Images for labs, geeks and other non-production use
Posted 12 May, 2020 by Daniil Baturin
You might have noticed Patreon and BuyMeACoffee donate buttons. We introduced them silently, and we are happy to see people donating just because they want to support the project. However, there are benefits for those who donates—you asked us for a new way to contribute and get access to LTS images, and now it's here.But, why have we added donation buttons at all?
VyOS maintainers and the community share one big goal—to have a fully open-source router OS. However, tactical goals differ. The maintainers want to get as many people engaged in the project as possible. The users want to get a stable release with the least effort.
We also have to accept that VyOS has a disjoint audience. The first category of users is companies that use it in the corporate or service provider networks, and often save quite a lot of money on proprietary products that way.
The second category is network geeks and lab users that couldn’t justify the cost of proprietary alternatives in any case.
We’ve made a difficult but ultimately right decision to only distribute prebuilt LTS release images to people who are helping us move the project forward, whether by funding it through buying our services or contributing to the code, docs, and testing. That’s the only thing we could do without compromising the “free as in freedom” part.
This gives corporate users a reason to pay for the services, and it gives geeks and lab users an incentive to test the rolling release and send us patches.
We’ve heard people say they would like to support the project in exchange for LTS release images, but they just couldn’t afford our access subscriptions—they are meant for corporate users and priced accordingly.
That’s why we set up a way for individuals to get access to those images for a small fee. If you donate $10/month you will get access to LTS ISO and for 25$/month you also get hypervisor images too. It comes without support, and you also don’t receive an invoice, so it’s not suitable for corporate users. But for individuals, we think it’s perfectly reasonable.
You may also wonder why we don’t give images for a one-time donation. This applies to people who unsubscribe shortly after requesting access and downloading—don’t think you can come for another image after that, let's play fair.
This may sound like a rude move, but a lot of VyOS users never come for another image unless they absolutely have to. The number of people asking how to update VyOS 1.0.x is telling that, and we’ve heard from many people updating from Vyatta 6.5 and older.
VyOS has a small attack surface and often keeps working for years without a reboot, so it’s very easy to be a “dark matter” user. The project doesn’t benefit from dark matter users at all, so we don’t feel like we owe them anything. You can get a free subscription by helping people on the forums and chats and promoting VyOS, too.
All your donations go towards creating and maintaining VyOS Foundation (announcement)
Here is links for your convenience :)