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dtrace on Linux

dtrace on Linux

Posted Sep 22, 2008 10:58 UTC (Mon) by paulj (subscriber, #341)
In reply to: dtrace on Linux by Jonno
Parent article: KS2008: Tracing

And yet Linux distros still manage to ship these proprietary, binary-only drivers, despite these terrible legal constraints.

With DTrace being free-software, there isn't even much of a moral hazard...

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dtrace on Linux

Posted Sep 22, 2008 13:57 UTC (Mon) by corbet (editor, #1) [Link]

The number of Linux distributions shipping binary-only drivers has gotten quite small; there are good reasons for that.

DTrace presents a different hazard; imagine a Sun-turns-SCO scenario, for example. The fact that Sun does not appear to be interested in taking that path now is irrelevant; neither was Caldera, once upon a time.

dtrace on Linux

Posted Sep 22, 2008 14:54 UTC (Mon) by paulj (subscriber, #341) [Link]

There's no hazard from Sun, as the CDDL licensed DTrace bits can be combined just fine with GPL bits, as far as the former licence is concerned. The hazard is from a Linux kernel copyright holder turning SCO on Linux distributors, I thought we had established in an earlier discussion.

dtrace on Linux

Posted Sep 22, 2008 15:42 UTC (Mon) by zooko (guest, #2589) [Link]

Wait, what happens if Sun decides to try to use all of its copyrights to sue Linux distributors or users or otherwise to do harm to Linux development? Haven't they already granted a permanent, irrevocable Free Software licence over the current versions of DTrace and ZFS, in the form of the CDDL?

I have a feeling that you already addressed this in your "What if Sun turns Evil?" article, but I don't recall any actual problems that could result from use of DTrace or ZFS source code.

dtrace on Linux

Posted Sep 22, 2008 17:33 UTC (Mon) by njs (guest, #40338) [Link]

Well, there is Sun's ongoing refusal to answer questions like "Are you willing to grant a license to any ZFS patents you hold to other FOSS implementations?", which creates at least a cloud of uncertainty about what they might do if they became evil, or just decided that Linux was catching up with Solaris and threatening them.

Unless they have changed their mind and answered this at some point. I hope so -- haven't followed closely.

But paulj is right re: copyrights; Sun wrote the CDDL in such a way that combining CDDL and GPLv2 violates the GPL but not the CDDL. This has the same effect in practice as not granting permission, but it means that for copyright issues we don't need to worry about Sun-turns-SCO -- we need to worry about SCO-turns-SCO.

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