Obviously, each developer working on OpenBSD has their own aims
and priorities, but it is possible to classify the goals we all share:
- Provide the best development platform possible.
Provide full source access to developers and users, including the
ability to look at CVS tree changes directly.
Users can even look at our source tree and changes
directly on the web!
- Integrate good code from any source with acceptable
copyright (ISC or Berkeley style preferred, GPL acceptable as a last
recourse but not in the kernel, NDA never acceptable).
We want to make available source code that anyone can use for ANY
PURPOSE, with no restrictions.
We strive to make our software robust and secure, and encourage
companies to use whichever pieces they want to. There are
commercial spin-offs of OpenBSD.
- Pay attention to security problems and fix
them before anyone else does. (Try to be the #1 most
secure operating system.)
- Greater integration of cryptographic software.
This means IPsec, key engines, Kerberos, free-AFS,
and other forms of strong crypto or crypto-using systems.
OpenBSD is developed and released from Canada and due to Canadian
law it is legal to export crypto to the world (as
researched by a Canadian individual and as
documented in the Export Control list of Canada).
OpenBSD developers are doing active research and development on
- Track and implement standards (ANSI, POSIX, parts of X/Open, etc.)
- Work towards a very machine independent source tree.
Support as many different systems and hardware
- Be as politics-free as possible; solutions should be decided on the
basis of technical merit.
- Focus on being developer-oriented in all senses, including holding
developer-only events called hackathons.
- Do not let serious problems sit unsolved.
- Provide a good cross compile/development platform.
- Import external packages with minimal modifications - making upgrading
much easier. Also to submit back to the developers any changes made.
- Make a CDROM-based release approximately every six months, in
particular to fund the project...
Naturally, the OpenBSD project requires funds to operate, due to
Internet line costs and the same hardware upgrade issues everyone
experiences. For this reason, the project sells CDROMs of our most
recent release. Thus, when you buy an OpenBSD CD, whether at a
conference, from one of our other locations, or from our
CDROM ordering page, you are helping to increase
the chance that OpenBSD will make future releases.
It is also possible to donate funds or hardware,
in which case your name ends up on our
For more information on this contact
Theo de Raadt or simply send a
donation cheque in Canadian or US funds to:
812 23rd Ave SE
(Make the cheque out to "Theo de Raadt", since I cannot cash cheques made
out to "OpenBSD".)
Additionally, it is now possible to donate money to the project online via
credit card or
While donations are not US tax deductible as charitable contribution,
they may be deductible as an operating expense, and if someone is so
inclined, they should ask for the advice of their accountant. The
same applies to other countries, where corporations can make deductible
donations under the terms of "Good Will".
In the beginning, Theo de Raadt spent more than $30,000 (CDN) to start
OpenBSD, mostly due to expensive networking costs in Canada (due
to USA crypto policies, it is not possible to move the project to the
USA). Thus far, no serious funding or cost-sharing of the project
has come from any company or educational institution.
Theo works full-time on improving OpenBSD, and much of the project's
funds are spent to buy developers new hardware so that they can
continue to improve OpenBSD (for example, more than 20 new kinds of
Ethernet cards have showed up on the market since OpenBSD was
Thus, funding is needed at all times. Continued donations from our
user base are what will ensure that OpenBSD continues to exist.
Where do our developers live?
This map approximates where our developers live. We will attempt to update it
occasionally, but please don't count on that.
$OpenBSD: goals.html,v 1.71 2009/09/09 02:25:51 nick Exp $