Subject: Re: softdep
To: Matthew Orgass <>
From: Bill Studenmund <>
List: current-users
Date: 11/18/1999 14:06:59
On Thu, 18 Nov 1999, Matthew Orgass wrote:

> On Thu, 18 Nov 1999, Laine Stump wrote:
> > As I understand it, the reason that GPL'ed code has been kept out of the
> > kernel (and GPL'ed userland is kept in a separate tree in the source) is to
> > make basing products on NetBSD simpler, and it can be one of the deciding
> > factors when choosing the OS. If there is a single GPL'ed file in the base
> > kernel, then doesn't the entire kernel effectively become GPL'ed? (ie,
> > doesn't that mean that any changes you make to existing files in the
> > kernel, as well as new files you add, must be made publicly available?) Or
> > is my interpretation more strict that reality?

The entire kernel doesn't become GPL'd, but the inclusion of that one file
restricts your ability to distribute that kernel - you have to distribute
it under terms as free as the GPL (though not necessarily GPL'd).  Chunks
of code currently in our kernel source has other restrictions, such as
advertizing clauses. These clauses are more restrictive than the freeness
of GPL. Thus they can't mix..

>   Yes, not only that but all LKMs too....

Actually we're ok w/ LKM's. It's explicitly ok for an lkm with GPL'd bits
to go into a non-GPL'd kernel. :-) If however we made lkm's to bind
against a GPL'd kernel (like a Linux one), that LKM could arguably be
covered under the GPL.

Take care,