Theo de Raadt
   HOME

TheInfoList




Theo de Raadt (; ; born May 19, 1968) is a South African-born
software engineer A software engineer is a person who applies the principles of software engineering to the design, development, maintenance, testing, and evaluation of computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions ...
who lives in
Calgary Calgary Calgary ( ) is a city in the western Canadian province The provinces and territories of Canada are sub-national divisions within the geographical areas of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America ...

Calgary
,
Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English , capital = Edmonton Edmonton ( ) is the capital ...

Alberta
, Canada. He is the founder and leader of the
OpenBSD OpenBSD is a security-focused operating system, security-focused, free and open-source, Unix-like operating system based on the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD). Theo de Raadt created OpenBSD in 1995 by fork (software development), forking N ...
and
OpenSSH OpenSSH (also known as OpenBSD Secure Shell) is a suite of Computer security, secure computer network, networking utilities based on the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol, which provides a secure channel over an unsecured network in a client–server ...
projects and was also a founding member of
NetBSD NetBSD is a free and open-source Free and open-source software (FOSS) is software that is both free software and open-source software where anyone is free software license, freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the software in any ...

NetBSD
. In 2004, De Raadt won the Free Software Award for his work on OpenBSD and OpenSSH.


Early life

Theo de Raadt is the eldest of four children to a Dutch father and a South African mother, with two sisters and a brother. Concern over the mandatory two-year armed forces
conscription Conscription, sometimes called the draft in the United States, is the mandatory enlistment of people in a national service National service is a system of either compulsory or voluntary government service, usually military service Mili ...

conscription
in South Africa led the family to emigrate to Calgary, Alberta, Canada in November 1977. In 1983, the
largest recession in Canada
largest recession in Canada
since the
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression An economic depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe economic downturn than a economic recession, recess ...
sent the family to the
Yukon Yukon ( ; ; formerly called Yukon Territory and sometimes referred to as The Yukon) is the smallest and westernmost of Canada's three territories. It also is the least populated province or territory in Canada, with a population of 35,874 peo ...

Yukon
. Prior to the move, De Raadt got his first computer, a
Commodore VIC-20 The Commodore VIC-20 (known as the VC-20 in Germany and the VIC-1001 in Japan) is an 8-bit In computer architecture, 8-bit integer (computer science), integers or other data#Uses of data in computing, data units are those that are 8 bit ...
, which was soon followed by an
Amiga The Amiga is a family of personal computers introduced by Commodore International, Commodore in 1985. The original model is one of a number of computers with 16 or 32-bit processors, 256 KB or more of RAM, mouse-based GUIs, and significantly im ...

Amiga
. It is with these computers that he first began to develop software. In 1992, he obtained a
BSc BSC may refer to: * Bachelor of Science A Bachelor of Science (BS, BSc, SB, or ScB; from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...
in
Computer Science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of , , and . Computer science ...
from the
University of Calgary The University of Calgary (U of C or UCalgary) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisati ...
.


NetBSD

In 1993, Theo de Raadt founded NetBSD with Chris Demetriou, Adam Glass, and Charles Hannum, who felt frustrated at the poor quality of 386BSD and believed an open development model would be better. 386BSD was derived from the original University of California Berkeley's 4.3BSD release, while the new NetBSD project would merge relevant code from the Networking/2 and 386BSD releases. The new project focused on clean, portable, correct code, with the goal of producing a unified, multi-platform, production-quality BSD operating system. The first NetBSD source code repository was established on March 21, 1993 and the initial release, NetBSD 0.8, was made in April 1993. This was derived from 386BSD 0.1 plus the version 0.2.2 unofficial patchkit, with several programs from the Net/2 release missing from 386BSD re-integrated, and various other improvements. In August 1993, NetBSD 0.9 was released, which contained many enhancements and bug fixes. This was still a PC-platform-only release, although by this time work was underway to add support for other architectures. NetBSD 1.0 was released in October, 1994. This was the first multi-platform release, supporting the
IBM PC compatible IBM PC compatible computers are similar to the original IBM PC The IBM Personal Computer (model 5150, commonly known as the IBM PC) is the first computer released in the IBM PC model line and the basis for the IBM PC compatible IBM PC c ...
, HP 9000 Series 300,
Amiga The Amiga is a family of personal computers introduced by Commodore International, Commodore in 1985. The original model is one of a number of computers with 16 or 32-bit processors, 256 KB or more of RAM, mouse-based GUIs, and significantly im ...

Amiga
, 68k
Macintosh The Macintosh (mainly Mac since 1998) is a family of personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be op ...

Macintosh
,
Sun-4 Sun-4 is a series of Unix Unix (; trademarked as UNIX) is a family of multitasking, multiuser Multi-user software is computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions and data (computing), data th ...
c series and
PC532 The PC532 was a "home-brew" microcomputer design created by George Scolaro and Dave Rand in 1989-1990, based on the National Semiconductor NS32532 microprocessor (a member of the NS320xx series). Full hardware documentation for the design, including ...
. Also in this release, the legally encumbered Net/2-derived source code was replaced with equivalent code from 4.4BSD-lite, in accordance with the
USL v BSDi ''USL v. BSDi'' was a lawsuit brought in the United States in 1992 by Unix System Laboratories against Berkeley Software Design, Inc and the Regents of the University of California over intellectual property related to the Unix operating system; a ...
lawsuit settlement. De Raadt played a vital role in the creation of the
SPARC SPARC (Scalable Processor Architecture) is a reduced instruction set computing In computer engineering Computer engineering (CoE or CpE) is a branch of engineering that integrates several fields of computer science and electronic en ...

SPARC
port, implementing much of the initial code together with Chuck Cranor.


OpenBSD

In December 1994, Theo de Raadt was forced to resign from the NetBSD core team, and his access to the source repository was revoked. Fellow team members claimed it was due to personality clashes on the mailing lists.Glass, Adam. Message to netbsd-users:
Theo De Raadt(sic)
'' December 23, 1994. Visited January 8, 2006.
In his book ''Free for All'', Peter Wayner claims that De Raadt "began to rub some people the wrong way" before the split from NetBSD, while
Linus Torvalds Linus Benedict Torvalds ( , ; born 28 December 1969) is a Finnish-American software engineer who is the creator and, historically, the main developer of the Linux kernel The Linux kernel is a free and open-source Free and open-source soft ...
has described him as "difficult". Many have different feelings: the same interviewer describes De Raadt's "transformation" on founding OpenBSD and his "desire to take care of his team," some find his straightforwardness refreshing, and De Raadt remains widely respected as a
hacker A hacker is a person skilled in information technology who uses their technical knowledge to achieve a goal or overcome an obstacle, within a computerized system by non-standard means. Though the term ''hacker'' has become associated in popul ...
and security expert. In October 1995, De Raadt founded OpenBSD, a new project forked from NetBSD 1.0. The initial
release Release may refer to: * Art release, the public distribution of an artistic production, such as a film, album, or song * Legal release, a legal instrument * News release, a communication directed at the news media * Release (ISUP), a code to ident ...
, OpenBSD 1.2, was made in July 1996, followed in October of the same year by OpenBSD 2.0. Since then, the project has followed a schedule of a release every six months, each of which is maintained and supported for one year.


Outspokenness

De Raadt has been a vocal advocate of free software since the inception of OpenBSD, but he is also a strong proponent of free speech, having on occasion had rather public disputes with various groups, from Linux advocates to governments. This outspoken attitude, while sometimes the cause of conflict, has also led him to acclaim; De Raadt has given presentations at open source, free software and security conferences around the world—including FOSDEM in
Brussels Brussels (french: Bruxelles or ; nl, Brussel ), officially the Brussels-Capital Region (All text and all but one graphic show the English name as Brussels-Capital Region.) (french: link=no, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale; nl, link=no, Brusse ...

Brussels
,
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of sev ...

Belgium
,
Usenix USENIX is an American 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization A membership organization is any organization that allows people or entities to subscribe, and often requires them to pay a membership fee or "subscription". Membership organiza ...
in
San Antonio, Texas ("Cradle of Freedom") , image_map = Bexar SanAntonio.svg , mapsize = 220px , map_caption = Location within Bexar County , pushpin_map = Texas#USA#North America , pushpin_relief ...
,
U.S. The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country primarily located in North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large ...

U.S.
, AUUG Conference in
Melbourne Melbourne ( ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller ...

Melbourne
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French F ...

Australia
and FISL in
Porto Alegre Porto Alegre (, , Brazilian ; ) is the capital and largest city of the Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5&nbs ...

Porto Alegre
, RS,
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Brazil
.


DARPA funding cancellation

After De Raadt stated his disapproval of the U.S.-led
invasion of Iraq An invasion is a military offensive An offensive is a military operation A military operation is the coordinated military action War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or par ...
in an April, 2003
interview An interview is essentially a structured conversation Conversation is interactive communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divi ...

interview
with
Toronto Toronto (, ) is the capital city of the Canadian province The provinces and territories of Canada () are sub-national divisions within the geographical areas of Canada under the jurisdiction of the Constitution of Canada, Canadian Cons ...

Toronto
's ''
Globe and Mail ''The Globe and Mail'' is a Newspapers in Canada, Canadian newspaper printed in five cities in Western Canada, western and central Canada. With a weekly readership of approximately 2 million in 2015, it is Canada's most widely read newspaper on w ...

Globe and Mail
'', a multi-million-dollar
US Department of Defense The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an executive branch department of the federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political P ...
grant to the
University of Pennsylvania The University of Pennsylvania (Penn or UPenn) is a in , Pennsylvania. The university, established as the College of Philadelphia in 1740, is one of the nine chartered prior to the . , Penn's founder and first president, advocated an edu ...

University of Pennsylvania
's POSSE project was cancelled, effectively ending the project. Funding from the grant had been used in the development of OpenSSH and OpenBSD, as well as many other projects and was to be used to pay for the ''
hackathon A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest, datathon or codefest; a portmanteau A portmanteau (, ) or portmanteau word (from "portmanteau (luggage) A portmanteau is a piece of luggage Baggage or luggage consists of bags, cases, and c ...

hackathon
'' planned for May 8, 2003. Despite money from the grant already having been used to secure accommodations for sixty developers for a week, the money was reclaimed by the government at a loss and the hotel was told not to allow the developers to pay the reclaimed money to resecure the rooms. This resulted in criticism among some that the US military held an anti-
free speech Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philoso ...

free speech
attitude. The grant termination was, however, not as bad a blow as some portrayed it. The project's supporters rallied to help and the hackathon went on almost as planned. The funding was cut mere months before the end of the grant, further fueling the speculations regarding the situation surrounding the grant's termination.


Free driver advocacy

De Raadt is also well known for his advocacy of
free software Free software (or libre software) is computer software distributed under terms that allow users to run the software for any purpose as well as to study, change, and distribute it and any adapted versions. Free software is a matter of liberty ...

free software
drivers Driver may refer to: Occupation and activity * A person whose occupation is driving ** Chauffeur, a person who drives an automobile as a job ** Motorman (locomotive), an electric vehicle driver ** Bus driver ** Truck driver * Driver (rank), Brit ...
. He has long been critical of developers of
Linux Linux ( or ) is a family of open-source Open source is source code that is made freely available for possible modification and redistribution. Products include permission to use the source code, design documents, or content of the product ...

Linux
and other free platforms for their tolerance of non-free drivers and acceptance of
non-disclosure agreement #REDIRECT Non-disclosure agreement#REDIRECT Non-disclosure agreement A non-disclosure agreement (NDA), also known as a confidentiality agreement (CA), confidential disclosure agreement (CDA), proprietary information agreement (PIA) or secrecy agre ...
s. In particular, De Raadt has worked to convince
wireless Wireless communication (or just wireless, when the context allows) is the transfer of information between two or more points that do not use an electrical conductor In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, it ...
hardware vendors to allow the
firmware In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and soft ...
images of their products to be freely redistributed. These efforts have been largely successful, particularly in negotiations with
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
ese companies, leading to many new wireless drivers. De Raadt has commented that "most Taiwanese vendors give us documentation almost immediately," allowing open source drivers to reliably support devices, as opposed to the lack of willingness from US companies like
Intel Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personalit ...

Intel
and
Broadcom Broadcom Inc. is an American designer, developer, manufacturer and global supplier of a wide range of semiconductor and infrastructure software products. Broadcom's product offerings serve the data center, networking, software, broadband, wirel ...

Broadcom
to release firmware images free from
licensing A license (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. Cur ...
restrictions.


Clash with Linux developers

In April 2007, De Raadt was involved in a controversy involving the use of GPL code from the Linux ''bcm43xx'' driver in the BSD ''bcw'' driver. Linux developers accused the BSD community of infringing GPL code, but De Raadt denied infringement, arguing that the BSD driver was not "released". He also maintained that the conflict was not about GPL, but the way Linux developer Michael Buesch handled the situation. To Buesch's email, he responded: Another clash occurred in August 2007, when a group of Linux developers attempted to modify the license of dual-licensed ath5k driver. De Raadt summarised the issue as follows:


References


External links

*
2000 interview
at
Slashdot ''Slashdot'' (sometimes abbreviated as ''/.'') is a social news A social news website is a website A website (also written as web site) is a collection of web page A web page (or webpage) is a hypertext File:Douglas Engelbart in ...

Slashdot

2001 interview
at
KernelTrap KernelTrap was a computing news website which covered topics related to the development of Free and open source software, free and open source operating system kernel (computer science), kernels, and especially, the Linux kernel. News stories usu ...

2006 interview
at KernelTrap {{DEFAULTSORT:Raadt, Theo de Canadian software engineers Computer security specialists Free software programmers NetBSD people OpenBSD people People from Calgary South African emigrants to Canada Canadian people of Afrikaner descent Canadian people of Dutch descent 1968 births Living people Kernel programmers University of Calgary alumni