On October 18th 20 years ago the first commits to the OpenBSD project landed in the CVS repository. Today on the anniversary the beastie.pl team invites all readers to a series of interviews that our staff conducted with the project developers.
We continue with our seventh interview - Landry Breuil.
1. For the readers who don't know you, can you shortly introduce yourself?
Landry, 33, living on the countryside in the middle of france, avid motorbiker/road-tripper, working on GIS databases, aerial pictures, storage infrastructure and building geographical web services for the public agencies in my area.
2. Why did you choose to run OpenBSD? How long have you been using it?
I started using it as a gateway with 3.7 in... 2005 i think. Coming from a linux background, i was attracted by the cleanliness of the doc/faq back then, and the hardcore security/no concession attitude. Started using it as a desktop with 3.9, and moved to -current straight away.
3. For those readers that still haven't joined the OpenBSD community, why should they try OpenBSD?
Because it just works, is clean & well documented, and doesnt break at every upgrade.
4. Is OpenBSD your daily driver at home & at work?
Everywhere at home & personal servers. At work on my desktop, and also on our mail/intranet server.
5. How did you become an OpenBSD developer? What do you think is required in order to join the OpenBSD project as a developer?
I hassled the ports@ mailing list during some weeks with an upgrade to Xfce 4.4, and ajacoutot@ got me an account so he wouldn't need to commit my diffs :) To become a developer, a thick skin is sometimes required, but otherwise all you need is sending lots of quality diffs, or even shitty diffs but quickly reacting to feedback/review & learning from other's experience..
6. Can you tell us about some OpenBSD-related areas you work on?
Those days, mostly maintaining mozilla ports, x11/xfce4 and also lots of geo/ stuff because i use those tools daily at work. I maintain package building for some exotic archs, and used to run a dpb cluster for diffs testing. I'm also active upstream in mozilla & xfce, although time for this is a scarce resource..
7. Do you have an idea of the time you spend working on the OpenBSD project?
Changes over time, but overall i'd say between 4 and 6 hours a week.. maybe more, not easy to evaluate, since i'm doing this for fun.
9. It's been a long 20 years of amazing releases. What are you most proud of and what would you like to revisit/redo?
I'd say i've enjoyed making lots of new friends within our community, and this brought us lots of good moments online and during hackathons.
Also, being able to build a nice relationship with upstream projects, feeding them back our patches and showing them that OpenBSD could be a viable fullblown desktop OS was definitely nice.
10. As a conclusion, can you tell us how you forecast OpenBSD's future? What's the next big challenge?
There will always be a place for OpenBSD in IT's mission-critical places (firewall, router, mail, web...), but to stay usable "on the desktop" we'll have to update our toolchain for newer compilers (hint: c++11 is creeping everywhere in 3rd-party code, and our gcc 4.2 is 8 years old) and improve our SMP support.