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OpenBSD Foundation At Risk Of Shutting Down

BSD

Published on 15 January 2014 01:25 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in BSD
136 Comments

The OpenBSD Foundation is running into a situation of lack of funding to the point that they can't even cover their electricity costs and may be forced to suspend or reduce their operations without additional help.

The OpenBSD Foundation reportedly spends around $20,000 USD annually on electricity costs. Their electrical costs are attributed to their build servers, which are expensive to maintain because there's so many of them as OpenBSD supports a great number of architectures. OpenBSD still supports more than a dozen CPU architectures from AMD64 to SGI and VAX, thus having lots of hardware to power.

The OpenBSD Foundation hasn't been able to meet their electricity costs and thus they've been coming out with urgent requests for sponsorship and pleas for help by Theo de Raadt.

Theo de Raadt wrote, "We really need even more funding beyond that, because otherwise all of this is simply unsustainable. This request is the smallest we can make."

Bob Beck of the foundation added, "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."

So far no company has come forward to sponsor their electricity needs. The OpenBSD developers also appear to be uninterested in dropping the number of architectures they maintain for their open-source operating system, in order to reduce the number of build servers needed and their electricity costs. While some of the supported OpenBSD architectures are likely seldom used, Theo's response to that suggestion was, "we find real and serious bugs which affect all platforms, but they are incidentally made visible on one of the platforms we run, following that they are fixed. It is a harsh reality which static and dynamic analysis tools have not yet resolved. Now, If you don't realize this is the reason we try to run on the older platforms, I am sorry but you have really not tried to stay in the loop of what makes OpenBSD a vibrant ecosystem."

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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