Subject: Re: Licence question - Linux sources
To: None <>
From: Matthew Orgass <>
List: current-users
Date: 03/07/2000 08:13:59
On Tue, 7 Mar 2000, PER4MANCE, J. Dolecek wrote:

> I'm looking on implementation of something in Linux kernel and noticed
> that some of relevant files don't have any kind of licence in them.
> Does it mean that I can take the code and use it as if it would
> be public domain or is it GPL'ed by implication ? As far as there is no
> message indicating licence constraints in the file, I think it
> doing so should be ok. Am I right ?

  This mailing list is for the NetBSD operating system, not Linux. 
However, to answer your question, the entire Linux kernel is under the
GPL, even if individual files do not specify it (though some authors might
also make their code available under different licenses).  NetBSD has a
variety of licences that usually require you to say that your product uses
software by the author, but do not require you to release sources.  Some
files do not require this notice, however there is only one optional file
in the kernel that requires you to release source (it is kept under the
gnu/sys director instead of the sys directory for this reason).  Also,
with the same exception, NetBSD kernel sources do not place restrictions
on the license of the code they are used with.

  You can find more information about NetBSD at and you can
browse the source at

Matthew Orgass