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OpenBSD finances
Contributed by marco on Tue Mar 21 03:41:52 2006 (GMT)
from the Developing-isnt-free dept.

I just wanted to remind the community that OpenBSD 3.9 pre-orders are up.

I know you saw a blurb from Bob a few days ago and many of you purchased and/or donated some cash, thank you very much for that! The bad news is that OpenBSD for the past 2 years has turned a loss of approximately $20K USD ($40K total). I don't think I need to explain in many words what that is doing to our beloved OS, and worse, our main systems architect. This is starting to seriously impede the development of OpenBSD and OpenSSH. A lot of serious architecture and development is done at hackathons around the world. The week-long one in Calgary being the big one where everyone tries to get together to discuss and plot a course for the future. To put this in perspective, due to financial restraints the 2007 hackathon is not going to happen unless someone is willing to pick up that tab. The scheduled hackathon of 2006 will happen in about 2 months. Large hackathons like that cost up $30K USD. The smaller hackathons that are concentrated on a single area of development are less expensive and come in at around $10K USD. These figures do not include flights and stay for the poorer and student developers we have. Unfortunately not everyone in OpenBSD is able to afford these trips but we do love to fly them out to pick their brains.

What is happening is that the CD purchase FTP ratio is out of control. People pretty much stopped purchasing CDs in quantities they used to and use the FTP mirrors instead. This lack of sales is what is causing the project to turn a small loss for the 2nd year in a row.

To fulfill most development goals OpenBSD should be generating about $100K USD. With that amount of money the project can finance 1 large and 4 small hackathons per year. Pay the bills and a part-time developer to mind the shop when Theo isn't around. In an ideal world we would have a sponsor per hackathon and the CD sales would be paying for other expenses.

Inquiries about sponsoring hackathons and other fund raising questions can be sent to marco@openbsd.org. Serious/interesting offers will be evaluated by me and discussed with Theo. The idea is to keep him busy with technical stuff and as little as possible with fund-raising activities. Unfortunately sending email to the lists is counter-productive and worse will generate flames. Please restrain yourself and simply contact me off list.

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.

All this said, a few words of caution. First and foremost OpenBSD/OpenSSH will not compromise its goals. The reason why the project has been able to maintain integrity is by simply saying "no" to outside preassure. Doing the right thing can and sometimes is painful, but it is what makes the project into what it is today. All donations will therefore have to be without any strings attached.

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  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod -1/49)
by Anonymous Coward (156.34.223.129) on Tue Mar 21 04:16:39 2006 (GMT)
  It certainly isn't hard to understand why some projects at least think about going commercial/proprietary. Giving away your work for free will always have limited application as a business model =( Is the project in the hole for 40K (is it even possible for this to happen?), or did come out of money left over from more profitable years? The later I hope!
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 17/57)
by c2 (208.191.162.126) (maxentropic at hotmail dot com) on Tue Mar 21 05:55:46 2006 (GMT)
  Wow...surprising that a) "normal" CD sales can finance the project, and b) they aren't getting "normal" sales. Well, maybe b) is actually disturbing. The mere peace of mind that using OpenBSD brings me is easily worth the price of 2 CDs a year.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 2/68)
by Anonymous Coward (195.92.253.2) on Tue Mar 21 06:08:39 2006 (GMT)
  Here is .2 cents. Not quite the cost of a cd. "ust before the demise of Commodore, a marketing executive for the company summarized what he thought led to the Amiga's failure to capture significant market share. He minced no words: "The fanatical element among our customer base hasn't done us any favors." http://www.byte.com/art/9602/sec11/art8.htm#
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 15/45)
by llewdis (71.39.22.175) on Tue Mar 21 07:40:03 2006 (GMT)
  I have occaisionally used OpenBSD as a resource when building out client networks and have never had a complaint about a single installed box. Be that as it may, I also am not terribly flush with cash as I once was. I am buying the 3.9 release just as I did the 3.8 and 3.7 releases. I realize that this is a paltry sum compared to the hours of dedication displayed by TdR and others, and I hope others will step up to the plate for this. My work as a Security Engineer and CCDA would not be nearly as fruitful without OpenSSH or OpenBSD!
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 7/49)
by Peter N. M. Hansteen (194.54.107.19) (peter@bgnett.no) on Tue Mar 21 08:41:11 2006 (GMT)
http://www.bgnett.no/~peter/pf/
  You just reminded me to add a "Buy OpenBSD CDs and swag, donate!" slide to my presentation for tomorrow (UKUUG Spring). Thanks for that, it's long overdue anyway.

And when I get back, it's on to nag customers, friends and colleagues.

In the nicest possible way, stressing the value of donations, of course.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod -1/49)
by kokamomi (85.227.7.132) on Tue Mar 21 09:08:16 2006 (GMT)
 

how about an "anti-ad" in the margin of undeadly rotating the top companies that evidently use openbsd/openssh but do nothing to help, linked to information about the situation and how to get unlisted... could be expanded to aggravating hardware vendors as well =)

+---------------------+
| Thanks for nothing: | 
|                     | 
|      Acme, Inc      | 
|                     | 
|  Click this banner  | 
|   to learn more...  | 
+---------------------+
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 8/42)
by teemu (193.110.28.9) on Tue Mar 21 09:16:19 2006 (GMT)
http://teemu.lynix.net
  every admin/engineer using openbsd in a paid infrastructure should consider ordering CD-Sets for the clients he installs the boxes. this also eliminates the question "what is this OpenBSD thing?";
strange, but having offical CD-Sets makes them happy, they like putting them right beside their w2k3 server cd set and those office XP CD's.
It's a bargain, because the work behind is priceless ..

  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod -2/42)
by Anonymous Coward (193.22.160.2) on Tue Mar 21 09:18:07 2006 (GMT)
  Sadly, it must have come to this. OpenBSD, as much as any other OS competes with its features and tries to be unique. But this uniqueness is expensive, as explained. And, most users don't care. OpenBSD is extraordinary in some of it's parts, but I doubt that there is a single task which can only be done using OpenBSD. In that sense, it is as good as any other free OS around. To strengthen it further: OpenBSD/OpenSSH/OpenBGPD/OpenCVS gives away the best parts - for free. Having a public ftp mirror and cvs repos makes it even harder to convince people to buy CD's. And lacking support for commodity hardware doesn't make it more interesting. Doing the right thing can lead to crash.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod -2/42)
by Simon (84.57.88.52) on Tue Mar 21 12:47:59 2006 (GMT)
  Welcome to the joyful world of capitalism
Sad, really...
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 0/38)
by squeege (69.28.228.218) on Tue Mar 21 13:01:39 2006 (GMT)
 

Maybe it has something to do with the declining US dollar? Although the project is based in Canada they charge CDs & swag in USD, and since 2003 the US dollar has been steadily losing value versus the Canadian dollar (and Euro). The forecast is that this trend will continue for while.

I wouldn't be surprised if this is a contributing factor to the project's deficit...

If this is the case, I'm wondering why sales haven't increased slightly to compensate for the drop in the US currency; as a Canadian, I've taken advantage of this situation to buy extra swag with the CDs - more cool OpenBSD stuff for the same amount of money. For US OpenBSD supporters it changes nothing; but for most others around the world it should make the merchandise more affordable... ???

Well, I'm off to make a donation...

  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 8/36)
by Kevin (64.119.117.159) on Tue Mar 21 14:02:11 2006 (GMT)
  Like with any org depending on "donations" they need to have an annual $$$ drive. $100K/year is not that much if every March for example is official OpenBSD sponsorship drive month. Anyone who believes in the project needs to post on every blog and list imaginable, a call for donations/purchases from the OpenBSD store. Kuro5hin made such an appeal and raised over $20Gs in donations in a week or two and K5 is not OpenBSD! I also make it a point of having each client buy a CD for their installs. With the cost of the CD and the quality of the software, they can't find a better deal.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 8/38)
by Anonymous Coward (24.9.1.84) on Tue Mar 21 14:20:27 2006 (GMT)
  Pardon the ignorance, but where is the "Blurb from Bob"? I looked through misc@ where I would expect it, but didn't see it.

I'll get my order in today.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 9/35)
by Berant (38.115.140.1) (berant <at> lemmenes <dot> com) on Tue Mar 21 14:20:29 2006 (GMT)
  While I've purchaced CD releases in the past, lately I've started just sending in a cash donation each release (of at least the cost of the CD's) and use the FTP mirrors for the actual installs.

My thinking being that I don't need the pressed CD's and giving cash directly to them saves the cost of the CD's so that they get 100% of my donation.

Is this helping or hurting the project?

-Berant
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Ideas (mod 6/40)
by Chas (147.154.235.53) on Tue Mar 21 14:58:44 2006 (GMT)
 

First off, I'll send in my $100 check today.

However, OpenSSH is ubiquitous and underappreciated. Why not threaten the vendors? IBM and HP, fork over $5k or AIX/HP-UX support will be removed from the portable releases.

Or how about a carrot and stick approach? The ftp daemon is starting to get snazzy - how about contractually taking over that support from a few large system vendors?

I suppose that reopening conversations with DARPA is out of the question.

And once again, I hate the upgrade cycle. I'm still on 3.5, and I haven't seen a compelling reason to move, even though I bought 3.8. OpenBSD should be structured to make money off that preference.

  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]
      Re: Ideas (-6/16) by Michael on Tue Mar 21 15:20:57 2006 (GMT)
        Re: Ideas (4/20) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 15:28:28 2006 (GMT)
          Re: Ideas (7/25) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 15:57:23 2006 (GMT)
            Re: Ideas (10/30) by Sean on Tue Mar 21 17:21:16 2006 (GMT)
            Re: Ideas (3/21) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 17:29:30 2006 (GMT)
              Re: Ideas (-2/18) by Anonymous Coward on Wed Mar 22 05:05:13 2006 (GMT)
            Re: Ideas (-1/19) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 18:30:17 2006 (GMT)
              Re: Ideas (0/20) by Anonymous Coward on Wed Mar 22 17:13:58 2006 (GMT)
            Re: Ideas (4/20) by Stephen Paskaluk on Tue Mar 21 20:05:56 2006 (GMT)
          Re: Ideas (3/17) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 20:57:01 2006 (GMT)
      Re: Ideas (6/18) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 18:25:51 2006 (GMT)

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 12/36)
by Anonymous Coward (60.48.189.181) on Tue Mar 21 15:37:23 2006 (GMT)
  I'm on my way doing a proposal for using OpenBSD as router/firewall. If this success (getting the managers to agree...) then I'll surely get some CDs and some goodies from OpenBSD.org and maybe donate some money (my own).

Thank you.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 5/33)
by syntax error (81.204.188.152) on Tue Mar 21 15:38:04 2006 (GMT)
  Well, i am planning a VPN solution based on BSD systems and will buy a CD for every location instead of 1 ...all little bits help :-)
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Funding Source? (mod 24/42)
by Clay Dowling (12.37.120.99) (clay@lazarusid.com) on Tue Mar 21 16:30:11 2006 (GMT)
http://www.ceamus.com
  It's good to generate income from CD sales. With the freely available installs though, and widespread broadband availability in the US, we can expect sales to continue to decline.

This seems stupid, but how about putting Google Ads on the OpenBSD site? The OpenBSD site is a great source of reference material even for non-OpenBSD users. Let that value as a reference pay off for the project. I don't know what traffic volumes are or what kind of revenue could be generated, but it seems like it would be worth investigating.

If there's some opposition to using Google Ads, how about soliciting advertising directly from companies that are using OpenBSD in their products? They have a vested interest in seeing OpenBSD development continue, they benefit from prominent exposure, and the user community benefits by learning about more products using OpenBSD.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 11/45)
by Anonymous Coward (67.134.199.42) on Tue Mar 21 16:37:08 2006 (GMT)
  Just shutdown the ftp, and put a read-only password on the cvs, and place this password on the CD. It sucks, so does bills. Come on people can afford a $30 cd twice a year.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 0/36)
by kamper (70.31.84.121) on Tue Mar 21 16:55:32 2006 (GMT)
  Advertisements? Put 'em up on all the associated websites and we'll all spend 5 minutes a day repeatedly clicking on them :p

Ok, that might not mesh so well with the 'principles' thing and you wouldn't want some sort of "Get the Fact" ad showing up.

Like someone sort of touched on above, what about starting a support business? Like, if I was an openbsd expert and saw a market opportunity, I could start up a business helping other companies either incorporate it into their products or just installing and maintaining specific setups. That would be for profit but if you tied it into the main project, then all revenue would go towards further development of course.

And obviously no one could do it better than you guys, since you create the product. Would all the developers be willing to put in a little extra time to do money-making support?

And just so I don't seem completely callous, I'll point out that I bought cds for my first time for 3.9 (just started using at 3.7) so you do have some new cd revenue :)
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 2/42)
by KBAKEP (159.93.100.69) on Tue Mar 21 17:22:08 2006 (GMT)
  I would like to propose two ways:

1. One platform - one CD. I strongly propose to split distribution into independent discs. As for me, I help when I can. But I can't pay $40-50 for one usefull and two useless discs. I think that this is not a secret, that almost all use x86 architecture. So, it would be better to sell one dics with stickers and install info for $10-15. And use 700MB CD instead of 650MB to give people more. And moreover, I would propose to sell even DVD for $20-25 with full collection of software for the current distribution (anything you can fit in it).

2. Widely use local representatives. Delivery costs for long distances are very expensive even for one CD (or 3 CD set). You can send a lot of CD sets at once with discount, and people could pay less in the case of short range delivery.

I beleive it should help.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]
      x86 ? (1/21) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 18:37:32 2006 (GMT)
        Re: x86 ? (-9/19) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 21:00:57 2006 (GMT)
        Re: x86 ? (0/18) by KBAKEP on Wed Mar 22 07:42:47 2006 (GMT)
          Re: x86 ? (-2/18) by Anonymous Coward on Wed Mar 22 18:57:29 2006 (GMT)
            Re: x86 ? (0/20) by KBAKEP on Thu Mar 23 08:42:56 2006 (GMT)
              Re: x86 ? (-7/19) by Anonymous Coward on Fri Mar 24 20:47:21 2006 (GMT)
                Re: x86 ? (3/17) by KBAKEP on Tue Mar 28 10:38:33 2006 (GMT)

  Just Donate (mod 10/40)
by bvdl (213.84.8.201) on Tue Mar 21 17:41:00 2006 (GMT)
  https://www.paypal.com/xclick/business=paypal%40openbsd.org&item_name=OpenBSD+Donation&no_shipping=1
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Maybe if Theo wasn't such a dick sometimes... (mod 5/53)
by Anonymous Coward (66.207.218.19) on Tue Mar 21 17:59:54 2006 (GMT)
  ...it'd be easier to get cash. Rubbing people the wrong way can fuck with things you care about. Now, OpenBSD fanboys are gonna respond "we'll we don't give a shit about what you think... we do this for us". So don't whine or talk about "Oh no! We have no money!" when your biggest problem and impediment is the attitude of your leadership. You reap what you sow, brothers... you've made you're bed, now sleep in it.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 6/36)
by Michael (213.89.186.25) (mickep76@yahoo.com) on Tue Mar 21 18:09:18 2006 (GMT)
  Maybe a modell similar to Firefox/Google could be arranged with some larger corporations. Like providing their links as bookmarks, or ads during install or similar. The combination of free and commercial support seems to work for a lot of products for ex. Firefox, MySQL, QT to name a few. Regards Michael
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  That's what you get for using a BSD license (mod 12/54)
by Anonymous Coward (66.207.218.19) on Tue Mar 21 18:12:48 2006 (GMT)
  That's what you get for using a BSD license, and letting anyone help themselves to your work. There's a reason some people like the GPL, ya know... it's not that it will make you money, but it makes your code more visible since credit attribution is manadatory. Suckers.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 15/31)
by Michael (213.89.186.25) (mickep76@yahoo.com) on Tue Mar 21 18:13:14 2006 (GMT)
  Another model that might work is charging for downloads of ISO like 5$ per download by paypal and then provid temporary user/password that will expire within 24h.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 8/34)
by Michael (213.89.186.25) (mickep76@yahoo.com) on Tue Mar 21 18:18:25 2006 (GMT)
  I think the decline of CD purchase is simply because people are lazy and want the CD's directly which they can by using FTP. It's a good example of psychology if a person is given a problem he won't choose the correct way to solve it but the fastest, this is very common when trying to enforce security.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 9/51)
by Anonymous Coward (24.92.153.74) on Tue Mar 21 18:28:37 2006 (GMT)
  So how exaclty can I donate to OpenSSH *only*? Personally I use OpenSSH a lot and would definitely contribute money to support *its* development.

What I don't care about is OpenBSD, so I have no interest in supporting it. You guys are shooting yourselves in the foot by bundling the two in the same donation package...
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]
      How ? (0/20) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 18:40:37 2006 (GMT)
        Re: How ? (-4/22) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 18:51:01 2006 (GMT)
          Re: How ? (4/22) by Nate on Tue Mar 21 19:03:56 2006 (GMT)
            Re: How ? (-4/28) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 19:21:46 2006 (GMT)
              Re: How ? (-5/23) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 19:31:41 2006 (GMT)
                Re: How ? (0/14) by Anonymous Coward on Wed Mar 22 04:16:23 2006 (GMT)
              Re: How ? (-2/22) by Nate on Tue Mar 21 19:33:09 2006 (GMT)
                Re: How ? (-6/24) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 19:53:57 2006 (GMT)
                  Re: How ? (0/28) by Nate on Tue Mar 21 20:12:01 2006 (GMT)
                    Re: How ? (1/21) by brian on Tue Mar 21 21:24:37 2006 (GMT)
              Re: How ? (-2/22) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 21:10:24 2006 (GMT)
                Re: How ? (-3/19) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 21:26:47 2006 (GMT)
                  Re: How ? (-5/19) by Alan DeWitt on Tue Mar 21 22:18:53 2006 (GMT)
              Re: How ? (3/17) by Anonymous Coward on Wed Mar 22 17:33:03 2006 (GMT)
          Re: How ? (2/28) by tedu on Tue Mar 21 21:16:13 2006 (GMT)
            Re: How ? (1/21) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 21:29:07 2006 (GMT)
              Re: How ? (9/19) by marco, but not marco@ on Tue Mar 21 21:44:28 2006 (GMT)
                Re: How ? (0/22) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 22:06:46 2006 (GMT)
                  Re: How ? (9/17) by tedu on Tue Mar 21 22:31:36 2006 (GMT)
                    Re: How ? (-3/19) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 22:36:20 2006 (GMT)
                      Re: How ? (1/21) by marco, but not marco@ on Tue Mar 21 23:07:20 2006 (GMT)
                        Re: How ? (3/17) by Anonymous Coward on Wed Mar 22 00:28:09 2006 (GMT)
                          Re: How ? (-1/17) by Anonymous Coward on Wed Mar 22 01:26:19 2006 (GMT)
                            Re: How ? (2/18) by Anonymous Coward on Wed Mar 22 02:02:18 2006 (GMT)
                          Re: How ? (6/18) by squeege on Wed Mar 22 02:48:05 2006 (GMT)
                            Re: How ? (-2/16) by Anonymous Coward on Wed Mar 22 03:14:39 2006 (GMT)
                      Re: How ? (0/18) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 23:38:43 2006 (GMT)
                        Re: How ? (2/20) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 23:42:08 2006 (GMT)
                          Re: How ? (2/24) by tedu on Tue Mar 21 23:55:20 2006 (GMT)
                            Re: How ? (-5/19) by Anonymous Coward on Wed Mar 22 00:30:03 2006 (GMT)
                          Re: How ? (-3/19) by Chris on Wed Mar 22 05:54:21 2006 (GMT)
                    Re: How ? (3/21) by Anonymous Coward on Tue Mar 21 23:37:12 2006 (GMT)
                  Re: How ? (1/17) by Anonymous Coward on Wed Mar 22 04:22:42 2006 (GMT)
                  Re: How ? (3/15) by Taylor on Fri Mar 24 17:15:35 2006 (GMT)
          Re: How ? (4/20) by Anonymous Coward on Wed Mar 22 05:33:09 2006 (GMT)

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 17/39)
by John Frakes (159.140.254.10) (unixengineer@earthlink.net) on Tue Mar 21 18:38:15 2006 (GMT)
http://www.unixsystemengineer.com
  I have used OpenBSD for about 7 years now and it has significantly improved. You can tell a lot of hard work has gone into it and the material (SSH Architecture) for example is of the highest quality. However, CD sales and swag are a far cry from the support something that has grown so big needs.

Might I suggest asking (begging) for corporate sponsorships from larger companies that use and/or profit to a degree from the efforts put into OpenBSD. A good example would be if a company like IBM who distributes OpenSSH and OpenSSL with it's Linux toolkits for AIX could help contribute not only in development, but in financial means. There are a lot of vendors that use OpenSSH, write documentation to the use of it with their software and OS's and have adopted it as the defacto standard for connecting to systems. While OpenBSD hasn't reached that level of use, the thought and development that makes it great also goes into OpenSSH.

A call for help in continuing the project could be put out to IBM, HP and Sun. By identifying the importance of OpenSSH with major vendor's systems, you could potentially get assistance in the financial needs of this project.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod -11/61)
by Anonymous Coward (82.165.25.219) on Tue Mar 21 18:39:25 2006 (GMT)
  Maybe they are losing money because noone is actually buying CDs since noone is really using OpenBSD (apart from zealots extremists). I guess the small part of users who are using it should actually be _paid_ to use such insecure OS, and that's maybe why OpenBSD would need so much money to sustain their users. If tomorrow Theo pays me $10 a day to run his OS, then I will willingly install it and use it, if not .. then sorry Mr Good guy hacker, you'll have to work at McDonalds like any respected opensource developper!

Oh, and by the way, Get a life.

--

  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Re: OpenBSD finances (mod 5/37)
by Anonymous Coward (68.54.14.236) on Tue Mar 21 18:43:44 2006 (GMT)
  'The reason why the project has been able to maintain integrity is by simply saying "no" to outside preassure. Doing the right thing can and sometimes is painful, but it is what makes the project into what it is today. All donations will therefore have to be without any strings attached.'

I think that's BS. You can always reject projects that don't suit the goals of OpenBSD, but turning away all "strings attached" money is just stupid. There are many occasions where a company has paid to have their hardware supported, their protocol implemented, or their research project enabled. What do you care if you're paid $20k to implement Bluetooth, for example. Use half to pay for the time, the other half to pay for hackathons. Don't contribute it to the code base if you don't think it's worthy.

The previous poster is right--Theo can't go out demanding money on his terms. Businesses expect a return on their investment. Individuals contributing $100 checks this month will not do so next month, whereas businesses will.

Shooting yourself in the foot results in being shot in the foot, not "looking good" for keeping to unreasonable, unnecessary, and unattainable principles.
  [ Show thread ] [ Reply to this comment ] [ Mod Up ] [ Mod Down ]

  Europe, Credit Cardcs (mod 14/34)
by frost22 (145.253.3.202) on Tue Mar 21 18:44:14 2006 (GMT)
  One reasosn I stopped bying any BSD cds is that buying them from Europe has become a hassle. Yes, they all list European sources, but most of these are back either alley operations or provide only cursory coverage (they are often out of stock and dont tgake additional orders) and virtually none of them is able and willing to realiably service orders the way large businesses accept them. Subscription models have been completely unavailable domestically for some time.

As for private donations, none of the BSDs has decent Credit Card processing. While every last porn peddler can afford reputable and decent credit card processors, the BSDs all resort to shady paypal, which is notorious for deceptive business practices and certainly will not see any business from me. And the BSDs even play Paypals game - for instance you are repeatedly (wrongly) told that you don't have to become a paypal member when using their services, but this is only true for one donation per user and year - so if I donate to Openbsd via paypal, I will have to become a member (and in the process give Paypal's goons unlimited access to my checking account) when I also which to donate to FreeBSD.

Paypal's borderline practices and sorry lack of trustworthyness is well documented, I am a little baffled why you guys insist on using them.

So, to sum it up, IMO CDROM business falls because you don't make it easier for people to send you money.
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