Subject: Re: [patchs] ext2fs filesystem for NetBSD
To: Jason Downs <>
From: Bill Studenmund <>
List: current-users
Date: 11/01/1996 17:30:05
On Fri, 1 Nov 1996, Jason Downs wrote:

> In message <>,
> 	Michael Graff writes:
> >Manuel BOUYER <> writes:
> >
> >> Hello,
> >> I'just put for ftp some patches which allow to mount an ext2fs partition
> >> on a NetBSD system. It it not quite stable yet, especially when running
> >> linux binaries from an ext2fs, but seems quite usable. This is based
> >> on the work done by Jason Downs for OpenBSD, with some improvement from
> >> FreeBSD.
> >
> >Is this code also GNU, or BSD copyright?
> ext2fs contains GPL'd code, yes.  (Though the bulk of it is hacked up ufs/ffs
> code from Lites.)

which means it can't go into a distributed kernel. I recently learned A
LOT about this problem regarding porting another fs from Linux.

So I'm wondering what the best thing to do would be. I'd like to suggest
(for discussion, of course) we think about something FreeBSD has done.
They have a sys/gnu directory which contains GPL'd things some people want
in a kernel. I gather the idea is that you can make your own kernel using
these parts, you just can't distribute it (because of the restriction in
GPL concerning other code it is linked with).

Another possability would be for us to expand on the lkm support we are
growing. It is (as someone specifically asked the FSF folks) kosher to
make a wholely-GPL'd lkm and then load it into a wholely non-GPL'd kernel.

Two other options are to get the authors to distribute the code under a
more-flexable license or to re-write it all ourselves. The former works,
and the latter, well, it works but it reduces the size of the user base
for the code (we might miss out on bug fixes/enhancements due to fewer
users & programmers).

I realize one of the founding tennants of NetBSD is an avoidance of
"restrictive" software licenses. I agree with this tennant, and like it.
But I think there's code out there from which we can benifit which is
GPL'd and some sort of complromize would help us more than hurt us.


Take care,