December 5, 2016

Dear FreeBSD Community,

I’d like to take the opportunity to talk with you about what we CAN accomplish together in 2017.

First, I want to thank all of you who helped us surpass our goal in this year’s #GivingTuesday campaign! Your generosity raised over $8400 in a 24 hour period, and provided a promising start to our End-of-Year campaign. We’re now one step closer to reaching this year’s important fundraising goal of $1,250,000.  

Since 2000, the Foundation has been supporting the FreeBSD Project and community around the globe. Our purpose is to help enable the success of FreeBSD as a platform for product development, education, research, and computing. We’re doing this by providing assistance to the Project in critical areas and roles, outreach and advocacy, facilitating community collaboration and engagement, and helping to keep FreeBSD innovative, secure, and reliable.

What drives us to continue this work? It’s you, the FreeBSD community, and your dedication to FreeBSD. We see your passion in your contributions; willingness to work with new people; and your enthusiasm to discuss and encourage new ideas, present your work, and jump in to fix issues when needed. This is what inspires us to do the work we do.

As most of you know, your support helps us continue to improve the operating system by having full-time software developers on staff and a full-time staff member to help with the release engineering team. But, an area we don’t highlight much is our travel grant program, which can make a difference on whether a new or young contributor will make a significant contribution to the Project. Attending a BSD-related conference provides a new person opportunities to discuss specific work or projects in detail, many times with the key people involved in those projects, allowing for quicker progress and verification of work.

Earlier this month, the Foundation sponsored four FreeBSD contributors to attend MeetBSD. One of the grant recipients was a Computer Science student from Croatia, who had been working on a project that allows tracing of virtual machines through bhyve. By attending the conference, he was able to meet and talk to Peter Grehan, one of the original bhyve developers, as well as, other key contributors to that project.  He was also interested in working on DTrace and was introduced to many of the key players in that project too.

After the conference he said, “Attending MeetBSD has further motivated me to contribute to the FreeBSD project and was a great learning experience, as well as an opportunity to meet people that I had previously talked to only over email or IRC.”

Your gift will allow us to continue sending FreeBSD contributors to conferences that will provide a significant return on our investments by their increased contributions to the Project.

In addition, your donations directly impact FreeBSD by helping us:

  • Accelerate OS improvements, including employing our technical staff to maintain and improve critical kernel subsystems, add features and functionality, and fix problems. This also includes funding separate project grants like the arm64 port, blacklistd access control daemon, and integration of VIMAGE support, to make sure FreeBSD remains a viable solution for research, education, computing, products and more.
  • Provide full-time release engineering support, resulting in timely and reliable releases.
  • Provide outreach and advocacy for FreeBSD, which includes sponsoring many BSD and non-BSD conferences; sending FreeBSD contributors to these conferences; improving the new user experience; supporting work on creating curriculum to be taught in schools and universities; publishing the high-quality FreeBSD focused magazine, The FreeBSD Journal; and providing more informational and training material.
  • Build and improve FreeBSD infrastructure to provide the latest technologies for testing and developing on the FreeBSD platform.
  • Provide face-to-face opportunities like developer and vendor summits and company visits to help facilitate collaboration between commercial users and the Project, to help get changes pushed into the FreeBSD source tree, and to create a bigger and healthier ecosystem.

As you can see, we have a lot of positive work to continue in 2017. Please help us continue the momentum started on #GivingTuesday and donate today!

Thank you for your support – we can’t do this without you!

Deb Goodkin
Executive Director