Subject: Re: Licensing questions for misc djb and djb-related packages
To: None <>
From: None <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 09/03/2001 12:29:19
Thanks for all the pointers.

From: Kevin Sindhu <>
Subject: Re: Licensing questions for misc djb and djb-related packages
Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2001 19:21:27 -0700

> Are you changing any style which as per DJB is unauthorized? I remember
> seeing an e-mail where DJB refused to help a FreeBSD'er as he'd
> installed the package from the FreeBSD ports. Here's an excerpt:
> (
> D. J. Bernstein wrote:
> | ``The port'' is unauthorized and unsupported. It does not correctly
> | install daemontools. Remove it, and do the installation properly:
> |
> |
> |
> | Then complain to the author of ``the port.''
> I'd check thread above before concluding...;-).

Right, I saw a post containing that excerpt.

BTW, near it, I also found a post from DJB:


  Nick Holland writes:
  > You have repeatedly, on your dns@ list, advised people to just
  > download the source from your sites and install it by your directions
  > (which ARE rather straight forward and trivial), not use ports, RPMs,
  > etc.

  False. Here's what actually happened:

     * Someone had trouble with the FreeBSD port of daemontools.
     * I explained that the port didn't work correctly.
     * I recommended following the official installation instructions.
     * I recommended complaining to the port author.

  This does not mean that I have a problem with ports. It means that I
  have a problem with _broken_ ports.


I get the feeling that there may be some misunderstanding of intentions.

I also found another post by DJB in the thread that might be relevant...
below is an excerpt:


  The word ``ports'' in the qmail documentation predates BSD-style ports.
  It refers to modified versions of the source code.

  I don't mind a BSD-style port that simply follows the installation
  instructions. I have also explicitly granted permission for the
  distribution of precompiled packages that behave correctly. There's
  nothing stopping OpenBSD from distributing a qmail package.

I suppose one problem from a packaging perspective is that the
installation instructions say to use /usr/local (a fixed location) as
the location for installation.

What I am curious about is whether he has any policy about packages.
It certainly doesn't seem clear to me.  Based on the information I can
find though, I still think there isn't a problem (legally) from making
non-binary packages of his software.

> Anyway, my intention in this case is entirely to stop this from
> happening again some time down the road in NetBSD packages...

I'm feeling dense at the moment, so please help me out.  What is it
that happened that would be good to prevent in the future?  Is it the
removal of packages that users may have come to rely on?  Some other

On the one hand, I guess if all djb software ended up using
slashpackage [1], packages of his software might be pretty easy to
administer.  On the other hand, it'd be a pity to not be able to
manage/administer one's non-system software via the packages

In the short term though, some of his software uses slashpackage
(IIRC, the latest daemontools), while some doesn't (e.g. qmail and
ezmlm).  So as an administrator, I'd like at least non-slashpackage
djb software to remain available as NetBSD packages.

[1] Presumably, everyone has read up on slashpackage ;-)