Talk:Theo de Raadt

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Very bitter man, said some very nasty things!

  But in many cases, accurate things.

A jealous guy...

You have to understand that he is an ex-South African, from a South African culture that does not tolerate BS and says it like it is. They are goal-oriented and don't suffer fools gladly; in this, they have much in common with the Israelis. People from some cultures often find Israelis and South Africans to be abrasive and rude, but what's impolite in one culture is just straight talk in another. I speak from experience, being an ex-South African myself and having been frequently chastised in the USA for being undiplomatic. The difference between myself and Theo is that I have been beaten up enough to tone down my delivery and be more politically correct, and he is made of tougher stuff, I guess. I think Theo's (and my) point of view is that if people in general spent less time worrying about offending others, and more time on actually getting the job done, they would be a lot more productive (but there would probably be more wars :)


Anyone have context for the Linus Torvalds quote that was simply, "Difficult"? --Shawn K. Quinn 22:55, 7 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Some more[edit]

I started to collect quotes from Theo on the tech@openbsd lists back in 2000, and here they are:

[3 Feb 2000 On Richard Stallman's definition of 'free'] [1]

We prefer "free, do as you like, incorporate it into a baby mulching machine if that turns your crank".

[11 Feb 2000 On Richard Stallman's off-topic postings to tech@] [2]

Away, Satan.

[20 May 2000 In response to the idea of non-root users allocating ports < 1024] [3]

I have an idea. Let's build a traintrack to the moon.

[29 Jun 2000] After someone expressed concern about a warning message: (unclear source: [4])

Look at what it says: w a r n i n g. ie warning: do not put hand on hot stove element
warning: walking into traffic may result in injury
Half of you want an operating system that tells you what is going on.
The other half of you want us to remove any partially informative piece of text that disturbs you.
I wish you'd just find a room and bludgeon each other.


  • Buttons are for idiots.[5]
    • /usr/src/usr.bin/mg/theo.c
  • A solid system's approach should not be based on "but it works." Yet, time and time again, we see that for most people this is the case. They don't care about good software, only about "good enough" software. So the programmers can continue to make such mistakes.
    • Slashdot, December 11, 2000
  • Why are you guys so fork paranoid? Do you want everyone to vote for the same political party, too?
    • Slashdot, December 11, 2000
  • I think your computer science teachers are still teaching you from books written in the '80s, when the word "micro-kernel" was associated with a future utopia.
    •, December 11, 2000
  • But software which OpenBSD uses and redistributes must be free to all (be they people or companies), for any purpose they wish to use it, including modification, use, peeing on, or even integration into baby mulching machines or atomic bombs to be dropped on Australia.
    • mailing list, May 29, 2001
  • Do you trust glibc? OK, perhaps that snide remark is overstating things a bit, but secure software only happens when all the pieces have 100% correct behavior.
    •, November 26, 2001
  • I say things as they are. Slackers are called slackers, people who can't read manual pages are called losers, and in general, calling things what they are results in developers wasting less time.
    • KernelTrap, November 26, 2001
  • You did not create these mailing lists, so you can take your opinions about why these lists were created and shove them up your ass.
    •, June 15, 2002
  • We don't normally recommend that you use it over another operating system. Or even under, or beside, or even near. "Instead of " -- that describes how we use it ;)
    • in response to "Why would I want to use OpenBSD over another operating system?"
    •, April 19, 2004
  • I am simply astounded at some of the things people keep repeating. I don't mean this applies to everyone, but is there a high quantity of attention deficit disorder in our user community? Or retards? Or is it just the same old trolling? OpenBSD does not incorporate non-free software.
    • when asked to include binary files to support Atheros' 802.11g wireless technology
    • mailing list, September 14, 2004
  • They may want to use some GPL'd build tools but if they start putting GPL parts directly into X, then that is going to cause another X split. I promise.
    •, November 3, 2004
  • Scaling isn't really our concern; I barely know what the word means. There is one group of people who we do know scales. Whiners. They scale really well.
    • mailing list, April 30, 2005
  • I am very easy to get along with, but I don't have time to waste being nice to people who are being stupid.
    •, May 2, 2006
  • In the Unix system view, anything which needs to talk to raw devices INSTEAD OF THE KERNEL DOING SO is broken. There are no apologies to be made. Period. If you want X to talk to IO devices, what next? ls?
    • on the poor design of X
    •, May 13, 2006
  • Hardly surprising. Apple. They build crap and make you pay extra.
    • on Apple's busted keyboard handling at device level and within ROM
    •, January 6, 2007
  • Complexity does not avert risk. Ever. Period.
    •, July 16, 2007
  • Shut up and hack. [6]
  • I could live in a tent and be happy, but all the ISPs want fixed addresses.
    •, March 3, 2010