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Interview: Theo de Raadt

The OpenBSD founder talks, among other things, about firmware, binary blobs and non-disclosure agreements.


I don't mind him or anyone

I don't mind him or anyone thinking BSD is a better license. I don't mind BSD so much for obvious reasons; it's a free license. I just think it is a good idea to protect freedom in addition to granting it, and this protection is actually gaining on importance lately. But considering that BSD, like GPL, still does grant all the necessary freedoms I'm completely OK with them having it their way. GPL does a nice job on its own anyway. Eye

And yeah, this dedication to it being 100% free is what makes me want to try it some day as well. Smiling

Theo is a very intelligent


Theo is a very intelligent guy. I can imagine that if something sounds stupid to the average person, it will sound annoyingly stupid to him.


I'm not sure in which camp does Theo put himself

I think those would be the camps of security and free software. He very definitely is not an open sourcer by our definition (just the development method, and mixing proprietary with free software), but perhaps he has a different definition.

I wonder what makes him prefer the BSD license over the GPL. Maybe he shares my opinion that license tricks aren't the right tool to create worldwide software freedom and cause complications? Maybe we should ask him for an interview sometime?

Whatever the reasons and whatever the camp, the nice thing is that a really secure system must be 100% free/open. This makes OpenBSD a great choice for freedom lovers. Maybe I should have a try installing it on my laptop... Which brings me back to the old question "does it support cpu frequency scaling?". Not getting burns on my legs is a little more important than not getting hacked Laughing out loud .

I'd like to use this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to the OpenBSD project for OpenSSH!




Thanks for this link. I

Thanks for this link. I bookmarked it the day you posted and organizing my bookmarks I read it today. Smiling Awesome interview. Theo seems like a guy I can admire, despite him supposedly not being nice to people who he considers "stupid". This looks like a subject open for discussion, much like in case of RMS.

I think this comment by an anonymous reader nailed it:

I'm sure Theo cares what Mr. Anonymous thinks about him.

I have been monitoring (and participating in a small way) FOSS for 15 years now and what stands out is that people like Theo or RMS who stick to their guns and never ever waver from their convictions are the ones who are right in the long run. Yeah, maybe Theo is arrogant. RMS is annoyingly repeating the same thing every single day. But their line of uncompromising freedom is the only way to make computing last past today.

Examples in point: blobs. bitkeeper.

Indeed man.. I'm not sure in which camp does Theo put himself nor does it really matter right now. I see that he is quite strict when it comes to the inclusion of binary blobs in OpenBSD and that's something we need in the GNU/Linux land as well. Looks like OpenBSD is accomplishing a lot behind the scenes, of which even GNU/Linux then benefits. Kudos to Theo. And of course, kudos to RMS as well, for simply being who he is.