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Questions tagged [linux-kernel]

Questions about the linux-kernel, a popular kernel of GNU/Linux operating system.

22
votes
3answers
7k views

Why does Linux still use the GPLv2?

As I know, Linux intentionally avoids the switch from GPLv2 to GPLv3. It has the unfortunate side-effect, that it doesn't take part in the defense of the opensource world from the most recent danger, ...
19
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the differences between GPL V2 and V3 licenses?

One of the most widely used and most popular free and open source software licences is the General Public License. I want to know in simple terms: what are the differences between GPL Version 2 and ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

When distributing a Linux kernel driver as source code, what's the difference between Proprietary and GPL license?

The company I work for is selling PCIe cards. I'm writing the Linux driver for it as a Linux kernel module. When selling these PCIe cards, we give along the Linux kernel driver as source code. ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it possible for Linux developers to retroactively “pull their code” from Linux?

Linux now has a Code of Conduct. In the resulting backlash some people have claimed that developers can "flip a kill switch" or "pull their code" from Linux. They seem to mean that developers can ...
10
votes
1answer
199 views

Does GPLv2 prohibit torrenting Linux ISOs?

According to Richard Stallman: Likewise, in 2006 we learned through the GPL version 3 commenting process that downloading binaries of GPL-covered programs with BitTorrent violated GPL version 2, ...
8
votes
1answer
279 views

Is an 'un-modifiable' linux a violation of GPLv2?

I have a D-Link DIR-816 router that runs a 'trimmed-down' version of BusyBox v1.12.1 running a linux kernel version 2.6.36 (linsongdeng@gj222d.gj.com) (gcc version 3.4.2) #35 Wed Sep 23 17:23:58 CST ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What legal meaning do GPL symbols hold in the linux kernel?

In the linux kernel, several symbols are exported with EXPORT_GPL_ONLY, and as a result are only available if your kernel module contains MODULE_LICENSE("GPL"). Do either of those have any legal ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Do I have to disclose the source code of a Linux Driver I have not developed?

A 3rd-party Hardware manufacturing company is willing to sell me a Linux Driver for one of their products. The third-party company claims that the Linux Driver is derivative work of the driver they ...
5
votes
2answers
694 views

Can the Linux kernel be released under GPLv3?

From the Wikipedia article on Linux: The Linux kernel is licensed explicitly only under version 2 of the GPL, without offering the licensee the option to choose "any later version", which is a ...
5
votes
1answer
447 views

If software requires a modified (linux) kernel to function, is it considered a derivative work of the linux kernel?

I'm writing a userspace driver which requires some modifications to the Linux kernel to function. The modifications expose new functionality by the sysfs interface. I understand that the ...
4
votes
3answers
846 views

How can the Linux kernel's main.c file say that one of its copyrights is “all rights reserved” when it's GPL?

Just noticed this in the linux's kernel code main.c: * Copyright (C) 1991, 1992 Linus Torvalds * Copyright 2007 rPath, Inc. - All Rights Reserved * Copyright 2009 Intel Corporation; author H....
3
votes
2answers
67 views

What makes a FOSS project survive its initial critical stage?

We now know that Linux is famous and all, so contributing to the kernel project is the best thing to do, but my question is about the history. The version one of linux was nothing but a small program ...
3
votes
2answers
48 views

Should I distribute the source code of the build tools for a Linux distribution

If I want to distribute a GNU/Linux distribution as a .iso, I must : Distribute the source code of the Linux kernel Distribute the source code of any GPL (or some other license) package included in ...
3
votes
1answer
203 views

Can I rewrite the Linux kernel by hand and modify it to escape it from the GPL? [duplicate]

If I took the linux kernel, rewrite it and changed the order and file names and some other stuff, and destroy the original linux kernel, will the new kernel be subject to the terms of the GPL? tl;dr: ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

Renting out remote access to VMs with a modified GPL kernel

As I have read you can modify and use the Linux kernel if you do not distribute the binary of that modified version. The confusion that I have is that, suppose that if AWS were to provide a kernel ...
1
vote
4answers
124 views

What's the point of running free software on non-free hardware?

What is the point of running software that does not violate the four freedoms if our hardware does? Most of us have modern hardware which contains backdoors that allow manufacturers to access the ...
1
vote
1answer
201 views

Linux Kernel v0.01 source code licensing

The source for the Linux kernel v0.01 can easily be found online, however it does not seem to contain a license or any redistribution rules. Is it, therefore, safe to assume that this code is in the ...
1
vote
2answers
191 views

EOS - How to understand license agreement of Linux kernel derivative?

EOS (the industry-leading, Linux-based network operating system) runs across the entire portfolio of Arista’s network switches as well as in a virtual machine instance (vEOS). EOS operating system ...
1
vote
1answer
288 views

License of the Linux kernel user space API headers

The Linux kernel is licensed under the GPLv2. The headers that it exports to user space, however, are not covered by the license. This is documented in the kernel's licensing rules: The User-space ...
1
vote
1answer
235 views

Does program that uses EBPF module needs to be distributed under GPL

I have a question about eBPF and linux kernel licensing. Basically, an eBPF module is a small piece of code that is run inside Linux kernel, and can use kernel methods that are marked as GPL-only (eg. ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Using Linux kernel constants from a UAPI GPL 2.0 file

I would like to use some constants defined in this Linux userspace API header file in my permissive (MIT) licensed project. I could simply #include this header in my project, which will use the ...
0
votes
1answer
136 views

Implications of using Linux's Kbuild infrastructure in proprietary software

We have our own proprietary software that we are developing for commercial business. We want to sell the software and we do not have any problem in distributing the source code to our customers. Due ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Source request for a GPL-licensed Linux kernel module?

We have a CrowdStrike kernel module installed, and this is apparently the license: description: CrowdStrike Pinned Security Module author: CrowdStrike, Inc. license: GPL retpoline: ...