In an e-mail to NetBSD's community, spokesperson Thor Lancelot Simon said the money would be used to upgrade the hardware infrastructure facilitating development of the project, a Unix variant which aims to run on as many platforms as possible.
"There are many upgrades we'd like to make to the NetBSD project infrastructure," he said, "but which we cannot make because, to be blunt, our project is poor. Not poor in innovation nor poor in developer resources nor poor in features -- poor in cold, hard cash, the kind we need to buy hardware that would let us better serve our users."
Simon pointed out while NetBSD sister projects like OpenBSD and FreeBSD had received "tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars" in donations, his own project had been a little embarassed to ask its users for contributions.
"But we do need money," he said. "We really do."
The spokesperson pointed out while NetBSD often received offers of hardware donations, this was not as desirable as liquid currency due to the project's need for its servers to be configured in a standard way.
He said the preferred option for those who wanted to donate hardware was to donate money to the project and request that it be used for a specific purchase.
Simon was not available to comment at the time of print on whether his request had received much response, but at least one NetBSD user -- open source software CD vendor BSD Systems in the United Kingdom -- indicated by e-mail it had made a contribution.
Donations to the project can be made via online payments company Paypal, or directly by credit card. As the NetBSD Foundation is classed as a charity, donations are tax deductable under United States law.