October 20, 2021

Summer is typically a slow month for bringing in funding and last quarter was no exception. It did, however, allow us some time to reflect on the work we are doing to improve FreeBSD and support the community, and prepare for our Fall Fundraising Campaign. We kicked off that campaign at the end of September. So far, the responses I’m hearing are extremely positive, and I’m hopeful that we will reach our fundraising goal this year.

As of this writing, we’ve raised $180,000 towards our $1,250,000 goal for 2021. Why do we need so much money? Well, last year we decided to make more significant software contributions to FreeBSD. In order to do that, we had to grow our team. We developed a technology roadmap from input we were receiving from individual and commercial users as well as market trends. Based on the roadmap, we identified positions we needed to fill.

This year we’ve hired three full-time software developers, one full-time Arm kernel developer, and one project manager. We also are funding wifi work full-time and some other projects to help with FreeBSD on the desktop. We are doing this to help attract new users and contributors to the Project.

Our growth wasn’t just in our technology team, but in our advocacy team too. We hired a marketing coordinator and technical writer to provide more educational and informational content. Throughout the fall 2021 newsletter and in the Advocacy section of the upcoming FreeBSD Project 2021 Q3 Status Report, you’ll see all the work we did to promote FreeBSD, as well as provide community engagement, education opportunities, and informative content to help pave the path to getting started with FreeBSD.

With these additional resources we’ve been able to step in more often to implement and improve major features in FreeBSD, review patches and bug reports, implement bug fixes, and support the security efforts. This helps keep FreeBSD the innovative, secure, and reliable operating system you rely on. It also allows us to provide more documentation to assist new and seasoned FreeBSD contributors to get the information they need.

For more specific information on what your support allowed us to do, check out the upcoming Project’s Q3 Status Report. Within the report, you’ll find individual reports from staff members like Mark who has been working on improving security, Ed who developed our technology roadmap and worked on updating OpenSSH, Kostik who worked on fixing long standing compatibility issues with amd64 UEFI boot, Andy who is adding support for new Arm architectural features, Ka Ho who is improving the desktop experience, and Anne who is advocating for FreeBSD. In addition, you’ll find reports on outside funded projects like improved wifi by Bjoern, Wireguard updates by John, Raid-Z expansion work by Matt, and added LLDB support by Moritz Systems.

As we continue with our Fall Fundraising Campaign, please remember that we are completely funded by donations and your support will help us directly improve FreeBSD through:

  • Operating System Improvements: Providing staff to immediately respond to urgent problems and implement new features and functionality allowing for the innovation and stability you’ve come to rely on.

  • Security: Providing engineering resources to bolster the capacity and responsiveness of the Security team providing you with peace of mind when security issues arise.

  • Quality Assurance: Improving and increasing test coverage, continuous integration, and automated testing with a full-time software engineer to ensure you receive the highest quality, secure, and reliable operating system.

  • New User Experience: Improving the process and documentation for getting new people involved with FreeBSD, and supporting those people as they become integrated into the FreeBSD Community.

  • Training: Supporting more FreeBSD training for undergraduates, graduates, and postgraduates. Growing the community means reaching people and catching their interest in systems software as early as possible. More training provides job seekers an additional set of in-demand skills and employers a bigger pool of skilled candidates.

  • Face-to-Face Opportunities: Facilitating collaboration among members of the community, and building connections throughout the industry to support a healthy and growing ecosystem and make it easier for you to find resources when questions emerge.

I know we say it a lot but we truly can’t do it without you. Please consider making a donation to help us continue and increase our support for FreeBSD.

— Contributed by Deb Goodkin, Executive Director, FreeBSD Foundation

P.S. Don’t forget about our Partnership Program! It provides additional benefits for our larger commercial donors. Find out more information and share with your companies!