A call for help: Bansshee

Update, 16 March 2007: Charles Steinman has kindly donated to cover the registrations for all three domains (dot-org, dot-com and dot-net). I’m leaving the original text of the post below for the historical record.

Ooooh, I hope the title of this post isn’t too dramatic. I just got a GoDaddy renewal notice for the Bansshee domain names (bansshee.com, bansshee.net, bansshee.org) and I’m looking for donations to fund their renewal.

I’ve written before about how I don’t want to cave in to GoDaddy’s "bait and switch" pricing scams (previous articles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). So at the start of this year I basically took the decision to let all non-essential domain names I have registered with GoDaddy expire. The Bansshee domain names are among the affected ones.

About Bansshee

Bansshee is a lightweight daemon written in Perl designed to thwart dictionary-based SSH brute force attacks. It is free software released under the GPL. Given that I don’t actually make any money out of Bansshee (no donations so far, although I have received code-contributions from two kind souls) I’m asking if anyone would like to step forward and make a donation to cover some part (or all) of the renewal costs for these domains. The domains aren’t essential for the continuation of the project (the software will continue to be hosted here) but I’d like to continue providing them as a convenience for users if I can.

If the donations cover the costs then I’ll transfer the domains away from GoDaddy to another register, probably Joker. The highest priority will be bansshee.org, followed by dot-com and finally dot-net. Take a look at their price list if you’d like to donate. You can send your donations via PayPal using this link.

More information about Bansshee can be found on the project page and in the two articles (1, 2) that I wrote while developing it.

Bansshee itself has been running on this server shielding it from the brunt of brute-force SSH dictionary attacks for almost a year now. It was deployed in April 2006 and then tested up until public release in October 2006 without skipping a beat. As an example of its reliability, it’s been running without interruption for 141 days now (since the last server reboot for an operating system update). Not bad for a little daemon written in Perl!

I don’t really know if anyone will step forward on this one; regular readers of this weblog are familiar with my disappointment in the viability of open source software for extremely small businesses like my own. I’d love someone to surprise me.