives. Ring the bell to get in, and walk through La Commune (the bookstore) to the black paint-speckled hallway and take a left to enter the space we share with Counter Culture Labs. Full info on where we are and how to get in can be found here!

What are Sudo Room's hours?

For members, Sudo Room is accessible 24/7. For visitors and non-members, the space is open whenever another member is here to let you in. People are usually in the space most evenings and weekends. We are also here for any events (check our Calendar for events). To get in, ring the bell at the entrance (see here) and if someone is here, they will open the door. To find out ahead of time whether someone is here, the best place to ask is in our chatroom. Alternately, you can email the listserv and ask if someone is at the space.

What kinds of things take place at Sudo Room?

Sudoers use the space to do everything from working on their own computers to building desks! We make 3D printed jewelry, develop inventory systems for hackerspaces, meet up to work on volunteer projects like Oakland Wiki and the Peoples Open Network, use our library to learn new things, host free coding classes and meetups based in co-learning and collaboration, and build radio stations. Check out our full list of projects here.

What equipment is available at Sudo Room?

We are adding new equipment daily but our current major resources include two 3D printers, woodworking equipment, laptops, soldering and electronics station, sewing machines, workspace, meeting space, library, Audio production equipment, and a CNC router.

How can I get involved with Sudo Room?

There are a number of ways to get involved, but the easiest is to come by the space and check it out. You can also sign up for our listserv, join our chatroom, or come to one of our weekly organizational meetings that take place at 7PM every Wednesday.

How do I become a member?

  1. Introduce yourself in person or on the mailing list or at a meeting
  2. Sign up and start contributing!
  3. Create a wiki user page or email some contact info to info@sudoroom.org
  4. Wait a short while
  5. Poof! You're a member!

Existing members can block you if they know you to be a violent, malicious or otherwise problematic person, but this is rare.

What does membership mean?

The primary benefit of being a member is getting 24/7 access to Sudo Room, an open, non-hierarchical, collaborative community of humans, including tech developers, citizen scientists, activists, artists--and all combinations in between and beyond!--who are interested in and working towards social change. Access to the space and to all the Sudo Room resources is one of our core values, so everyone is able to access the space and use our resources whether they are a member or not. However, members have guaranteed access to the space and Sudo Room assets. For more information on member benefits, see our Articles of Association.

How do I pay member dues or donate to Sudo Room?

There are four ways to pay member dues:

  1. . Create an account on sudo-humans and sign up to make a one-time or monthly donation.
  2. . Direct deposit to the Sudo Room - contact
  3. . Check made out to Sudo Room (easiest to bring to Wednesday night meetings)
  4. . Cash (easiest to bring to Wednesday night meetings)
  5. . Send us some Bitcoin - see the link to the left :-)

How is Sudo Room funded?

Sudo Room is, for the most part, funded by member contributions, though we also incur donations for events and the occasional small grant.

What is the history of Sudo Room?

Sudo Room started as a website in 2011. After holding meetings in cafes, then at the downtown coworking space | Tech Liminal, we moved into a small space in 2135 Broadway in July 2012. In Nov. 2012, we moved into our first real space at 2141 Broadway, which was attached to a common area also shared by the Bay Area Public School, a free university. In July of 2014, after meeting weekly for over 6 months, we moved into our current space, the Omni Oakland Commons, along with several other aligned collectives.

Join us and help us write the next chapter!

New Members

  • Check out our Articles of Association. The articles outline how we run our organization, how we do our budget, how we run our meetings, how membership is determined, benefits of membership, conflict resolution, and more.
  • Come to our meetings at 7PM on Wednesday nights.
  • Say hello on the listserv or in the chatroom.
  • Drop by any time and meet everyone! For info on what's happening in the space on any given day, refer to our Calendar

Can I have an event there?

Maybe! We love events like these:

  • For a good cause
  • Local, community-based
  • Disability accessible
  • Free, sliding scale, pay what you can, donation-based, nobody turned away

We don't like events like these:

  • Pay-walled
  • Socially oppressive
  • Corporate or military sponsored

To make an event:

  • If you are a member - use do-ocracy:
  • If you are not a member:
    • If you anticipate any problems, reach out to the mailing list or to info@sudoroom.org.
    • Get approval by sudoers. A good way to do this is at one of our weekly general meetings. Showing up in person is preferred. But if you can't make it you can ask for the action to happen over the sudo-discuss mailing list (as linked above), and maybe you can get approval over email.

We can promote your event on our blog, twitter, etc. Just ask!

What's your legal structure?

It's still evolving. Here's some history:

Can I store X at sudoroom

You can put a useful tool or some hacker ore neatly at sudoroom. Once you put something out at sudo and unless it says "do not hack on it" (and even then) there is no guarantee as to what will happen. You can however also rent a locker at sudo if you need private space, it is $25 per month.

When is sudo room open?

Sudo room doesn't have official hours. If you are a member you can get 24-hour access to let yourself in. If you are not a member, you will have to depend on at least one other member being there to let you in, and you would be their guest.

Typically there people at sudo room from 11am to 2am (or later 4am) most days of the week - but no guarantees.

Soon we will have a phone number you can call.

Can you fix my iPhone/iPad/Android Phone/Tablet/Laptop/other Device?

Complicated. Sudo room does not offer fix-it services. You can come to sudo room, use all our tools, and ask for help in fixing it yourself. Maybe a nice sudoer - and there are some nice sudoers - will help point you in the right direction or explain something that that youtube DIY fixing video didn't go over. If you want to find someone that might be able to help online you can contact the high-traffic mailing list. In general there are no guarantees, but if you are dedicated you can learn to fix your own iBad.

Tuesday nights during Hardware Hack Night there is usually an ongoing Fixit Clinic

Can you help me with Software Problem X?

Basically this is the same question as #Can you fix my iPhone/iPad/Android Phone/Tablet/Laptop/other Device?. Maybe, you'll have to find someone willing to help, which is possible, maybe on the mailing lists or IRC.