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FreeBSD Foundation exceeds target for 2012 (freebsdfoundation.org)
71 points by owe 1757 days ago | hide | past | web | 29 comments | favorite

There's something very interesting going on here: A week ago the total jumped by $100k from an anonymous donation. Now the total just jumped by another $150k, and the donors list is showing "Anonymous Donor" in a new $250k+ category. Did Mr. Anonymous send in a $100k check and then change his mind and add another $150k a week later?

US public charities (which means donations from the public are tax-deductable) are limited in the percentage of their income they can receive from private foundations and families. The amount of the large donation may have been contingent upon receiving enough funds from a broader base of sources. Too large of a donation could have caused the FreeBSD Foundation to fail their public support test for the year and be reclassified as a private foundation.

IANAL, but I am the chairman of a 501(c)(3)

I don't think that's a problem here. I've been looking at the donors list and the sizes of donations for the past few months with an eye to where the public support test ends up, and by my arithmetic they could have given the $250k earlier in the year without ever putting the Foundation at risk of failing the public support test.

For what it's worth: Over the 2008-2012 window, the 2%-of-total-support cap on the amount of each donor's contribution which counts as "public" is currently at almost $40k; and there are five donors (Anonymous, NetApp, Hudson River Trading, iXsystems, and Google) which are currently above that limit. As a result, each new dollar donated by someone not on that list else counts as $1.10 towards the "public support" amount, since it increases by 5 x $0.02 the amount of "public support" from those five largest donors, in addition to the $1 itself counting as public support.

Maybe Apple? Perhaps some departments had spare budget to spend before the end of the year so they donated it and it was just consolidation?

The whole point of an anonymous donation is that is anonymous. I agree that it is a corporate user, and it's possible that using FreeBSD is a strategic advantage they don't want to disclose. Or is just that they don't want the PR part of it.

Right I'm saying it could be a large enough company that they have multiple streams of donations going at once and it was consolidated after the fact. Like international divisions or similar.

I'm curious who Mr. Anon is as well. Seems like the expected big pocket FreeBSD companies are already listed.

I'm aware of large FreeBSD-using companies which are not listed. Some of them go to varying lengths to avoid publicizing their use of FreeBSD, so if it's one of them I could certainly understand why they'd want to avoid having their name appear at the top of the FreeBSD Foundation donors list.

Some of them go to varying lengths to avoid publicizing their use of FreeBSD


Usually it's a matter of keeping secrets from their competitors. If you know that a device due to be released next year will be running FreeBSD, it could help you figure out what components are going to be in it, for example (probably parts which FreeBSD can already run on), which might tell you something about its performance.

Innovation through obscurity.

Alas, there's more to commercial success than mere innovation.

You may be on to something - perhaps the donor is not anonymous, but Anonymous, of 4chan fame?

No, it's someone or some company wishing to remain anonymous. There are other listings for anonymous donations.


FreeBSD seems to emphasise doing things right over doing them in a hurry and therefore may at times be a bit behind the curve in terms of support for the latest hardware and features. But when those features do come, they tend to be of superior quality (GEOM, Netgraph & bhyve for example) and rock solid. For serious server and and networking use (often in the guise of pfSense), that makes it my OS of choice. Glad to see some hardware vendors think the same way.

Very Cool.

I feel that the OS has somewhat fallen behind the times, and fallen out of the limelight, so I'm glad to see some support for it still out there.

It's not the most popular OS in the world but it sure is a nice one. Everything I've ever used it for worked great once I got it dialed in.

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; FreeBSD amd64; rv:12.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/12.0

Screw the naysayers who said FreeBSD wouldn't make it.

Don't think there are any.

I don't know if they count as serious naysayers or not, but: http://phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?76208-FreeBSD-is-D...

Waste of time even linking to such unfounded garbage. I would've been disappointed in myself for reading it, if it wasn't for the comedy factor.

The whole thread reeks of trolls and teenage-conspiracy-loving gullibility.

Thanks for the laugh.

Why does anybody care what some forum troll on Phoronix says? I was replying to a statement that made it sound like Linux users had declared jihad on FreeBSD.

Why does anyone care what Eric S. Raymond says?

'cause he thinks FreeBSD is a turd, too.


Meh, this is the same guy that wrote a nasty gram to some Microsoft recruiter when an simple email saying "no thanks" would have sufficed:


Slashdotters were quite certain of FreeBSD's impending death when a story about the fundraiser not having reached its goal yet from not so long ago.

Now that FreeBSD had exceeded their target, you might want to consider donating to Haiku (https://www.haiku-os.org/).

Unlike FreeBSD which is targeting servers (much like Linux), Haiku is designed for personal computing and emphasizes responsiveness and ease of use.

Unlike FreeBSD which is targeting servers

FreeBSD isn't just targeting servers. There's also a lot of work happening on embedded systems, and one of the larger projects the FreeBSD Foundation funded recently was strictly desktop-oriented -- providing support for Intel graphics chipsets.

Seems like FreeBSD is not dying after all.

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