Subject: Re: MkLinux DR2.1 update 5
To: Michael R Zucca <>
From: Colin Wood <>
List: port-mac68k
Date: 10/23/1997 16:40:28
Michael R Zucca wrote:
> > get hfs support would be Paul Hargrove's hfsfs module, which unfortunatly
> > is GPL'd. I've had lunch a few times w/ Paul, and he'd rather not remove
> > the GPL.
> So what's wrong with GNU Public License? Ok, I know NetBSD has a more open
> code license than GNU but would it be so terrible to have some GPL'd software
> in the source tree?

I'm sure Bill's already replied, but just in case he hasn't, there are a
lot of things wrong with it, actually.  But, the major one is that GPL'd
code may not be included in the same binary with non-GPL'd code unless
you're willing to distribute the non-GPL'd source.  So, although we do in
fact have GPL'd code in the NetBSD source tree (gcc being one of the more
important parts), we _cannot_ have GPL'd code in the kernel source.
Apparently, doing this (i.e. hfsfs) as an LKM is a way around this, since
the LKM is not compiled into the kernel.

>From what I've read (and there are enough flame wars over licensing that I
hope this doesn't start another), the basic problem (from the NetBSD
perspective), is that GPL'd code requires that all derived works
distribute source, whereas the BSD license doesn't.
> > The problem is that he received non-trivial help from a MacOS
> > simulator company (he got to read their source), and they asked him
> > to keep it GPL'd. There's a one-word reason: Microsoft. :-)
> Kind of a weird reason. I'm sure Microsoft could get a couple of guys together
> and write an HFS package if they wanted to. A friend of mine wrote the
> HFS code they use for stuff by DataVis and that's a much smaller company :)
> > I think our best bet is either use the h* utilities, or get hfsfs
> > working, and just keep it an lkm.
> Both would work :)
> Are the h* utilities truly free? Couldn't we build a file system off of them
> or is that what you tried to do already?

I think the utilities are truly free (if you can call the GPL free).  I
think that Bill was using a slightly different route, based off of the
hfsfs vfs module...


Colin Wood                       
Component Design Engineer - MD6                 Intel Corporation
I speak only on my own behalf, not for my employer.