FreeBSD Foundation Newsletter, December 23, 2005
In this Edition:
Last year at about this time, I wrote to you concerning the
IRS "public support" test and how it could jeopardize the
FreeBSD Foundation's non-profit status. The community's
response exceeded our expectations. Not only did we meet
the "public support" test, but your generosity has also
allowed the Foundation to grow its capabilities in ways
unimaginable just a short time ago.
For its first five years, the FreeBSD Foundation was an all
volunteer organization. I was always proud of our accomplishments,
but that pride was tempered by a realization that the board of
directors alone, all busy with day jobs, could not give the
FreeBSD Foundation the day to day care needed to be a responsive
and fully productive entity. Some five months ago, we took the
first step to remedy this concern. Deb Goodkin has joined the
the FreeBSD Foundation on a part-time basis to handle our daily
With Deb's help, this has been one of the most productive years
in the Foundation's history. From renewing our Java license and
funding development projects, to travel grants and trademark issues,
you'll see from this newsletter that we've been very busy.
Looking forward, the FreeBSD Foundation has much planned for 2006:
additional development projects, funding for marketing FreeBSD,
and the legal work necessary to protect our trademark and the BSD
philosophy of licensing software. However, this work is only possible
through the continued support of the FreeBSD community. I hope you
not only benefit from our work, but find it compelling enough to
consider sending us a donation.
These are exciting times for FreeBSD. As FreeBSD continues to
grow and evolve, so will the FreeBSD Foundation. We are always
looking for suggestions on how we can better support FreeBSD and
the FreeBSD community. If you have an idea or question, please
don't hesitate to drop us an email, or give us a call.
Thanks for your support!
Justin T. Gibbs
The FreeBSD Foundation is asking for your help. By supporting our Annual Giving Campaign,
you help The FreeBSD Foundation fulfill its goal of supporting the FreeBSD Project in many ways.
Where does your contribution go?
Donations that The FreeBSD Foundation receives are used for funding various activities to support the FreeBSD Project like:
How do you contribute?
- Development of software for FreeBSD to benefit the user and developer community, including contract development of critical
system infrastructure, porting of closed source applications such as Java(TM).
- Obtaining computers and other equipment for developers to use toward improving FreeBSD, such as the network performance cluster,
FreeBSD.org cluster, and personal development systems for developers.
- Providing additional Internet infrastructure to aid in the development and distribution of FreeBSD.
- Support developer communication and coordination, including financial support for developer summits, conferences, and developer travel.
- Encouraging the formation of FreeBSD user groups.
- Cultivating press coverage and advertising the utility and availability of FreeBSD.
- Representing the FreeBSD Project in executing contracts, license agreements, copyrights, trademarks, and other legal arrangements that require
a recognized legal entity.
If you use FreeBSD and would like the FreeBSD Foundation to continue its support of FreeBSD,
please consider making a donation. No amount is too small to make a difference.
Go to 'Donating to the Foundation page for more information.
If your company participates in a matching gift program, please make sure to
include them as part of our Annual Giving Campaign.
The FreeBSD Foundation continued to play can active role in sponsoring BSD-related and FreeBSD-related events,
including the EuroBSDCon 2005 in Basel, Switzerland and the BSDCan 2005 FreeBSD Developer Summit.
In addition, The FreeBSD Foundation has provided a number of travel grants to
FreeBSD developers to attend conferences and workshops on behalf of the FreeBSD Project.
The travel grants help offset the cost of travel, accommodations, and conference fees for developers.
Both BSD-centered conferences and FreeBSD-specific developer events play critical roles in expanding
the FreeBSD user community and supporting collaborative development.
This year, The FreeBSD Foundation provided travel grants for developers to
BSDCan 2005, MeetBSD 2005, OSCON, and EuroBSDCon 2005.
We could hold a contest to guess who wrote this letter. But, it wouldn't be very challenging. Whenever
it has to do with beer, most likely it has something to do with Poul-Henning Kamp. Here is an
entertaining letter we received from Poul-Henning after he received his travel grant for attending
EuroBSDCon, from the Foundation.
The "Thanks for the Food and Beer" FreeBSD Foundation Song by Poul-Henning Kamp
Many years ago I moonlighted in a couple of music studios.
Usually when a band arrived, the guy from their label would be
around for the first bit as well, to sign paperwork, make sure they
got off to a good start and didn't waste money etc etc.
The guy from one particular label however, arrived with "his" band,
said hello, signed the paperwork and promptly disappeared again.
Then after an hour or so, he would be back, sneak quietly into the
kitchen and stock the fridge with beer, snacks, fruit, and candy. The
freezer would get a couple of frozen pizzas and some pounds of
ice-cream. Finally, a closed envelope was stuck on the bulletin
board, on it was written: "When all is said and done..."
And so the art, music and noise happened, and whenever it didn't
happen, the fridge would have something to calm egos and fill bellies
until it happened again. And then, when "all was said and done...," we'd open the envelope and
find the name of a local restaurant where we could go and get a
nice meal, and the label would pick up the tab. Afterwards, with
quite a bit of ceremony and soul, the "Thank you for the food & beer"
cover version of ABBA's hit would get sung.
A quick estimate tells me that it probably cost him no more than
four hours of studio time would have cost, but it was money better
spent. His bands never had to wait for an hour while the drummer
drove out to a friend or relative to borrow beer on a Sunday
Now, what does that have to do with the newsletter of the FreeBSD
Foundation? Nothing much really, and then, quite a lot actually.
The FreeBSD Foundation was kind enough to pick up my train ticket
and hotel bill at the EuroBSDCon 2005 in Basel, and while the total
amount is probably not very significant in the big scheme of things,
this bit of help made it possible for me to give a talk about NanoBSD
and to perform my infamous Robert Watson impersonation.
This little note is my way of singing the "Thanks for the Food and
Beer" FreeBSD Foundation song.
The Foundation was happy to sponsor EuroBSDCon 2005. Our president,
Robert Watson, was supposed to attend and write this report. But, unfortunately he walked
barefoot in broken glass and wasn't able to attend the conference. Thank you to Vera Hardmeier and Marcus Glocker
for contributing this report.
EuroBSDCon 2005 was held at the University of Basel, Switzerland, Nov. 25-27. There were over
220 attendees from 27 countries. High quality tutorials and talks were given by developers from the FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD
A FreeBSD Summit preceded the conference, starting Thursday and continuing through Friday, at the University. Max Laier
reported that it had been a very productive two-day DevSummit and that the location was "exemplary".
The conference started Friday, with a tutorial day. Sixty people attended the four tutorials: "Single User Secure Shell" by
Adrian Steinmann, "Kernel Debugging" by Greg Lehey, "OpenBSD-based Wireless Networks" by Reyk Flöter and
"Eventdriven Programming with Libisc" by Poul-Henning Kamp.
On Saturday the rest of the attendees arrived to register and received their conference pack which included the conference
proceedings, the iX magazine, some other stuff and a cool looking EuroBSDCon 2005 T-shirt.
The conference was opened by Prof. Dr. Christian Tschudin (Computer Science Department, University Basel).
The goal of the opening session was the question "why is BSD not as widespread as other operating systems are."
André von Raison (iX magazine) and Christian Tschudin discussed why they don't use BSD Operating Systems. Poul-Henning
Kamp closed the opening session with a brief and humorous history of BSD and concluded with why
other operating systems are more widespread than BSD. To quote him: "We BSD people are an elite bunch of snobs!"
The talks on Saturday and Sunday were technical, up to date and very well prepared. The lecture rooms were always full,
and rarely did you see any of the attendees in the foyer, during the talks.
The conference ended with the closing session, where Benedikt
Stockebrand, Poul-Henning Kamp, Daniel Seuffert and Wim Vandeputte
started an open discussion about the whether the BSD community show grow or not. The conclusion was, all people
are very happy with the existing situation.
The conference was mostly organized by Marc Balmer and Vera Hardmeier.
They were very well supported by local helpers. It was a huge endeavor from
taking care of the conference content to the flowers on the tables at the
social event, but they also had a lot of fun and it was a good
experience. The most difficult thing was finding sponsors and so the organizers were
very happy to be supported by The FreeBSD Foundation.
The organizers found it very interesting emailing people from 27 countries. They
had no problems with the registration. There weren't any cancellations,
except for the incident with Robert Watson. The organizers wanted to
compliment the attendees on being uncomplicated and nice. They created the same
experience for the speakers and tutors. A big thank you to everybody.
From the view of the organizers and attendees, the conference had been a success. Everybody is looking forward
to the fifth EuroBSDCon in Milan! In a few days the DVD of the conference
will be available.
The Foundation has implemented a formal process for applying for grants and
receiving funds. Forms are now available at
To apply for a grant, fill out the Grant Policy and Form. To apply for a travel grant, fill out
the Travel Grant Policy and Form. Each form includes the rules for applying and filling out the
Expense Report forms have also been added to the website. There are two versions, one for US recipients
and one for non-US recipients. These forms are used for requesting travel reimbursement after a trip has
completed from an approved travel grant recipient.
Coverity has generously provided a license to The FreeBSD Foundation to use
Coverity's Prevent and Extend products. Coverity develops
a sophisticated dataflow analysis engine that detects serious flaws in C
and C++ code by exploring 100% of all executable paths across function
and module boundaries. Coverity Prevent detects over 30 different
categories of flaws by simulating each program path in a finite state
machine. Coverity Prevent is unique in that it scales to tens of
millions of lines of code and approximately 80% of the results that it
reports are flaws in the code that, if executed, would have effects
ranging from system crashes to performance degradation to security
vulnerabilities. Coverity Extend offers its users the opportunity to
broaden the scope of Coverity's analysis by defining new finite state
machines to execute against the code. This capability is often used to
detect new categories or classes of defects that are specific to a
particular code base or coding style.
Coverity currently works with several open source projects, including
FreeBSD, MySQL, Mozilla, and others. They hope that their contribution to
the FreeBSD community will make an impact in improving overall code
quality. In particular, they are hoping to receive feedback from the
FreeBSD community about their latest R&D efforts, which have focused in
two directions: (1) detecting security issues through a whole-program
tainting analysis, and (2) detecting concurrency issues, including
missing unlocks, double locks, and inconsistent lock ordering. Coverity
is looking forward to working with the FreeBSD community to help solidify
both their legacy code base and new development efforts, and all of
their feedback is appreciated.
The Foundation has provided a machine to run the software. And, ISC
has generously provided co-location space for us. We are currently in
the process of setting up and configuring the software. We will be
notifying the FreeBSD developer community when the software is ready
to run. We would like to thank Sam Lefler for all of his hard work for
helping acquire and installing this software from Coverity.
The FreeBSD Foundation exists as a non-profit recognized legal entity to
support the FreeBSD Project. They do this by providing development
funding to projects which enhance FreeBSD, travel grants and expense
reimbursements to developers and advocates, and by acting as a legal
point of contact for executing legal agreements, and licensing arrangements.
When we started to prepare for a FreeBSD booth at the Open Source
Conference (OSCON) this year, we really wanted some well known FreeBSD
advocates present. Dru Lavigne, an O'Reilly and ONLamp.com author and
FreeBSD advocate, had already scored the booth at no cost and had been
talking with me about attending if somebody would reimburse some of her
travel expenses. I had already spent my allocated company budget on the
show and was at a bit of a loss.
We turned to the FreeBSD Foundation and they were able to help us out by
providing a travel grant to Dru so that she could attend the show. We
made some great contacts while we were there, talked to just about
everybody, and gave out countless FreeBSD CD's and marketing collateral.
It was a huge success and provided the FreeBSD Project with some much
needed public exposure.
After BSDi sold their software assets to Windriver, the FreeBSD
Trademark became one of the assets that got transferred during the sale.
In order to get it back, the FreeBSD Foundation got involved and
negotiated with Windriver to obtain the trademark at no cost other than
minor legal fees and a lot of elbow grease.
The FreeBSD Foundation is also sponsoring the development of the Java
1.5 port to FreeBSD. It would be absolutely fantastic to download binary
installs of the Java Development Kit and Java Runtime Environment for
the FreeBSD platform.
The FreeBSD Project has now started a Marketing Team that is responsible
for correlating press releases with developers, drafting white papers
and marketing slicks, and brainstorming about better ways to get the
FreeBSD Project in the public eye. Chances are you'll even see a few
FreeBSD advertisements, sponsored by the FreeBSD Foundation, soon.
I would encourage any person or organization that benefits from the use
of the FreeBSD operating system to donate to the FreeBSD Foundation. Not
only does the money go towards enhancing a brilliant operating system,
but it will also make you feel good. And, since the Foundation is
non-profit, it's tax deductible too!
Many of you have been asking when the Java 1.5 binaries will be available. Since most of the FreeBSD
developers have daytime jobs, it is sometimes difficult to find developers who can work on projects in their "spare" time.
Fortunately, with donations we have received, and offers of help financially, we were able to contract a developer
to complete this work.
Work has begun on having Java binaries for FreeBSD 5.X/i386 and FreeBSD 6.X/i386. The Foundation has provided
a computer that is located at ISC that will be used for this project. The Foundation has also been offered
the use of test equipment by another source. Expect to have Java support available by March!
The Foundation was the proud sponsor of the FreeBSD Project Logo Contest.
There were 713 entries with 540 qualifying for the contest. The winning logo is above and was designed
by Anton K. Gural. The contest was
open to professional and nonprofessional designers. Designers from all over
the world submitted designs. You can also view the winning results at http://logo-contest.freebsd.org/result/.
The Foundation is awarding a prize of $500 to Anton for his winning design. We are currently working on
transferring the copyright to the Foundation and performing a trademark search. Once we complete the legal
process, the Project can start using the logo.
Look forward to the Project using the new logo on their web-site, software
media labels, printed matter, hardware equipment and more. Congratulations Anton!
This summer was an exciting time for students working on FreeBSD.
Google launched a Summer of Code program in which they provided $5,000
to students and mentoring organizations to encourage more young
programmers to work on open source software. By all accounts, the
FreeBSD participation in this program was an unqualified success. We
received over 350 applications for student projects, amongst which 19
were selected for funding. These student projects included a website
redesign, improved installation tools, filesystem enhancements, new
utilities, and more. Many of the students have continued working on
their FreeBSD projects even after the official close of the program.
We are happy to see continued development in our source code
repository by these talented young programmers and we look forward to
working with more students in the future.
For more information about the FreeBSD Summer of Code Projects, see:
The Foundation is excited to be unveiling its new logo soon. After months of defining how we
wanted to be represented and finding a talented artist, we came up with our new design. We have to complete the
legal process before we can unveil our new logo to the community. Check out our new logo in the next week or so,
and let us know what you think.
If you haven't noticed yet, the Foundation has brought on a person to help run the day-to-day operations of
our business. Deb Goodkin has been representing the Foundation for the last four months on a part-time basis.
She has helped organize the business, quicken response
times from the Foundation, manage projects, manage legal issues, as well as whatever else needs to be done to run
Deb has worked in the data storage industry for over 20 years. Her experience includes firmware development, technical marketing,
sales, and project management.