Guy Helmer's Home Page

Welcome to my home page on My real homepage currently resides at Palisade Systems, Inc. Palisade System's network appliance products are generally based on the FreeBSD platform.

Current Work

I am a developer with the FreeBSD Project and am currently concentrating on reducing the problem report backlog. I tend to concentrate now on issues related to high-performance networking and security. I have a strong interest in system security and reliability (due to my years of work with UNIX systems and security flaws).

I was previously a graduate student in Computer Science atIowa State University in Ames, Iowa, where I received my Ph.D. in the fall of 2000.

During my grad student days, I made good use of FreeBSD on my home systems to support coursework, doing reports and documentation in LaTeX (via the TeTeX package) and writing programs. Using FreeBSD at home beat the tar out of using HP/UX at the Computer Science Department.

Previous Experience

From 1989-96 I was a Senior Systems Programmer at Dakota State University, a small university in South Dakota that has a strong emphasis on the use of computers in education. My part in the organization was working as a UNIX system administrator and system programmer, LAN & WAN engineer & guru, Netware administrator and system programmer, and PC O/S support. It was here that I heavily depended on FreeBSD to provide reliable, inexpensive Internet services.

FreeBSD History

How am I involved with FreeBSD? It goes back to March, 1992, when Chris D. (sorry, I can't remember how to spell his last name!) got a copy of 386BSD version 0.0 from Bill Jolitz. I had been in need of a good UNIX-like system for PCs to support our university's growing Internet needs, so I immediately FTPed a copy of 386BSD and installed it on a 386/25 PC. In July '92, a useable version of 386BSD, version 0.1, was released, and after Terry Lambert organized the patchkit, I was hooked. In October '92, I put the that lucky little 386 in production as our mail hub to relieve our overloaded MicroVAX, and FreeBSD has played a major role at Dakota State since.

After a bit of water under the bridge, FreeBSD emerged as the project to continue building a solid UNIX-like O/S for PCs. I've supported the project to the extent that I can, including beta-testing new releases, answering questions on the mail lists, providing an occasional patch, and providing small features (such as rmuser(8)). When I left DSU, FreeBSD was running on four systems that I administrated (mail hub, news server, our site's primary time-sharing system, and my office workstation). I had also helped install several FreeBSD systems in South Dakota state government and associated institutions to support Internet services.

A hearty thanks to the core team and everyone who has contributed to FreeBSD. I truly believe you can't find a better UNIX-like O/S for PC's, no matter how much you pay.

Guy Helmer <>