Should organizations relating to the defense sector being able to sponsor NixOS?

This would kill most funding to the foundation as it is today immediately.
Currently most of our funding comes from the EU and the German Government through the Next Generation Internet Fund and Sovereign Tech Fund. Those are not even donations but sponsorships with clear deliverables.

That we were able to get significant funding from the German government to work on NixOS security has been one of the most positive things that happened to the community the last year in my opinion. I want more of these initiatives to happen. Not less. Arguing against them seems actively harmful for the community.

I want to clearly oppose the suggestion to take on a policy that would ban any form of direct or indirect funding by governments


Very sorry about the Russians comment; especially since they contribute so much to culture, science and technology, and nixOS (thanks! we love you). Nothing against “Russians”, just the war they started. “The Russians” is a sloppy, but idiomatic, way of saying “Russia” in the context of war. It is a current problem in my geographical area that the Russian state is destroying Europe and I was worried that my sons would be conscripted to protect their homelands and die in the process, like so many others already have done. (I am sure that Russians also are worried.) Anyway, I think some really reliable lethal technology is just was we need ASAP in case my sons need it in the event of a war against NATO by whoever happens to be threatening it with nuclear destruction currently: and I am sure that nixOS stands out as something that is truly military grade.


products: Items such as sensors, cameras, air/land/sea/space craft, food and medical supplies, IT services, and yes even weapons.
customers: Entities such as other defense contractors, the government, the branches of the military, and the intelligence agencies.

I believe your response is precisely the one @jonringer was trying to avoid. It is unproductive and open to misinterpretation from people unfamiliar with jargon used within the defense sector.


Can we collectively acknowledge that:

  • People who make a living doing something are going to have acceptable-sounding jargon for the things they do, and that’s pretty normal.
  • People who find something appalling are going to be appalled when they hear it described using acceptable-sounding words, and that’s pretty normal.
  • Having arguments about the words doesn’t do much beyond establishing whether you find the thing acceptable or appalling.

I think military sponsorship from NATO suppliers is perfectly OK. nixOS is, after all, military-grade technology if one considers its robustness.


X-posting this as it’s probably of interest to the folks involved in the discussion:

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(post deleted by author)


+1 for not allowing advertising for a company that prides itself on “accelerating complex kill chains”.

I think there are plenty of good points about the vast grey area this lives in, but to me it seems clear that in this case we lose very little by saying no. “The community is uncomfortable with the nature of your work” would probably suffice.

To add to what’s already been said, I think the world will be a better place with less wonderful brains, like those found at NixCon, working on destructive technologies. Let the Andurils of the world recruit somewhere else. Our community members can do better for the world than building missile-drones.


The current topic of conversation is whether an arms dealer like Anduril should be endorsed by the NixOS foundation through a sponsorship agreement. The vast majority of participants understand the intent in that description.

Separately, once a stance is decided on, the phrasing should of-course be more detailed to avoid ambiguities like you suggest. However that does not negate the discussion as-is - the participants are able to carry it out without resolving to formulating all points in their posts in contract language.


It is worth pointing out that this stance, similarly to that of endorsing US arms dealers, but not their peers among US adversaries is inherently & very straight forwardly political. It is not the only part of the whole concept which is political, but it is probably the simplest communicated in this age of media & internet communication.

If the decision is that the NixOS foundation take a stance in war politics (allied with these nations - not their adversaries), then that should be the clear messaging.

Whether people think that the NixOS foundation has any business assuming such a role is surly important, but I think of absolutely critical importance is also that this political stance (IE “NixOS is a NATO ally”) of the organization is explicitly communicated and clearly visible on entry points - such as download pages, community overviews, and contributor flows. It should also be directly messaged to at minimum all existing community members and contributors who may well not visit those sites. For a transition period, a banner notice atop all foundation-controlled pages would also be in order and obviously a PR release should be produced to inform the wider community.

With assuming a political stance like this comes the responsibility of very publicly disclosing it to all involved parties - not just hidden in legalese text somewhere.


@arianvp , @jonringer : I know we’re not going to agree on this, but I must state my position clearly: If we cannot meet in-person without corporate patronage, then we shouldn’t meet in-person. Also, here is the priority list for corporations contributing to the ecosystem:

  1. Corporations starve because they cannot afford to build the software that they need to survive.
  2. Corporations contribute to permissively-licensed projects and extract value from the commons.
  3. Corporations give nothing at all.

Your framing is incomplete and we can make better choices than the dichotomy you present us.

@raboof : Thank you for a clear-headed reasonable analysis.


A lot of people in this thread take it as a default opinion that being a defense contractor is evil. I’d love to know what those people think China/Russia/Iran would do if the west collectively decided to not have a capable deterrent force anymore. We can take a look at Ukraine for inspiration, but there’s plenty of annexation, genocide, crimes against humanity to go around between them.

In my view defense contractors - in general - are welcome. There should be a decision made on a case by case basis about each sponsor regardless of industry.

I also think that NixOS could benefit from being endorsed by high-tech defense companies where reliability standards are very high.


Here’s various relevant threads in other open-source communities about job offers by Anduril, always met with the same criticism we’re seeing here:

I’d also like to highlight this:

all of our products boot Linux (NixOS, in fact)


Just read through the entire section here as It seems everybody on this platform is here and it kept popping up in my suggestions. I’m a newbie, I just started using NixOS recently, I didn’t contribute much and I don’t know if I have a say in the matter. To be honest, I’m not even that technically savvy, just a friendly linux enthusiast.

At first my thoughts were like - nah, I don’t care who is sponsoring FOSS, hopefully money will be put to a greater good these are resources for further FOSS development! But upon further inspection of the whole thread I was kind of surprised that some users think that receiving funds from military contractors from certain countries is somehow completely okay and receiving funds from other similar organizations is not, arguing that receiving sponsorship from military contractors from the ‘other side’ would be morally wrong and receiving from the ‘right’ side would be okay.

I mean, I want to reiterate again, I’m not against military contractors sponsoring FOSS, but the point about the PR backlash if a military contractor from Russia/China or any other entity (there’s probably some in Latin America, Africa or other countries and parts of the globe) decided to do the same is still a valid point. I guess it wouldn’t hurt for organization to have certain ethical policies if it intends to expand and develop internationally, and I do understand why this issue received backlash from so many users, especially during these tough times when so many military conflicts erupt world-wide at the same time.

Personally, I would like FOSS projects to unite people and provoke dialogue, cooperation and personal improvement not to divide people into ‘factions’ or ‘friends and foes’. I guess, if this sponsorship issue might deter a huge chunk of contributors, it would be beneficial for users to get some sort of official response. I guess keeping people in the dark just makes contributors and users unnecessarily nervous and come to some far-fetched conclusions.

P.S. I also made a research about Anduril (didn’t know too much about that organization), and really wouldn’t want to see myself or my relatives to be targeted by their products, considering the fact that I’m not living in a NATO country (not from Russia or China either). I guess, watching things they produce can make you paranoid these days.


Just to be clear: You would similarly welcome as sponsors arms dealers from Russia, China, and Iran?


Put me in the “yes” camp. I don’t believe one can meaningfully support the Ukrainian defence effort and oppose the existence of NATO defence contractors. Yes, ultimately this means killing people, but I believe state violence is necessary in this case, and supplying weapons and other military technology is valuable and necessary work.


From the outside, the actions of the foundation are interpreted as representative of the community’s values as a whole. And the issue being discussed now is not whether the foundation (speaking for the community, ideally) should endorse or condemn a defense contractor. It’s simply about whether “we” should endorse them or not.

In other words, the default action is to not accept a sponsorship, and express no particular point of view. To accept the sponsorship would be to take a positive action towards endorsement. A move that would directly contradict the views of so so many people in the community, as demonstrated so thoroughly in this very thread. In that light, I find it hard to see a justification for accepting such a sponsorship.

Not accepting would, if anything, express that the community’s point of view on defense contractors is “no consensus,” which, also looking at this thread, feels accurate.

Now if another company offered to pay for the foundation to explicitly condemn them, or if your view is that the foundation must accept sponsorship deals from defense contractors (which I don’t believe is the opinion of anyone here), then there would be an argument to be made in opposition of not accepting.

Taking action and choosing to endorse Andruil would be an insult to a very large portion of the community, which if nothing else, would be a violation of our goal of providing a safe and welcoming community. Especially when the default (no action) is so easy and so uncontroversial that it literally happens automatically.

If a decision really does come down to just the number of people that are against sponsoring Andruil, then please add my +1 to that number.


I oppose anything using the Nix/NixOS trademark from accepting a defense sector sponsorship.

A conference accepting a sponsorship from any company is not a politically neutral action; it is an explicit endorsement of that company. That’s literally the entire reason companies sponsor conferences so that the conference will endorse the sponsor (such as by prominently emblazoning the sponsor’s logo, for example) and improve the sponsor’s standing/image in the community. There is nothing politically neutral about that.


I don’t believe anyone in this thread has voiced opposition to the existence of arms dealers - NATO providers otherwise?

Nor has anyone suggested that NixOS do so.

The opposition voiced in the thread and elsewhere is to NixOS, through sponsorship deals, endorsing any arms dealer - regardless of which states and alliances they sell to.

Your confusion is understandable. There has been an impressive effort to deploy smoke to obscure that very distinction. Just as the foundation has failed to show the courage of their convictions and explicitly state the reality of the stance they are taking on behalf of the community.


I oppose any association with the “defense” sector.

I oppose helping, in any way, the military-industrial complex and, I think, their significant contributions to the perpetual wars we are in.