X.Org/FreeDesktop.org Is Looking For Sponsors Or May Have To Cut Continuous Integration Hosting

X.ORG --

The cost of cloud hosting — or in particular hosting their own GitLab instance and running continuous integration (CI) support for FreeDesktop.org projects — is putting financial strain on the X.Org Foundation.

The X.Org Foundation estimates their annual hosting expenses this year to top out at 75k USD and at 90k USD for 2021. The gitlab.freedesktop.org hosting is done within the Google Cloud. This cost doesn’t include that of any continuous integration runners but just the expenditures from storing and serving build artifacts and images from the cloud to external runners.

Due to rising costs and not having any guaranteed recurring sponsors while the current hosting costs being unsustainable, the X.Org Foundation may need to disable continuous integration (CI) functionality in the months ahead if they don’t obtain additional funding. The board estimates hosting without any CI functionality would cost around 30k USD annually. Currently they estimate they may need to cut their CI hosting in May~June should they not obtain extra sponsorships.

The X.Org Foundation board issued this early warning on the mailing list and as a call for any sponsors. If your organization is interested in helping to pick up this significant cloud tab, get in contact with the X.Org board.

FreeDesktop.org/X.Org infrastructure was previously housed on servers at the likes of Portland State University and MIT, but their GitLab hosting setup is found in Google’s cloud. It seems like the other option would be trying to migrate CI efforts back to a dedicated server(s) or finding a lower-priced cloud provider. While hosted in Google Cloud, the extent of the gratis services that appear to be offered by Google at this point is hiring an administrator for the FreeDesktop.org setup. These meeting notes indicate Google is willing to hire an admin as long as they can pick the administrator overseeing it.

The FreeDesktop.org GitLab provides hosting not only for X.Org but also Wayland, Mesa, and related projects as well as to the likes of PipeWire, Monado XR, LibreOffice, and many other open-source/Linux desktop projects.