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You are here: Home FSF News Free Software Foundation receives $1 million from Handshake

Free Software Foundation receives $1 million from Handshake

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Dec 03, 2018 01:05 PM
Handshake has donated $1 million to support computer user freedom and free software development.

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Monday, December 3rd, 2018 -- The Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced it has received several earmarked charitable donations from Handshake, an organization developing an experimental peer-to-peer root domain naming system, totaling $1 million. These gifts will support the FSF's organizational capacity, including its advocacy, education, and licensing initiatives, as well as specific projects fiscally sponsored by the FSF.

John Sullivan, FSF's executive director, said, "Building on the $1 million Bitcoin gift from the Pineapple Fund earlier this year, and our record high number of individual associate members, it is clear that software freedom is more important than ever to the world. We are now at a pivotal moment in our history, on the cusp of making free software the 'kitchen table issue' it must be. Thanks to Handshake and our members, the Free Software Foundation looks forward to scaling to the next level of free software activism, development, and community."

Rob Myers of Handshake said, "The FSF is a worldwide leader in the fight to protect the rights of all computer users through its support for the production of free software, including the GNU operating system and its campaigns to raise awareness such as Defective by Design. Handshake is proud to be able to support the FSF in its important work to secure our freedom."

These significant contributions from Handshake will fuel the FSF's efforts with activists, developers, and lawyers around the world. They include:

  • $400,000 for the FSF's organizational capacity, publications, licensing, and activist initiatives;

  • $200,000 for Replicant, the fully free mobile operating system based on Android;

  • $100,000 for GNU Guix and GuixSD, a package manager supporting transactional upgrades and roll-backs, unprivileged package management, per-user profiles, and more, as well as a distribution of the GNU operating system using that package manager;

  • $100,000 for GNU Octave, a high-level language, primarily intended for numerical computations;

  • $100,000 to help the GNU Project address important threats like nonfree JavaScript; and

  • $100,000 for the GNU Toolchain, which provides the foundational software components of the GNU/Linux system and the Internet.

Replicant developer Denis "GNUtoo" Carikli said, "So far, Replicant development has been driven by very few individuals contributing to it in their free time. Donations have been used to enable Replicant developers to buy new devices to port Replicant on, and to enable new Replicant developers to work on already-supported devices. They were also used to enable developers to attend conferences to promote Replicant and try to find new contributors. The kind of amount we received will enable Replicant to fund development, first to fix the most critical bugs, and then to upstream most of its code, making it more sustainable, and also enabling other projects to reuse Replicant's work to improve users' freedom."

Guix developer and project committee member Ricardo Wurmus said, "This donation allows the GNU Guix project to guarantee its independence, invest in hardware, and develop new features to benefit all our users. We'll be able to grow the performance and reliability of our existing infrastructure. We also envision better support for new and liberating architectures, and more resilient long-term storage of binaries and source code. It will also allow us to continue our outreach efforts and attract new interns to further improve and promote the project."

John W. Eaton, original author and primary maintainer of GNU Octave, said, "We are grateful for such a generous donation. It is by far the single largest monetary contribution we have ever received, and we thank Handshake for including Octave in this select group. We have only begun to imagine how these funds might impact Octave, but given the size of the gift, we intend something transformational and previously impossible."

David Edelsohn, founding GCC Steering Committee member and GNU Toolchain Fund trustee, said "We are incredibly gratified by the confidence in and support for the GNU Toolchain demonstrated by this donation. This donation will allow the project to greatly expand its outreach to students and new developers. It allows us to move forward on a number of fronts with confidence that we have the resources to match our imagination."

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to run, change, share, and contribute to computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at and, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at

Media Contact

John Sullivan
Executive Director
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942

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