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Theo de Raadt Discusses OpenBSD and Beyond

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the first-rule-of-corporate-spending-is-not-to dept.

476

emil writes to tell us that NewsForge (Slashdot Sister Site) is running an interview with OpenBSD project leader Theo de Raadt. In the interview Theo explores the upcoming release of OpenBSD 3.9, continuing financial difficulties, and some of the tension between the OpenBSD team and other businesses that some feel are taking advantage of the free software without giving anything back. In related news the Jem Report has an interesting writeup that expounds on widespread difficulties that could be faced if the OpenBSD project continues its downward spiral because of their parallel development of OpenSSH.

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476 comments

Iff..... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15015940)

If you didn't know what BSD is... until now...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_bsd [wikipedia.org]

You can find out there.

I didn't.

Can anyone tell me why BSD with it's enhanced security isn't incorporated into most Linux distros?
How Unix like is it actually?

Thanks.

Re:Iff..... (1)

Segfault666 (662554) | more than 8 years ago | (#15015948)

http://www.openbsd.org/ [openbsd.org] might even be a better source yet.

Re:Iff..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15016180)

Not really, the Wikipedia article is one of the best singular sources of information on OpenBSD available, it's even one of the best articles on Wikipedia (just click the star on the top right corner of the article).

Re:Iff..... (1)

brilinux (255400) | more than 8 years ago | (#15015957)

Can anyone tell me why BSD with it's enhanced security isn't incorporated into most Linux distros?

Because BSD is an Operating System, and GNU/Linux is an operating system... try reading that article again.

How Unix like is it actually?

Well, it traces back to BSD, unlike Linux, which was a kernel written to go with GNU, which in turn is written from scratch. While the free BSDs have changed a bit since they forked in the early nineties, they still are descendants of UNIX, and are much more close than GNU is, for better or for worse. (NetBSD is probably the closest of Free,Net,Open,&c.)

Re:Iff..... (2, Informative)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016015)

Can anyone tell me why BSD with it's enhanced security isn't incorporated into most Linux distros?
Because BSD is an Operating System, and GNU/Linux is an operating system... try reading that article again.
And you should probably try to understand what the original poster actually meant. How about, "why doesn't linux implement parts of BSD into it". Understand now?

Re:Iff..... (3, Informative)

Theatetus (521747) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016013)

Can anyone tell me why BSD with it's enhanced security isn't incorporated into most Linux distros? How Unix like is it actually?

Where to start?...

BSD is an operating system. It consists of a kernel (like linux), a userland (like GNU), and a bunch of applications which are largely source-compatible with Linux.

The BSDs share the fundamental gcc/gas/ld toolchain with GNU, but pretty much everything else (particularly the C library and make) they have their own version of. It is *possible* to run the BSD system on Linux (though not very easy), and actually very easy to run the entire GNU system on BSD. But they are different projects.

OpenBSD was the result of a squabble between Theo and the NetBSD team. This was a felicitous squabble for the rest of us, because OpenBSD is a great operating system.

Re:Iff..... (0)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016202)

OpenBSD was the result of a squabble between Theo and the NetBSD team. This was a felicitous squabble for the rest of us, because OpenBSD is a great operating system.

Come again? Definition for felicitous [reference.com] .

Perhaps you meant fallacious? [reference.com] or perhaps flagitious? [reference.com]

Re:Iff..... (3, Interesting)

ArbitraryConstant (763964) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016020)

"Can anyone tell me why BSD with it's enhanced security isn't incorporated into most Linux distros?"

It's not a simple matter of importing code, to duplicate the changes in the Linux kernel and the GNU toolset would be prohibitively difficult. Also, much of the improved security comes at the expense of performance or functionality.

well (-1, Offtopic)

larsoo7 (604419) | more than 8 years ago | (#15015946)

perhaps a first post? Anyhow just a post to say...it would be a shame if obsd went away.

stay on topic (3, Funny)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15015961)

Finally, for real, today's topic is: BSD is dying

All other posts are off-topic. Enjoy!

Re:stay on topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15015975)

Are you sure? Does Netcraft confirm it?

Re:stay on topic (0, Offtopic)

fluxindamix (804999) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016172)

Finally
it happened to me

Hmm... (2, Insightful)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15015962)

...that some feel are taking advantage of the free software without giving anything back.

Damn. I wonder if there was anything [wikipedia.org] they could have done about that?

Re:Hmm... (4, Informative)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 8 years ago | (#15015984)

I'm pretty sure he's heard of it. While they do appreciate source code contributions, what they're really asking now for is money.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15015995)

I'm pretty sure he's heard of it. While they do appreciate source code contributions, what they're really asking now for is money.

And a dual license, like the one that MySQL uses may have worked great for them.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15016068)

And a dual licence like PostgreSQL could have worked for them, if they were looking to make a business out of this.

How dense are you GPL people? This comes up at every BSD story, you are trolling by bringing up the GPL in a BSD thread.

OpenBSD isn't trying to make money, they're asking that the companies which save millions by not licensing SSH.com's codebase via use of OpenSSH help pay for the continued improvement of the suite they use, they're not asking for advice from random dipshits that don't know their ass from a hole in the ground.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016109)

And a dual licence like PostgreSQL could have worked for them, if they were looking to make a business out of this.

How dense are you GPL people? This comes up at every BSD story, you are trolling by bringing up the GPL in a BSD thread.

OpenBSD isn't trying to make money, they're asking that the companies which save millions by not licensing SSH.com's codebase via use of OpenSSH help pay for the continued improvement of the suite they use, they're not asking for advice from random dipshits that don't know their ass from a hole in the ground.


I'm a GPL person? Please, if your going to get all pissy at least have the decency to not post anonymously.

Re:Hmm... (5, Informative)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 8 years ago | (#15015998)

...that some feel are taking advantage of the free software without giving anything back.

Damn. I wonder if there was anything they could have done about that?


No there wasn't, BSD as in Berkeley Software Distribution, as in University of California Berkeley, as in "Copyright 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.", as in paid for by California taxpayers including corporations and individuals who should not be denied access to what they paid for.

BTW, you shouldn't confuse BSD with a very talented but potentially mismanaged team that has a tendency to piss off lucrative sources of income.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016043)

No there wasn't, BSD as in Berkeley Software Distribution, as in University of California Berkeley, as in "Copyright 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.", as in paid for by California taxpayers including corporations and individuals who should not be denied access to what they paid for.

BTW, you shouldn't confuse BSD with a very talented but potentially mismanaged team that has a tendency to piss off lucrative sources of income.


True enough, but they could have separated the old code and the new code, and licensed the post 1991 stuff under the GPL.

Re:Hmm... (2, Informative)

0racle (667029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016069)

They don't like the GPL and are currently removing GPL only licensed code from the base install. The GPL is not an option for OpenBSD.

Re:Hmm... (3, Insightful)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016140)

They don't like the GPL and are currently removing GPL only licensed code from the base install. The GPL is not an option for OpenBSD.

Subsequently, their moaning about how their self-inflicted mortal wounds hurt horribly is going to rightfully fall on deaf ears, if they are lucky, or will become a butt of jokes, if they are not.

This is what happens if someone is given good advice not to drive their car off the road and into a bog and which they derisively reject and proceed at "what can possibly happen?"-speed into the mud. Following which they sit on top of their sinking vehicle, far into the swamp, waving frantically and complaining loudly about "selfish" people who fail to stop to pull them out of there. So that they can ignore good advice, as soon as rescued, derisively, again.

I say onto Theo: Tough Cookies! You made your bed, you sleep in it! Perhaps placing product placements into the BSD code or performing in a clown outfit at conferences will bring the required revenue, now that the commercial interests do what you have always encouraged them to do: take, take and take ... whatever they can get in return for as least as possible. Its called "business", Theo. Look it up sometime.

BSD vs GPL is not relevant (3, Informative)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016162)

I say onto Theo: Tough Cookies! You made your bed, you sleep in it!

BSD vs GPL is not relevant. Theo's bed was made by driving away potential sources of income like DARPA.

Re:BSD vs GPL is not relevant (4, Insightful)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016198)

BSD vs GPL is not relevant. Theo's bed was made by driving away potential sources of income like DARPA.

Yes it is, as a part of a very long list of good advice he received over the years on a lot of things, and all of which he proceeded to sneer and snicker on, as only Theo can. DARPA's help is just one item on that very, very long list.

Re:BSD vs GPL is not relevant (3, Informative)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016223)

"BSD vs GPL is not relevant. Theo's bed was made by driving away potential sources of income like DARPA."

Yes it is, as a part of a very long list of good advice he received over the years on a lot of things


No, that's a fallacy. In general under open source the money is in consulting, not in the development. A BSD based project is more likely to get inside a corporation and possibly more likely to create consulting work. Whether a project is BSD or GPL, if someone doesn't want to code themselves, they can hire others to do the work. The only difference is whether that work goes back to the community at large and for the company that needed specialized changes that is irrlevant and it may even be counterproductive to the company. The GPL is not some magic pill. We've seen numerous GPL based projects in financial trouble and begging for donations around here as well.

Re:Hmm... (4, Informative)

arivanov (12034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016054)

Not really applicable.

They started with a fork of the NetBSD codebase and maintained compatibility for a long while. Many drivers in the Net/OpenBSD tree used to be ifdef-ed for specific OS related parts. In fact one of the reason for OpenBSD to survive for so long especially on obscure architectures has been the fact that it used to rely heavily on Net for low level hardware specific code (disclaimer - I do not know if this is still the case as I have not looked at their source since 3.3).

As a result GPL-ing is not an option. Your codebase is heavily dependant on somebody's else's codebase which is BSD.

As far as the financial difficulties, all business and businesslike entities using GPL rely on support, custom code and consulting for their day to day living expenses. You do not get that money if you have this attitude:
http://www.securityfocus.com/archive/1/428749/30/9 0/threaded [securityfocus.com] . This is just one fresh example (this week).

Another essential factor is that if you write software in the real world you have to go out of your ivory tower on a daily basis and check what your competitors doing. OpenBSD tends to believe its own PR about their security prowess and does not follow Linux, FreeBSD and other OS development as much as it should. One example for this is how it missed the appearance of hardware RNG in AMD hardware for several years. They simply did not know it is there (I actually pointed it to Theo myself a year ago). I bet that they have missed other stuff in a similar fashion as well.

Frankly, the days when Open Source OS projects were PFY jobs and flaming each other out of existence on mailing lists was business as usual are long gone.

Time to grow up or face the dark stairway down down and down towards oblivion.

Re:Hmm... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15016087)

GPLing is fine if you're taking BSD code dipshit, you can add the restrictions of a GPL over top a BSD. Jesus-titty-fucking-Christ , are the people on slashdot really this retarded?

Go back to gradeschool kid, you seriously need to learn how to fucking read. Retarded trolls like you are about as useful as shit flavoured ice cream.

Re:Hmm... (2, Interesting)

Quantum Fizz (860218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016183)

As a result GPL-ing is not an option. Your codebase is heavily dependant on somebody's else's codebase which is BSD.

Dumb question, but if you can take BSD-licensed open-source code and put it in closed-source code, why can't you take the same code and GPL it (maybe make slight trivial modifications to make the software unique before GPL'ing)? I mean, it would most likely piss the BSD team off if someone did this, but legally speaking, is there a reason it cannot be done?

Well, (5, Insightful)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016167)

I have thought along similar lines, but it really demonstrates something that we must quit ignoring.

"Free" is an illusion.

When we use "free" software, we pay for it one way or another. Time or money, and, no, time is not money.

Money is green stuff that you through around on the crops to make things grow, as somebody in some famous musical once said, quoting somebody else, I'm sure. When you collect too much money in one place, it goes fetid.

Time is the true currency, although too much time can go fetid as well.

The licenses are gentlemen's agreements. It's a trade of time for time, with rules of courtesy. (EULAs are _not_ gentlemen's agreements, I am not taking about those licenses, they don't deserve to be called licenses.) The licenses form the ground rules for the community that forms around the software. It's very much like the old guilds, although much more open in a very good way.

With the GPL, some of the rules of courtesy which are important for maintaining the infrastructure of the guild are explicit. We might assume that this is because Stallman is a cynic, or because he is a realist, but must people are still confused and think he is an idealist.

With the BSD license, the rules are implicit, derived from the external society, the (Christian, though not entirely uniquely so in the current view of history) principle of casting one's bread on the water. It is expected that the waters will bring the bread back, multiplied. And this is where things have broken down.

Even under the BSD license, the rules of giving back are natural laws, and are not suspended. Humans whose primary product are sales presentations have no idea that they have to give back or the resource will be depleted. Stallman recognized that, Theo has not yet.

People have to be reminded to be courteous, and that's why an idealist and general nice guy like Theo ends up making enemies. The license doesn't remind people, so he has to spend his energy reminding them.

Putting new source under GPL would be one solution, but, as is well known, it is not one that can really be considered yet. A new modified BSD that contains a non-binding reminder that the resources don't renew themselves may be what's in order right now.

GPL based distributions have to beg too (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016187)

GPL based distributions have to beg too. I have rough recollections of several such requests appearing on slashdot in recent memory, I don't recall the details but a quick google finds:

"The first public signs of financial trouble at MandrakeSoft appeared in March 2002 when Mandrake began asking users for donations and changed their support structure to get a new revenue stream."
http://geek.com/news/geeknews/2003Jan/osg200301160 18188.htm [geek.com]

Theo's bed was made by driving away potential sources of income like DARPA, not his choice of BSD over GPL.

Classic Theo de Raadt (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15015966)

Nvidia did not give anyone documentation. Instead, they expect people to load a gigantic blob of binary code into their kernel, and just be happy with that. Some Linux people in Germany reverse-engineered the driver years ago, but the rough story I heard is that Nvidia asked them to stop, and they did. This just astounds me!

Gee, I don't know, maybe they had lives they didn't want to sacrafice for the cause Theo. He then goes on to slag linux developers in general but maintains that he doesn't really go into advocacy.

Re:Classic Theo de Raadt (2, Informative)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016009)

from what i read was that he didnt like the binary drivers...fair enough that is his belief. some people did do a reverse engineer job and were asked to stop. it is germany on the other hand, not the US, they probably have a bit saner laws regarding that (depending on the method of course) maybe they did it out of respect and not fear. who knows. it could be a number of reasons. however, theo wasnt exactly an asshole on that concept, he is suprised they would stop (again we dont know why they stopped) he wished they didnt, he takes issue that they did stop. his opinion mismatched with someone elses. oh well it happens but its not like you said, he didnt slag linux. oh and he does do a lot of advocacy...wireless drivers for instance.... man I never thought I would defend theo

SunSSH (2, Interesting)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 8 years ago | (#15015968)

"I will say it here -- if an OpenSSH hole is found that applies to SunSSH, Sun will not be informed. Or maybe that has happened already." - Theo de Raadt

I'm sure they'll find out when everyone else does.

Sounds almost like a threat (2, Interesting)

Baki (72515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016097)

Especially "or maybe that has happened already". Is the great diplomat Theo de Raadt now resorting to extortion?

Re:Sounds almost like a threat (4, Insightful)

Valar (167606) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016117)

No. It would be extortion if he were threatening to put security holes in SunSSH. He's just saying that without Sun's support, he can't be expected to analyze and warn them of bugs in their product. Or are you saying I have a legal requirement to disclose every bug I notice in every piece of software I use to the developer?

Re:SunSSH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15016158)

Well, duh. It's probably the symbolism that he's talking about.

what a whiner (2, Insightful)

penguin-collective (932038) | more than 8 years ago | (#15015972)

Some of the OpenSSH freeloaders, like Apple Computer and The SCO Group, are notorious for reaping financial rewards from selling open source software bundled with their proprietary products.

What part of the BSD license does Theo not understand? Apple and SCO aren't "freeloaders", they are using the software under the intended license.

Furthermore, what makes Theo think that people want to run OpenSSH? At this point, it's as entrenched as Windows--nobody has a choice.

For our work on OpenSSH, companies using OpenSSH have never given us a cent. What about companies that incorporate OpenSSH directly into their products, saving themselves millions of dollars?

No, they haven't been saving themselves "millions of dollars". If OpenSSH didn't exist, people would implement some other free ssh client or switch to a different standard.

If you release something under a FOSS license, figure out your business model beforehand. Of course, Theo actually did: his work on BSD has given him plenty of exposure and celebrity status, which many would consider ample reward for his work, and something he wouldn't have gotten if he had founded a small software company instead. And I'm sure he could (or could have) translated this into consulting opportunities and other business, without even changing the license on anything. But, like many celebrities, it's just never enough.

Re:what a whiner (3, Insightful)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15015997)

Some of the OpenSSH freeloaders, like Apple Computer and The SCO Group, are notorious for reaping financial rewards from selling open source software bundled with their proprietary products.

What part of the BSD license does Theo not understand? Apple and SCO aren't "freeloaders", they are using the software under the intended license.

That part wasn't written by Theo, as far as I can tell.

Re:what a whiner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15016148)

That part wasn't written by Theo, as far as I can tell.

Shouldn't matter. The BSD licence allows people to create derived works and not have to give anything back. How could anyone be surprised that a corporation wouldn't capatalize on this free meal ticket?

Re:what a whiner (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016007)

Let's face it, the reason why Theo de Raadt can't maintain his unpaid work on OpenBSD/OpenSSH is because he's an impersonable jerk. You can't make money as a consultant if your response to everyone is just to tell them to shut the hell up. You may be able to make money from speaking tours (like RMS does) but you actually have to have enough patience and dedication to stand up deliver a talk that people who are willing to pay to hear (i.e., not talks that people give to developers). Theo reminds me of people who like to play folk music or surf all day. They run around looking for sponsors but they're not interested in putting on shows or entering competitions.

Re:what a whiner (5, Interesting)

hhw (683423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016021)

Just because the BSD license doesn't force companies to give back, doesn't mean they can't do it anyway.

For a business that uses OpenBSD code, it would just make good business sense to support the project at a fraction of what it would cost to develop the same code in-house. It is ridiculous that Sun wouldn't even cover the travel expenses of an OpenBSD developer to go their conference, because the value of the developer's hours would have far exceeded such travel expenses. That's just simply bad business.

Re:what a whiner (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016047)

You are completely correct.... however, you simply cannot become pissed off by the fact that some company followed the license to the letter.

Re:what a whiner (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15016029)

What part of the BSD license does Theo not understand?

The part he understands, and the part that you do not, is the part that's not written in the letters, but the part that's written into the human soul.

specifically the virtues of responsibility, community, and generosity. especially the least that provide the most.

Re:what a whiner (1)

kg4czo (516374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016125)

"specifically the virtues of responsibility, community, and generosity. especially the least that provide the most."

Since when have any of those "virtues" been included in business practices of large corporations? While it may be written into the human soul, corporations are different souless beasts. There have even been problems getting corporations to release code derivatives of GPL's programs.

If a corp doesn't have to release anything, most likely they won't.

As a California Corp Apple helped pay for BSD (2, Interesting)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016051)

Some of the OpenSSH freeloaders, like Apple Computer and The SCO Group, are notorious for reaping financial rewards from selling open source software bundled with their proprietary products. What part of the BSD license does Theo not understand? Apple and SCO aren't "freeloaders", they are using the software under the intended license.

No, it's far simpler than that. Apple and SCO *paid for* BSD. BSD was paid for by the taxpayers of California, including corporations like Apple and SCO. Perhaps Theo noticed a "Copyright 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved" somewhere in his review of the source code. Perhaps Apple and SCO believe they have contributed more than Theo. Besides cash Apple has also contributed formerly closed source, for example the HFS+ support in Darwin. Self serving, so what, Theo, RMS, and a host of others aren't?

I use OpenBSD and despite Theo's nonsense I support it by buying a CD every year. If Theo want's his pet projects funded he needs to learn to stop pissing off large potential contibutors, DARPA for example.

Re:As a California Corp Apple helped pay for BSD (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016096)

Basically. are you gonna seperate your code from your politics.

Check your dates (2, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016203)

"Some of the OpenSSH freeloaders, like Apple Computer..." Apple and SCO aren't "freeloaders", they are using the software under the intended license.

No, it's far simpler than that. Apple and SCO *paid for* BSD. BSD was paid for by the taxpayers of California, including corporations like Apple and SCO. Perhaps Theo noticed a "Copyright 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 The Regents of the University of California.
OpenSSH development began in 1999. So, no Apple didn't pay for OpenSSH. Yes, tax payers paid for the original BSD, from which NetBSD borrows from (and OpenBSD forked from NetBSD). (Though I think it was probably mostly funded under a federal grant, rather than state taxes.)

In any case: development and maintenance costs don't magically stop when there is no tax-funding of the project. If people want it to survive, they do need to continue sponsoring it.

Let's Add Some Context Here (5, Insightful)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016170)

First, I think the OpenSSH question was baited. Even disregarding that, you excluded an insightful caveat from Theo's reply:
Of course we did not set out to create OpenSSH for the money -- we purposely made it completely free so that the "telnet infrastructure" of the 1980s would die. But it sure is sad that none of these companies return even a fraction of value in kind.
He acknowledges that not only was there no obligation for these companies to donate money, but that OpenSSH wasn't created to make money. I don't think it is unreasonable for him to ask for money, particularly when he has pointed out that some of the vendors selected OpenSSH after they were quoted high fees (multi-millions of USD) from the commercial SSH vendor.

OpenBSD has done good work & currently depends on receiving financial donations. Enlightened companies should notice that OpenBSD needs some funding right now & that it would be cheaper to fund them than to have to adopt the support and development of the OpenBSD products they use.

Re:what a whiner (4, Insightful)

pherthyl (445706) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016189)

Furthermore, what makes Theo think that people want to run OpenSSH? At this point, it's as entrenched as Windows--nobody has a choice.

What are you talking about? People use OpenSSH because it's by far the best out there. Nobody is locked into using it, the specs are open, anyone can code a replacement. It's just not easy to produce something of the same quality and security as OpenSSH. People are locked into Windows because of proprietary file formats and closed source applications; how is that in any way similar to OpenSSH?

But, like many celebrities, it's just never enough.

Sorry. CELEBRITIES? Hmm.. yeah sure, Theo is a celebrity. I'm sure he has paparazzi knocking on his door every day.

Sure Theo can be abrasive, but it's weird to see how gleefully people at the receiving end of his charity will attack him. It's always easy to be an armchair critic.

Amusing indeed (1)

h2odragon (6908) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016199)

Why was OpenSSH created in the first place?
Later licenses restricted the use of ssh in a commercial environment, instead requiring companies to buy an expensive version from Datafellows.

(from the OpenSSH History [openssh.com] page)

I have to wonder how long it will be before the commercial SSH folks are talking to apple and sun and so on about really cheap bulk licenses.

Bitchy (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15015978)

Wow, is Jem ever whiney...

Corps take but don't give back? (1)

Enoch Lockwood (889602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15015986)

I've got three letters for you: G-P-L.

Should have believed Stallman...

Re:Corps take but don't give back? (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016077)

I've got three letters for you: G-P-L.

Should have believed Stallman...


But given that it's the money they want and not the code, GPL wouldn't help in this instance. Unless of course they dual license it, in which case they simply put a price tag on the freedom and sell out once somebody pays enough.
 

Re:Corps take but don't give back? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016161)

Unless of course they dual license it, in which case they simply put a price tag on the freedom and sell out once somebody pays enough.

This approach seems to work for MySQL.

You doity raht (4, Funny)

The Famous Brett Wat (12688) | more than 8 years ago | (#15015996)

Is it just me, or does anyone else always feel the urge to pronounce "Theo de Raadt" as "Theo da Rat" with a mafia godfather style accent?

Re:You doity raht (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15016116)

It's pronounced "theo de wrought", he's dutch.

yes (1)

subtropolis (748348) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016217)

It's just you.

BSD is dying (-1, Troll)

RedHatLinux (453603) | more than 8 years ago | (#15015999)

It is official; Netcraft confirms: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [amdest.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

Problem with BSD licencing (4, Insightful)

PAPPP (546666) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016001)

This is a perfect example of the problem with BSD licencing. Under the various BSD licences, its perfectly OK to take a piece of code and sell it, either modified or exactly as found, without in any way recognising or contrubuting to the project. Run "strings c:\windows\system32\ftp.exe" on a WinXP box and you'll see a perfect example of uncredited work. At least under the GPL if someone sells an unmodified program, the project will get recognition (since it will have to remain open source, and thus the origion of the code will be obvious), and if they sell a modified version the project will get the source for the modifications back. Neither directly equates to funding, but publicity and a better code base both help to attract financial support. Both arrangements depend somewhat on the cooperation and altruism of the entity using the code for a profit, but the GPL isn't quite so hopelessly naive.

Re:Problem with BSD licencing (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016073)

This is a perfect example of the problem with BSD licencing. Under the various BSD licences, its perfectly OK to take a piece of code and sell it, either modified or exactly as found, without in any way recognising or contrubuting to the project.

And BSD developers know that, accept that, and often want corporations to use their stuff. With easier corporate acceptance there is more opportunity for consulting. Unfortunately with someone like Theo scaring away corporations his pet projects suffer, I'm thinking the DARPA incident.

I've mentioned this in another post but be careful with words like "contributing". As California corporations and taxpayers companies like Apple and SCO paid for BSD's development. Apple have every moral and ethical right to use it.

Re:Problem with BSD licencing (4, Interesting)

Darby (84953) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016225)

I've mentioned this in another post but be careful with words like "contributing". As California corporations and taxpayers companies like Apple and SCO paid for BSD's development. Apple have every moral and ethical right to use it.

They paid for ancient BSD development. However after the court cases were over, that went away.
They have every *legal* right to use it.
They have an ethical responsibility to contribute but this is in no way required.
Morality is individual, so were you talking about a person it would be their choice as to what their morality is. As you're discussing corporations, they inherently and as required by law are entirely amoral.

This is certainly about as clear a demonstration as you can find of the difference between the BSD license and the GPL, but other than that, which wasn't explicitly in there, there really isn't anything to your post.

Is Theo justified in calling the people who used his code without giving anything back asshats? Absolutely.
Can he force them to? Absolutely not.

That's the license he chose and he's well aware of the ramifications.

The thing to me that most sucks was that Stallman and the BSD folks basically made a bet on human nature.
The optomists are losing badly.

Re:Problem with BSD licencing (1)

Blurgle (859111) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016139)

This is a perfect example of the problem with BSD licencing. Under the various BSD licences, its perfectly OK to take a piece of code and sell it, either modified or exactly as found, without in any way recognising or contrubuting to the project.

You must have missed this page: http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/Lib rary/fcfb3f7d-b209-4bb8-a1ca-f5259b6d57191033.mspx [microsoft.com]

Re:Problem with BSD licencing (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016177)

This is a perfect example of the problem with BSD licencing. Under the various BSD licences, its perfectly OK to take a piece of code and sell it, either modified or exactly as found, without in any way recognising or contrubuting to the project.

    It is NOT a problem with the license. It's the way it is, and if it doesn't suit you, you shouldn't be developing software under the BSD license at all - there's a number of open source licenses to choose from. You can even write your own one and set your terms.

    Expecting financial contributions for useful projects such as OpenBSD/OpenSSH is more than reasonable - one could even argue about the moral obligation of large companies using (and sometimes even depending on) OSS software developed by third parties. Demanding cash just because companies followed to the letter the license that came with your software though, is plain insane. If the OpenBSD folks need some cash, i'm sorry to say this, they'll need to come with another buisness strategy.

Re:Problem with BSD licencing (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016208)

Actually to me this sounds like a fundamental flaw in the nature of businesses and capitalism...

If businesses were required to act more responsibly and more in the civic interest none of this would be an issue, but capitalism as it is implemented in the western democracies does not allow for this.

I bought the T-shirt (1)

fossa (212602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016018)

I bought the T-shirt [openbsd.org] ; does that count?

Re:I bought the T-shirt (2, Interesting)

bhima (46039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016052)

I hope so! I did to and I did it because OpenBSD is rapidly becoming the only OS I trust enough to mount a rented DVD on and be absolutly sure I don't wind up with any sneaky malware...

Job interview question (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15016026)

I was recently asked in a job interview "If Theo de Raadt and Dan Bernstein were locked in a room with knives, who would you want to come out alive?"

(and my interviewer is probably reading this, in which case, "Hi there!")

I said I wanted Dan Bernstein to come out alive, because I actually use his stuff in production as opposed to OpenBSD... but after thinking about it for a while I realised that OpenSSH is perhaps more important that Dan Bernstein's stuff. I mean, Dan never updates qmail and any of his tools... Theo may as well bump him off for all I care. ;P

Re:Job interview question (3, Funny)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016176)

I was recently asked in a job interview "If Theo de Raadt and Dan Bernstein were locked in a room with knives, who would you want to come out alive?"

At which question I would have gotten up, broken off a leg table, and proceeded to ask "Where are they?!" so that I can proceed to give Dan a hand, musing to myself that it is at times like these that I wish I were a gun nut.

I am afraid this kind of a reaction would have been rather popular amongst those who had a pleasure of reading Theos' "conversations" with people on some of the USENET groups of old. Theo is just such a charming, loveable guy that swiss army knives open spontaneously in people's pockets at the very mention of him.

Re:Job interview question (1)

Koutarou (38114) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016258)

Hi Nathan,

The exact reply to the question didn't really matter. The amount of time you think about it is what I look for.

It's not just openSSH (5, Informative)

Theatetus (521747) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016028)

If you're a Linux user and you like your madwifi driver, you can thank the OBSD ath driver. Also if you ever want a RALink driver, OpenBSD is the only OS that has one right now and it seems almost certain any ports will be based off it. Anonymous CVS? Theo came up with it after NetBSD kicked him off the commit list. Randomized mmap, stack protection ... there's a lot of development being taken from openbsd. We've all got an interest here.

Re:It's not just openSSH (1)

Baki (72515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016091)

If the people writing those drivers would not be working on OpenBSD, they would probably write those drivers for FreeBSD or Linux.

Re:It's not just openSSH (1)

pherthyl (445706) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016209)

That's not how it works. People do open source development because they enjoy it. Obviously these people liked working on stuff for OpenBSD and not for Linux. For whatever reason that's what they liked best. If they couldn't do that, it is far from guaranteed that they would write for Linux/*BSD instead. The prospect of writing for Linux might not entice them enough to bother starting at all.

Would all the KDE devs be Gnome/Fluxbox/XFCE/etc devs if KDE didn't exist? Not bloody likely. Programmer resources in open source can't just be shuffled around like that.

... and licenses (4, Informative)

John Whorfin (19968) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016120)

A while back -- pre-SCO -- OpenBSD did a "license audit". I don't have the list in front of me but a sizable number of reasonably well-known open source projects had questionable licences. Theo really did ask nicely and got most of them changed.

TCP Wrappers IIRC was one of them, pppd another (again IIRC).

Like Theo or hate him, he's done more for the Open Source community than just piss people off.

I love OpenBSD (1, Troll)

maelstrom (638) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016040)

But this guy is an ass. There are plenty of Open Source products that people don't pay for. Does Google pay for Linux and Apache? Does Yahoo pay for FreeBSD, does Apple? Nope. If you don't like it, don't use the license.

Someone would probably give OpenBSD a grant, but Theo has already proven he doesn't know when to shut up and has problems playing with others. Cry me a river.

Re:I love OpenBSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15016079)

Google donates heavily to those projects (and more), FYI.

Re:I love OpenBSD (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016081)

Does Yahoo pay for FreeBSD, does Apple?

As California taxpayers they *paid for* BSD in the first place.

Re:I love OpenBSD (1)

Darby (84953) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016241)


As California taxpayers they *paid for* BSD in the first place.


Look, you keep spouting that crap.
They paid for BSD.

That is different than FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, BSDOS, or any of the other things that forked off it long long ago.

More importantly: (1, Interesting)

mcc (14761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016103)

If Apple doesn't already pay for NetBSD (which they use), then why on earth should they be expected to pay for OpenBSD (which they don't use)?

Because if they don't, then Theo de Raadt will shoot this adorable rabbit with "OpenSSH" written on it? Meh.

I mean, I'm sure that the loss of OpenBSD would be a sad thing for the open source community, but this entire fundraising drive just smells like the old Oral Roberts "if I don't raise 8.7 million dollars, God will call me home" thing. It seems rather unbecoming of a pillar of the open source community like OpenBSD to undermine the "the marketplace of ideas created by copylefted code means we can give our product away and still support ourselves" message of open source by floating this "WE CAN'T JUST GIVE OUR PRODUCT AWAY AND STILL SUPPORT OURSELVES!! YOU, GIVE ME MONEY!!" message on top of it.

uhm, yes, (1)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016188)

google pays for linux and apache.

Re:I love OpenBSD (4, Insightful)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016227)

Does Google pay for Linux and Apache?
Google does submit patches to these projects and has sponsored interns and employees work on various open source projects.
Does Yahoo pay for FreeBSD
Yahoo! hosts the freebsd.org cluster. They pay bandwidth and power and most of the hardware. They even give hardware to developers and employ several coders for the project fulltime.
does Apple?
I don't know Apple's financial commitment. They do give code back. Furthermore, they have really forked FreeBSD, so aren't directly using all of the "upstream" support, maintenance, development, etc. of FreeBSD.

Holy Crap! (1, Troll)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016065)

Some companies use open source software and they don't pay for it??!! I for one am shocked.

License choices (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15016072)

'open source', 'practical', BSD license supporters take note. ;p

OT:Who's running OpenBSD on Dell poweredges? (1)

Abstract (12510) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016101)

OT: Who's running OpenBSD on Dell poweredge servers?

Re:OT:Who's running OpenBSD on Dell poweredges? (1)

kosh (4232) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016134)

build a firewall out of a dell poweredge 750 here

Folks are completly missing the point... (4, Informative)

John Whorfin (19968) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016106)

It's not that the Foo Corp is using OpenSSH w/o paying Theo or the OpenBSD/OpenSSH crowd. No one (including Theo) has a problem with that.

It's that some companies *cough*Sun*cough* make all kinds of noises about being "open" and "supporting open source" and market the crap out of it purely because it's the latest buzzword, when in reality they just don't give a shit.

That's what gets to Theo... and others.

Be fair (3, Informative)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016194)

Sun bought and open sourced both StarOffice and Netbeans, they've open sourced Solaris and the UltraSPARC processor core.

I'm sure there are plenty other projects, but Sun have donated what must amount to many millions of dollars of code to the community.

Sure they use other open source projects (in line with their licenses) and while they presumably aren't throwing money at Theo it seems unfair to brand them as anti-opensource when they've done a lot of good.

Anti-Theo sentiments are muddying the point here (5, Interesting)

twigles (756194) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016114)

Theo may be a jerk, but that's not the point here. The OpenBSD team does great work that gets ported to other platforms or just flat out embedded, but no one wants to lend a hand. This interview did not strike me as whiney or greedy; Theo never came across as wanting to get rich, with his grand aspirations of paying travel expenses for poor developers.

His request is very reasonable - everyone is benefitting, and those who are in a position to give a little back should do so. He didn't say fund the project, he said contribute a little. Jeez, anything really.

This whole Slashdot anti-Theo movement is lame, it's like watching jocks push the nerdy quiet kid around in high school, which is a bit ironic considering that many of us *were* those nerdy quiet kids. Stop trying to be part of the "in" crowd by bashing this guy and read the article with an objective eye.

Re:Anti-Theo sentiments are muddying the point her (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15016173)

Regardless of what work the OpenBSD team does or doesn't do, Theo de Raadt is the one who will be receiving, and managing, the money. Theo de Raadt, as the public face of OpenBSD, is the only sign we have of why this money is needed and what will be done with it. Thus it is quite reasonable, if the person serving as the public face and cash collector for this funding drive is publicly handling the drive in such a way that he seems to be making unreasonable demands or unreasonable threats, for this to reflect badly on the funding drive itself.

It is as simple as this: OpenBSD is not asking for everyone to just get along with them and not pick on them. If they were, they would be meeting with a much better response. They are asking for money. People tend to have somewhat higher standards of someone who approaches them asking for money than they do the rest of the time, especially when that person is mostly asking for that money to fund a product that most of us don't want or use. The OpenBSD project can't continue to support SSH development on their own? Well, honestly my first response is "well, then let's find someone who can". It has not been at all made clear to me why OpenSSH development is not a task which can be continued by someone else, nor why OpenBSD development must necessarily be tied to OpenSSH development.

Your bizarre comparison to high school social dynamics is a complete non sequitur and I think says more about your mindset regarding the situation than it says about the actual situation itself.

Pony up (4, Insightful)

Graabein (96715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016131)

An OpenBSD CD set is $49. If you've ever used OpenSSH or x.org X11 (read the article), you've already got your money's worth. In addition, chances are that somewhere in your organization (or at your house?!?) there's an OpenBSD-based firewall happily chugging away with PF and CARP.

So cut the anti-BSD crap and get over Theo's personality for like 10 seconds and pony up. Some day you'll be glad you did. If for no other reason, do it in your own best interest.

Re:Pony up (1)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016201)

I for one do something at the moment that always seems to rile my co-workers

I actually buy FreeBSD and OpenBSD CD's from a local re-seller. Rarely use the CD's I must say, but have no problems supporting the community. Me, I use OpenSSH every day, there are alternatives, but none cut it as well. OpenSSH is derived from proprietry software you will remember, but the alternatives are just shit. I agree with parent, cut the shit and pay up. It's fucking good software, and just because your a poor technician (hell I still am) doesn't mean you can't flog $50 from your parents/spouse/neighbour [when they're not looking] and buy a CD fer fucks sake.

ANTI FLAME DISCLAIMER: Everyone is entitled to their opinion. This is mine. Don't like it. Try this command to stop reading my posts: dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/hd0

It's not about code but MONEY (5, Insightful)

paugq (443696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016135)

What's so difficult to understand for those GPL zealots out there?

Theo is NOT talking about code. He couldn't care less about the code!

He's talking about MONEY. OpenBSD and OpenSSH need money to pay Theo's (and other's) income, bandwidth, servers, etc. How does the GPL help when you need money? It does NOT help!

Re:It's not about code but MONEY (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016169)

How does the GPL help when you need money? It does NOT help!

Vendors who extend the code and sell it along with their products will have to either release their modifications or pay $$$ for an LGPL or BSD licensed version.

Re:It's not about code but MONEY (1)

paugq (443696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016224)

That's in case they could get a dual-licensed version of that code. Most times there is so many people involved in a project it's impossible to get everybody to agree on another license, much less on selling that code.

Remember when some company tried to get a one-time BSD-licensed Linux kernel? No way, and it had nothing to do with the amount of money being offered: they were plainly said 'no'.

And what about Wine? Don't you remember about the change from X11-license to LGPL and Transgaming trying to start the Rewind project?

SunSSH (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016155)

I will say it here -- if an OpenSSH hole is found that applies to SunSSH, Sun will not be informed. Or maybe that has happened already.

If OpenBSD find a bug in OpenSSH they will surely post a notice and release a fix. I don't see how they can keep the information from sun.

I understand that Theo is still Theo, and that they should get some help from Sun, but I don't think his approach is very realistic.

Money doesn't come by itself (1)

Sithgunner (529690) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016160)

> tension between the OpenBSD team and other businesses that some feel are taking advantage of the free software without giving anything back

Since when are people who use OpenBSD without giving anything back has to get some tension from the developers? It sounds like now it's a payware. I'm not against a payware, just that if you have to give tension to people without giving code or money back, then really, make it payware or respect the BSD license.

I for one thank all the great work done on OpenBSD project, but if they need money, they should establish some way of making money than just gazing at the people who use by the license and expect something in return as that's the rule.

I mean, world isn't that easy to get money by waiting and expecting people to pay. OpenBSD is not something special. To make money, you do something about it.

Time to merge OpenBSD with NetBSD (1)

ad454 (325846) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016168)

Both NetBSD and OpenBSD are great platforms and each have their benefits. Prehaps it is time for OpenBSD to join into NetBSD.

I realized that people said and did bad things in the past, but come on, let by-gones be by-gones. We are all adults and time heals old wounds.

There must be a way to convince the OpenBSD and NetBSD core developers to work together.

Maybe I am just a wishful thinker.

Re:Time to merge OpenBSD with NetBSD (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016233)

As a user of both OpenBSD and NetBSD I don't see the utility of this. OpenBSD supports all the architectures commonly used in the way people use OpenBSD. And I'm not altogether sure all of the various platforms that NetBSD supports would benefit from the differences in development requirements & style... maybe so but I don't think so.

Perhaps FreeBSD & OpenBSD could merge... but I'm not so familiar with FreeBSD so I probably shouldn't comment.

Re:Time to merge OpenBSD with NetBSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15016254)

Not wishful, woefully ignorant, boardering on stupid even. There are fundamental security enhancements in OpenBSD, the code audit cannot be merged into NetBSD. You'd have to add NetBSD's code into OpenBSD, which OpenBSD developers do anyways for the most part.

Doesn't Theo understandf the BSD license? (1)

ChrisKnight (16039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016210)

Theo forked a BSD licensed project to create OpenBSD. If he wanted money, then he should have forked into a proprietary license. He forked and kept the BSD license. Since this was a choice, I assume it was made with some forethought. After all, just try to suggest that Theo has made a mistake and he will argue you to death that he knew what he was doing...

So, he OpenBSD and OpenSSH are BSD licensed by choice. That means that NOBODY needs to give them money if they use the source code. The BSD license spells this out, in less than a page of text, so it is hard to say this was buried in the small type...

Theo IS OpenBSD/SSH, and THAT is the real problem. Theo pisses people off, and alienates corporations that would donate to a OpenBSD/SSH project. He needs to incorporate OpenBSD/SSH and give himself a little abstractionb from the process if he wants someone else to help with the bills. Until then there is no 'corporate veil' between Theo and OpenBSD/SSH, and that in itself is hurting the 'movement'.

-Chris

Re:Doesn't Theo understandf the BSD license? (1)

toufeeq (956984) | more than 8 years ago | (#15016247)

I can't complain, but sometimes I still do. -- Joe Walsh The saying-for-the-day for this poic.Isn't it apt ?
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