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OpenBSD Project in Financial Danger 610

DieNadel writes "In an entry to the OpenBSD Journal, Marco, from the OpenBSD project, warns about the somewhat disturbing financial situation in which they are now. The OpenBSD team is the one that also develops the OpenSSH suite, used nowadays almost everywhere. From the entry: 'What I want to point out what a lot of people don't seem to realize is that OpenSSH development is paid from the same pool of money as OpenBSD. OpenSSH is in use by millions around the world however the revenue stream just simply isn't there. This is where other projects could help. Without naming entities or projects by name there are others out there that are sitting on some cash. It would be wonderful if these entities could share some of the wealth to keep us going.'"
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OpenBSD Project in Financial Danger

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  • by gregarican ( 694358 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @01:15PM (#14964990) Homepage
    ...for Netcraft to weigh in on this one :-)
  • by ichin4 ( 878990 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @01:19PM (#14965041)
    ...oh wait, I guess it really is!
  • by karmawarrior ( 311177 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @01:21PM (#14965064) Journal
    Software development costs money. When people like Theo work their asses off to get us high quality programming, like OpenBSD, OpenSSH, PF, and a host of other excellent operating system level tools and frameworks that most of us use every day without thinking about it, they need to be rewarded, not just because they've done a good job, but because every minute they devote to making these things for us, is a minute they can't spend on work that puts food on their plates and roofs over their tables.

    Unfortunately, they know that the best value they can give to the tools they provide is to make them free. But as long as the tools are free, there will always be those parts of society that do not contribute to the costs of their creation. And, unfortunately, that's not a minority of people. When was the last time YOU gave money to OpenBSD?

    This quagmire of people being unable to develop that that should be free will not disappear by itself. Resources need to be devoted, and unless people are prepared to actually act, not just talk about it on Slashdot, nothing will ever get done. Apathy is not an option.

    You can help by getting off your rear and writing to your congressman [] or senator []. Tell them that critical free software is important to you. Tell them that you appreciate the work being done by the OpenBSD and GNU teams to support you with the software you need in your life but that if cheapskates keep refusing to contribute to the projects, ensuring people like Theo are not forced to hold down proper jobs, you will be forced to use less and less secure and intelligently designed alternatives. Explain the concerns you have about freedom, openness, and choice, and how a lack of money for Free Software harms all three. Let them know that this is an issue that effects YOU directly, that YOU vote, and that your vote will be influenced, indeed dependent, on their policies on funding Free Software.

    You CAN make a difference. Don't treat voting as a right, treat it as a duty. Remember, it was thanks to ordinary people like YOU that we are now seeing such innovations as SMP in OpenBSD. Keep informed, keep your political representatives informed on how you feel. And, most importantly of all, vote.

  • Old Joke (Score:5, Funny)

    by ajs318 ( 655362 ) <`sd_resp2' `at' `'> on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @01:22PM (#14965071)
    Linus Torvalds and Bill Gates briefly saw Theo de Raadt in the Gents' toilets at an important computer show; Theo left the trough and walked away without washing his hands. A bit later, they saw him again and decided to take him to task over his indiscretion.

    "At Microsoft, we always wash our hands when we've been to the toilet!" said Bill, smugly.
    "I'm sure all the Linux developers wash and dry their hands when they've been to the toilet!" said Linus, determined to outdo Bill.
    "Fuck off, the pair of you," said Theo, "OpenBSD people don't piss on their fingers!"
  • Hmm.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @01:24PM (#14965087)
    Isn't SCO using the OpenSSH code? Maybe they could kick in a few dollars to help maintain it... after all, won't they be getting several billion from IBM any day real soon now?
  • by Minwee ( 522556 ) <> on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @01:28PM (#14965124) Homepage
    "I've never wanted to use OpenBSD. The reason? Their community is filled with assholes."

    And yet, here you are on Slashdot. How does that work?

  • The Dead Collector: Bring out yer dead.
    [a man puts a body on the cart]
    Man: Here's one.
    The Dead Collector: That'll be ninepence.
    OpenBSD: I'm not dead.
    The Dead Collector: What?
    Man: Nothing. There's your ninepence.
    OpenBSD: I'm not dead.
    The Dead Collector: 'Ere, he says he's not dead.
    Man: Yes he is.
    OpenBSD: I'm not.
    The Dead Collector: He isn't.
    Man: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.

    Just joking, here's to hoping OpenBSD gets better (financing) soon. (and you can change "Linux Zealot" to "Man" if you're so inclined...)
  • by stlhawkeye ( 868951 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @01:45PM (#14965272) Homepage Journal
    Two days later, I saw Theo with a new iPod and he was not despondant at all.
  • by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @01:53PM (#14965341) Homepage Journal
    "Don't give money to beggers." But I've got a few granola bars and juice drinks I would be willing to donate.

  • Re:Sad (Score:4, Funny)

    by TedCheshireAcad ( 311748 ) <> on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @02:02PM (#14965410) Homepage
    I am sure they will find the magical Open Source revenue stream somehow.
  • Re:Sad (Score:4, Funny)

    by B747SP ( 179471 ) <> on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @02:52PM (#14965929)
    > Hopefully someone can pick up the slack and donate to this great project.

    Yeah, someone ought to do something about that

    (Note to Americans with mod points: that's sarcasm, kthxs)
  • Re:Sad (Score:3, Funny)

    by Walkiry ( 698192 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @03:38PM (#14966402) Homepage
    >What sort of reality-distortion field are you in that it looks like Linux, GNU,
    >FreeBSD, Mozilla, and OpenOffice are mere "pockets" of success and OpenBSD's
    >perennial financial trouble is the "overall" situation?

  • Re:Sad (Score:3, Funny)

    by drsquare ( 530038 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @04:00PM (#14966578)
    But that Theo de Raadt is such a nice guy, who wouldn't want to give him money?

If I have not seen so far it is because I stood in giant's footsteps.