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The end of the road

Over the last several months we at LWN have looked at numerous ways of funding this operation. It takes people to write LWN, and it takes a lot of their time; it is not something that is easily handled on "off hours." Those people really would like to be paid for their time, and that is something which has not happened here for quite a while. Various approaches to bringing in money have been tried; the most successful of all was simply asking LWN readers for donations to keep the operation going. But we have not succeeded in raising even a fraction of the required funds.

Other options (such as subscriptions) have been considered in depth, but there is little promise (and much aggravation) to be found in that direction.

So the time has come to face the reality of the situation: what LWN is offering is not what the market is willing to pay for at this time. It's time to find something else to do.

The end result is that next week's LWN Weekly Edition (August 1) will be the last. This has not been an easy decision to make, to say the least. But, barring some sort of last minute miracle (do contact us if you have one, please!), we do not see any alternative.

We'll have more information next week on things like content tarballs and releasing the site source. Some parts of LWN may yet go on in a different form as well. But this particular journey is coming to an end. It has been a great ride.

(Log in to post comments)

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 2:06 UTC (Thu) by cyanide (guest, #2236) [Link]

Well I don't know about "the market", but you've certainly given me something invaluable over the past few years. This e-rag has been one of the best reads on the net since its inception. I'd just like to say thanks to all the hard working folks LWN, and especially Liz Coolbaugh, who did such a good job in the early years of the paper.

We're losing a lot more than a good technical news source, but also a great window on the world of technology and its role in making us a freer society.

I hope you can continue your vigil in otherways, and I hope you all find a better way of making a buck!

Travel well,

Oliver White

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 2:23 UTC (Thu) by dmallery (subscriber, #635) [Link]

I am really sorry.

I have read you weekly since the beginning.

Ave atque Vale!

dave mallery

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 3:08 UTC (Thu) by lonely_bear (subscriber, #2726) [Link]

So sorry to hear the news. :( I read LWN almost from the first issue. I would like to help for it to survived.

I am not rich, can only donate 100 bucks. And I know the readers are willing to pay! They just don't know how much is your finacial trouble. It would be nice to give more information on the donation page. Like list out how much is your operation cost, and how much has been received and spent. The current donation page is too cold.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 4:49 UTC (Thu) by cypherpunks (guest, #1288) [Link]

I'm really sorry to hear this. LWN was one of the definitive Linux news sites. When things got weird at Linux Today, LWN was always steady. Even Microsoft has referred to LWN as a definitive Linux news site in the past. This is a sad day.


Posted Jul 25, 2002 5:53 UTC (Thu) by cpeterso (guest, #305) [Link]

For the past few years, LWN has been my favorite Linux news site. The content is short, sweet, well-researched, and intelligent (unlike some other Linux sites). I will definitely miss LWN.. <:~-(

If this is truly the end and we are waiting for a miracle, why not discuss the financial realities of such a miracle? How much does it cost to run LWN? How much "real" money for ISP/hardware/etc costs? How much time per week is invested by how many people? How many regular readers do you have each week? How can we keep LWN afloat? Even if we don't find that miracle, I think this data (and the personal stories behind LWN!) would be interesting and useful for other people who might want to try their own hand at a news site.

So long and thanks for all the fish!

Sorry to see you go.

Posted Jul 25, 2002 6:51 UTC (Thu) by addw (guest, #1771) [Link]

Yes, do say how much money is needed, and please break it down into at least staff and web hostings costs - someone may be able to help with part of it.

Many thanks for what you have done over the years - I have read the weekly edition religiously.

Sorry to see you go.

Posted Jul 25, 2002 8:41 UTC (Thu) by pflykt (subscriber, #2757) [Link]

Yes, definitely put up the amount of money you are still missing - and update it when we readers donate some.

Thanks for lwn, it has been an extremely useful source of information.

Real action (Was: Nooooooo!!)

Posted Jul 25, 2002 10:03 UTC (Thu) by leandro (guest, #1460) [Link]

If this is truly the end and we are waiting for a miracle, why not discuss the financial realities of such a miracle?

Not only that, what can be trimmed? It’s hard to achieve the right balance among popularity, conciseness and completeness, but I particularly don't care about proprietary software news, about anything other than News, Resource and Events at the Security section, and anything but Recommended Reading in the Linux in the News section. And I don't care about comments: for me Letters to the Editor were just nice – I could live with comments or letters, but both are just a waste.

I already said this at Slashdot: it's a pity that so much in the Web must grow until it's not viable anymore. Perhaps we'd have better stuff if Web news ventures like LWN would start small, find its financial ground, and only then grow. Perhaps a return to the roots would do the trick. For example, the format of the oldest edition available at the archives, January 29th, 1.998, perhaps is enough for most people and much cheaper to run.

BTW one can go further back even more with the Archive, way back to January 15th, 1.998 – and that looks even simpler and cheaper.

Real action

Posted Jul 25, 2002 20:26 UTC (Thu) by other-iain (guest, #2810) [Link]

I've read LWN for about 4 years. My guess is that a reasonable subscription
price would have been $30 a year. That's $120. I gave $20 earlier, so that
leaves $100 unpaid.

I've just put that $100 in through PayPal. Consider this payment for
services rendered. I'm sorry to see you go, but I understand why...

Three people need about $300K a year to keep going full time. I'm sure
LWN was a full-time venture for you all. $300K a year is 10,000
subscriptions, and I note that your contributions page shows 546
contributors, just 5% of the way to breakeven.

My employer is now considering contributing something as well, since I serve
as our primary means of surveying the Linux scene, and LWN is one of my
better sources. The information of most use to my employer is the
security page.

Personally, I find the front page and the kernel page to be the only
things I read for myself, and the security page as part of my job. The
rest I have no interest in. If, by trimming the rest of the 'zine you
could get your expenses down to $100K a year, that would be great, but
I suspect you couldn't keep up your editorial excellence going part-time.

Good luck in your post-LWN ventures. Let us know who you're writing for
next so we can tune in. Like stock brokers, you have a long list of
clients that you bring with you to your next job. Remind your next
employer of that when negotiating your salaries.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 6:43 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser416 ((unknown), #416) [Link]

This is really quite a shock. I don't remember exactly how long I've been reading LWN, but it must have been nearly from the begining. I've been visiting this site daily for years, and it's something of a home page for me. I learned about other sites, like Slashdot and OSNews from here.

All good things must come to an end, I suppose. As popular as this site is, I'm surprised some Linux oriented corp. hasn't stepped up to the plate and offered a sponsorship.

You'll be missed.

Best of luck with all your future endevors, and thanks for all the great years.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 6:43 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser2743 ((unknown), #2743) [Link]

Since 1998 I have looked forward to thursday morning each week when I read your new weekly edition. I will miss you,and hope for a solution in some way.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 7:23 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser1523 ((unknown), #1523) [Link]

me too.
'nuff said.

The end of one road, the beginning of another.

Posted Jul 25, 2002 6:50 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser2744 ((unknown), #2744) [Link]

Many thanks from someone who very much enjoyed your site. As a few others have done, I've donated some money just to say "Thank you very much for a job well done".

Kinda the NPR of linux news...

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 7:48 UTC (Thu) by ccezar (subscriber, #2749) [Link]

Huh, a little shock to me :(
Folks, how much money do you need? Hostings costs, staff costs,
operating costs?
I'm with you since begining and I hope I will read LWN per next few
years ;)

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 11:10 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser2766 ((unknown), #2766) [Link]

I have some suggestions.

1.. Do not close down if you can help it.
Let us know what you need to keep running in some capacity.
We may be able to come up with some ideas to help

2.. Reduce your capacity somewhat but keep a presence.

3.. Solicit the help of LUGS worldwide for fund raising,
try to get some kind of subscription from them.

4.. All Linux Companies big and small will lose something if you close.
I hope they realize this and can think of ways to help.
If you can reverse this decision as a result of some forward thinking
marketing by some "Linux Companies" then this would turn this big
negative event into something more positive.

Excellent signal to noise ratio

Posted Jul 25, 2002 12:38 UTC (Thu) by jdesbonnet (guest, #2771) [Link]

I've been reading LWN since it was launched. This site
has been consistently excellent. Never late. No waffle. Good
analysis. I only hope that someone in the industry can work
that miracle you are looking for. Perhaps even billg needs a
good weekly report on how his arch rival OS is performing :-)

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 14:32 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser2784 ((unknown), #2784) [Link]

This is truly a sad day.

The internet advertising model is a broken one, and I'm afraid that if real news can't be obtained through the web, or in magazines, we're truly looking at dark times.

Many journalists are out of work (myself, I moved back to the development community about a year ago) and there seems to be no hope on the horizon. Somethings gotta give, folks. We have to find some way to fund the things we love, or they're going to go away.

I'd like to thank Jon Corbet (& crew) for the years of fine service this site provided. The Linux device drivers book is a good read too. Someday there will be some kind of advertising or other breakthrough, and hopefully people who are passionate about the news will be able to make a living at it.

Until then.


The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 15:47 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser2792 ((unknown), #2792) [Link]

Like NPR and PBS have annual fund rasing drives, can LWN have similar drive on its website. Somewhere on its home page, (or anywhere but clearly visible), there can be a target amount, total amount collected so far and time remaining. That should be enough to help many well wishers of this site to pick up their checkbooks and contribute.

I seldom visit this site but am eager to contribute my mite if that will help this stay afloat.

-- sudhir

The end of the road

Posted Jul 26, 2002 3:50 UTC (Fri) by grytpype (guest, #2826) [Link]

Thanks, you were a regular stop for me on the Web. Sorry things didn't work out.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 26, 2002 3:54 UTC (Fri) by grytpype (guest, #2826) [Link]

I just tossed in $50. You can use your credit card, you don't need to use paypal. Click on the Donate link in the headframe.

Thanks for LWN. Stay open in reduced form?

Posted Jul 26, 2002 11:25 UTC (Fri) by dwheeler (guest, #1216) [Link]

First, I want to thank LWN from the bottom of my heart for your many years of excellent reporting. Your quality is unmatched, and your site is one of the first places I visit every day. I will be very sorry to see you go.

I'd love to see you continue in some reduced format. For example, a once-a-week editorial with some pointers to "key events". For a long time LWN existed without any funding; I think it could again, or at least with the reduced funding already offered by others. Even in those times, LWN was very good.

If you truly can't continue, I hope that you'll make sure that your material will be available to others in perpetuity. LWN has produced many incredibly valuable resources (such as the timelines) and its articles have been first-rate. I would hate for history to lose them.

If it is goodbye, thanks for all the fish!

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 3:48 UTC (Thu) by radeex (guest, #765) [Link]

I'll post a "Me Too" -- I haven't read LWN since the beginning like a lot of people have, but in the time I have been reading, the quality of this publication has been obvious. I _really_ hate to see it go.

I'd like information about the editors: do any of you have other jobs in the news industry? I'd like to check out any other publications you're involved in. At a quick glance I see no "About the editors" page anywhere.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 3:56 UTC (Thu) by dimi (subscriber, #2732) [Link]

And another "Me Too" -- this is the site that I *love*. For me, it is the best one out there on the net. I am moved to tears that it's comming to an end.

I just want to say THANK YOU for your enourmous and wonderful work!


The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 4:03 UTC (Thu) by Strike (guest, #861) [Link]

This is very very sad news, indeed. This was my favorite Linux news site by far - all of the wonderful updates without the crap stories you'd find on other sites (and what seemed to be the beginnings of an intelligent community of commenters as well). It is indeed the loss of every reader.

Just registered to say thank you...

Posted Jul 25, 2002 4:23 UTC (Thu) by ksoonson (subscriber, #2730) [Link]

Hello Lwn staffs:
I just registered to this site only to say thank you.
I have known this site since the beginning and read almost every articles posted here except those daily updates. (that was too much. :-))

So sorry/shocked that lwn is closing down. Even I, who visited here at least once a week for over 4 years, did not even post a message, donated anything, just read what you provided. That really makes me feel sorry.

To me, Lwn was the *best* source (better than /.) to quickly overview what is going on the linux development community & what is the main issue in the free software world.

Your editorials were to the point and always loyal to the ideal of free software, your summary of current development issues (especially the kernel section) really helped to broaden my knowledge.

Thank you for your great effort for long time again and hope everything is fine.

Good bye...

Just registered to say thank you...

Posted Jul 25, 2002 9:14 UTC (Thu) by nickt (guest, #2759) [Link]

I've just regisetered for the same reason, and given a donation. I've read the weekly edition for years.

LWN is an invaluable source of advice and guidance. This is the site that I always recommend Linux newbies read in order to get in touch with what the Open Source movement is all about.

The coverage of world-wide changing government attitudes to open source, and the commentary on the numerous legislative issues arising over the years is always intelligent and focuses on the really important principles.

I really hope a way of continuing this great service to the global community can be worked out.

Nick Talbott (Wales, UK)

Just registered to say thank you...

Posted Jul 26, 2002 0:46 UTC (Fri) by DeletedUser2821 ((unknown), #2821) [Link]

I did the same, registered to donate, and to say thanks for the great work
over the years.

If these extra donations do not make enuf of a difference I smile thinking
of you having a beer on me.

Good luck!



Posted Jul 25, 2002 4:28 UTC (Thu) by msphil (guest, #1378) [Link]

Sucks. I have enjoyed the run, I wish I had a miracle to offer. Best of luck to everyone in future ventures, you will be missed.

yet another well deserved thankyou

Posted Jul 25, 2002 4:47 UTC (Thu) by guybar (guest, #798) [Link]

thanks and praises are due, and are again given to the LWN crew.

in an internet filled with soot, your site stood up like a diamond:
a non-paying site, but with professional attitudes, keen analysis
and an ability to choose the important issues.

I'm sure this came at a personal price to each of you, and that
price is highly appreciated, here at the receiving end.

good luck to you all whereever you go !

i feel sad

Posted Jul 25, 2002 4:57 UTC (Thu) by mbp (guest, #2737) [Link]

I'm really sorry to hear you're closing.

LWN, particularly in the front-page leaders, reached a level of journalistic excellence rarely seen in the world at large, to say nothing of online technology magazines. It was always a pleasure to read.

I wish everybody involved with LWN all the best for the future.


a last minute miracle?

Posted Jul 25, 2002 5:05 UTC (Thu) by fiber_guy (subscriber, #2733) [Link]

"But, barring some sort of last minute miracle
(do contact us if you have one, please!), we
do not see any alternative."

Perhaps there is some tiny chance that a miracle
could happen ... last minute funding by those of
us who really value this publication. I'm reading
all these comments from people who are sad that
you're closing, and I understand that - but are
we really sad enough to change that outcome?

A previous poster offered to donate $100. I'll
pledge to match that if you can keep publishing.

How much money do we need to raise to keep you
guys going for an additional month - to delay
shutdown from August 1st until September 1st?
I believe there's a chance we can raise that.

The truth is there's simply nothing else on the
net like LWN, and I've personally learned a lot
about linux from reading here. LWN is more than
just another news site.

I'm suggesting we take this rescue effort just
one month at a time - and the month we fail to
meet LWN's minimum - that's when they'll close.

Ladies and Gentlemen ... Will you join me?

a last minute miracle?

Posted Jul 25, 2002 13:17 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser2774 ((unknown), #2774) [Link]

Please put on the site the amount of money it would take to run LWN for a month/a year, and how close donations are to achieving this.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 5:06 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser2738 ((unknown), #2738) [Link]

It is a shame that the one of the best Linux journalistic sources is going away. The quality of reporting of reporting and commentary available from Linux Weekly News has been something I've greatly appericiated.

I hope that other sites are able to bring themselves up to LWN's level to fill the void.

Thanks for the past 4 years.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 5:07 UTC (Thu) by jonabbey (guest, #2736) [Link]

Well, hell. There has been no better place to keep up with Linux than LWN
over the years. LWN has been a weekly habit of mine for a very long time now. More than that, LWN was there when I wanted the world to know about the open source software I had spent years writing. LWN was there for me, and for hundreds or thousands of other developers over the years. If there's any way that LWN could be made to work on a subscription basis or through any other way, I'd surely love to see it. I gave in March and would happily give again.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 5:30 UTC (Thu) by vblum (guest, #1151) [Link]

I see the problem of bringing in money, and am truly sorry to see LWN go. Although not a kernel developer, I did enjoy the background information very much.

I suppose there was not too much interest from the industry to keep a valuable newssite going ... truly sad.

Incidentally, I would have preferred a subscription-based model over the loss of LWN (maybe some permanent money would actually have brought back some really useful features that went earlier, like the desktop page). How many others would have joined in?

anyhow, thanks & good luck with your future endeavours!



The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 5:54 UTC (Thu) by primorec (guest, #2740) [Link]

LWN site is a lot better than LinuxToday and Slashdot combined
and multiplied by factor of ten (10).

It is really sad that you are gone.

There is nothing similar and better than LWN on the net.


Posted Jul 25, 2002 5:55 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser2741 ((unknown), #2741) [Link]

I first heard about this site's closing on slashdot but to be honest, this site had better content, which I'm sure we all know.

Why not sell/give the current content to slashdot to archive so that it can at least be on the web once this site is gone?

And, another idea, is to replace some of the....more biased and disliked slashdot writers (*cough* Jon *cough* Katz *cough*) with better counterparts from this site.

In my experience, good writers and good coders don't go away because there company does; they simply relocate.

Let's start donating, to keep it alive

Posted Jul 25, 2002 6:01 UTC (Thu) by lonely_bear (subscriber, #2726) [Link]

As in my previous post, I offered to donate $100. And I have made the donation a few hours ago. I am not sure whether this effort will keep the LWN live. Even it fails, I hope my donation show my appriations to all the stuff at LWN.

Let's start donating, to keep it alive

Posted Jul 25, 2002 6:36 UTC (Thu) by fiber_guy (subscriber, #2733) [Link]

Thanks, and I've joined you. So that's $200 total
so far. We could do this if enough people care.

Let's start donating, to keep it alive

Posted Jul 25, 2002 7:01 UTC (Thu) by jarek_luberek (guest, #23) [Link]

The $50 from me are, if not anything else, a way to say thanks for the kernel section every thursday. It's been nothing short of great reading every time and the reason to get up early every thursday.

Jon, please continue to write about the linux kernel. There is nobody else else around that combines writing skills and kernel knowledge like you.

Hope I see your writing soon somewhere one the internet.


Let's start donating, to keep it alive

Posted Jul 25, 2002 8:39 UTC (Thu) by IkeTo (subscriber, #2122) [Link]

Okay, you get it. I've followed, perhaps as a way to express "thanks so much for all these years", and also "I really want you guys to continue your good work".

Time to put your money where your mouth is, people!

Posted Jul 25, 2002 18:41 UTC (Thu) by mceesay (guest, #2806) [Link]

I've just donated and registered. I tried to donate enough to make a difference (ie > $100).

I'd like to echo some views already stated on this page.

1) Please provide a regularly updated web-based indicator of how much cash that LWN needs and how far it has gone in meeting the target.

2) Please find a way to keep going. Hopefully the news of the forthcoming demise might bring some overdue donors out of the woodwork like myself.

3) Thank you for years of sterling service, and I hope for several more years.

4) I have a hard time imagining Thursdays without LWN, and quite frankly don't wish to experience it!

And another thing

Posted Jul 25, 2002 18:45 UTC (Thu) by mceesay (guest, #2806) [Link]

Put a link to the supporters page next to the Donate link!

Let's start donating, to keep it alive

Posted Jul 25, 2002 15:34 UTC (Thu) by lance (guest, #2263) [Link]

Matched, and I agree, if it isn't enough, it's a thank-you.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 6:23 UTC (Thu) by aleXXX (subscriber, #2742) [Link]

This is very very sad news.
Every week I was looking forward to thursday to read the latest news from LWN. I read it since approx. 2 years, in this time it became my main information source about what's going on the linux/free software/IT world.
I know no other place like this, ./ has mostly prosa, so have the others.

I will miss very much.

I just had a look at the donation page, I don't have a credit card and no paypal account yet (I'm just looking into it).
Is it actually possible to make repeated payings via paypal ?
(like 5 Euro every month ?)

How about creating such a fixed-price-regular donation, I wouldn't hesitate to pay let's say 1 to 2 Euro per week for
This would take away the burden of defining the amount yourself.


The end of the road - monthly subscription

Posted Jul 25, 2002 9:28 UTC (Thu) by lacostej (guest, #2760) [Link]

I've found the LWN weekly edition the best summary of the linux related news and I've used ever since I've known of it.

As Alex, I would also have been interested in subscribing for a 5$/€ per month. This service makes me save time every week by providing these summaries. This information is useful for me on a professional side and its worth at least that.

I've not seen any poll to see how many persons would be interested in subscribing for the information. Too bad Linux software vendors cannot associate themselves to pay for the site.

Just to know, how many readers do you have per week? Or how many hits does your site generate?

The end of the road - monthly subscription

Posted Jul 25, 2002 9:39 UTC (Thu) by lacostej (guest, #2760) [Link]

I've just donated 50$. That's the first time I pay for something related to Linux, so all those who say its not possible to make a business on top of Linux can see that things can change.
I will also urge all my friends to do the same.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 6:57 UTC (Thu) by amacater (subscriber, #790) [Link]

Thanks for everything. For the last several years, I've read LWN
each morning - even before my first cup of coffee. I've used it
to harvest stuff for Linux advocacy at work and discussed the
headlines with colleagues. Possibly the best quality writing
on Linux and free software on a consistent basis - you will be
missed. I used to feel that way about the print edition of BYTE
and was mad when they closed. You will be well remembered - I
wish every good fortune to the folks who've worked so hard.

So ashamed

Posted Jul 25, 2002 7:17 UTC (Thu) by rkms (guest, #919) [Link]

I am so ashamed that it needed the announcement of the imminent demise
of to get me to make a donation.

I too have been reading LWN from its inception. I have donated $200
which I rationalise as $50 a year in overdue subscription. This is
not that far removed from the cost of National Geographic, for example,
and I spend more time reading LWN.

Should LWN cease, then be glad that so many thought so well of
your efforts. I will raise a glass and wish the best of the best
to all of you.

Should LWN continue, then I vow to pay my donation/subscription
more promptly in future...

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 7:32 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser2746 ((unknown), #2746) [Link]

Well, a while ago, I realized that the open-source community is mostly comprised of of "takers". They won't give you anything unless they absolutely have to. Going to a subscription model, trying to get money, or anything remotely like that is nearly impossible. Because of this, the community will fail as a whole, which is unfortunate.

There's really no way to market linux, as it's not really feasable to sell something that is otherwise free. This is a problem I've seen over and over again. One day, I sat down, and tried to figure out how you sell linux. Simple answer: you can't.

I don't want to be a troll, but I have to be honest. This is bound to happen to any company who is trying to specifically market to linux. I can't think of any linux companies right now that are actually making a profit. By linux companies, I mean their entire business model revolves around linux, not just a part of it.

Anyhow, peace be with you all, and I'm sorry.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 7:56 UTC (Thu) by lonely_bear (subscriber, #2726) [Link]

It is hard, but it is not impossible. As far as I know, Slackware is profitable from the start!

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 7:39 UTC (Thu) by yem (guest, #1138) [Link]

All the best to staff, past and present. Thanks for massive the effort you've put in over the years. I hope you're very proud of this site - it is unique and will be missed by many.

Friday's just won't be the same.. *sniff*.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 8:07 UTC (Thu) by minichaz (guest, #630) [Link]

I've chucked $35 into the pot (all I can right now). Sorry I didn't act sooner. :o(

LWN is an excellent site for daily news and the weekly edition is the best place to find out about GNU/Linux and other open source and free software. Thank you.

On the subject of subscriptions... I personally would be happy to pay to keep the site running. Say $35 a year? Sound reasonable?

It would be great if you could sort things out but if you can't then good luck to all of you and please let us know what you go on to do so we can continue reading your excellent journalism. This goes double for the regular author of the kernel pages whose name escapes me right now. :o)

Take care,

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 8:05 UTC (Thu) by tajyrink (subscriber, #2750) [Link]

"Me too". And I'd definitely subscribe to lwn if it was an option to keep lwn alive!

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 8:25 UTC (Thu) by alexr (guest, #2752) [Link]

If nobody steps in with cash to help LWN survive, maybe the community
can help LWN survive. However, we'll need to know hard facts about this
operation: eg. how much money is needed for hosting and how much
time is spent every week by editors. Also, what are the options? Could
the community offer free hosting/work to help LWN along? Could LWN be
partly operated by the community? Can you explain how much of your
business is covered by ads and donations and what would need to be
provided by the community?

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 8:36 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser2754 ((unknown), #2754) [Link]

They said it all. You did the right job of selecting, regrouping, ordering
the really significant news for the Linux community. I really do not know
how to help, but please, say us as much as possible on the current
situation. After all, community help is the base of the free software,
why should it not work for LWN ?

Thanks for all,


It's hopefully NOT the end of the road!

Posted Jul 25, 2002 23:36 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser2818 ((unknown), #2818) [Link]

Dear LWN editors & staff,

It would be a sad day if it was TEOTR. As many others, I have read LWN for years and enjoyed it.

I'll donate EUR 100 for the years of free service and I hope this helps you continuing doing great stuff or at least getting rewarded for past service.

If all these donations can't stop ending LWN "as it is known up to now", I would like to suggest continuing it as a grass roots, community based service. Maybe you even want to do that even with enough donations, to ensure long-term service (and BTW: having much fun ;).

At LinuxTag 2002 fair (7 weeks ago) some Linux geeks (me included) officially started LinuxWiki on our server. This german site is currently not especially news oriented, but it could be. Until now, it is more something like a knowledge base, support system, link and information collection - and it is a community communication and cooperation(!) tool.

The great thing about it is the technology it is based on: WikiWikiWeb. This technology enables you to have not only 3 "editors", no - every(!) user is a potential editor - without knowing anything about HTML or similar stuff. Because of that, the site now has about 500 pages more than 7 weeks ago, growing every day, every hour.

See also - that is MoinMoin, the great software we use.

I would also like to offer you my personal extended technical help with this technology - just contact me, if you are interested. Maybe we could even offer a server running it, but not sure at all if we could afford the traffic.

If you can't financially continue full-time working on LWN, this would help you continuing LWN with the help of hundreds of other editors and contributors, like in a big FreeSoftware project.

Hoping to hear from you soon. And again: thanks for LWN!


The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 8:35 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser2755 ((unknown), #2755) [Link]

I'm another of those "silent" readers who reads the weekly edition every Thursday. I enjoyed the highly readable digest of news from the Linux world. Thanks for your hard work.

Tom White

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 9:42 UTC (Thu) by ohanssen (subscriber, #2761) [Link]

Yet another "me too" to this. LWN has been quite unique and will be missed. Especially, the security news has been very useful helping keeping the systems secure. Thanks a lot.

Oyvind Hanssen, Oslo

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 8:42 UTC (Thu) by eru (subscriber, #2753) [Link]

This really is a disaster. Like many other who have commented
here, I have for the past years looked forward to getting the
weekly issue, and even donated a bit of cash when I heard
of the problems (the only reason I have set up a PayPal account...).
The unique things about LWN have been its clear organization, excellent
writing and "synoptic" view. I have found it to be by far the best
way to keep informed of open source developments in diverse areas.
For this reason I would be quite happy to pay for a subscription.
(This is so far the only web site about which I can honsetly say that!)
I find myself paying quite a bit for print magazines that are
actually inferior. LWN for say $50 a year would be a bargain.

But in case things don't work out: Thanks for the great
gift you have given to use all, and good luck with new projects!

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 8:43 UTC (Thu) by smulcahy (subscriber, #2758) [Link]

Just a quick note of thanks, and I finally got around to making a donation aswell, although probably too late to make a difference, I think it owed it to you folks for all of your quality work. Heres hoping for that miracle, and if not, best of luck with your futures, Thursdays mornings won't be the same without your fine, insightful writing on all things Linux and free software related.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 9:39 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser2762 ((unknown), #2762) [Link]

Very sad news.
I've been reading you since the beginning and no other printed or on-line publication has your quality. A great thank you to all the staff that has given us such a good magazine over the years. My small donation is already in the box.

I also agree with the readers that suggested to make detailed information about the costs of running LWN available on the site and with the "Abut the Editors" page. I'll definitively try to follow you guys if you keep on writing about Linux.

Good luck and thanks again.

The very sad end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 9:43 UTC (Thu) by alspnost (guest, #2763) [Link]

This is very sad. I always felt that if every other Linux site on the
web disappeared, LWN would be all I needed to keep me informed on
everything that mattered. There is no-one else out there who provides
journalism of this quality. LWN is a fantastic advocate for open source,
yet is also utterly balanced, intelligent and reliable.

I wish you all the very best - please let us know where you guys move on
to, and please keep writing. For me, the high point in a superlative
site was Jonathan's kernel page: you, sir, have a brilliant knack for
explaining hellishly complex kernel-bowel concepts in a way that normal
mortals can understand :-)

I also wish I could a find a miracle - but I don't yet have a roof over
my head and my shares bombed :-(

Hope for a miracle

Posted Jul 25, 2002 9:44 UTC (Thu) by yaneti (subscriber, #641) [Link]

This is really sad.

Thursdays have always been a better part of the week for me just because of LWN weekly edition. I'm not sure for how long I've been reading it (years) but the quality has always been a level above the rest and presented in a form and style that I cannot find anywhere else at this moment.

Sadly I am not aware of any usable way for me to donate the tiny amounts of cash that I can afford to pay. Right now that would be 1 - 2 euros a week at best.

I really hope for a miracle

All the best to everybody involved in making LWN.
You'll be missed.

Yanko Kaneti

Now that I've donated...

Posted Jul 25, 2002 10:01 UTC (Thu) by dion (guest, #2764) [Link]

I've been reading LWN every thursday for several years and I've really enjoyed it, I'm very sorry to see it go.

I've just donated 111 USD in overdue subscriptions and I have some suggestions about how to improve the donation process:

1) Where is the "Thank you"-page? I want my name up in bold letters so I can parade the page around to all my freeloading friends and guilt them into topping my donation.

2) You should definatly have a progress meter thningy somewhere, so people can tell how the donations are going, I want to know how far the current funds stretch and how much is missing in meeting the next thursday in the line.

Something like this:
Funding secured until 12:00 25/7/2002.
Need 600 USD to bring secure funding until 1/8/2002

Now that I've donated...

Posted Jul 25, 2002 10:03 UTC (Thu) by dion (guest, #2764) [Link]

If anyone can find the "thank you" page then mail me at: net@partyticket.ff (swap net and ff)

The List of People Who've Donated

Posted Jul 25, 2002 14:31 UTC (Thu) by mwr (guest, #2785) [Link]

Here it is. -- I stuck my donation in just now, and I've already shown up.

Now that I've donated...

Posted Jul 25, 2002 15:21 UTC (Thu) by anamana (guest, #2787) [Link]

I've also just put in US $100. Whether this covers current value
given over the past or helps support new content (I hope!), I am
happy to donate this to the hardworking members who have created
this great site.

If this site can continue, then I also support a financial breakdown
page with markers indicating current support.

I would also like to see a quantity of supporters (just numbers).

If this site still cannot continue - then good luck in your future

Remember, there's people in there too!

Posted Jul 25, 2002 11:35 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser2767 ((unknown), #2767) [Link]

Just posted this on Slashdot...

I'm pleased to see all the positive comments about LWN. It's also been my favorite Linux site, going back to 1998. In fact, LWN broke the news about Zope going open source, one hour after I announced it at a Python conference. We weren't ready for the exposure they provided, so we had to haul *ss to catch up. :^)

What isn't discussed here is the personal side. I think Liz, Jon, and Dennis are some of the most honorable, decent people in the world of Linux. They've all given a lot to the community, even beyond LWN.

Lots of others shoved wads of cash in their pockets when the bubble inflated. LWN held out until an offer with integrity showed up. Alas, it turned out to be a moral but non-lucrative choice.

To Liz and Jon and Dennis: kudos for being Good People. You've already created a warm legacy, something not enough people in the community can claim.

Let's at least gather some going away money!

Posted Jul 25, 2002 11:47 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser2767 ((unknown), #2767) [Link]

I like the idea from an earlier comment, where the poster (fiber_guy?) suggested a pledge challenge. He put in $100, some others put in a $100 to match it.

I'm ready to put in $100 also. But we all need to understand that this money is a going-away present. All the talk about trimming costs by removing whitespace from the pages? I'm only guessing, but that's probably not the real problem.

Liz, Jon, et al. deserve to make a living. Not many of us would do what they do for the pay they get. Unless we can get enough money to make this job at least not suck from a pay perspective, then we're just insulting them. "I'm addicted to your wonderful writing, please continue going broke so I can get my fix" ain't gonna hack it.

And unfortunately, this would be serious moola. Let's say we'd like to pay Liz and Jon each 1/2 of a livable wage. With taxes, we're probably talking $100k/year. That means we need 1,000 people to match the pledge.

I hope it happens. Still, I also hope that people will cough up some money either way, whether it is a going-away present or an attempt to keep them afloat.

I haven't put my money in yet. I'm going to wait and see if Liz and Jon want to try to buy some time from the donations, at which point I'll sign up for a recurring charge on my card (rather than a one-time payment).

Let's at least gather some going away money!

Posted Jul 25, 2002 17:36 UTC (Thu) by danl (guest, #2799) [Link]

My $100 just showed up on the donation page. It is a thank you for the indispensible work you have done over the years. I'm ready to pledge my $100 a year in hopes you can continue your work for the linux community.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 12:09 UTC (Thu) by andrewbennett (guest, #2007) [Link]

thank you for all of the good coverage. you will be missed.

Thursdays in my office weren't renamed to LWNday without good reason.


The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 12:54 UTC (Thu) by alonzo (guest, #2770) [Link]

LWN is *THE* most favorite site for me.
I've made another small donation and I hope it helps
to keep lwn going. But, if not, thanks for the great
work anyway. You'll be sorely missed.
Happy Trails.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 13:23 UTC (Thu) by a9db0 (subscriber, #2181) [Link]

I'm ashamed to admit that I too waited until it may be too late to post my donation. I've been a faithful LWN reader for the last couple of years, and I will dearly miss the content provided here.

Jon and Liz - you've done a phenominal job, and produced one of the few truly useful web sites around. You've provided good reporting, balanced commentary, and a filtered news source that has kept the signal to noise ratio just about perfect. Your deft touch will surely be missed (Liz's already is.)

I've tossed my $100 into the pot. If it helps keep LWN alive then great! If not, then I hope it helps keep the dogs at bay. If you can keep publishing then just let me know where to sign up for a recurring subscrition.

In any case, thank you for all of your hard work. We really do appreciate it, even if we don't say it often enough.


The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 13:27 UTC (Thu) by sjn (guest, #2775) [Link]

Hey... LWN is way to good to just let wither and die! Start with the subscription version of LWN, dammit! I'm more than willing to subscribe just to keep the shop running!

And to actually prove what I mean about LWN, I've donated $50. :-)

(Please Don't close down LWN... Please? :)

I refuse.

Posted Jul 25, 2002 13:32 UTC (Thu) by fdesloges (guest, #291) [Link]

No, no!
Ho, ho! No, no, no!!!

I mean, there is a misunderstanding here!

I _ABSOLUTELY_RELY_ on you for any usefull information I need.
You save me at least a full day per week in pointer gathering
and mailing list analysis, you simply cannot go.

I mean, I refuse until you've tried everything else.
I mean, the hell with the great principles, this _IS_ a crucial service,
and it just cannot die.

There as been many solutions suggested in the past and I think that with
the new site code some clever compromise solution is possible:

Create a free "Public" that is one week (or two?) late.
It would just do not publish pages that are younger than 7 or 14 days.
This is necessary for new comers to realise what a great value you
provide and for people in a desperate financial position (unemployed,
etc) to be able to follow up somewhat. Most of the stuff still carries
a value after a week or two.

Provide a subscription with one or two levels:
1$ per week: up to date security news + editorial
2$ per week: up to date everything

This is pure speculation: You know what your readers value and what
revenue you require.

Play the full open book game, kind of what Mandrake does with its Club:
Here is our cost, here is the detailed break down.
Here is a nominal subscription we recommend, considering the number of
reader we guess will want to pay.
Here is a Silver and Gold subscription that we suggest for you if you
feel rich today, and here his the impact it will have.
Here is a Corporate subscription fee (the linking of many different
user to a single corporate subscrition may be a little more tricky
to implement though).

Every 2 weeks or month, depending on how critical the situation is,
get us informed of how the finance improves (or deteriorates).

Believe me there is nothing like numbers to make a geek move:
I haven't make any donation yet cause I'm unemployed and I had no
way to _feel_ the urgency of the situation. A simple money barometer
and the break down of the numbers would have do so a long time ago.

Besides, geeks _like_ feedback (isn't it what this Community thing
is all about?). Giving money in the void is OK. Giving money and see
the barometer improves gives a warn feeling.

Please, help us to help you.


The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 13:33 UTC (Thu) by AAP (guest, #721) [Link]

This is very bad news! LWN is the first linux site I go to in the morning, especially Thursdays. I wish I had your last-minute miracle, but my own finances are not too great. Good luck, whatever happens.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 26, 2002 2:26 UTC (Fri) by subhasroy (guest, #325) [Link]

Please pay them money according your ability.
If they get enough, they will hopefully stay
in the air. If not, at least you will have
shon your appreciation in a meaningful way.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 13:47 UTC (Thu) by atsmyles (guest, #2777) [Link]

I've just added $100 dollars to the pot. I've read your publication for 2 years as a freeloader so this is the least I can do. I hope that others like me will at least donate for the years that they have read your fine publication. And for those that are still waiting, It is only your actions now that will determine whether this site will survive.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 13:52 UTC (Thu) by fm2503 (guest, #2776) [Link]

This is awful, this is the first and best Linux resource I've been using for years beyond counting. I've made a $150 donation as well and agree with the comments posted earlier about publishing how much is needed to keep going for another month. I'm sure many more will be happy to donate to keep this high quality and invaluable resource running.

Don't give up hope!

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 13:56 UTC (Thu) by marchino (guest, #1171) [Link]

My knowledge of the Open source world will not be as good as it was with your weekly news. I really hope the miracle will come.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 14:09 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser463 ((unknown), #463) [Link] is the source of information that you need for up to date information about Linux. I always recommend it to people who wants to know more about Linux, and they are always happy with the hint.

I started my own company in the Netherlands a year ago, and the economy is not that good currently, but I always say: there's always work for people who provide value for money. I will be glad to be a subscriber to, I don't like the "everything has to be free" way of living, a bottle of beer is still something you have to pay for.

I hope to read better news next thursday.

Aschwin Marsman

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 14:13 UTC (Thu) by nhasan (guest, #1699) [Link]

All I can say is I am almost in tears reading this. Nothing has matched LWN. Wake up call to donate some money.

A Sad Day!

Posted Jul 25, 2002 14:25 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser2783 ((unknown), #2783) [Link]

It is a sad day when a site such as this is required to close its doors. I run and LWN was one of our sources for Gnu/Linux community news! Whatever will we do now?

I cannot, unfortunately, offer money (as it costs money to keep my site running as well) however, I can offer a place for those that would like to continue writing about Linux.

I hope that the closing of LWN is not the beginning of a trend, lest the only thing on the net will be pr0n sites!

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 14:31 UTC (Thu) by ddw (guest, #2779) [Link]

Urgent Survival Procedure

President/CEO/Top Dog, alone or with immediately available support, should:

1) stop doing virtually everything except raising money;

2) create a 'value package' consisting of advertising, sponsorship, apple pie, future trade show space. Do not sell this as charity but as cash in exchange for something in return;

3) make a list of the most appropriate donors such as IBM, Sun, Red Hat, even Microsoft (they bailed out other competitors in the past and they could stand the favourable publicity);

4) make another list of LWN contacts ideal to put the touch on these prospective donors;

5) follow up with personal letters to all prospects identified and contacted by the 'mutual friend';

6) enlist and engage everyone else in the organization to do likewise;

7) solicit specific people at computer vendors, software developers, Linux companies, LUGS, et al about corporate memberships for a single corporate fee so that all interested members could be emailed their customized copy of LWN;

8) plan (& announce the possibility) a 'virtual trade show' demoing various products in a uniform protocol so many user prospects could simultaneously participate. I suspect that Boardwatch (in its day) and PassageMaker (presently), both print magazines, generate(d) more revenue from trade shows than the publications themselves by employing their recognition. Sell position or space there;

9) plan (& announce the possibility) a real trade show and sell position or space there; and,

10) fight the good fight to survive.

Good luck.



The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 22:21 UTC (Thu) by nan (guest, #710) [Link]

Funny you mention BoardWatch... was thinking about it. In any case, I've just paid my due subscription for the last 4 years and then a bit for the extra months ;) Yes, Thursdays are the "internet day" per excellence. In the mornings or if work not permitting, in the evenings, I give myself a treat with the weekly news. And I read it from cover to cover, just barely skipping bits and pieces I got throughout the week in the daily news feed. Yep, you can say I really enjoy it.

If LWN subscribes to the subscription model, you can count on another subscription.

If nothing else, and just in case I never did let you know before, thank you for such a fine publication.

PS. Rackspace can thank you for my business. It was through you that I learned about them.

Say it ain't so!

Posted Jul 25, 2002 14:34 UTC (Thu) by mckay (subscriber, #2782) [Link]

I've been reading LWN religiously since the first issue. LWN's news
is always relevant and up-to-date, and the commentary intelligent
and well-written. If I could only read one Linux news site each
week, it would be LWN. I've donated $100 to make up for four years
of freeloading. If it helps keep the site up, great. If not, use
it for a well-deserved vacation, or whatever else you want to treat
yourself to. I sure am gonna miss my morning LWN fix.

Thank you. Please try subscription based system as a last resort

Posted Jul 25, 2002 14:47 UTC (Thu) by fredrik (subscriber, #232) [Link]

First of all, I want to thank the LWN team from the bottom of my heart.

You have been doing a excellent work on covering the Linux arena. I have followed the updates here since 1998, first weekly then daily. I have yet to find any other site that is anywhere close to such professional attitude as you. If you really close down there will be a huge hole in the Linux news reporting arena. The front page and the kernel section have been my personal favorites, but really all of it has always been worth the time to read.

I have but one question, why don't LWN go subscription based? At least as a test. I know I gladly would pay to see the site go on. And I really wonder if there isn't another few thousand Linux users out there that could imagine paying a yearly subscripton to keep LWN on the road. How come there is this dense silence about how much money LWN needs and why you have not tried subscriptions. Is it really not a viable solution?

Well anyhow, thank you all again. LWN has been a great companion, best wishes on your future projects.

Regards, Fredrik Jonson

We will miss you!

Posted Jul 25, 2002 15:36 UTC (Thu) by fpn (guest, #2790) [Link]

Yes, we will miss you!

I have read your weekly news for a long time and have enjoyed the format. To me it was more interesting than Linux Journal to which I subscribe.

It seems sad to me that these days there seem to be more advertising $$ for print media than good web publications.

Maybe big banner advertisements like yahoo, etc. do these days are ok?

Thanks for the ride !


Posted Jul 25, 2002 15:40 UTC (Thu) by vblum (guest, #1151) [Link]

I have said that buried in my previous comment, and others have said so too, so I will restate the point more clearly than before:

Please try and set up a subscription system, and evaluate how many of us will actually join. It can't hurt to find out ...





Posted Jul 25, 2002 16:20 UTC (Thu) by haggai (guest, #2002) [Link]

Thanks to the LWN team. I don't know of another site quite like it. I've just made a donation, and I'll be watching the news in case there is a chance to save LWN with subscriptions. Did you consider a 'subscriptions receive LWN earlier' model - I wonder what made you guys decide not to pursue it?

Let us know what you need

Posted Jul 25, 2002 16:47 UTC (Thu) by DeletedUser2797 ((unknown), #2797) [Link]

and how to get it to you, i.e. via PayPal or whatever.
Then lets have bi-annual pledge drives.



Posted Jul 25, 2002 17:44 UTC (Thu) by fjacobo (guest, #2800) [Link]

I can´t remember how long ago (maybe 97-98) I was introduced to linux, but I'm sure that my first (good) source was LWN.


I'm so sorry, can't help. But you will be ever the one.


I think you could remain afloat.

Posted Jul 25, 2002 19:04 UTC (Thu) by Deno (guest, #2765) [Link]

Maybe the problem isn't in the fact that 'market isn't ready to pay for you',
but in the fact that you don't ask for money in the optimal way? I don't know how many readers you have, but I suppose the number must be quite big. Let's say one milion visitors, and at least 100k of the readers who come again and again.

I find each of your issues worth at least one dollar (that's the price I give out for my daily newspaper!), and I want to keep you around. That's $48/year which you can have from me for the service you provide (I don't need any special members-only stuff). If you can get this ammount from 10.000 readers, you should be fine. Assuming that my estimate above is correct, getting 10.000 "donators" should not be a big problem, under one condition:

You need to organise the fund-raising better: look at the way blender folks are rising money, and learn something.
Your readers have given you some good hints too (DO SAY HOW MUCH YOU NEED!), and I've written a little story on MandrakeForum
which may also help you too.

One more thing: add a possibility to state which sections are interesting for your donators - that way you'll know what to cut first in case you find out that mony isn't enough to feed you all!

PS: I've forwarded $20 your way today, and you can have $30 more from me in the fall - assuming you are still around and I haven't lost my job.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 19:04 UTC (Thu) by larsga (guest, #2801) [Link]

The saddest story I ever read on this site, for sure. It makes me wish there were something I could do to stop this, but I know there isn't. What makes this so sad is that LWN is such a high-quality site, way above most comparable sites and publications. I've been reading it every weekend for years now. LWN really deserves to live, certainly much more so than /., LinuxToday and similar sites.

This must be a very sad day for the editors, but you should remember that there is no shame in bankruptcy, and especially not in this case. As Paul wrote, you chose integrity, even though you are paying the price for it now.

As for keeping the site going on donations, well, if you're not getting paid, and haven't been paid for a while I understand perfectly well that enough is enough. Going without pay only works up to a point, and once your financial reserves are gone and the debts are piling up there's only one thing you can do.

I wish you all the best of luck in your post-LWN lives. You certainly deserve it. Thank you very much for the ride; it was much appreciated while it lasted (the impeccable use of semicolon included :-).

I had no idea... Here's the plan

Posted Jul 25, 2002 19:17 UTC (Thu) by amazingblair (guest, #2789) [Link]

I really didn't have a clue that your situation was so desperate. That makes me pretty unobservant, but my focus has been on your excellent reporting. My impression was that the company was financially struggling, but getting by.

Please reconsider your shutdown! LWN is the best of its kind on the Web and the announcement of its demise has caught me at least and certainly others by surprise.

Your "End of the Road" article was the first I've seen lately that dealt head-on with the financial situation at LWN; more of that sort are called for to inform your readers. I've just made my first donation because "End of the Road" drew LWN's dire straits to my attention.

Please give us more details of how much money you need, ie, how many people paying X dollars every year or month or whatever. A system of sponsorship levels may suggest itself based on the data you uncover. As philwil said earlier, major Linux distribution companies "will lose something if you close." To my mind, that makes them likely marks to hit on as "Platinum Sponsors"! :-)

-Blair Peery

PS: Go to and watch the donor list grow!

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 19:19 UTC (Thu) by ber (subscriber, #2142) [Link]

I've (volenteeringly) payed for your useful service
and will continue to do so if you continue to offer it.

LWN certains is a very good source of quality information
for the Free Software world.

Now I will get the word out and help to make the miracle happen.
Bernhard Reiter

Good Luck

Posted Jul 25, 2002 19:48 UTC (Thu) by pkturner (subscriber, #2809) [Link]

Sorry for putting off a donation until now. LWN has been a favorite Internet news source for me for years. Enjoy the "thank you" gift, and I'll hope for a miracle.

BTW, the privacy policy is so good and simple that I increased my donation by 20% on the spot.


Posted Jul 25, 2002 20:32 UTC (Thu) by rmdirms (guest, #2659) [Link]

How can we help? Would it help if we created a mass-solicitation from:

Red Hat?

and Others?

There has to be a way that LWN can sever the common interests of those and other profitable companies?

Maybe they can for a few months offer "limp-along" assistance which they could write off or write down as expenses (minus the Whirled-Bomb-Itis (Think of the bumber sticker "Visualize Whirled Peas" pun on "Visualize World Peace")).

I am SURE that having made a near full return on their billion $ investment in Linux, IBM would feel proud to help keep a live a vibrant forum. If anything, maybe IBM or others could share communications vehicles, if they can do it without any strings attached to LWN.

Failing that, try the Blender Fans approach: Distribute LWN across multiple machines and find content (vs contented) collaborators who can work with the staff editors. I just signed on... You guys & girls can't go away.

Have you tried the marketing departments of major companies. If just 10 of them provided $2,000 per month--on a short-term basis-- I imagine that would be a tremendous boon.

Have you tried adapting your site and setup to assisting (for support fees) companies? I am assuming that your talent base is sufficent to create a consultancy to other businesses. Are you guys "incorporated"? Try incorporating (I incorporated Java, Bytes n Bites (see my site for about $150. I could not get funding, due to my single-owner with too much personal debt and existing 2nd mortgage on my home.)

With your multiple employees' talents, maybe you all could pledge SOME small amount of money (and with donations from those of us not laid off or subsisting on meager reserves and vanishing unemployment checks) sufficient enough for a banker or IBM (acting as a banker) to jumpstart you into a for-profit consultancy. I'm just (lame-)brain-storming, but you guys have talent which you could leverage.


Thank you...

Posted Jul 25, 2002 20:52 UTC (Thu) by jee (guest, #202) [Link]

... for your great work during these last years. LWN has been (is!) the best linux newssource around.

Best of luck.

(a.k.a "me too")

I'm destitute and donated - You should too

Posted Jul 25, 2002 20:59 UTC (Thu) by bbt (guest, #2812) [Link]

I just put my $10 into the hat. I cannot match the $100 donations that others have been giving but I wanted to help and say thank you. I've been unemployed since October, have been living on peanut butter and jelly for the last two months and will barely be able to make rent in a few days. If I can cough up some money, so can those of you who have not yet done so.

LWN has been a wonderful source of news. I always liked the weekly editions the best. The Front Page, Security, and Kernel sections were always the best most useful for me. If you can scale back and keep going, those would be the pages I would want to see.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 21:06 UTC (Thu) by pointwood (guest, #2814) [Link]


This is really a sad day :(

I'm not the kind of guy that normally donate money, but I would certainly pay for a subscription if there where a way to get a subscription!

I hope I'll be able to continue to read LWN since it's been the greatest Linux news site I've read!

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 21:07 UTC (Thu) by cdmiller (subscriber, #2813) [Link]

This as a damn shame.

Please make available information for others to set up mirrors for your archives, kernel patches, and distributions list, etc..

Another nice thing would be a compilation of links to online sources you folks used to gather your data.

I for one would have paid a subscription, (probably would have gotten my employer to pay for it). Maybe even just a prepaid "subscription" and a public membership counter needed to ensure publication for the following year, ala the Prince CD pre orders and Stephen King online novel.

This is almost the only professional Linux news site worth reading. It is ironic that at a time of Linux approaching critical mass to mainstream acceptance, this site is being forced to close down.

Thanks for all of the past hard work and good quality reporting and commentary.

- cameron

Simply the best

Posted Jul 25, 2002 21:50 UTC (Thu) by e2npau (guest, #428) [Link]

LWN has been the best source of linux news for many years, it you go away you will be very much missed and I can not see how anything could take your place in the future.

When the latest big headlines are published over at slashdot and the crowd is howling, I just simply wait for the next thursday and get the balanced and in depth analysis from LWN.

Your kernel section is one-of-a-kind.

If you choose to go with a subscription model, I would subscribe.

And, yes, I have made a donation.


The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 21:52 UTC (Thu) by EricBackus (guest, #2816) [Link]

I'm very sorry to see you go, and I appreciate all your efforts. I just made a donation, but I know that it is almost certainly too little too late. Thanks for the good work, and good luck for the future.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 23:29 UTC (Thu) by emak (guest, #488) [Link]

Only one year together, that's really too short. It's hard to find words, harder to find them in english. You'll let a hole on the web...

The end of the road

Posted Jul 25, 2002 23:40 UTC (Thu) by DaveK (subscriber, #2531) [Link]

LWN is the only Linux resource on the net that is truly worth reading with unbiased, considered and well researched reporting in a well educated manner, and simply cannot be allowed to die, full stop. Hopefuly you will find a way to continue in some capacity.
Having been made redundant myself recently, I understand the nature of trying to get anything done in a flat market, and cannot offer to donate $100s that I would like to, and believe this site deserves, and reflect the service that LWN has given me and others since I started reading in late '98.
I wonder if the readers (myself included) understand truly what financial doo-doo you are in, and what can be done to help, I'm sure if you post details we can band together and find a way to help, financially or otherwise. Is that not what 'community' is about.
If you do 'go under', then I wish the LWN team the best of luck in whatever you do in future, and thanks for an invaluable service over the years.

There is a way to save LWN -- let's find it!

Posted Jul 26, 2002 0:01 UTC (Fri) by jre (guest, #2807) [Link]

Like everyone else, I am shocked and saddened by the prospect of LWN's going away. This site has always stood out in the crowded field of Linux journalism. LWN is distinguished not only by its technical expertise (available elsewhere), but by a clean, professional style informed by the wit and insight of its editors (unmatched anywhere).
The Web will be a poorer place if LWN departs. I would like to see it not depart. Please add my voice to those advocating the following:

* Do a pledge drive. A standing request for donations is ignored. A focused, sustained effort to get the message out achieves results. It works for KGNU; it can work for LWN.

* Post a "Doomsday Clock" showing how close LWN is to extinction. You can move the hands earlier or later, just like the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists used to do, as the money situation changes. Like many others, I made a donation -- but I needed to be scared before I acted.

* Get some serious corporate sponsorship. Even if LWN was a wholly-owned subsidiary of IBM or Red Hat, I would still have confidence in your editorial independence, and I'd feel a lot better about your future. And it need not be as extreme as that. Maybe each of a handful of companies can offer matching grants to go with the pledge drive.

* Plan some sustaining events. Maybe a number of LUGs could do coordinated benefit installfests, charging a modest amount per head. Or a guru pool could be assembled to donate support time to contributors. If even the hundred or so people who have already posted coalesced around one or two good ideas, you would have the seeds of success.

How much money have you raised from the response to this article? Will it keep you going another week? If you got a matching grant, could you go yet another week? Would it give you enough time to plan a sustaining event? If we can buy enough time, we can find a way to keep LWN going. Please let us know how you want to proceed, and which way to push.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 26, 2002 0:19 UTC (Fri) by dyork (guest, #2819) [Link]

John, Liz, Dennis, Rebecca, Dave and the others,

It's very sad to see this news although I know you all have been
struggling to figure out the way out for quite some time. I desperately
DO hope that a miracle is found... as I really do hope you are able to
stay with us.

Ever since I started getting involved with the Linux community back in
1998, I've been reading your site. Part of my Thursday morning routine
has always been to get a big cup of tea and sit down to read your take on
the news. You have always been unique in the way you have provided
context for the news items, rather than just spewing raw content.
Whenever someone has wanted to learn about the Linux community, I've told
them to go read LWN for a few weeks. Your editing and commentary has been

When we were launching the Linux Professional Institute, we definitely
appreciated your posting mentions of our activities and for your support.

My donation has already gone in.... I wish I knew someone with a whack
of money, but I'm afraid I don't... I'll be hoping for a miracle, and
if it doesn't happen, well, many, many, MANY thanks for all the years
you all have put into this and for all you have done for us as readers
and for the greater good of the Linux community. My best wishes for your
future endeavors... (and may, somehow, they still involve LWN! :-)

Thank you,

This would be a great loss

Posted Jul 26, 2002 1:48 UTC (Fri) by x_nc (guest, #2633) [Link]

I wish there was something more I could do to help keep LWN going. I was preparing to donate and to buy an ad, but if there is only going to be one more issue...

It seems that, with the exception of K5, user/community donations don't seem to be able to generate the funds needed by sites.

LWN has always been the best source of information on Linux and Software Libre on the Web. I think that the commercial Linux ventures will find the loss of LWN to be bad for them as well as us, the community. It's to bad they couldn't put a few funds into this.

To Jonathan Corbet - I want to say that I am sorry if I my comment(s), that were sent in as "Letters to the Editor" but never published, bothered you. They were not ment as a complaint nor critisim. They were intended to convay the difficulties I, as a disabled computer user, encountered with the new format. If I did upset or anger you, it was not intended.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 26, 2002 2:08 UTC (Fri) by db1 (guest, #2823) [Link]

I would like to second calls for a subscription service. I know for a fact that my employer would pay subscription costs. I use LWN to do my job. We spend thousands of dollars a year on subscriptions to various journals (typical for biotech, my industry). Fifty or one-hundred a year for LWN would be a drop in the bucket, and well worth it.

And a second to all of the praise. The calm, intelligent, reasoned, reporting is refreshing for news of any kind, not just Linux news.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 26, 2002 2:54 UTC (Fri) by DeletedUser2825 ((unknown), #2825) [Link]

Just out of curiosity, have you considered going the 501(c3)
non-profit route.. You should certainly qualify under the educational
guidelines. That might help your soliciting donations. Nothing like
having the government cover half the cost of the donations.

As others have said.. open your books, tell us what you need, when
you need it, etc.. and we'll be happy to help/subscribe/etc

The end of the road

Posted Jul 26, 2002 3:12 UTC (Fri) by subhasroy (guest, #325) [Link]

In my opinion, Linux Community will suffer a serious loss
in the demise of LWN. I felt myself going through the same
emotions that others have and described eloquently. LWN is a
standout in the consistence of quality and journalistic
integrity. There is nothing else available to fill the gap.
If there is one OSS/Linux site that I want to see survive, it is

I urge corporations who want Linux to succeed to sponsor LWN
for its continued operation.

I still hope LWN can continue even if in a curtailed form.
I'll subscribe if LWN goes that path.

My $103 donation is there ($3 to cover credit card surcharge).
Would have donated more if I were not a laid-off worker
with family and mortgage.

Good ideas: LWN, please tell us what is enough

Posted Jul 26, 2002 6:05 UTC (Fri) by leonbrooks (guest, #1494) [Link]

The doomsday clock is a good idea (start it at 7 days plus whatever the flurry of donations did to help).

Becoming NFP is a good idea if the Gummint will chip in 50% - PROVIDED that doing so doesn't cost you editorial control. Bear in mind that siting your servers outside the US may make this option feasible elsewhere in the world (I'd like to hear posts from places like Europe, Israel, RSA etc on this).

We can all donate... but HOW MUCH do you need?

The end of the road

Posted Jul 26, 2002 9:19 UTC (Fri) by arveh (subscriber, #1534) [Link]

OK, so all has been said several times already, but for a site like LWN, good things can not be said too many times.

Perhaps we should start a union or something for all us "silent" LWN readers? I've never raised my voice on LWN before, but I've been a faithful weekly reader many years.

I just put in my $50 donation; I'm willig to put in more. Consider it financial aid or a going-away-present as the case may evolve. Thank you to LWN and to all the wonderful people who have made it possible.

As for miracles, I'm afraid I can't offer any, but I agree with those who have already said: "Go with subscription." If there is one service on the web that I'm willing to pay for, it has to be LWN. Although some sort of graded subscription system would probably be the best, so that the site can continue to be available to those less economic furtunate. I think I'd be willing to pay $10 a month if need be.

Perhaps it is only with the real threat of extinction that we appreciate the true value of LWN...

Thank you for a great source of information and opinion! And good luck to all those who have worked with LWN!

Not the end of the road - suggestion WikiWikiWeb

Posted Jul 26, 2002 10:52 UTC (Fri) by DeletedUser2818 ((unknown), #2818) [Link]

Hi again,

due to the comment systems inability to sort the comments I wanted to point to a comment already posted by me (but it is hard to find if you don't read through all comments again and again searching for new articles).

So if you read this and if you are interested in a potential solution for continuing LWN, just use the search function of your browser for the first occurance of "WikiWiki" (without the quotes) on this page and read on there, but post replies at the end of all msgs so that new stuff is easier to find.

greetings, Thomas (from Germany)

BTW: this "doomsday clock" idea is a good one, can anybody do it?


Posted Jul 26, 2002 14:00 UTC (Fri) by eskild (guest, #1556) [Link]

Jon & the rest of the LWN crew:

I've chipped in in the past, I'll do it again if it's of any use. But I just don't know what kind of money we're talking here -- all I know is: "we have not succeeded in raising even a fraction of the required funds", from the front page.

So, what are we looking at? How much is required to secure LWN for, say, the next year?

Unless the number is truly terrible, I think yearly subscriptions are the way forward. I'm doubtful one-shot donations are really all that great -- after a while, when funds run dry again, you're in this mess once more.

Subscriptions: $50-$100/year. I'll chip in. I'll make my company chip in.


P.S. If this is truly The End, then Goodbye and Thanks for all the Fish. It was tasty.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 26, 2002 14:19 UTC (Fri) by jgm (guest, #2834) [Link]

I hope you find your miracle. I've donated my US$100. I hope it helps keep
you going. If not, consider it my late :-( subscription fee for your fine

I've found LWN to be the best site for keeping up with what is happening
in the GNU/Linux, Free Software, and Open Source Software world. I'm really
going to miss you!! I especially enjoyed the Kernel section. My Thursday's
are just not going to be the same without LWN!

In any case, best of luck to you all and thanks for the great work you've
done on LWN. I hope you can find a way to continue.

why is everything dependent on money?

Posted Jul 26, 2002 15:03 UTC (Fri) by DeletedUser2836 ((unknown), #2836) [Link]

LWN is one of the best news sites on the net. Especially the weekly<br>
summaries are good for people like me who do not have time to read<br>
news every day. It is sad to see that lwn goes away.<br>
Personally I think that you should also think a bit about "what is money".<br>
I know it's hard for Americans to accept that money is not everything but<br>
to be come more independent of money and profit gives you more freedom<br>
in the long run.<br><br>
At <a href=""></a> we have also during<br>
the years 1999-2000 been thinking about running this site for profit. I am<br>
glad we did not do that. It gives you soooo much more independence and<br>
freedom when you don't have to think all the time about money.<br><br>
If lwn wants to have a bright and long future then you need to find<br>
ways to be cost efficient and find ways to finance your running costs<br>
and don't depend on advertisements.<br><br>
Don't get me wrong. I have donated already money to lwn and I really like<br>
it as it is today but I believe that lwn has to change just slightly<br>
in it's structure and it will survive, be less dependent on money and<br>
thus be immortal. <br>
Lwn could e.g be more a linux community activity. <br>

why is everything dependent on money?

Posted Jul 26, 2002 15:11 UTC (Fri) by DeletedUser2836 ((unknown), #2836) [Link]

Hmmm, sorry, the previous post should have been like this:

LWN is one of the best news sites on the net. Especially the weekly
summaries are good for people like me who do not have time to read
news every day. It is sad to see that lwn goes away.
Personally I think that you should also think a bit about "what is money".
I know it's hard for Americans to accept that money is not everything but
to become more independent of money gives you more freedom
in the long run.

At we have also during
the years 1999-2000 been thinking about running this site for profit. I am
glad we did not do that. It gives you soooo much more independence and
freedom when you don't have to think all the time about money.

If lwn wants to have a bright and long future then you need to find
ways to be cost efficient and find ways to finance your running costs
and don't depend on advertisements.

Don't get me wrong. I have donated already money to lwn and I really like
it as it is today but I believe that lwn has to change just slightly
in it's structure and it will survive, be less dependent on money and
thus be immortal.
Lwn could e.g be more a linux community activity.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 26, 2002 15:11 UTC (Fri) by belayme (guest, #2835) [Link]

I contributed a little bit about a month ago. I will continue to contribute if LWN continues to exist. I would subscribe if LWN changed to a subscription model.

One thought. Why not have a LWN credit card like "The Linux Fund", where money would go to lwn for each purchase somebody makes. I have a Linux Fund card that I try to make most of my monthly credit card purchases with. I would gladly switch to a card that benefits LWN.

The end of the road? Not really.

Posted Jul 26, 2002 15:10 UTC (Fri) by rabnud (guest, #2839) [Link]

I just now joined just so I could say thanks.

Somewhere in Linuxs' background, your efforts have certainly contributed to and promoted Linux such that LWN was a noticeable part of a massive background of Linux support. I've recently converted to Linux, and only a few weeks ago noticed your site. Your efforts contributed (prior to my discovery of LWN) to validating an OS that might have otherwise been dismissed by myself as a fad.

This exWindows user eventually heard a portion of that support, for which I am writing, expressing my appreciation. Part of my problems are that Linux is still a 'hobby' for me right now, thus I personally cannot develop my skills at a rate which would elevate me as a member of greater support than this note of thanks. There are many who are turning to Linux in the face of many adverse changes in the more popular OS, again, Linux is there for them because you have been here for Linux.

I could suggest LWN cutting back a few of their efforts, but it appears that a divergence has already become a partial reality, from your bulletins' slant.

Sorry I missed you, because my first contact with LWN was rather informative. I guess I simply ran out of personal time to develop my Linux skills to a level of greater need of LWN. Your legacy is already one of considerable effort; not unnoticed, just, for me, untapped.

To all of you: you each should look forward to your new efforts and their goals, you all learned something herein. With your experiences placed in new venues, we will expect someone, somewhere will still be benefited by this sites history as you have ecperienced and influenced that histoy; it guides you all in those new efforts.

Best Wishes to all in your new ventures. May tux be with you.

LWN: You can't end..

Posted Jul 26, 2002 19:57 UTC (Fri) by sri (guest, #2077) [Link]

For the better part of this wonderful revolution in open software lwn has been the most effective in providing the voice of GNU - Open Source movement. Truly, with slashdot hooligans sprouting their nonsense, true advocacy was always displayed in LWN.

We need you to continue to be that voice, to be our professional voice. My coworkers and myself have always looked forward for thursday when we could find thoughtful editorials on current linux events, or whats happening in kernel developement.

If you could tell us what you need to keep afloat we'll do what we can! I'd gladly pay a subscription to getting lwn. I hope that you will continue.


Educational research

Posted Jul 30, 2002 12:53 UTC (Tue) by fbarreto (guest, #279) [Link]

I and a lot of people use the LWN for educational research helping the development of tesis and projects.
This site is a good way to find information about kernel and aplication development.
So the end of this site will turn more difficult to universities research...



Posted Jul 26, 2002 19:27 UTC (Fri) by RaRue (guest, #666) [Link]

I'll really miss LWN on Thursday mornings.

It's been a real pleasure to read Linux technical news that is summarized so well, that is well-written and timely.

I'm not surprised about financial difficulties. There's a lot of that going around. LWN has provided a valuable service to me, has alerted me to more than one interesting software application or compatible piece of hardware. Since I was getting all this useful information for nothing more than having to look at a few tasteful advertisements, it's no surprise that financial difficulties did you in.

I wish the staff at LWN the best in their future endeavors and hope that they find occupations that are simultaneously gratifying in a personal sense as well as in a financial sense. I really hope that I see your work published in a public forum again.

Good luck.

The end of the road

Posted Jul 26, 2002 22:26 UTC (Fri) by DeletedUser2851 ((unknown), #2851) [Link]

Just registered to post this, like many others.

Thanks so much for the years of high-quality, dedicated reporting.

I've at least skimmed all of the comments that others have posted,
and I noticed something distinctly missing. Pledge drives won't
really work -- PBS doesn't use them to pay the bills, they use
them to buy additional content beyond what their endowment covers.
Subscriptions might work, but to be effective (that is, if you
don't pay, there's a noticeable difference) they'll end up masking
the benefits that new readers might otherwise see, hence fewer new
subscriptions. Corporate sponsorship, especially from Linux companies,
isn't too likely at the moment, as you've found.

What _might_ conceivably work, however, is university sponsorship.
This is, ultimately, an educational resource, as any good journalistic
endeavor is. You might even be able to trade your writing and computer
skills for part-time university positions so that the sponsor is getting
more than just the satisfaction of supporting a public resource.
Having a prominent and respected figure in Linux journalism can
also enhance the reputation of a school, if only in a limited
community. It also needn't be a single school. There are a lot
of universities out there.

In any event, I could go on at even greater length about this, but
you get the point. Maybe it's something that you've even tried,
but it seemed worth mentioning.

Thanks again. If this is truly The End, you'll be missed.

Intelligence, shame and don't go ....

Posted Jul 28, 2002 13:38 UTC (Sun) by mjbright (subscriber, #1624) [Link]

Not much more to add:
I really looked forward to the LWN bigpage once a week.
What I've always appreciated was the intelligent commentary on the
hottest flames! LWN is an intelligent role model.

Shame on me that I didn't donate earlier
(and now only $50 as money is tight)

Please don't go ...

Copyright © 2002, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds