Saturday, 18 January 2014 11:36

OpenBSD issues urgent appeal for funds Featured


The OpenBSD project is in urgent need of funds to meet its energy bill and project leader Theo de Raadt has requested any Canadian company which is willing to take up the task to get in touch with him.

De Raadt made the appeal nearly a month ago, repeating what he had already pointed out.

"The OpenBSD project uses a lot of electricity for running the development and build machines.  A number of logistical reasons prevents us from moving the machines to another location which might offer space/power for free, so let's not allow the conversation to go that way," he wrote.

"We are looking for a Canadian company who will take on our electrical expenses - on their books, rather than on our books. We would be happiest to find someone who will do this on an annual recurring basis.

"That way the various OpenBSD efforts can be supported, yet written off as an off-site operations cost by such a company.  If we reduce this cost, it will leave more money for other parts of the project.

"We think that a Canadian company is the best choice for accounting reasons.  If a company in some other jurisdiction feels they can also do this successfully, we'd be very happy to hear from them as well."

The OpenBSD project is located in Canada and cannot move its hosting to the US because it would then have to abide by the cryptographic export laws of that country.

The amount required for the energy costs every year is in the region of $20,000.

Adding to de Raadt's request, Bob Beck of the OpenBSD Foundation wrote: "In light of shrinking funding, we do need to look for a source to cover project expenses.  If need be the OpenBSD Foundation can be involved in receiving donations to cover project electrical costs.

"But the fact is right now, OpenBSD will shut down if we do not have the funding to keep the lights on.

"If you or a company you know are able to assist us, it would be greatly appreciated, but right now we are looking at a significant funding shortfall for the upcoming year - Meaning the project won't be able to cover 20 thousand dollars in electrical expenses before being able to use money for other things. That sort of situation is not sustainable."

OpenBSD is a UNIX-like operating system that has a very good reputation for security; it runs some of the websites with the longest uptimes. The project also produces a version of SSH which is used very widely, on all operating systems.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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