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Donating to the BSDs

By Jeremy C. Reed

The free BSDs are almost entirely volunteer based. The OpenBSD front page says it is "developed by volunteers" and that it is funded by selling CDs, t-shirts and through donations. NetBSD's Funding and contributing to NetBSD webpage also says that NetBSD is a volunteer organization -- and that is funding comes from contributed money, hardware, and rack space. As written in the Contributing to FreeBSD article, "FreeBSD relies on the contributions of its user base to survive."

Each of these three BSD projects have detailed webpages covering how to donate and also what types of hardware is currently needed.

Back in May, The FreeBSD Core Team recently announced the appointment of a Donations Liaison Officer, Michael Lucas. Lucas stated that his goal was to "make sure the donation ball is not dropped."

"We have people willing to give us things. We have committers who need things. Matching up the two isn't rocket science," he wrote in an article in May.

Lucas just announced that FreeBSD's Donations Liason Office has completed a "want list" of equipment that various FreeBSD committers could use to improve FreeBSD. It briefly lists some hardware that is desired and what it will be used for. This can be found at

More information on donating to FreeBSD can be found at

NetBSD's similar webpage listing machines and hardware desired is at In addition, that webpage lists miscellaneous hardware that is already available for anyone who would like to write support.

NetBSD developer Jan Schaumann said that almost every NetBSD port is in the constant need of additional hardware.

"In particular, I am aware that the sgimips port would certainly appreciate a couple of O2's," he said.

Schaumann also said that any machine that may be considered old or outdated may indeed still be quite valuable for NetBSD developers. And that developers are willing to pick up hardware if it is located not too far away.

"So, before you junk old machines, let us know," he said.

NetBSD's webpage covering funding and contributing to NetBSD is at

OpenBSD also has webpages documenting hardware needs and how financial donations can be made. Its hardware want list is at This webpage lists some hardware needs including the developers and locations needed. Plus it lists some of the hardware previously donated.

OpenBSD developer Theo de Raadt said they are urgently looking for "a stinking fast alpha."

This is important because the OpenBSD/alpha port might not make their next release, he said.

You can learn more about OpenBSD donations and funding at and


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September 16, 2013 11:24:29

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