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Last I heard there were licencing issues (the CDDL/GPL incompatibility).
Posted Jan 29, 2008 13:59 UTC (Tue) by zooko (subscriber, #2589)
Can you give me a pointer to any recent fear or uncertainty about GNU/OpenSolaris licensing?
The Nexenta FAQ answers this one nicely, and I appreciate their closing exhortation: "Have no fear!"
Posted Jan 29, 2008 18:50 UTC (Tue) by mbanck (subscriber, #9035)
All of this is paraphrased, and if I remember correctly, it's been a while.
Basically, Nexenta and some (bigger) parts of Debian disagree on the GPL's operation system
As the CDDL license is incompatible with the GPL, the only way forward appears to be claiming
the Solaris libc is part ot the operating system and therefore no problem. However, GPLv2
says that those system libraries must not be distributed along with the GPL source in that
case, which would be the case if you stick everything on a CD.
GPLv3 appears to clear that up, and there are rumours that Eben Moglen and the rest of the FSF
believes the GPLv2 operating system exception is meant to be the same as GPLv3's, but I
believe no official legal advise has been given on this issue yet. Any such pointers would be
Posted Jan 29, 2008 20:08 UTC (Tue) by zooko (subscriber, #2589)
Thanks for the explanation, mbanck. Here's what I learned from the Nexenta FAQ (linked above). It has persuaded me to stop worrying and enjoy using my Nexenta system. (The rest of this comment is all copied directly from the Nexenta FAQ.)
Q: Legal stuff is confusing... Is it actually legal to distribute GPL software along with the CDDL-licensed Solaris core, and in particular, with SUN libc?
A: It is perfectly okay, Nexenta follows in the long tradition of integrating the GNU user land with your favorite OS of choice. Common uses are Fink (MacOSX), Cygwin (Windows), and various Solaris distributions, including Solaris 10 itself. Some of the projects have been doing this with approval for some time:
We are on stable legal grounds. This also became extremely clear during the recent GPLv3 discussions. Eben Moglen, General Counsel for the Free Software Foundation, noted that he always believed that GPLv2 should be interpreted in the way GPLv3 now makes explicit. Quoting http://blogs.sun.com/webmink/entry/gpl_v3_released:
Eben made it very clear indeed that he does not regard the
issues that are being raised over Nexenta to be any
kind of a problem even under GPL v2.
For links and references see for instance:
Have no fear!
Moglen can safely say anything ONLY about FSF's stuff
Posted Jan 31, 2008 10:10 UTC (Thu) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
...and I'd like to see the actual phrase used. Because it all boils down to the "special exception": "the source code distributed need not include anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component itself accompanies the executable". It can be argued the "component itself" does not "accompanies the executable" since it's not library but the whole OS, but it's slippery slope.
If we can use Solaris libc then why not Microsoft's closed source one ? And if Microsoft will add a lot of proprietary extensions for Firefox and OpenOffice.org and bundle it all in Microsoft's libc - it all will be legal too ? It's very dangerous direction to be dragged into and all cited samples don't have this problem: they all are separate addons - either they are not distributed with OS at all (Fink or BlastWare) or they can be separated (sunfreeware can be thrown away OpenSolaris will continue to work) - not the case of Nexenta.
What are we afraid of?
Posted Jan 31, 2008 15:10 UTC (Thu) by zooko (subscriber, #2589)
I'm sorry, I don't exactly follow your argument. Let me put it this way: what are we afraid
of? Are we afraid that if we start happily using Nexenta -- a Free, Open Source kernel, Free,
Open Source libc and libraries, and a complete Free, Open Source userland, that this will
somehow lead to Microsoft taking over Firefox?
I am not trying to be provocative here, but I just don't understand why fear, uncertainty, and
doubt about some subtle hypothetical issue is important enough to cause people to avoid using
and contributing to a beautiful, Free, Open Source set of tools.
As I understand it, the designers of the GPL v2 did not intend for the GPL to cause this sort
of incompatibility, and they did not think that the GPL v2 did cause such incompatibility, but
since some people were apparently afraid that GPL v2 might do so, they further clarified GPL
v3 in order to assuage people's concerns.
Posted Jan 31, 2008 18:45 UTC (Thu) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
the CDDL is not compatible with the GPL period.
this means that you can't take CDDL code (ZFS) and include it in GPL code (the linux kernel)
until sun changes the licensing of ZFS to be compatible with the GPL there is no way to
integrate the two.
there are portions of ZFS that have been released under the GPL (enough for GRUB to be able to
read files from it), but most of the code has not been.
the only people who can fix this incompatibility are at Sun.
Posted Jan 31, 2008 19:02 UTC (Thu) by zooko (subscriber, #2589)
I wasn't talking about shipping a kernel comprising Linux and ZFS. I was talking about
Nexenta -- http://nexenta.org -- a project to compile Ubuntu packages on Solaris so that you
can use all the familiar userland tools such as apt-get and also the beautiful new Solaris
tools such as ZFS and dtrace.
For example, the nexenta folks have created a tool called "apt-clone", which uses ZFS
snapshots to make it possible to rewind to that particular set of installed debian packages.
Isn't that awesome?
Posted Jan 31, 2008 13:05 UTC (Thu) by pabs (subscriber, #43278)
Matt Lee from GNU claimed that GLPv3 is being considered for OpenSolaris.
I mailed him for a clarification and he said he had been speaking to "very senior people" at
Sun who were "considering it very seriously". Haven't heard anything recently though.
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