Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Book of PF, 3rd Edition is Here, First Signed Copy Can Be Yours

Continuing the tradition started by Michael Lucas with the Absolute OpenBSD, 2nd edition auction, I will be auctioning off the first signed copy of the Book of PF, 3rd edition.

Updated - the ebay auction has concluded, final bid was US $3,050.00 - see below
Today I took delivery of two boxes full of my The Book of PF, 3rd edition author copies. They are likely the first to arrive in Norway as well (a few North Americans received their copies early last week), but of course this is somewhere in the range hard to impossible to verify.

Anyway, here is the long anticipated with book selfie:

(larger size available here)

The writing process and the subsequent editing and proofing steps that you, dear reader, will know to appreciate took significantly longer than I had expected, but this edition of the book has the good luck to become available just before the release of OpenBSD that it targets. My original plan was to be in sync with the OpenBSD 5.5 release, but to nobody's surprise but mine the process took longer than I had wanted it to.

As regular readers will know already, the main reason this edition exists is that from OpenBSD 5.5 on, we have a new traffic shaping system to replace the more than 15 years old experimental ALTQ code. The book is up to date with OpenBSD 5.6 (early preorderers have received their disks already, I hear) and while it gives some hints on how to migrate to the new queues and priorities system, it also notes that ALTQ is no longer part of OpenBSD as of version 5.6.

And of course there have been various improvements in OpenBSD since 2010 and version 4.8, which were the year and version referenced in the second edition. You will see updates reflecting at least some of those changes in various parts of the book.

Even if you're not on OpenBSD at all, this edition is an improvement over previous versions, we've taken some care to include information relevant to FreeBSD and NetBSD as well, and where there are significant differences between the systems, it's noted in the text and examples.

It could have been tempting to include specific references to Apple's operating system as well, but I made a decision early on to stay with the free systems. I have written something about PF and Apple, but not in the book -- see my Call for Testing article How Apple Treats The Gift Of Open Source: The OpenBSD PF Example for a few field notes.

But now for the main item. For this edition, for a limited time only, there will be a

Book of PF Auction

You have a chance to own the first author signed copy of The Book of PF, 3rd edition.

The auction is up at - I'll look into extending the auction period, for some odd reason the max offered was 10 days. If your bid is not the successful one, I strongly urge you to make a direct donation of the same amount to the OpenBSD Foundation instead.

I've signed the book, and will fill in the missing spaces once we have the name and amount:

UPDATE 2014-10-26 01:00 CEST: Whatever it was that stopped ebay from listing the auction was resolved. The auction is up at - I'll look into extending the auction period, for some odd reason the max offered was 10 days. If your bid is not the successful one, I strongly urge you to make a direct donation of the same the OpenBSD foundation instead.

The first signed copy, and incidentally also the first copy my wife picked out of the first box we opened, will come with this inscribed in my handwriting on the title page:

FOR (your name)
Winner of the 2014 Book of PF Auction
Thank you for Supporting OpenBSD with your
(CAD, USD or EUR amount) donation

Bergen, (date), (my signature)

That's just for your reference. My handwriting is not a pretty sight at the best of times, and when you, the lucky winner, receive the book it's entirely reasonable that you will not be able to dechipher the scrawls at all.

If you think your chances of actually winning are not worth considering, please head over to the OpenBSD donations or orders page and spend some of your (or your boss') hard earned cash!

My speaking schedule has not been set for the upcoming months, but there is a reasonable chance I'll attend at least a few BSD events in the near future. See you there!

UPDATE 2014-11-26: The auction concluded on November 4th, with Bill Allaire as the successful bidder. He paid via PayPal (as you almost inevitably will on an Ebay auction) immediately, and I sent the signed book to him two days later.

As the lady at the post office said, the package took about a week to turn up in Bill's mailbox. But it took 21 days before PayPal finally made the funds available to me, and after a bit of wrestling with the possibly very intuitive (to someone else) PayPal interface, I transferrred the amount to the OpenBSD Foundation today. PayPal of course racked up fees both incoming and outgoing, to a degree that I think if the fees we paid there ar considered at all competitive, whoever coined the phrase "the giant vampire squid" to describe US banks must have been trying desperately to make the traditional US banks sound all nice and cuddly.

For the unsuccessful bidders, I urge you to head over to the OpenBSD Foundation's Donations page and make a donation equal to your highest bid.


  1. Congratulations on the 3rd edition! Greetings from Guatemala; I received my copy Thursday the 23rd.

  2. Felicidades por su trabajo, gracias por compartirlo, saludos desde México

  3. Your long-firewall doc is excellent. Picked up a bit from your book as well, though the manpage for pf just seems to remain king. Thanks, not bad for a NORWEGIAN ;)


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