Subject: Re: softdep
To: Laine Stump <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Michael Graff <email@example.com>
Date: 11/18/1999 16:10:05
Laine Stump <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> We should be careful about letting GPL-isms creep into the kernel. Sure, an
> item here and there is no big deal, especially if you're just using the OS
> personally (or internally in a company). But for someone using NetBSD as
> the basis for a product that includes kernel modifications they want to
> keep private (for a while at least), it can create serious problems if 1)
> there gets to be a lot of these GPL'ed modules and/or 2) developers start
> forgetting about this class of user, and add some new GPL-ed module that
> ends up being required for proper operation of the system.
I understand that keeping GPL'd code out of /usr/src is _very_
important, and I agree fully.
But, since the code lives in /usr/src/gnu/sys, this isn't an issue.
I'm talking about what ships with the default install disks. I think
we should have the most fully-featured kernel possible on those
disks. They should be competitive with other Unix releases. To be
told that you need to recompile, run a command like "tunefs -n" to
turn them on, is rather non-user friendly.
> 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?
Putting it in "gnu" is really wrong, since it isn't GPL'd. It has a
modified copyright that (according to my reading) simply requires that
if you link with the code, you MUST release all sources to build the
We do that.
Now, why sys/ufs/ffs/softdep.h is exempt from this curious. It also
has the same license as the file placed in gnu/sys/ufs/ffs/, after
all. Doesn't using that header file already taint our kernels?