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Gentoo Officially Not-For-Profit 227

iswm writes "The paperwork for the Gentoo Not-For-Profit entity was approved by the State of New Mexico today. This means that as of today, the Gentoo Foundation is an official Not-For-Profit Corporation in the United States. The process of becoming a Federally-recognized not-for-profit entity, which will take about six months for approval, can now begin."
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Gentoo Officially Not-For-Profit

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  • no more taxes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by millahtime ( 710421 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:12AM (#9364395) Homepage Journal
    Hey, this makes them tax exempt. Way to save money!!!!!
    • Re:no more taxes (Score:4, Informative)

      by kfg ( 145172 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:29AM (#9364531)
      Hey, this makes them tax exempt.

      In New Mexico.

      The blurb was badly written. They are not tax exempt in the United States and the standards for state tax exempt status are usually somewhat different and easier (fill out the forms) than the federal standards.

      About six months from now Gentoo may or may not be nonprofit in the United States.

      • rtfb (Score:3, Insightful)

        by eean ( 177028 )
        except thats exactly what the blurb says
        • Well, not exactly. While they do admit there's a six month process to become Federally recognized, immediately before they say they are NFP in the United States. While technically true, it is slightly misleading. Perhaps the blurb should read that "the process of becoming Federally recognized has acheived a key milestone."

          Just my .03 cents (adj. inflation)
      • I think it's a very interesting story, even if they only registered in NM. This give a strong indication that Gentoo will not have an IPO and morph into annoying spam-ridden piece of nagware. So I think it's great.
  • by anonymous coword ( 615639 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:14AM (#9364421) Homepage Journal
    Remember that Gentoo now supports binary packages for those giant software such as KDE and Also check the Wikipedia article [] about Gentoo.
  • donations (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PimpbotChris ( 775813 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:17AM (#9364438)
    does this mean donations will be tax deductible?
    • Re:donations (Score:3, Informative)

      In New Mexico, possibly. But the federal paperwork is just starting, and they don't get 501c status until all the goats have been sacrificed.
    • Re:donations (Score:5, Informative)

      by klieber ( 124032 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:46AM (#9364653) Homepage
      It depends on what 501 status we pursue. 501(c)(3) organizations are considered "charitable" organizations and donations to these entities are tax deductible. 501(c)(6) is a trade organization and organizations to these entities are not tax deductible.

    • Re:donations (Score:5, Informative)

      by bgeer ( 543504 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:49AM (#9364677)
      No, incorporating as not-for-profit doesn't necessarily make you tax exempt. All not-for-profit means is that you don't distribute dividends to shareholders, but rather reinvest any profits (or funnel it to management...)

      In order to be able to receive tax deductable contributions you have to apply to the IRS to be a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. The blurb on doesn't say what section they're applying under, but it would be pretty surprising if the IRS granted them charitable status. It's usually reserved for charities, artistic or literary foundations, churches, etc.

  • Celebrate (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:17AM (#9364442)
    Celebrate by Donating to Gentoo []
  • by Realistic_Dragon ( 655151 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:19AM (#9364455) Homepage
    Then how do they square the fact that it's used by Linus, Robbins, Stalman and all those other agents of God eh?

    Will the government remove their not for prophet status if they discover how deep the OSS religion goes?
    • Will the government remove their not for prophet status if they discover how deep the OSS religion goes?

      Maybe, but then they will get a tax exempt status for being a religion, and maybe even qualify for funding under the "faith based initiative".

    • They're not prophets, they're charlatan messangers of the great evil satan himself. They're non-prophets and linux is the alatar they constructed for worship at by the followers of their demon cult, the Free Software Foundation.

      Gentoo is a just a little spawnlet.

      Okay okay, I'm done. Don't throw the tomatoes too hard.
  • This isn't really a story, since as the summary states, they still have 6 months. This shouldn't have been run until then! What if something comes up in the mean time?
  • by JaF893 ( 745419 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:24AM (#9364484) Journal
    As far as Linux and Gentoo are concerned this can only be a good thing and it is certainly a very positive step. For those interested in finding out a bit more about what this actually means here are a couple of Wikipedia links:
    Non Profit Corporations []
    Non Profit Organizations []
  • So what niche is Gentoo aimed at? Mandrake is for n00bs, Redhat's for suits, Slack is for people who have an unhealthy obsession with config files.

    I've been looking for a new distro lately. Where does Gentoo fall in this list?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Gentoo is and always has been for the power user with real computers.
      It offers a lot in the way of flexibility unlike the binary only distributions, but it's not for the impatient or new linux users.
      Being that Gentoo is sourced based and community driven you will find pieces of it that come from every other major distribution which is pretty darn cool when you think about it. One of the first things that attracted me was the ability to make changes to it and get a system built that matched my needs and bein
    • by irexe ( 567524 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:49AM (#9364683)
      Gentoo is for people that want the ease of use of Debian's apt-get with the benefits of source compilation (optimization for your specific machine, smooth integration with source compiled packages) and support for The Latest Stuff.

      Gentoo is as easy to maintain as Debian, but it is generally more geared towards people that want the latest stuff on their desktops (whereas Deb is not very desktop-friendly). In comparison to the desktop distro crop (Redhat, Suse, Mandrake, etc.), Gentoo stands out favorably (IMHO) in that it is much more accessible and maintainable from the command line. This may scare noobs, but tweaking the ol' config file is a lot more deterministic and promising than dealing with dialogs like 'there was a problem with your network device' and with custom vendor kernel weirdness.

      So, to sum it up: Gentoo combines the best of both worlds: it is a very hard-core, clean, unixy distro with a very refreshing attitude towards desktop usage. IMHO, the only thing that beats Gentoo on your desktop will be OS X!
      • Debian unstable or testing cover that. I don't know how those optimizations were done in the tests, but all the benchmarks I've seen so far Debian is the winner.

        I'm a Debian/Slack/freeBSD user who will give Gentoo a shot sometime soon. One think I'd love to do is establishing some kind of standarized benchmarks. Uptime is not everything for the desktop.
      • IMHO, the only thing that beats Gentoo on your desktop will be OS X!

        In my data center we are actually using both. I also use Gentoo at home. Though I think I'm one more KDE problem away from the main box being reformatted to XP by my wife.

        I many care about having the latest version of KDE. She just has this unnatural obsession with DVD's playing back every time she sits the baby in front of the tube, complete with sound and not looking like ass.

        For the record I am usually able to accomplish this. Ther

      • I have both (Score:3, Informative)

        by kardar ( 636122 )
        I use both Debian testing (Sarge) and Gentoo 2004.0, just recently installed (two different machines)

        It's frustrating, because I have to choose one or the other; I like them both so much.

        The thing I like about Gentoo is that it is much easier (some folks actually recommend) to keep current "piecemeal", which would be better for dialup. You can update one package at a time, or, more precisely, one package and its dependencies at a time.

        Debian is sort of easiest (in my experience) to upgrade all at once,
    • I like gentoo because it's easy to install (can use any boot media that
      supports chroot, including another partition), gives me a clean base system
      without anything I didn't ask for, makes installing and updating software a
      breeze, and has a community that is active and friendly.

      Basically, I like it for all the reasons I like BSD.
    • by Bombcar ( 16057 )
      Gentoo provides a very important thing to the Linux community.

      They basically make it very easy to beta-test new software, which results in improvements for everyone.

      In fact, I'd say it is almost because of Gentoo that so many compiler warnings have been fixed in source code packages all over the world.

      And it also helps verify that software is truly cross-platform.
    • Gentoo is what it is. I like it, I use it. It works for me. I like how easy updating it and installing new software is. Other people like it for other reasons, or just to (think they are) cool.

      The niche finds the distribution, rather then the other way around. Linux is really awesome like that, you can use it for whatever you want to use it for.

      You can put Mandrake on all your servers and Redhat on all your workstations if you want to. You can put Gentoo on the firewalls and SuSE on the mail serv
    • #slackware on efnet 4-22-04 12:57 am EST -5.00
      <mfbian_> how will you compare slackware and freebsd
      <Cheethoe> apples and oranges
      <mfbian_> fair enough
      <`justin`> slackware = for people that have been molested freebsd = people that want to molest their mothers
      <`justin`> openbsd = for people that probably wont ever get molested
      <`justin`> netbsd = molesting of all minorities, and cock asians
      <mfbian_> how about gentoo
      <`justin`> I dont know ask khai
      --> big
  • yay for gentoo (Score:3, Informative)

    by vmircea ( 730382 ) <{ude.tsshjt} {ta} {aecrimv}> on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:26AM (#9364494) Homepage
    I personally love Gentoo, hopefully now that they won't have to pay taxes and get other benefits they will be able to give the Gentoo users a little bit more, although they've been doing a great job so far. And for people who don't know what Gentoo is, since it's pretty popular but not everyone knows about it. It is a Linux OS that compiles most packages (except for open office, unless you're crazy, like me). Take a look at it here [].
  • by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:26AM (#9364498)
    Why the rush and excitement over being able to say that you make no money? How about charging people for Gentoo, making a profit on it, and creating wealth, instead of a non-quantifiable warm & fuzzy feeling? I'm sure this will instantly be modded Troll, Flamebait, or Heresy, but I don't understand the pride people have in being able to declare that they make no money.
    • Working for a non-profit, its all about donors. Many benevolent organization (Pew, Carnegie, etc) really prefer to give to an official non-profit (assuming it's not mandated in their charters.)

      NFP status also makes Gentoo eligable for numerous government research and education grants. That's money with not strings attached, save to do the work as stated. No corporate tie-ins, no funding pulled because you are competing with their product. Of course there are political issues that are difficult to negotiat

    • because now, Gentoo is creating wealth instead of merely redistributing wealth.
    • by zanderredux ( 564003 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:37AM (#9364591)
      Gosh, I had mod points but I'm giving them up so I can reply....

      Basically, being a NFP will relieve much of the money-making pressure on Gentoo, so they can fulfill their Social Contract [], without having to compromise it so they can mmet some aribitrary profit targets imposed by shareholders and so.

      NFP also is a testimony to their commitment on giving back to the community instead of giving to some high-profile exec or a limited bunch of anonymous shareholders.

      In principle, it's a good thing, but let's see how they can get a cash flow going (not necessarily profit, but they should have at least the means to keep paying their bills on time).

      • Basically, being a NFP will relieve much of the money-making pressure on Gentoo, so they can fulfill their Social Contract, without having to compromise it so they can mmet some aribitrary profit targets imposed by shareholders and so.

        There's no law saying it has to be a corporation. If you don't have shareholders, you don't have to compromise. In fact, incorporation itself is compromise!
    • How about those of us that get a "warm & fuzzy feeling" about just being part of a global community ?

      A question I always put to capitalist people is "What do you deem to be *ENOUGH* money?" to which I can never seem to get an answer.

      I fail to understand the mechanics of using money to just make more money. Surely there is a point when you have enough money (say, to buy that new Learjet or something) in which case there is some goal to aim for.

      This is why I never understand the pro-Microsoft people

      • by AMystery ( 725537 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:49AM (#9364679) Homepage Journal
        Short answer: When I have it all.

        Capitalists are not about making money, they are about destroying it. A capitalist wants to concentrate all of the wealth in one person.

        I'm not necessarily a capitalist but I do have those impulses and I can tell you that given free reign, that is where they would lead.
        • A capitalist wants to concentrate all of the wealth in one person.

          But this begs the one question that not one capitalist will dare to consider: Then what?

          Once all the wealth is concentrated in one person (not that this would ever be possible), what happens next? Does the world stop with a victory celebration for the winner? Does Jesus/Allah/Vishnu/Buddha drop by for a congratulatory hug and a champagne shower? Do the people without the wealth cease to exist?

          Seriously. What happens next? What is t

        • Not true. Capitalism is not about destroying wealth. Capitalism is about the creation of wealth.

          As a simple example:

          there are many nations who have abundant natural resources, yet are financially poor.

          Natural resources have a value; ie they have a price at which people are willing to pay, barter, or distribute. Now, if one was to take that resource and add human labor to create a product (fashioning a tool out of iron ore), that product has a value which is greater than the resource itself. (A hammer is
      • If you have enough to buy anything you want without having to extend credit, then that is enough money. Microsoft will never have to worry about running out of money since they have that $60 billion in the bank, so they can pour money into holes until it fills up and starts a profit (ie Xbox)

        To a true capitalist, there is never enough money, and I'm fine with that.
      • *ENOUGH* money (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @09:08AM (#9364848) Homepage Journal
        Another one giving up mod to reply...

        The real problem is a hijacking of the concept of 'money'. 'Money' was originally meant to be a means of extended barter. You need a chicken, I need work done on my house, but I have spare corn instead of a chicken. We could find a third party that needs corn, and has a chicken. Or we could come up with 'money' that lets us extend our barter system into a marketplace, and allows all goods to become more liquid.

        Unfortunately, for some people money has turned into a measure of self-esteem. They're not even collecting castles, or jet planes, or home theaters, or any sort of goods, any more. They measure their success by incrementing digits.

        Also unfortunately, as much as we'd like to think of the economy as an expanding pie that has room for everyone to get as much as they want without depriving others, it just isn't. Though there is some expansion, the finite size of the pie is painfully apparent to many. In order for the more successful to tick their digits upward, they end up taking away from others. In other terms, this can be called 'downsizing', 'offshoring', 'making benefits competitive', and the like.

        Why this use of money is bad is that it's so easy to tick digits upward. Had these people been accumulating toys and property, it would be more obviously outrageous.

        The nifty thing about a gift economy is that it lets you measure your self-esteem through contribution. But it does need to piggyback on top of a money economy, because goods in the real world aren't free, and we all need to eat and get out of the rain.

        Finding the balance between gift and money economies, and getting Joe 6pak to buy into that balance, is the task for TruenGenius.
      • How about those of us that get a "warm & fuzzy feeling" about just being part of a global community ?

        You don't have to be a non-profit corporation in order to be a part of the community. Linux (you know, that kernel thing) is very much a part of the community, yet it is unincorporated. It is not a businesses. It's just this one guy living in Santa Clara that's doing it!

        Granted, since Gentoo doesn't have "just one guy" behind it, it does need an organizational structure. But that structure doesn't hav
    • by klieber ( 124032 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:48AM (#9364674) Homepage
      How about charging people for Gentoo, making a profit on it, and creating wealth, instead of a non-quantifiable warm & fuzzy feeling?

      Our software is GPL'd. You're welcome to pursue this. We chose a different path.
    • by The Ape With No Name ( 213531 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @09:25AM (#9364992) Homepage
      They just can't pay a return on the money they make. They can disburse it charitably, reinvest it, etc. There is such a tough regimen of oversight in the American non/not-for profit. If only Enron and those evil fucks had to live by a 503's rules.

      I used to run a non-profit environmental journal. We made money on occasion and when we had excess we had this nifty idea called: giving it to the poor. Problem is: that makes you a hell-bound commie in Merika.
    • IMO I think the traditional "for profit" software business model just doesn't work for GNU/Linux distros. What I'd like to see is Gentoo move into the "pay for phone support" business. Got a question you need answered now? Pay us $75USD and we'll help. Questions and answers can be read on a website so everyone benefits. There's profit in it while bring cash in to support an excellent distro. It's possible that $75 could be written off as a donation (kinda like "underwriting" on public radio/tv).

      I'm person

      • IMO I think the traditional "for profit" software business model just doesn't work for GNU/Linux distros.

        That's a rather sweeping statement. Time will tell. So far Red Hat's doing pretty well at it. Moreover, there's more to the Linux distro business than just selling shrinkwrap vs. support. IBM, Novell and Sun, for example, are using their distros as loss-leaders (or break-even leaders, whatever) to drive sales of stuff like hardware, server software, and consulting.

        What I'd like to see is Gentoo
        • That's a rather sweeping statement. Time will tell. So far Red Hat's doing pretty well at it.

          Yes they are. They were doing better though when they had RH Linux (for free) and you could buy yearly subscriptions for $80. I personally bought one for myself and two for work. I know I could've bought one and juggled it around but RH is pretty cool and I didn't feel right about being that cheap with them.

          Moreover, there's more to the Linux distro business than just selling shrinkwrap vs. support.

          I'm cur

    • Orthogonally, some non/nots are more efficient []
  • by JTunny ( 653851 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:31AM (#9364548) Homepage
    <Insert passe Gentoo related compile time joke here>

    Making these jokes is getting to be worse than the zealots who made the ill-advised compiler flag comments in the first place.

    Gentoo is an impressive distribution, although admittedly it has its faults (find me a distribution that doesn't). I'm glad I got to experiment with it before it became fashionable to make derogatory jokes about it. Tthere's a fair chance all the +5 funny/insightful diminishing comments might have deterred me.
    • I too have been playing with Gentoo since before Gentoo was cool. Well, popular. Ok, a cliche.

      What I enjoy most is what most newbies bitch about. The minimalist installer. I just used the LiveCD to backup and restore a clients Win2K laptop last night. On that disk is a respectable arsenol to tools in the hands of a skilled wizard.

      Portage, for it's warts, does the job. And where it doesn't it's simple enough to hack. I run my own offshoot for our in-house servers with a few custom ebuilds.

    • by pandrijeczko ( 588093 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:44AM (#9364639)
      Been through Mandrake, Red Hat, SuSE & Slackware and I'm now at Gentoo and sticking with it.

      The idiots that moan about compile times don't understand the timesavings of just doing an "emerge" occasionally to update the system after it's built. Sure, it's not foolproof but then what OS is?

      Gentoo has a cool attitude - to just make a damn good product and not give a damn about how much money they can make from it.

    • Gentoo is my distro of choice, not because of the excellent installation information (any documentation that can take you through installing from scratch and make you think that was easy afterwards is quite and achievement.) nor because of the funky build optimizations or the security patches like propolice. It's the ability to try out new and cutting edge software without the ridiculous dependency chasing that used to be the case when I used a more conventional distro.
      All in all despite the odd hiccup, g
      • Frankly the gentoo "installer" is not so different from actual installers. There is very little that you have to do that is normally done by the installer without intervention. Some of the tasks are more difficult, like partitioning and installing grub, but the documentation makes it pretty easy anyway. All the stuff that makes linuxforscratch such a pain in the ass, namely downloading a bunch of packages which might not even exist on the sites any more (gnu ftp mirrors seem to have a lot of "issues" lately
    • Off topic, but the website "Gentoo is for Ricers" ( was passed around the debian-user list and the Gentoo Forums. It covers just about all the anti-Gentoo jokes.
  • by barcodez ( 580516 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:45AM (#9364643)
    Good on you Gentoo team - I wish you every success.

    I might even put my money where my mouth is onces it's tax deductable.

    Any plans to do the same in Europe?
  • by LittleKing ( 688048 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:46AM (#9364657) Homepage

    I think there are several people that do not understand what a Not for Profit company really means. Not for Profit doesn't mean they do not make money it only means that they cannot have 'extra cash' on hand at the end of their fiscal year. They can still have money in savings because you can budget money into saving. Also at times, working for a NFP company can be a benifit since they can't have 'extra cash' then they sometimes pay really well.

    Take Blue Cross Blue Shield (an American insurance company), they are actually a NFP organization. Most people don't realize this but it is true.

  • I've worked at a lot of non-profit startups.

    Gentoo is a lot more sophisticated than most of my former employers, though.

    They didn't get non-profitable status legally established until the bankruptcy hearings.

  • I mean, with all the latest press saying that "Linux is a Religion, not an OS", you'd think that they'd get non-profit status as a church or something.
    • And Linus turned to his disciples and said, "Take this, the source of the Linux Kernel. It was written for you and for all people. Take and compile."

      When it was finished compiling he drew out a patch, dissolved it in guiness and said "This is the blood of the project. It was shed for the corrections of all bugs. Take and drink."

  • Gentoo icon? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chuck Bucket ( 142633 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @09:13AM (#9364897) Homepage Journal
    Can Slashdot finally get a Gentoo icon now? One of these days you really think it should...

    (insert joke that the Gentoo icon is still compiling here...)

  • by xutopia ( 469129 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @09:22AM (#9364972) Homepage
    Would this mean that Gentoo could take over the world like Visa did?
  • This needs to change (Score:4, Informative)

    by Progman3K ( 515744 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @09:48AM (#9365236)
    We live in a climate and culture where a young man like Bill Gates can become unimaginably rich by first buying someone else's work and fobbing it off on the public, but where people of vision like Daniel Robbins nearly loses everything he has trying to bring to the public a product that will benefit everyone.

    Donate to Gentoo, I did, and even if I gave them $100 a year, it'd STILL be a much better deal than if I was able to get Windows for free, forever.
    • We live in a climate and culture where...

      ... er, yes, that's right. We live in a climate and culture where someone selling a product stands a better chance of earning money than someone who gives something away for free. I imagine that a similar climate and culture has been present throughout most of the history of Taker mankind. Don't get me wrong, I haven't used Windows at home for years, and I've always been a Linux advocate (well, since I found out about Linux anyway), but there's just nothing sur

      • >We live in a climate and culture where someone selling a product stands a better chance of earning money than someone who gives something away for free. I imagine that a similar climate and culture has been present throughout most of the history of Taker mankind.

        Yes. You're correct, but I wonder if we aren't harming ourselves by acting like this:

        When you take money and apply it exclusively to commercialization, without using any for research, then you usually get poor innovation and stagnation.

        When y
  • Not-for-profit, eh? Underpants throughout the land breath a sigh of relief!

  • Non-profit [] as in reaally non profit? Or non-profit as in United Wayyyyy [] non-profit?
    • The store goes to help Daniel Robbins pay off his personal debt (~$20k) that he's in due to his investments in Gentoo over the years.

Air is water with holes in it.