Menhir was started to grow the publicity of FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenSolaris side by side with Slackware. And to widen the skills of the users to all four operating systems.
If you look at the Free Software scene you see that most if not all projects - at the operating system level and at the application level - and magazines, blogs and newspapers concentrate on GNU/Linux. Also you can note that most people start with a Linux distribution and then lock himself in the GNU/Linux world. This is very unfortunate as the other free Unix-like operating systems bring with them great development and usage culture. The one missing bit at their side is popularity.
So Menhir is going to reach the above vision by building a strong, open and helpful community to cultivate and distribute the knowledge about all four, free operating systems. Because in the free software scene the popularity of projects grow by "propaganda". And "propaganda" is spread by experienced users and developers who will be fully satisfied by the operating systems because of their successes basing on their experience.
To build the knowledge following development projects are started in the Menhir project: A document based on "BSD Associate Exam Objectives" will be written which guides every user in the use and administration of FreeBSD, NetBSD, Slackware and OpenSolaris. A document based on "Advanced Linux Programming" will be written which teaches the advanced development on the four platforms. The base systems of Slackware, FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenSolaris are ported to the pkgsrc format. After finishing this project everyone will be able to install the operating systems with their userland using the pkgsrc tools. A collection of kernel configuration files for desktops, laptops and servers. You get insight in the structure and building of the kernel if you configure and compile your own for your hardware. So at the website of Menhir we will collect configuration files for the hardware of the big hardware vendors. A structured manual for the engineer-like construction and installation of an infrastructure basing on the four operating systems. With all four operating systems you can perfectly build networks for home and professional use. This manual called "Free Software Systems Engineering" will guide you in the effort to build efficient and secure networks.
What we will get in the end is a great collaboration of the developers and users of all todays communities of the four operating systems for a distribution with the priciples: Strength, Dynamics, Knowledge and Freedom.
You, dear reader, are invited to join the newsgroup for all your questions, comments and contributions of all sorts.
The website of Menhir is : http://code.google.com/p/menhir
The newsgroup of Menhir is: http://groups.google.com/group/menhir-discuss