Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Theo de Raadt Discusses OpenBSD and Beyond 476

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the first-rule-of-corporate-spending-is-not-to dept.
emil writes to tell us that NewsForge (Slashdot Sister Site) is running an interview with OpenBSD project leader Theo de Raadt. In the interview Theo explores the upcoming release of OpenBSD 3.9, continuing financial difficulties, and some of the tension between the OpenBSD team and other businesses that some feel are taking advantage of the free software without giving anything back. In related news the Jem Report has an interesting writeup that expounds on widespread difficulties that could be faced if the OpenBSD project continues its downward spiral because of their parallel development of OpenSSH.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Theo de Raadt Discusses OpenBSD and Beyond

Comments Filter:
  • by r00t (33219) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @01:52AM (#15015961) Journal
    Finally, for real, today's topic is: BSD is dying

    All other posts are off-topic. Enjoy!

  • Hmm... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Eightyford (893696)
    ...that some feel are taking advantage of the free software without giving anything back.

    Damn. I wonder if there was anything [wikipedia.org] they could have done about that?
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Informative)

      by dtfinch (661405) * on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @02:02AM (#15015984) Journal
      I'm pretty sure he's heard of it. While they do appreciate source code contributions, what they're really asking now for is money.
      • I'm pretty sure he's heard of it. While they do appreciate source code contributions, what they're really asking now for is money.

        And a dual license, like the one that MySQL uses may have worked great for them.
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Informative)

      by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @02:05AM (#15015998) Homepage
      ...that some feel are taking advantage of the free software without giving anything back.

      Damn. I wonder if there was anything they could have done about that?


      No there wasn't, BSD as in Berkeley Software Distribution, as in University of California Berkeley, as in "Copyright 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.", as in paid for by California taxpayers including corporations and individuals who should not be denied access to what they paid for.

      BTW, you shouldn't confuse BSD with a very talented but potentially mismanaged team that has a tendency to piss off lucrative sources of income.
      • No there wasn't, BSD as in Berkeley Software Distribution, as in University of California Berkeley, as in "Copyright 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.", as in paid for by California taxpayers including corporations and individuals who should not be denied access to what they paid for.

        BTW, you shouldn't confuse BSD with a very talented but potentially mismanaged team that has a tendency to piss off lucrative sources
        • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Informative)

          by 0racle (667029)
          They don't like the GPL and are currently removing GPL only licensed code from the base install. The GPL is not an option for OpenBSD.
          • Re:Hmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @02:49AM (#15016140)
            They don't like the GPL and are currently removing GPL only licensed code from the base install. The GPL is not an option for OpenBSD.

            Subsequently, their moaning about how their self-inflicted mortal wounds hurt horribly is going to rightfully fall on deaf ears, if they are lucky, or will become a butt of jokes, if they are not.

            This is what happens if someone is given good advice not to drive their car off the road and into a bog and which they derisively reject and proceed at "what can possibly happen?"-speed into the mud. Following which they sit on top of their sinking vehicle, far into the swamp, waving frantically and complaining loudly about "selfish" people who fail to stop to pull them out of there. So that they can ignore good advice, as soon as rescued, derisively, again.

            I say onto Theo: Tough Cookies! You made your bed, you sleep in it! Perhaps placing product placements into the BSD code or performing in a clown outfit at conferences will bring the required revenue, now that the commercial interests do what you have always encouraged them to do: take, take and take ... whatever they can get in return for as least as possible. Its called "business", Theo. Look it up sometime.

            • by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @02:58AM (#15016162) Homepage
              I say onto Theo: Tough Cookies! You made your bed, you sleep in it!

              BSD vs GPL is not relevant. Theo's bed was made by driving away potential sources of income like DARPA.
              • by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @03:12AM (#15016198)
                BSD vs GPL is not relevant. Theo's bed was made by driving away potential sources of income like DARPA.

                Yes it is, as a part of a very long list of good advice he received over the years on a lot of things, and all of which he proceeded to sneer and snicker on, as only Theo can. DARPA's help is just one item on that very, very long list.

                • by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @03:22AM (#15016223) Homepage
                  "BSD vs GPL is not relevant. Theo's bed was made by driving away potential sources of income like DARPA."

                  Yes it is, as a part of a very long list of good advice he received over the years on a lot of things


                  No, that's a fallacy. In general under open source the money is in consulting, not in the development. A BSD based project is more likely to get inside a corporation and possibly more likely to create consulting work. Whether a project is BSD or GPL, if someone doesn't want to code themselves, they can hire others to do the work. The only difference is whether that work goes back to the community at large and for the company that needed specialized changes that is irrlevant and it may even be counterproductive to the company. The GPL is not some magic pill. We've seen numerous GPL based projects in financial trouble and begging for donations around here as well.
                  • by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @03:36AM (#15016270)
                    No, that's a fallacy.

                    Oh, really? You mean it does not depend on what the purpose of the project is?

                    In general under open source the money is in consulting, not in the development.

                    Oh I see, making money for Theo was the whole idea of OpenBSD? NOW you tell us!

                    A BSD based project is more likely to get inside a corporation and possibly more likely to create consulting work.

                    Which is a good thing if you are planning to make people appropriate, modify and sell your code while not letting you look at it ever again, in hopes that somehow your celebrity status will make some of them hire you.

                    Whether a project is BSD or GPL, if someone doesn't want to code themselves, they can hire others to do the work.

                    True enough, that is why BSD offers no advantage over GPL in this area.

                    The only difference is whether that work goes back to the community at large and for the company that needed specialized changes that is irrlevant and it may even be counterproductive to the company.

                    Which, in most cases, as Theo is finding the hard way, is the only type of return expected from commercial involvment in your project. Hoping to get hired by someone using your code is wishful thinking in vast majority of cases. GPL folks understand that, and operate accordingly.

                    The GPL is not some magic pill. We've seen numerous GPL based projects in financial trouble and begging for donations around here as well.

                    Of course it is not. But it was never its purpose. The purpose of GPL is to ensure that regardless of who is using or contributing to the code, and regardless of financial circumstaneces of a project, the code remains the property of the community and cannot be stolen and then sold back to us. That is all.

                    • Oh I see, making money for Theo was the whole idea of OpenBSD? NOW you tell us!

                      Unless they are academics and thereby have their open source development efforts subsidized they have to generate some sort of income to keep their pet projects going and avoid having to get "real" jobs.

                      "A BSD based project is more likely to get inside a corporation and possibly more likely to create consulting work."

                      Which is a good thing if you are planning to make people appropriate, modify and sell your code while n
                    • Unless they are academics and thereby have their open source development efforts subsidized they have to generate some sort of income to keep their pet projects going and avoid having to get "real" jobs.

                      Vast majority of FOSS projects are either after-work hobby efforts or side-effects of some other paid work. It is a testimony to Theos' ego, for him to assume that he will be funded just because his project is sooooo much more important then all the others.

                      Not celebrity status, expertise with the code.

                      P

                    • "according to Stallman, if I'm a hairdresser or a butcher I can sell my services, if I'm a programmer I must be a hippie for the good of mankind and sell T-shirts."

                      Outstanding bullshit. It is *exactly* the opposite!!!

                      According to Stallman, if I'm a hairdresser or a butcher, I can sell my services, if I'm a programmer I can sell my services too!

                      The question is that since the hairdresser won't ask you for money each time somebody see your hair, or a butcher will ask you for money when you buy the meat, but h
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Informative)

      by arivanov (12034) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @02:20AM (#15016054) Homepage
      Not really applicable.

      They started with a fork of the NetBSD codebase and maintained compatibility for a long while. Many drivers in the Net/OpenBSD tree used to be ifdef-ed for specific OS related parts. In fact one of the reason for OpenBSD to survive for so long especially on obscure architectures has been the fact that it used to rely heavily on Net for low level hardware specific code (disclaimer - I do not know if this is still the case as I have not looked at their source since 3.3).

      As a result GPL-ing is not an option. Your codebase is heavily dependant on somebody's else's codebase which is BSD.

      As far as the financial difficulties, all business and businesslike entities using GPL rely on support, custom code and consulting for their day to day living expenses. You do not get that money if you have this attitude:
      http://www.securityfocus.com/archive/1/428749/30/9 0/threaded [securityfocus.com]. This is just one fresh example (this week).

      Another essential factor is that if you write software in the real world you have to go out of your ivory tower on a daily basis and check what your competitors doing. OpenBSD tends to believe its own PR about their security prowess and does not follow Linux, FreeBSD and other OS development as much as it should. One example for this is how it missed the appearance of hardware RNG in AMD hardware for several years. They simply did not know it is there (I actually pointed it to Theo myself a year ago). I bet that they have missed other stuff in a similar fashion as well.

      Frankly, the days when Open Source OS projects were PFY jobs and flaming each other out of existence on mailing lists was business as usual are long gone.

      Time to grow up or face the dark stairway down down and down towards oblivion.
      • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Quantum Fizz (860218)
        As a result GPL-ing is not an option. Your codebase is heavily dependant on somebody's else's codebase which is BSD.

        Dumb question, but if you can take BSD-licensed open-source code and put it in closed-source code, why can't you take the same code and GPL it (maybe make slight trivial modifications to make the software unique before GPL'ing)? I mean, it would most likely piss the BSD team off if someone did this, but legally speaking, is there a reason it cannot be done?

      • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rhavenn (97211)
        I don't get why people dump on Theo all the time. Yeah, he really could use a PR manager at times, but all the threads I've read he usually is right or standing up to what he believes is right. Can Theo be a dick about it? Yeah. Can Linus and Stallman be dicks about the kernel and the GPL? Yeah. Get over it and maybe send them some money for this OpenSSH thing we all use.
    • Well, (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @03:00AM (#15016167) Homepage Journal
      I have thought along similar lines, but it really demonstrates something that we must quit ignoring.

      "Free" is an illusion.

      When we use "free" software, we pay for it one way or another. Time or money, and, no, time is not money.

      Money is green stuff that you through around on the crops to make things grow, as somebody in some famous musical once said, quoting somebody else, I'm sure. When you collect too much money in one place, it goes fetid.

      Time is the true currency, although too much time can go fetid as well.

      The licenses are gentlemen's agreements. It's a trade of time for time, with rules of courtesy. (EULAs are _not_ gentlemen's agreements, I am not taking about those licenses, they don't deserve to be called licenses.) The licenses form the ground rules for the community that forms around the software. It's very much like the old guilds, although much more open in a very good way.

      With the GPL, some of the rules of courtesy which are important for maintaining the infrastructure of the guild are explicit. We might assume that this is because Stallman is a cynic, or because he is a realist, but must people are still confused and think he is an idealist.

      With the BSD license, the rules are implicit, derived from the external society, the (Christian, though not entirely uniquely so in the current view of history) principle of casting one's bread on the water. It is expected that the waters will bring the bread back, multiplied. And this is where things have broken down.

      Even under the BSD license, the rules of giving back are natural laws, and are not suspended. Humans whose primary product are sales presentations have no idea that they have to give back or the resource will be depleted. Stallman recognized that, Theo has not yet.

      People have to be reminded to be courteous, and that's why an idealist and general nice guy like Theo ends up making enemies. The license doesn't remind people, so he has to spend his energy reminding them.

      Putting new source under GPL would be one solution, but, as is well known, it is not one that can really be considered yet. A new modified BSD that contains a non-binding reminder that the resources don't renew themselves may be what's in order right now.
      • Re:Well, (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Plunky (929104)
        With the BSD license, the rules are implicit, derived from the external society, the (Christian, though not entirely uniquely so in the current view of history) principle of casting one's bread on the water. It is expected that the waters will bring the bread back, multiplied. And this is where things have broken down.

        You imply that things have broken down because the bread never came back, but I would point out that the broken part was expecting it to.

        I write software and release it under the BSD licen

    • GPL based distributions have to beg too. I have rough recollections of several such requests appearing on slashdot in recent memory, I don't recall the details but a quick google finds:

      "The first public signs of financial trouble at MandrakeSoft appeared in March 2002 when Mandrake began asking users for donations and changed their support structure to get a new revenue stream."
      http://geek.com/news/geeknews/2003Jan/osg20030116 0 18188.htm [geek.com]

      Theo's bed was made by driving away potential sources of income
  • Nvidia did not give anyone documentation. Instead, they expect people to load a gigantic blob of binary code into their kernel, and just be happy with that. Some Linux people in Germany reverse-engineered the driver years ago, but the rough story I heard is that Nvidia asked them to stop, and they did. This just astounds me!

    Gee, I don't know, maybe they had lives they didn't want to sacrafice for the cause Theo. He then goes on to slag linux developers in general but maintains that he doesn't really go int
    • from what i read was that he didnt like the binary drivers...fair enough that is his belief. some people did do a reverse engineer job and were asked to stop. it is germany on the other hand, not the US, they probably have a bit saner laws regarding that (depending on the method of course) maybe they did it out of respect and not fear. who knows. it could be a number of reasons. however, theo wasnt exactly an asshole on that concept, he is suprised they would stop (again we dont know why they stopped)
    • He said he found it crazy that folks who always want 'open' software, even forcing anyone using it to keep it open, would accept closed binary blobs in their software. That sounds like a pretty specific point he was talking about. Not 'slagging linux developers in general'.

      If you disagree with his point, how about stating why you think it's wrong rather than just bitching about 'classic theo'.

  • SunSSH (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dtfinch (661405) * on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @01:56AM (#15015968) Journal
    "I will say it here -- if an OpenSSH hole is found that applies to SunSSH, Sun will not be informed. Or maybe that has happened already." - Theo de Raadt

    I'm sure they'll find out when everyone else does.
  • Some of the OpenSSH freeloaders, like Apple Computer and The SCO Group, are notorious for reaping financial rewards from selling open source software bundled with their proprietary products.

    What part of the BSD license does Theo not understand? Apple and SCO aren't "freeloaders", they are using the software under the intended license.

    Furthermore, what makes Theo think that people want to run OpenSSH? At this point, it's as entrenched as Windows--nobody has a choice.

    For our work on OpenSSH, companies using
    • Re:what a whiner (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @02:05AM (#15015997) Homepage
      Some of the OpenSSH freeloaders, like Apple Computer and The SCO Group, are notorious for reaping financial rewards from selling open source software bundled with their proprietary products.

      What part of the BSD license does Theo not understand? Apple and SCO aren't "freeloaders", they are using the software under the intended license.

      That part wasn't written by Theo, as far as I can tell.

    • Re:what a whiner (Score:2, Insightful)

      by QuantumG (50515)
      Let's face it, the reason why Theo de Raadt can't maintain his unpaid work on OpenBSD/OpenSSH is because he's an impersonable jerk. You can't make money as a consultant if your response to everyone is just to tell them to shut the hell up. You may be able to make money from speaking tours (like RMS does) but you actually have to have enough patience and dedication to stand up deliver a talk that people who are willing to pay to hear (i.e., not talks that people give to developers). Theo reminds me of peo
    • Re:what a whiner (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hhw (683423) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @02:10AM (#15016021) Homepage
      Just because the BSD license doesn't force companies to give back, doesn't mean they can't do it anyway.

      For a business that uses OpenBSD code, it would just make good business sense to support the project at a fraction of what it would cost to develop the same code in-house. It is ridiculous that Sun wouldn't even cover the travel expenses of an OpenBSD developer to go their conference, because the value of the developer's hours would have far exceeded such travel expenses. That's just simply bad business.
    • Some of the OpenSSH freeloaders, like Apple Computer and The SCO Group, are notorious for reaping financial rewards from selling open source software bundled with their proprietary products. What part of the BSD license does Theo not understand? Apple and SCO aren't "freeloaders", they are using the software under the intended license.

      No, it's far simpler than that. Apple and SCO *paid for* BSD. BSD was paid for by the taxpayers of California, including corporations like Apple and SCO. Perhaps Theo not
      • Check your dates (Score:3, Informative)

        by Noksagt (69097)

        "Some of the OpenSSH freeloaders, like Apple Computer..." Apple and SCO aren't "freeloaders", they are using the software under the intended license.

        No, it's far simpler than that. Apple and SCO *paid for* BSD. BSD was paid for by the taxpayers of California, including corporations like Apple and SCO. Perhaps Theo noticed a "Copyright 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 The Regents of the University of California.

        OpenSSH development began in 1999. So, no Apple didn't pay for OpenSSH

    • by Noksagt (69097) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @03:01AM (#15016170) Homepage
      First, I think the OpenSSH question was baited. Even disregarding that, you excluded an insightful caveat from Theo's reply:
      Of course we did not set out to create OpenSSH for the money -- we purposely made it completely free so that the "telnet infrastructure" of the 1980s would die. But it sure is sad that none of these companies return even a fraction of value in kind.
      He acknowledges that not only was there no obligation for these companies to donate money, but that OpenSSH wasn't created to make money. I don't think it is unreasonable for him to ask for money, particularly when he has pointed out that some of the vendors selected OpenSSH after they were quoted high fees (multi-millions of USD) from the commercial SSH vendor.

      OpenBSD has done good work & currently depends on receiving financial donations. Enlightened companies should notice that OpenBSD needs some funding right now & that it would be cheaper to fund them than to have to adopt the support and development of the OpenBSD products they use.
    • Re:what a whiner (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pherthyl (445706) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @03:09AM (#15016189)
      Furthermore, what makes Theo think that people want to run OpenSSH? At this point, it's as entrenched as Windows--nobody has a choice.

      What are you talking about? People use OpenSSH because it's by far the best out there. Nobody is locked into using it, the specs are open, anyone can code a replacement. It's just not easy to produce something of the same quality and security as OpenSSH. People are locked into Windows because of proprietary file formats and closed source applications; how is that in any way similar to OpenSSH?

      But, like many celebrities, it's just never enough.

      Sorry. CELEBRITIES? Hmm.. yeah sure, Theo is a celebrity. I'm sure he has paparazzi knocking on his door every day.

      Sure Theo can be abrasive, but it's weird to see how gleefully people at the receiving end of his charity will attack him. It's always easy to be an armchair critic.

    • Why was OpenSSH created in the first place?
      Later licenses restricted the use of ssh in a commercial environment, instead requiring companies to buy an expensive version from Datafellows.

      (from the OpenSSH History [openssh.com] page)

      I have to wonder how long it will be before the commercial SSH folks are talking to apple and sun and so on about really cheap bulk licenses.

    • Re:what a whiner (Score:5, Informative)

      by lintux (125434) <slashdot@wilmer.gaa[ ]net ['st.' in gap]> on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @03:49AM (#15016311) Homepage
      Furthermore, what makes Theo think that people want to run OpenSSH? At this point, it's as entrenched as Windows--nobody has a choice.

      Actually, it isn't. You can also use LSH [lysator.liu.se] or Dropbear [ucc.asn.au], and for SSH clients there are even more alternatives (PuTTY is available for Linux, for example).

      This article almost makes me consider using one of them...
    • Re:what a whiner (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cyberjessy (444290) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @03:55AM (#15016329) Homepage
      What part of the BSD license does Theo not understand? Apple and SCO aren't "freeloaders", they are using the software under the intended license.
      Furthermore, what makes Theo think that people want to run OpenSSH? At this point, it's as entrenched as Windows--nobody has a choice.


      Dear friend, herein lies the indelible mark of your misunderstanding of the free software _Movement_, and will live on even after you are dead and gone.

      The help he is asking is pocket change for the companies which use OpenSSH. For the work done in making it compatible with major projects of those companies. __If you read the article__ you will also note how IBM sends customer complaints to the OpenSSH team. And how Sun refused to pay for travel!

      I find it painful.
  • Wow, is Jem ever whiney...
  • by The Famous Brett Wat (12688) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @02:04AM (#15015996) Homepage Journal
    Is it just me, or does anyone else always feel the urge to pronounce "Theo de Raadt" as "Theo da Rat" with a mafia godfather style accent?
  • by PAPPP (546666) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @02:06AM (#15016001) Homepage
    This is a perfect example of the problem with BSD licencing. Under the various BSD licences, its perfectly OK to take a piece of code and sell it, either modified or exactly as found, without in any way recognising or contrubuting to the project. Run "strings c:\windows\system32\ftp.exe" on a WinXP box and you'll see a perfect example of uncredited work. At least under the GPL if someone sells an unmodified program, the project will get recognition (since it will have to remain open source, and thus the origion of the code will be obvious), and if they sell a modified version the project will get the source for the modifications back. Neither directly equates to funding, but publicity and a better code base both help to attract financial support. Both arrangements depend somewhat on the cooperation and altruism of the entity using the code for a profit, but the GPL isn't quite so hopelessly naive.
    • This is a perfect example of the problem with BSD licencing. Under the various BSD licences, its perfectly OK to take a piece of code and sell it, either modified or exactly as found, without in any way recognising or contrubuting to the project.

      And BSD developers know that, accept that, and often want corporations to use their stuff. With easier corporate acceptance there is more opportunity for consulting. Unfortunately with someone like Theo scaring away corporations his pet projects suffer, I'm thin
      • by Darby (84953) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @03:23AM (#15016225)
        I've mentioned this in another post but be careful with words like "contributing". As California corporations and taxpayers companies like Apple and SCO paid for BSD's development. Apple have every moral and ethical right to use it.

        They paid for ancient BSD development. However after the court cases were over, that went away.
        They have every *legal* right to use it.
        They have an ethical responsibility to contribute but this is in no way required.
        Morality is individual, so were you talking about a person it would be their choice as to what their morality is. As you're discussing corporations, they inherently and as required by law are entirely amoral.

        This is certainly about as clear a demonstration as you can find of the difference between the BSD license and the GPL, but other than that, which wasn't explicitly in there, there really isn't anything to your post.

        Is Theo justified in calling the people who used his code without giving anything back asshats? Absolutely.
        Can he force them to? Absolutely not.

        That's the license he chose and he's well aware of the ramifications.

        The thing to me that most sucks was that Stallman and the BSD folks basically made a bet on human nature.
        The optomists are losing badly.

        • They paid for ancient BSD development. However after the court cases were over, that went away. They have every *legal* right to use it. They have an ethical responsibility to contribute but this is in no way required.

          It's not so ancient: "Copyright 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved". An this code remains at the heart of the *BSD projects.

          Morality is individual, so were you talking about a person it would be the
    • This is a perfect example of the problem with BSD licencing. Under the various BSD licences, its perfectly OK to take a piece of code and sell it, either modified or exactly as found, without in any way recognising or contrubuting to the project.

      It is NOT a problem with the license. It's the way it is, and if it doesn't suit you, you shouldn't be developing software under the BSD license at all - there's a number of open source licenses to choose from. You can even write your own one and set
    • Actually to me this sounds like a fundamental flaw in the nature of businesses and capitalism...

      If businesses were required to act more responsibly and more in the civic interest none of this would be an issue, but capitalism as it is implemented in the western democracies does not allow for this.
  • I bought the T-shirt [openbsd.org]; does that count?

    • by bhima (46039)
      I hope so! I did to and I did it because OpenBSD is rapidly becoming the only OS I trust enough to mount a rented DVD on and be absolutly sure I don't wind up with any sneaky malware...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I was recently asked in a job interview "If Theo de Raadt and Dan Bernstein were locked in a room with knives, who would you want to come out alive?"

    (and my interviewer is probably reading this, in which case, "Hi there!")

    I said I wanted Dan Bernstein to come out alive, because I actually use his stuff in production as opposed to OpenBSD... but after thinking about it for a while I realised that OpenSSH is perhaps more important that Dan Bernstein's stuff. I mean, Dan never updates qmail and any of his tool
    • by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @03:04AM (#15016176)
      I was recently asked in a job interview "If Theo de Raadt and Dan Bernstein were locked in a room with knives, who would you want to come out alive?"

      At which question I would have gotten up, broken off a leg table, and proceeded to ask "Where are they?!" so that I can proceed to give Dan a hand, musing to myself that it is at times like these that I wish I were a gun nut.

      I am afraid this kind of a reaction would have been rather popular amongst those who had a pleasure of reading Theos' "conversations" with people on some of the USENET groups of old. Theo is just such a charming, loveable guy that swiss army knives open spontaneously in people's pockets at the very mention of him.

  • by Theatetus (521747) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @02:11AM (#15016028) Journal

    If you're a Linux user and you like your madwifi driver, you can thank the OBSD ath driver. Also if you ever want a RALink driver, OpenBSD is the only OS that has one right now and it seems almost certain any ports will be based off it. Anonymous CVS? Theo came up with it after NetBSD kicked him off the commit list. Randomized mmap, stack protection ... there's a lot of development being taken from openbsd. We've all got an interest here.

    • If the people writing those drivers would not be working on OpenBSD, they would probably write those drivers for FreeBSD or Linux.
      • That's not how it works. People do open source development because they enjoy it. Obviously these people liked working on stuff for OpenBSD and not for Linux. For whatever reason that's what they liked best. If they couldn't do that, it is far from guaranteed that they would write for Linux/*BSD instead. The prospect of writing for Linux might not entice them enough to bother starting at all.

        Would all the KDE devs be Gnome/Fluxbox/XFCE/etc devs if KDE didn't exist? Not bloody likely. Programmer resou
    • ... and licenses (Score:5, Informative)

      by John Whorfin (19968) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @02:44AM (#15016120) Homepage
      A while back -- pre-SCO -- OpenBSD did a "license audit". I don't have the list in front of me but a sizable number of reasonably well-known open source projects had questionable licences. Theo really did ask nicely and got most of them changed.

      TCP Wrappers IIRC was one of them, pppd another (again IIRC).

      Like Theo or hate him, he's done more for the Open Source community than just piss people off.

      • Re:... and licenses (Score:3, Informative)

        by justins (80659)

        A while back -- pre-SCO -- OpenBSD did a "license audit". I don't have the list in front of me but a sizable number of reasonably well-known open source projects had questionable licences. Theo really did ask nicely and got most of them changed.

        TCP Wrappers IIRC was one of them, pppd another (again IIRC)

        I'm pretty sure Wietse Venema saw the value in updating the licenses for TCP wrappers and (perhaps more importantly) Postfix when approached by Theo and did so without any drama whatsoever. Of course, when t

    • Oh really? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Deorus (811828) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @04:19AM (#15016396)
      > Also if you ever want a RALink driver, OpenBSD is the only OS that has one right now and it seems almost certain any ports will be based off it.

      I thought RALink supported Linux themselves, otherwise, what's this [ralinktech.com]?
      • Re:Oh really? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by malloc (30902)
        *that* is called a binary blob driver. It means if you're willing to give control of what kernel you run to this company then you can use their driver. Essentially this boils down to them controlling your whole machine and is why Linus refuses binary drivers. ("No, you can't use this new kernel feature", "no, you can't debug this crash", "sorry, we're out of business, you can't upgrade your kernel ever again") There's nothing to praise about that.

        Malloc
  • Holy Crap! (Score:2, Troll)

    by iamdrscience (541136)
    Some companies use open source software and they don't pay for it??!! I for one am shocked.
  • by John Whorfin (19968) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @02:40AM (#15016106) Homepage
    It's not that the Foo Corp is using OpenSSH w/o paying Theo or the OpenBSD/OpenSSH crowd. No one (including Theo) has a problem with that.

    It's that some companies *cough*Sun*cough* make all kinds of noises about being "open" and "supporting open source" and market the crap out of it purely because it's the latest buzzword, when in reality they just don't give a shit.

    That's what gets to Theo... and others.
    • Be fair (Score:4, Informative)

      by grahamsz (150076) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @03:11AM (#15016194) Homepage Journal
      Sun bought and open sourced both StarOffice and Netbeans, they've open sourced Solaris and the UltraSPARC processor core.

      I'm sure there are plenty other projects, but Sun have donated what must amount to many millions of dollars of code to the community.

      Sure they use other open source projects (in line with their licenses) and while they presumably aren't throwing money at Theo it seems unfair to brand them as anti-opensource when they've done a lot of good.
    • I won't comment on the money issue, i think a lot of people should be contributing for OpenSSH. The problem is that the BSD license doesn't require it. You can say that it should have, but i bet OpenSSH wouldn't be as ubiquitous as it is now. We have a bunch of hardware devices that we connect to with ssh. The fact out of all those devices, Theo only got a grand really surprises me.

      But as far as buzzword jumping - Sun has given a lot of things to open source, more than IBM in fact. NFS was developed
  • by twigles (756194) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @02:43AM (#15016114)
    Theo may be a jerk, but that's not the point here. The OpenBSD team does great work that gets ported to other platforms or just flat out embedded, but no one wants to lend a hand. This interview did not strike me as whiney or greedy; Theo never came across as wanting to get rich, with his grand aspirations of paying travel expenses for poor developers.

    His request is very reasonable - everyone is benefitting, and those who are in a position to give a little back should do so. He didn't say fund the project, he said contribute a little. Jeez, anything really.

    This whole Slashdot anti-Theo movement is lame, it's like watching jocks push the nerdy quiet kid around in high school, which is a bit ironic considering that many of us *were* those nerdy quiet kids. Stop trying to be part of the "in" crowd by bashing this guy and read the article with an objective eye.
  • Pony up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Graabein (96715) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @02:46AM (#15016131) Homepage Journal
    An OpenBSD CD set is $49. If you've ever used OpenSSH or x.org X11 (read the article), you've already got your money's worth. In addition, chances are that somewhere in your organization (or at your house?!?) there's an OpenBSD-based firewall happily chugging away with PF and CARP.

    So cut the anti-BSD crap and get over Theo's personality for like 10 seconds and pony up. Some day you'll be glad you did. If for no other reason, do it in your own best interest.
    • Re:Pony up (Score:3, Interesting)

      by awing0 (545366)
      I know OpenSSH has saved me more than $49 on gas alone. Even though I don't use OpenBSD as often as Linux or FreeBSD, it's well worth it to fund such a polished software project. I'm ordering 3.9 right now.
  • by paugq (443696) <pgquiles AT elpauer DOT org> on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @02:48AM (#15016135) Homepage
    What's so difficult to understand for those GPL zealots out there?

    Theo is NOT talking about code. He couldn't care less about the code!

    He's talking about MONEY. OpenBSD and OpenSSH need money to pay Theo's (and other's) income, bandwidth, servers, etc. How does the GPL help when you need money? It does NOT help!

    • How does the GPL help when you need money? It does NOT help!

      Vendors who extend the code and sell it along with their products will have to either release their modifications or pay $$$ for an LGPL or BSD licensed version.

      • That's in case they could get a dual-licensed version of that code. Most times there is so many people involved in a project it's impossible to get everybody to agree on another license, much less on selling that code.

        Remember when some company tried to get a one-time BSD-licensed Linux kernel? No way, and it had nothing to do with the amount of money being offered: they were plainly said 'no'.

        And what about Wine? Don't you remember about the change from X11-license to LGPL and Transgaming trying to start
  • I will say it here -- if an OpenSSH hole is found that applies to SunSSH, Sun will not be informed. Or maybe that has happened already.

    If OpenBSD find a bug in OpenSSH they will surely post a notice and release a fix. I don't see how they can keep the information from sun.

    I understand that Theo is still Theo, and that they should get some help from Sun, but I don't think his approach is very realistic.

  • Theo forked a BSD licensed project to create OpenBSD. If he wanted money, then he should have forked into a proprietary license. He forked and kept the BSD license. Since this was a choice, I assume it was made with some forethought. After all, just try to suggest that Theo has made a mistake and he will argue you to death that he knew what he was doing...

    So, he OpenBSD and OpenSSH are BSD licensed by choice. That means that NOBODY needs to give them money if they use the source code. The BSD license
  • Fork it! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by scarolan (644274) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @08:24AM (#15016983) Homepage
    Our company would be more inclined to donate if we knew that the money we gave would go directly to support OpenSSH. We have no interest in supporting OpenBSD. Fork OpenSSH into it's own project with separate financing and management, and we'll send you some money.
    • Re:Fork it! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by merdaccia (695940) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @09:52AM (#15017271)

      Then people wonder why de Raadt behaves the way he does. When I read this post, my first reaction was to send you to hell with enough bad language to put you in a first class seat. Maybe that's why de Raadt gets his stigma, by not taking a pause from his first reaction.

      So you want to know that the money you give would go directly to support OpenSSH? According to de Raadt, there are six developers that focus on OpenSSH. These developers also work on other aspects of OpenBSD. What exactly do you want them to do? Divide your money between the six of them according to how many hours each works on OpenSSH? Do you want them to have separate network connections and hardware, and pay for it with your donation? How do you compensate the other OpenBSD developers when their ideas and contributions inevitably end up in the OpenSSH codebase?

      The OpenBSD developers are a group of people working together. OpenSSH is the fruit of their work. The way to contribute directly to OpenSSH is to contribute funds to its developers. That's exactly what contributing to OpenBSD does, because the developers of OpenBSD and the developers of OpenSSH are one and the same.

      So contrary to your second sentence, you have every interest in supporting OpenBSD. Saying otherwise is a disingenuous and pathetic attempt at justifying your reluctance to reward the people whose work you claim to respect.

      • Re:Fork it! (Score:3, Informative)

        by Myrrh (53301)
        Theo mentions in the interview how it would not be advantageous to become a non-profit organization. I'm not sure where he and his developers operate, so I can't speak to the specific laws of his country.

        But, incorporating (for-profit or otherwise) is not difficult and needn't be expensive, either. Were he to do so, he could adopt articles of incorporation and bylaws which would clearly state the divisions of the company. He could create an "OpenBSD" division and, similarly, an "OpenSSH" division.

        Maintainin
  • by NXIL (860839) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @10:53AM (#15017612)
    Jerry A. Taylor
    City Manager
    Tuttle, OK

    Dear Jerry,

    you like secure operating systems. So does Theo de Raadt: he loves them!

    Please contact Theo directly at *deraadt@cvs.openbsd.org*

    Be firm: Theo will help you, but only if you are make it clear that you expect help, and you want it now. (I think that when you contacted CentOS's team, you were sort of beating around the bush. That won't work with the OpenBSD team. Be direct!)

    Theo will respect your 22 years of IT experience. And, I think he will be impressed that you worked at Raytheon--wow!

    No need to call the FBI to get a response from Theo and his boyz. Enjoy!

    --A concerned citizen
  • Grow up! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phliar (87116) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @02:00PM (#15019176) Homepage
    Jesus Christ, all this TdR flaming is getting ridiculous. His philosophy is clear: he cares about the code, and only about the code; he's not interested in marketing or market share or advocacy. He's a smart guy who doesn't suffer fools gladly, and the Internet makes it possible for every fool to contact him. Small wonder the fools think he's an asshole. (The pity of it is: he really is a pretty nice guy who even has interests other than OpenBSD.)

    Since it's obvious that many here haven't actually read what they're flaming about, here's the last question of that interview:

    NF: Lots of hardware vendors use OpenSSH. Have you got anything back from them?

    TdR: If I add up everything we have ever gotten in exchange for our efforts with OpenSSH, it might amount to $1,000. This all came from individuals. For our work on OpenSSH, companies using OpenSSH have never given us a cent. What about companies that incorporate OpenSSH directly into their products, saving themselves millions of dollars? Companies such as Cisco, Sun, SGI, HP, IBM, Siemens, a raft of medium-sized firewall companies -- we have not received a cent. Or from Linux vendors? Not a cent.

    Of course we did not set out to create OpenSSH for the money -- we purposely made it completely free so that the "telnet infrastructure" of the 1980s would die. But it sure is sad that none of these companies return even a fraction of value in kind.

    If you want to judge any entity particularly harshly, judge Sun. Yearly they hold interoperability events, for NFS and other protocols, and they include SSH implementation tests as well. Twice we asked them to cover the travel and accommodation costs for a developer to come to their event, and they refused. Considering that their SunSSH is directly based on our code, that is just flat out insulting. Shame on you Sun, shame, shame, shame.

    I will say it here -- if an OpenSSH hole is found that applies to SunSSH, Sun will not be informed. Or maybe that has happened already.

    Sounds completely reasonable -- just calling a spade a spade and not trying to sugar coat anything.

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.

Working...