FreeBSD Beastie Sighting at O'Reilly Open Source Conference in Portland

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The FreeBSD Project hosts a BSD booth at OSCON in Portland, Oregon. Beastie, the FreeBSD mascot, is seen riding a Segway scooter around the tradeshow.

A red flash of devilish horns from the corner of your eye. Enormous green tennis shoes that any NBA basketball player would be proud to wear. No, it's not some new Internet flash animation for deviled ham. It's beastie, the FreeBSD Project mascot, causing havoc on the exhibition floor of the O'Reilly Open Source Conference in Portland, Oregon.

Everyone loves beastie, even the Linux people. Who wouldn't love a 7 foot tall, pudgy red daemon with a pitchfork? Well, maybe a certain cold-weather flightless bird would be better off staying away from the business end of that pitchfork. When beastie started cruising the tradeshow floor on a Segway scooter, the camera flashes were almost blinding. Beastie was just one of the many attractions at the FreeBSD booth at OSCON this year.

Standing outside the FreeBSD booth, we find FreeBSD advocate Matt Olander, the CTO of OffMyServer, juggling ancient Chinese devilsticks while explaining the advantages of using the FreeBSD operating system to conference-goers. Jason Dixon, from DixonGroup Consulting, explains CARP (Common Address Redundancy Protocol) running on multiple OpenBSD boxes while Aaron Grier demonstrates NetBSD happily humming on various hardware platforms including an SGI workstation and a DEC box.

Dru Lavigne, FreeBSD advocate and author for OnLamp and O'Reilly, was frequently pulled from the FreeBSD booth to talk to other exhibitors and tradeshow attendees about the FreeBSD operating system. Always prepared, Dru was already handing out the brochure for BSDCan 2006, a large BSD gathering in Canada that was a huge success this year.

PC-BSD, the simple to install and easy to use desktop version of FreeBSD, seemed to be a favorite pick for attendees. Kris Moore, the founder of PC-BSD, was kept busy answering questions all day long. For more information on the PC-BSD project, go to

We noticed that Devon O'Dell, a developer manning the FreeBSD booth, and beastie were never seen together...perhaps Devon's secret identity is in danger of being exposed.

When Seth Kingsley, a software developer at OffMyServer, wasn't busy burning and giving out the BSDLive business card CDs, he could be found juggling clubs with an OSCON speaker at the entrance to the show. The BSDLive CD was very popular and could be seen running on many laptops around the show. The BSDLive image, along with other BSD links, can be found at

"It was a great show and BSD was well represented. One of the best moments at the booth was watching Jason Dixon explaining CARP to Jordan Hubbard, the co-founder of the FreeBSD Project," says Olander. "When he asked Jordan if he was familiar with OpenBSD, we all got a good giggle. The cool thing is that Jordan was very impressed with Jason's demonstration so maybe we'll see CARP ported to Apple OSX soon. "

About FreeBSD

FreeBSD is a complete and advanced Unix-like operating system which can be used as a secure and high-performance workstation, network server or firewall. FreeBSD is developed by a team of over 200 developers. Over 12,000 third-party software suites are freely available for quick installation from the FreeBSD Packages Collection. More information about FreeBSD is available on the web at

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Matt Olander
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