December 17, 2020

The Foundation has faced some challenging years during my tenure here, but I’d say 2020 is hands down the winner. Running a non-profit is challenging in itself. However, I can easily say, running a donation-driven, non-profit whose sole purpose is to support a free and open source computer operating system, during a pandemic, is extremely difficult! That being said, I can’t be more proud of what we’ve accomplished this past year to help make FreeBSD the secure, reliable, and high performance operating system you rely on.

Though, it’s been a rough year setting everyone up to work from home (while still being productive), dealing with childcare issues, and worrying about how Covid-19 might affect us, our family, and friends, we were still able to accomplish more than we ever have in the past!

For over 20 years, we’ve been here to support the FreeBSD community and Project, around the globe. With the pandemic preventing in-person events this year, we recognized the growing need for us to step in and help connect the community. We know that FreeBSD contributors thrive on meeting face-to-face, and that these opportunities are what drive so much work on the Project. With that in mind, we set out to figure out what we could do to better help connect the community.

We pulled together as a team to provide more online/virtual opportunities for the community and beyond, and  to encourage more people to engage with and join our community. This included:

  • Producing the highly successful FreeBSD Fridays series, which provides introductory FreeBSD talks and workshops on various areas of the operating system.
  • Continuing to bring FreeBSD to new conferences and other venues such as podcasts and webinars.
  • Creating more educational content, including new and updated how-to guides, case studies to show how companies are using FreeBSD, and blog posts highlighting work going on in the Project.
  • Organizing and running the first ever virtual Vendor Summit, that allowed more developers and commercial users from around the world to engage with each other.

Meanwhile, we funded a record breaking number of software projects. This included LLDB backend improvement and target server,  vulnerability mitigations and proactive security, Linuxulator application compatibility improvements, WiFi and graphics infrastructure improvements, 5x if_bridge performance increase, git migration support, and pkgbase development.

But, that’s not all! Our internal staff worked on code reviews, bug triage, 3rd party CI integration, arm64 support, improvements and enhancements to many subsystems including the x86 pmap layer, rtld and kernel ELF loader, threading library , RISC-V, Capsicum, build system, tool chain and freebsd-update among others, security issues, vulnerability mitigations, Syzkaller kernel code coverage, network stack stability, new kernel interfaces, machine-dependent optimizations, docs and manpages, DTrace bug fixes, Valgrind port, and much more!

In 2021, we will continue to support software development work and online/virtual opportunities. In fact, if we meet our fundraising goal, we will be increasing our FreeBSD support by growing our software developer team to make sure FreeBSD stays not only relevant over the next few decades, but serves as a leader in secure and trusted operating systems.

We know this is a difficult time for everyone. If you are able, please consider supporting our efforts by giving a financial contribution. Your donation makes a direct impact on the FreeBSD Project.  Thank you to all of you who have already made a financial contribution this year. We are grateful for your support.

Deb Goodkin,
Executive Director
FreeBSD Foundation