Subject: Needed: Sys Admin/Release Builder for the FSF Distribution Office
organization: Project GNU, Free Software Foundation,
[Please forward to anyone you think would be interested.]
The FSF is a non-profit organization which writes freely
redistributable software. Specifically, it is putting together GNU, a
complete operating system that will be upwardly-compatible with UNIX.
Most of that system is finished and we are already distributing it.
Our C compiler, GCC, is one of the best in the world; several
proprietary vendors have even replaced their own compilers with GCC as
their standard. Another widely known program of ours is GNU Emacs, an
extensible editor and "computer support environment" which is also
bundled with many operating systems.
The GNU Project consists about a dozen paid staff at the FSF and
hundreds of volunteers around the world.
We, at the FSF, are seeking a System Administrator/Release Builder
for the FSF Distribution Office. The ideal person for the job should
be someone dedicated to the cause. The salary is about $ 2500/month.
There are no health or retirement benefits and no pay for overtime.
There is some flexibilty in the hours that you work.
This person would work at the FSF Distribution Office, at 59 Temple
Place in downtown Boston.
The job would be full time for 3 to 4 months, and either full or
part-time after that.
The tasks include:
* Assist the staff of the FSF Distribution Office by supporting their
computing environment, and helping them perform their mission of:
shipping GNU software and manuals; and
spreading the word about free software, the FSF and the GNU Project.
* Implement and maintain an on-line order processing system (probably
in GNU Emacs Lisp) that will be GPLed.
* Routine system administration
Maintain a heterogenous network of about a half-dozen workstations
HP9000 series 300 (BSD and HP-UX)
Sun 3/60 (SunOS 4.1.1)
i386 (Mach, SVR3, soon Linux and the GNU Hurd)
Make the machines in our business office email-capable via UUCP or
Set up software that would update files nightly from the FSF
Programming Office to the Distribution Office via UUCP or SLIP.
Coordinate with service contractors for any necessary repairs on
Install new hardware when purchased or donated, which may include
crimping and laying cable through the building.
Install terminals, printers, disks etc. as needed.
Build and install software needed by the staff, and modify hardware
configurations (disks, memory, monitor placement, etc) to help the
staff do their work.
Coordinate volunteers, and make accounts for new volunteers and
Maintain backups and the backup software (which we also
* Compiling the entire set of GNU software to date on arbitrary platforms
for our "deluxe distribution" package.
* Distribution preparation and maintenance
Assist the System Administrator at the FSF Programming Office:
in making distribution tape masters.
mastering several CD-ROM distributions, which includes
organizing media layout, maintaining installation documentation
and software, typesetting CD-ROM booklets and covers,
coordinating with the manufacturing plants, etc.
* Maintain any in-house software used for system administration, CDROM
installation programs, distribution updates, file shadowing at the
business office, etc. in coordination with the System Administrator
at the FSF Programming Office.
* Help to produce a bulletin twice a year describing the current
status of the GNU Project.
* Help with e-mail inquiries to the GNU Project and with coordinating
Some knowledge of C, shell script (including awk, perl, sed, etc.),
make, TeX & texinfo, and Postscript are needed to be able to work
efficiently. Knowlege of GNU Emacs and Emacs Lisp would be helpful
but not necessary. It would also be useful to know about the DNS,
sendmail and/or smail, UUCP, and RCS.
Although writing free software is all that the FSF officially engages
in, the president/founder (Richard Stallman) and most of the staff
also share many of the same beliefs about computer security, freedom
of information and access, tolerance of different opinions &
lifestyle, etc. No one is required or even expected to agree with
anyone else here (that would be illegal even if we wanted to base
employment upon such considerations), but if liberal or otherwise
unconventional attitudes generally disturb you, you may not be happy
working here. I mention this because the GNU Project has much more of
a "community effort" feel than a "business" feel. Indeed, most of the
contributors to the GNU Project are simply volunteers who communicate
with us over the Internet.
If interested please send your resume to: