OpenBSD Journal

OpenBSD Foundation Welcomes First Iridium Donor: Smartisan

Contributed by pitrh on from the puff to the iridium, baby dept.

Today's big news comes from the OpenBSD Foundation, via director Ken Westerback. The official word from the foundation is:

The OpenBSD Foundation is excited to announce that it has received its largest ever donation. Smartisan (http://www.smartisan.com) has become our first Iridium level donor with a donation of CDN$280,000.00.

Smartisan has donated tickets sales from its new product launch events to the open source community since 2014. In 2016 alone, over 10,000 developers and tech-enthusiasts attended its events. This year Smartisan chose to donate the proceeds to the OpenBSD Foundation.

We thank Smartisan for its very generous support! This donation will no doubt fund many exciting projects in the next few years.

Here at Undeadly we join the Foundation in thanking the good people at Smartisan for their generous contribution.

And if you, dear reader want to make a similar contribution (all sizes acceptable), please head on over to the Foundation's Donations page.

(Comments are closed)


  1. By Philipp (pb) on

    Very nice move - just after all that gloating over MSFT and the Linux Foundation :)

  2. By brynet (Brynet) on https://brynet.biz.tm/

    They had to go and break the thermometer! :-)

    http://www.openbsdfoundation.org/campaign2016.html

    1. By Kevin Francis Burke (71.169.24.116) frenchify38@gmail.com on

      > They had to go and break the thermometer! :-)
      >
      > http://www.openbsdfoundation.org/campaign2016.html

      Thank God for that ! I guess this means OpenBSD has now reached or even surpassed its funding goals for whatever recent periodic funding goals it had ? I can't deal with the OpenBSD project not being able to stay alive due to lack of funding and there is no way my current salary can support the project. I have bought the CD set, once, but IMHO that is really an outdated way to support the project so it makes sense, if what the other comment that OpenBSD 6.1 won't sell CDs.

      If I was a rich man I would gladly donate a million dollars, to OpenBSD, like the guy who made whatsapp did for FreeBSD. Who knows maybe one day it will happen (think postitive !). I'm not an old man yet and still have time to get rich.

  3. By Anonymous Coward (206.67.163.143) on

    When it was announced that OpenBSD wouldn't be selling CDs for its 6.1 release, I was worried that the project was in financial jeopardy. This is because the CD sales had reportedly been Theo's primary source of income. But it's good to see that OpenBSD now has other revenue sources.

    Will Theo be paid a salary by the OpenBSD foundation?

    1. By Anonymous Coward (2607:fb90:26b:1df4:e81b:2d45:23a:c4e9) on

      > Will Theo be paid a salary by the OpenBSD foundation?

      I have been hoping for them to switch to this model for quite some time. It was always tricky trying to balance the needs of Theo via buying CDs vs a donation to the foundation when you don't really know (and it's really none of your business) the financial situation of an individual.

      Hopefully now funds can just be distributed where they are needed from the foundation. I'm sure there was a reason before, but I think that Theo has proven himself trustworthy enough over the years that some kind of salary could be produced from foundation resources as needed.

      I recently doubled my small monthly contribution to compensate for the lack of CD sales after 6.0 was released. It's definitely something to think about for those of you who bought CDs but didn't donate to the foundation.

    2. By Anonymous Coward (163.172.135.18) on

      >
      > When it was announced that OpenBSD wouldn't be selling CDs for its 6.1 release, I was worried that the project was in financial jeopardy. This is because the CD sales had reportedly been Theo's primary source of income. But it's good to see that OpenBSD now has other revenue sources.
      >
      >
      > Will Theo be paid a salary by the OpenBSD foundation?
      >

      As I understand it, the CDs were actually proving to be a loss.
      http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-misc&m=147162146329631&w=2

      1. By Anonymous Coward (72.95.151.187) on

        > As I understand it, the CDs were actually proving to be a loss.
        > http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-misc&m=147162146329631&w=2
        
        

        And that's why it was so worrying. For years, whenever a new version of OpenBSD was announced, it was stated that "Profits from CD sales are the primary income source for the OpenBSD project".

        
        http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-announce&m=147272043214601
        

        On multiple occasions, Theo stated that he is paid a salary from the CD sales.

        
        http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-misc&m=140797507424445
        http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-misc&m=139710758815166
        http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-misc&m=130317982728763
        

        Last year, Theo confirmed that the CD sales pay for his living expenses, and that he is "not funded by the OpenBSD Foundation".

        
        http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-misc&m=143136289530042
        

    3. By Blake (2a01:e34:ec06:8f90:cabc:c8ff:fedb:4d83) undeadly@2112.net on 2112.net

      for me at least, while cute the CDs are little more than a collector's item & a nice package for stickers.

      I would gladly buy an OpenBSD-themed USB key (with stickers!) that I could use for installing OpenBSD or format & do other stuff with as I please (while still promoting OpenBSD as it'd have the logo on it).

      I suspect many others share this viewpoint.

      For bonus points, make it one of the newfangled keys with USB-A on one end & USB-C on the other.

      1. By Billy Larlad (137.229.105.107) larladtech@gmail.com on

        > for me at least, while cute the CDs are little more than a collector's item & a nice package for stickers.
        >
        > I would gladly buy an OpenBSD-themed USB key (with stickers!) that I could use for installing OpenBSD or format & do other stuff with as I please (while still promoting OpenBSD as it'd have the logo on it).
        >
        > I suspect many others share this viewpoint.
        >
        > For bonus points, make it one of the newfangled keys with USB-A on one end & USB-C on the other.

        Yes, that might be more useful for an end-user. But for the project it sounds far harder, and far less profitable, than pressing CDs, which was already difficult and barely if at all profitable.

        Please, people, if you value OpenBSD, just donate. Don't make your "donation" contingent upon receiving some esoteric item in return...

        1. By Anonymous Coward (72.95.154.163) on

          > Yes, that might be more useful for an end-user. But for the project it
          > sounds far harder, and far less profitable, than pressing CDs, which
          > was already difficult and barely if at all profitable.
          

          I agree. And in fact I feel compelled to ask why a person would even use OpenBSD if they were so focused on the convenience of the end-user that they could not be bothered to purchase an inexpensive external CD-ROM drive (or a USB-C dongle). Shouldn't someone who requires that level of 'convenience' just use Ubuntu, or maybe an Apple iPad?

          1. By Blake (2001:1b48:4:1337:cabc:c8ff:fe96:6d2f) undeadly@2112.net on 2112.net

            >
            > I agree. And in fact I feel compelled to ask why a person would even use OpenBSD if they were so focused on the convenience of the end-user that they could not be bothered to purchase an inexpensive external CD-ROM drive (or a USB-C dongle). Shouldn't someone who requires that level of 'convenience' just use Ubuntu, or maybe an Apple iPad?
            >

            Increasing the convenience of an OpenBSD install can only be a good thing. Why would anyone want to make it harder to install their stuff?

            Also, do not forget that OpenBSD-branded USB keys, as something that geeks like myself would carry on their keychains, would be as much promotional material as it is install media.

            For bonus points, don't just make it normal USB storage but also an open-hardware/open-source crypto device like Yubikey, NitroKey, GPF Crypto Stick, etc.

            I'd gladly pay more than the cost of a CD set for that.

            1. By Anonymous Coward (72.95.154.163) on

              It sounds as though you are imaging that the OpenBSD project is some sort of hip open source hardware vendor, maybe like ThinkPenguin, but cooler. You want exotic OpenBSD-branded USB keys with both USB-A and USB-C connectors. These USB keys will also function as "open-hardware/open-source crypto device[s]", and you want to put these on your keychain as some sort of geek status symbol.

              I think that you misunderstand what the OpenBSD project is. They write software. Period. CD's were an easy-to-engineer (or, at least, easier than USB keys) way to distribute the software and recoup some of the costs of development. Their primary purpose was to distribute the software. They were not intended to be part of some elite hipster geek lifestyle. (Don't confuse the OpenBSD project with Apple Computer.)

              After all, the uber-exotic USB keys you're imagining aren't intended to distribute software. Instead, you're promoting them as a way to advertise the OpenBSD project by appealing to the hardware fantasies of status-seeking technology geeks. But for over two decades the OpenBSD project has had an easy-to-produce mechanism for advertising the project to fashion-conscious geeks: t-shirts.

              Please, go buy a t-shirt (or poster, or mug, etc.) at the OpenBSD store.

              1. By Blake (2001:1b48:4:1337:cabc:c8ff:fe96:6d2f) undeadly@2112.net on 2112.net

                >
                > It sounds as though you are imaging that the OpenBSD project is some sort of hip open source hardware vendor, maybe like ThinkPenguin, but cooler. You want exotic OpenBSD-branded USB keys with both USB-A and USB-C connectors. These USB keys will also function as "open-hardware/open-source crypto device[s]", and you want to put these on your keychain as some sort of geek status symbol.
                >
                > I think that you misunderstand what the OpenBSD project is. They write software. [...] They were not intended to be part of some elite hipster geek lifestyle.
                >
                > Please, go buy a t-shirt (or poster, or mug, etc.) at the OpenBSD store.

                I understand your point of view, & it's certainly relevant. Please don't confuse my brainstorming with whining. The actual logistics & distribution of devices of this nature are probably best left up to a 3rd party company such as KD85, etc. so that OpenBSD can concentrate on writing software, as you say.

                Let me preface my comments by stating that I personally donate to OpenBSD when there's a call for funding.

                But it is very very difficult for both my own consulting company & my clients to justify to their accounting departments:

                - "purchases" without a tangible software license or delivered good/bill of materials that show that we received what we paid for

                - donations to non-profit organizations

                - purchase orders for coffee mugs & t-shirts & stuff.

                Whereas buying software on CDs is a no-brainer, especially at the amounts we're talking about for an OpenBSD CD set, which is cheap enough that it passes almost unnoticed to the bean counters when it happens every year or so. Add to that the fact that when we do buy CDs, we open the box, take the stickers out, & put the CD case in the bookshelf next to the rest of them - where they sit gathering dust.

                So now that OpenBSD CDs will no longer be sold, what are your suggestions for easy ways for companies to fund the project with a simple capital purchase order?

                Personally, the most useful thing for me would be a USB key, & it would double as promotional material.

                Given that OpenBSD doesn't sell software licenses, can you think of anything else?

        2. By Blake (2001:1b48:4:1337:cabc:c8ff:fe96:6d2f) undeadly@2112.net on 2112.net

          > Yes, that might be more useful for an end-user. But for the project it sounds far harder, and far less profitable, than pressing CDs, which was already difficult and barely if at all profitable.

          Fair point. However, at least with USB keys they don't need to be pressed in a factory, they're just flashed at ship-time, so you don't have to pre-order a huge fixed quantity of them & make them all in one shot.

          > Please, people, if you value OpenBSD, just donate. Don't make your "donation" contingent upon receiving some esoteric item in return...

          While completely applicable for individuals, for anyone trying to get their company to support OpenBSD it is far, far, easier to raise a purchase order or expense report for software or (especially) a physical good than it is to attempt to justify a donation.

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