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Sun to Add GPLv3 to OpenSolaris?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the sun-is-shining-in-gpl-land dept.

Sun Microsystems 118

An anonymous reader writes to mention that sources inside Sun Microsystems claim that OpenSolaris may see the GPLv3 added to its list of licenses soon. From the article: "While Sun officials would not confirm the plan to dual-license OpenSolaris under the CDDL and GPLv3, Tom Goguen, vice president of Solaris software at Sun, told eWEEK that other open-source technologies will play a big role in Solaris going forward. 'Take the GNU Userland, which is an interesting piece of technology that Sun is looking at closely, and we may do something similar with, say, a container flavor,' he said. 'You can also expect to see a renewed focus on the needs of developers and system administrators with Solaris going forward, while individual pieces of the next version will also likely be increasingly delivered first as components or technologies targeted at vertical markets,' he said."

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Release it under all of them. (4, Funny)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17650116)

Just for a laugh. I mean, they're not mutually exclusive, are they?

Re:Release it under all of them. (4, Insightful)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 7 years ago | (#17650164)

And even if they were, it doesn't stop Sun, as the copyright holder, from releasing it under whatever licence they want.

Re:Release it under all of them. (1)

seguso (760241) | more than 7 years ago | (#17650598)

How could two licenses ever be "mutually exclusive"?

Re:Release it under all of them. (1)

madcow_bg (969477) | more than 7 years ago | (#17651112)

GPLv2: If you modify this work or parts of it and release them, you must release it under GPLv2.
GPLv3: If you modify this work or parts of it and release them, you must release it under GPLv3.

Yup, it is so easy to distribute mixed derivative work. Only you have to choose the license very, very carefully.

As, a matter of fact, in GPLv3 there is (going to be) an exception for some licenses just so that they would be compatible. Otherwise ... they won't be.

Re:Release it under all of them. (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654338)

> GPLv2: If you modify this work or parts of it and release them, you must release it under GPLv2.
> GPLv3: If you modify this work or parts of it and release them, you must release it under GPLv3.

That's not an example of mutual exclusivity, because you can satisfy both conditions simultaneously.

Re:Release it under all of them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17655204)

Let's use an actual example of GPL v2 and the BSD four-clause license(ie with the advertising clause). There is no way to combine someone else's code licensed with GPL v2 with someone else's code with the BSD license. The GPL must apply to the work as a whole, without any additional restrictions. The advertising clause is an additional restriction. So the licenses are mutually exlusive.

Sun cannot do that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17651586)

Sun does not own the copyright to 100% of the source code that makes up (open)solaris.

There are some important pieces, such as sendmail, bind, etc, that somewhat rather obviously come from elsewhere.

A simple "grep -li university /usr/include/*" is enough to tell you that.

Re:Release it under all of them. (2, Funny)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17650222)

Just for a laugh. I mean, they're not mutually exclusive, are they?

Who cares, let the lawyers figure it out.

Re:Release it under all of them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17650606)

The MS EULA, too?

Re:Release it under all of them. (1)

vga_init (589198) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654162)

Right, but all it takes is one copy to be released as GPL, and then the community would fork it right away so that they don't have to risk losing any work on it to another enterprise. It would also mean that Sun might risk losing control of their system if they themselves don't stick with GPL, since they won't be able to use improvements made by the community to the GPL version unless they accept that license back.

Opensolaris (1)

friedman101 (618627) | more than 7 years ago | (#17650170)

How long until Solaris is just another Linux distribution?

Re:Opensolaris (1)

jackharrer (972403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17651280)

I would rather say: "another RedHat-like distribution". They want to promote it so it becomes next Enterprise Linux, finally.
Good idea, IMHO. Don't forget - now they merge it with Linux, taking best of both worlds without violating any licenses.
Hopefully Linux will also take something from Solaris.

Just my 2 cents...

Re:Opensolaris (1)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17652212)

Why bother merging with Linux...

Linux offers next to nothing important that isn't already implemented better in Solaris

Re:Opensolaris (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17652798)

Um... hardware support?

Re:Opensolaris (1)

udippel (562132) | more than 7 years ago | (#17658964)

Good idea, IMHO. Don't forget - now they merge it with Linux,


Will you please answer this one question for me:
If you 'merge' SunOS (that is essentially the kernel) with a GPL-ed system (aside of the kernel), where in the system would Linux be left ?!

Good Strategic Move (4, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17650266)

Releasing OpenSolaris under GPLv3 might be a good strategic move. Right now GPLv3 is in limbo, with some projects moving to it and some not. The main purpose of GPLv3 is to try to stop submarine patents from the industry in general, but Microsoft in particular, from being used to undermine the process. So imagine Suse using GPLv2 competing against some other distro like RedHat, or Ubuntu, which has moved to GPLv3 for the code they contribute. They get the added value of swapping code with OpenSolaris, which has some really cool stuff and Sun gets the benefit of undermining MS's new strategy, which of course is as detrimental to Sun as anyone else, by making Suse Linux an outdated distro.

Re:Good Strategic Move (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17650364)

try to stop submarine patents from the industry in general, but Microsoft in particular
Can you please cite some examples of Microsoft using submarine patents.

Sun gets the benefit of undermining MS's new strategy
I think you will find the previous CEO of SUN pursued this sort of strategy for years instead of actually focussing the company on doing what it did best. Look where it got them.

Re:Good Strategic Move (4, Insightful)

a.d.trick (894813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17650438)

Can you please cite some examples of Microsoft using submarine patents.

It's not so much that they actually go out and sue people over patents. Rather, they use a technique known as FUD and they go around and intimidate their competitors about how they might use their patents. The competitors then have to scramble all about to save their stock from falling into oblivion and spend effort ensuring they are not in violation of some patent they don't know about. Whether there's anything to Microsoft's patent claims remains to be demonstrated.

Re:Good Strategic Move (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#17651208)

Can you please cite some examples of Microsoft using submarine patents.

Here ya go: Microsoft Patents [msversus.org]

Re:Good Strategic Move (2, Informative)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#17651320)

"Can you please cite some examples of Microsoft using submarine patents. "

MS has already sued for the use of FAT using their patents as a weapon.

MS has threatened many companies with threats of suits and had them back down because they can't afford to fight MS.

Steve Ballmer recently promised to sue people who use linux unless they use Novell Linux.

The only way Red Hat or Ubuntu can move to GPL v3 (1)

brennanw (5761) | more than 7 years ago | (#17650386)

is if they switch to a different kernel -- unless Linux and all the other copyright holders of the various bits and pieces of the kernel have changed their collective minds, the kernel is distributed under a modified GPL v2 -- the modification being that you can't distribute the kernel under anything but v2... (they removed the "or higher" verbiage.)

Unless, of course... (3, Insightful)

brennanw (5761) | more than 7 years ago | (#17650428)

...you mean that they move to GPLv3 in the areas where they can -- i.e., non-kernel software that they develop on their own.

It's much too easy to think of "Linux" as being one thing with one license, and I need to stop thinking that way...

Re:Unless, of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17650658)

"Linux" refers to the kernel of the operating system. Nothing more, nothing less.

Re:Unless, of course... (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17651066)

"Linux" refers to the kernel of the operating system. Nothing more, nothing less.

And what part of my original comment, "some other distro like RedHat, or Ubuntu, which has moved to GPLv3 for the code they contribute" lead you to think I was talking about the Linux kernel, instead of a distribution including the kernel, installer, applications, etc. ?

Re:Unless, of course... (0, Offtopic)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17651588)

lead you to think

That's "led" you to think. It's not just for light-emitting diodes any more.

Re:The only way Red Hat or Ubuntu can move to GPL (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17652222)

Well assumedly this is what Sun would like -- if Solaris became the dominant kernel, rather than Linux, by moving to GPLv3 when Linux is stuck with v2.

In reality I think the opposite is more likely, Solaris Tools + GNU userland on a Linux kernel, but it's still fun to speculate. I don't really know enough about the Solaris kernel to make any claims of technical superiority or inferiority either way. I do think it would be neat, in some geek-ish way, to have another kernel...but most users are going to stick with whatever the majority uses.

GPLv3 in limbo? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17651290)

Right now GPLv3 is in limbo, with some projects moving to it and some not.

I think you're underestimating just how much software the Free Software Foundation has copyright on: bash and the rest of the userland, GCC, etc. Considering that all GNU code will be moving to GPLv3, I think it's got quite a lot of traction whether Solaris uses it or not.

Of course, having Solaris too would be even better...

Re:GPLv3 in limbo? (1)

droopycom (470921) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654422)

Actually, you also probably underestimate the number of contributors and copyright holders in all those FSF projects.

I know that in theory contributions to FSF projects are required to have a Copyright assignement to the FSF, so that FSF probably is the only copyright holder, but the fact is the FSF leadership cannot just decide to switch all their project to GPLv3 if this is going to piss off active mainteners.

So I assume that switching will happen on a project by project basis and will be driven by mainteners rather than the FSF leadership.

For big projects switching may prove controversial and could lead to forks...

Re:GPLv3 in limbo? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17656082)

All the FSF projects have the "or later" license.

Re:GPLv3 in limbo? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17656730)

I know that in theory contributions to FSF projects are required to have a Copyright assignement[sic] to the FSF...

I was just about to remind you of that, but I see I don't have to. Unless I'm mistaken, it's actually "in fact," not just "in theory."

the FSF leadership cannot just decide to switch all their project to GPLv3 if this is going to piss off active mainteners[sic].

It seems to me that the kind of person who would maintain packages for the FSF would also be the kind of person who would like GPLv3.

Re:Good Strategic Move (1)

arifirefox (1031488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17652058)

actually what microsoft really wants is for linux and the oss community to fork. And it will fork because a lot of people don't want gpl3 and a lot of people do.

Re:Good Strategic Move (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 7 years ago | (#17652362)

The GPL version 3 is in limbo because its not finalised yet - so why should projects move to it when they dont even know what precisely it is they would be moving to?!

Some people really need to take a step back and breathe a little - theres no rush to move anything to the GPL v3, its not the cure for cancer and the situation wont have changed much in a year or two when no more changes are being made to it.

I'll switch-instantly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17655334)

If they go with the kernel being 3 and as much as userland as possible-I'll switch that day. In fact I was going to sometime soon start dual booting just to get familiar with it.

Linux has had an astonishing run, but it's obvious neglecting legal and political reality in the kernel and not caring about patents or DRM (LT to be exact, because it is his call there) is going to seriously hamper things in the future. Pity. Oh well.

      GPL 3 will address the *serious and now obvious* shortcomings of 2, and needed to be done a long time ago. No one knew way way back, but now that we do know, it is time to adapt or get wiped out. I prefer adapting rather than Linus flawed Ostrich strategy of sticking his head in the sand and playing make believe this stuff isn't happening all around him and going to get worse. If he can't (or won't) grok what is going on, again, his call. If Sun is smart enough to see that and follow through with their kernel then the opensolaris folks build something decent-I'm going with the smarter guys who have a better long range view and understand we can't let the IP buzzards and lawyers destroy folks hard work.

ZFS (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17650280)

Perhaps we can get ZFS into Linux this way. However, with Linus's position about GPLv3...

Re:ZFS (1)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17650578)

Not going to happen.

for one, v2 and v3 are incompatible (backwards wise, anyways) and Torvalds doesn't want a v3 kernel.

but let's assume for a moment that the licenses weren't incompatible. Solaris' vfs layer is quite a bit removed from linux's filesystem layer. A complete rewrite may be easier than a port in that case

Re:ZFS (1)

daverabbitz (468967) | more than 7 years ago | (#17651220)

What I'm interested to know, is if you read the ZFS source code and then write a specification for ZFS (not how the driver works, but how the data is recorded on disk, and assuming there isn't a public domain spec already), is that spec a derived work, or is it a referenced work in which case you could then write a GPL driver from that spec.

Re:ZFS (2, Insightful)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17651348)

What you've just described is step one of cleanrooming a driver.

The code is free, you're more than welcome to do that with ZFS, but nobody has so far & zfs is really cool... obviously it's not just as easy as you describe... the only reason linux has so much filesystem support is because of the companies that added it... IBM added JFS, SGI added XFS, etc...

I seriously doubt Sun cares to add zfs to linux.

Re:ZFS (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17651734)

I seriously doubt Sun cares to add zfs to linux.

Why bother? There's a ZFS-on-FUSE/Linux [blogspot.com] project that has ZFS working, and is working on making it worth using. It's not clear that having a native filesystem is necessarily faster than a userspace driver, although FUSE probably still needs some work.

The driver already supports numerous features [wizy.org] (including RAID, pooling, snapshots and more) and is still under development.

Re:ZFS (1)

geniusj (140174) | more than 7 years ago | (#17652056)

It's not clear that having a native filesystem is necessarily faster than a userspace driver
Of course it is. One is a much shorter code path with less context switching. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Re:ZFS (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 7 years ago | (#17658824)

No brainers like these are why Knuth said that premature optimization is the root of all evil.

Reading and writing bits to the disk takes orders of magnitude longer than context switching.

Re:ZFS (1)

udippel (562132) | more than 7 years ago | (#17659090)

Perhaps we can get ZFS into Linux this way. However, with Linus's position about GPLv3...


Can we try to imagine for a minute what the consequences of a move to GPLv3 would be ?
SunOS already runs ZFS. Everything else (except of the kernel, which happens to be called 'Linux') gets upgraded to v3 as well. So you can compile your any-'Linux'-distro on SunOS.

The consequence is obvious: Your - cough, cough - 'Linux' distro does run ZFS. Only, there is much less 'Linux' left in it than RMS would have ever thought when he insisted on GNU/Linux. ;)

And no, chances are you will not be able to compile your any-'Linux'-distro on Linux. Think about it.

Sun is the leading open source company (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17650506)

Sun is the leading opensource contributer - page 51 [europa.eu] according to the EU.

So this shouldn't come as a surprise.

Alex

In other news... (4, Funny)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#17650558)

Stallman Takes Control of Sun

Two minutes after applying GPL3 to OpenSolaris, Richard M. Stallman, pseudoprophet of the New Religion, exercising a deeply buried clause in GPL3, took control of the company.

"My version of reality, trumps yours," he stated, "And my version of Freedom is better for you, so, we have deprecated all other forms of freedom. The sooner you learn to accept that, the sooner we release you from your bonds. Now take your medicine."

President-For-Life of Cuba, Fidel "I'm-still-alive-dammit-don't-unplug-that" Castro called to congratulate the new CEO.

Re:In other news... (0)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#17650604)

I will accept your moderations.

But, you do know that there are those who don't like to have their Gods mocked, and those are the most dangerous of Followers. Beware the religious zealot.

Re:In other news... (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17650968)

But, you do know that there are those who don't like to have their Gods mocked, and those are the most dangerous of Followers. Beware the religious zealot.


So anyone who doesn't like to have to have their God mocked is by definition a religious zealot? So then someone must enjoy someone mocking their God to be stable in your world? Perhaps you meant those who are willing to hurt others for religious reasons are dangerous, or did you really mean that any religious beliefs at all are dangerous?

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17652042)

No, the answer is a lot simpler, he just doesn't want to get downmodded, so he says that if you down mod me you are (insert insult here). I hope people aren't that stupid.

Re:In other news... (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17651196)

But, you do know that there are those who don't like to have their Gods mocked, and those are the most dangerous of Followers. Beware the religious zealot.

Are you saying that you are afraid of a bunch of gnuhadists?

There may be other problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17653246)

The biggest problem is that it is really not that funny.

At least you will get a couple of mod points from the Stallman haters.

And now anyone who doesn't agree with you or enjoy their God being mocked is a zealot? Nice move... Hey, enjoy this mockery "I think your wife has a face like a horse"... ooops, I forgot, you are single... this is slashdot.

Re:In other news... (0)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17653842)

> I will accept your moderations.

I wish you would do so silently. You're really not interesting enough to be a martyr.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17654804)

Touchy bunch here. Touchy, touchy.

Google supporting terrorist attack with MAPS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17650642)

Google is supporting terrorists by providing detailed maps of British military camps in Iraq.

What is Google thinking? That gets ad space is more important?

sh1t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17650674)

To underscore I've never seen to them...then Of reality. Keep roots and 6e7s on , a proud member

That might cause a real shift in momentum (4, Insightful)

starseeker (141897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17650702)

Consider the following points:

1. Most software that creates the userland for desktop users can run on Solaris as well as Linux, in the sense of using the kernels.

2. Businesses, which value stability, have watched the Linux kernel abandon the odd-even numbering system in favor of merging major changes into the 2.6 tree (I know there are pros and cons for this, but my money is on this not being a positive move in most commercial business eyes.)

3. The major lack for Solaris, from the user standpoint at least, is the driver support Linux now enjoys - if Solaris supported all the hardware Linux does and had a good/friendly install routine (haven't tried it myself), there would be little to choose between Linux and Solaris.

Now, how could GPLv3 help?

It's true the Linux kernel code, as such, could not be merged straight into Solaris. HOWEVER, key authors of the parts of Linux that actually are better could be contacted and asked if they would license their code for use in Solaris under GPLv3. The CDDL has not, so far, encouraged much of this activity as far as I know. GPL has "street cred" in terms of the open source population, and the key authors of the key parts unique to Linux might be convinced to help Solaris (which has its own bits of Truly Awesome Code).

Many of the arguments are similar to using GPL for Java. Solaris is already freely available and as such is not a direct revenue stream for Sun - the question is how to use it to Make Money in other venues. Now there are risks as well as rewards to being able to run Solaris on a wide variety of hardware, and Sun must make the calculation as to whether universal standardization/use of Solaris would promote their hardware as a very stable, powerful integrated core of a complete Solaris solution. This is not immediately clear, but is possible. Certainly, it would increase Sun's "visibility" in the marketplace, if they displace Linux as the major open source operating system. (I know, I know - the userland tools are what count most, but marketing doesn't seem to work that way.)

Another interesting question is whether the corporations who have made contributions to Linux in order to make it more usable for them might be inclined to work with Sun and Solaris if it becomes available under GPLv3. Corporations seem to be more comfortable working with other corporate entities, and GPL is a good "safeguard" against being taken to the cleaners.

I hope Sun does release a functioning Solaris under GPLv3, with the key parts (dtrace, ZFS, etc) included. I would certainly be interested in such a system, particularly if the key developers cooperate and the major Linux Goodies can be folded into it.

Interesting times.

Re:That might cause a real shift in momentum (1)

Mr. Hankey (95668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17652536)

That's one possibility, but the other possibility is for code to go in both directions. Both Solaris and Linux could potentially use code from the other, assuming the Solaris code is not tainted in a manner that would preclude its inclusion in the Linux kernel and vice versa. I use both Solaris and Linux, amongst other UNIX and UNIX-like systems, and they each have good points that make them useful.

Re:That might cause a real shift in momentum (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 7 years ago | (#17657074)

assuming the Solaris code is not tainted in a manner that would preclude its inclusion in the Linux kernel and vice versa

If Sun chooses "GPL v3 or (at your option) any later version", that pretty much kills that possibility. Linus's choice of "GPL v2 and no other version" is not compatible with "GPL v3 or later." It's unclear to me whether "GPL v2 and no other version" is even compatible with "GPL v2 or later." Probably not, because by including "2 or later" code into a "only 2" product can't be done without changing the license terms of the "2 or later" code without the permission of the copyright holder.

Re:That might cause a real shift in momentum (1)

Mr. Hankey (95668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17659708)

It's difficult to tell - until the GPLv3 is 100% finalized and Linus makes his final decision on this version, we won't really know. Everything's noise until then. The "or later" clause may not be attractive to Sun either, since later versions of the GPL could be written to disallow dual licensing. That probably wouldn't make SUN happy. Still, it's an interesting observation.

Re:That might cause a real shift in momentum (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 7 years ago | (#17653546)

The main reason that I prefer FreeBSD to Solaris (apart from petty squabbles over directory heriarchy and naming conventions) is that Solaris does not have the equivalent of FreeBSD Ports. It still doesn't.

Re:That might cause a real shift in momentum (1)

udippel (562132) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654358)

Solaris does not have the equivalent of FreeBSD Ports.


Fine, FreeBSD's port collection is pretty good. But you don't seem to understand that - with these moves - you'll do 'apt-get' on Solaris. And that's vastly superior. (And if you still want to make && make install, you 'apt-get source' instead of 'ftp://ftp.freebsd.org')
A reasonable argument rather could be: Which kernel is better, SunOS or FreeBSD. And then chances are, that there will be a shift in momentum.

'debianized' Solaris exists NOW (3, Informative)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 7 years ago | (#17656518)

Check out Nexenta [gnusolaris.org] .

Debian won't officially endorse the project due to resistance to the CDDL license. The Nexenta FAQ [gnusolaris.org] explains the issue; licensing solaris under GPL3 gain acceptance.

Re:That might cause a real shift in momentum (1)

thanasakis (225405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17655262)

This is not a direct reply to your post, but anyway, http://blastwave.org/ [blastwave.org] provides a pkg-get program which, for all intents and purposes, works like apt-get (I know, this is not ports). A good and big collection of packages too!.

Re:That might cause a real shift in momentum (1)

ci4 (98735) | more than 7 years ago | (#17656038)

pkgsrc works just fine under Solaris. And it is arguably better than ports.

This makes sense (3, Insightful)

Serveert (102805) | more than 7 years ago | (#17651034)

Sun's meat and potatoes is their hardware, all decisions from the beginning go back to that basic tenant. Therefore it's in their best interest to get people to use Solaris which works well on Sparc. Sun has some pretty cool stuff, for example their new filesystem, zfs. Now if they were to release zfs as gpl v2, it could be used in linux, which doesn't help's Sun's bottom line(Sparc). If people use Solaris on x86 then that helps - Sun hopes those people will switch to Sparc. But given Torvalds not liking gpl v3, Sun can safely make Solaris, zfs, etc. GPL v3 and they won't have to worry about helping Linux much. The anti-patent provisions also throw a wrench in Microsoft's plans to use the patent wrench to stop open source.

Re:This makes sense (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17651672)

Sun's meat and potatoes is their hardware, all decisions from the beginning go back to that basic tenant. Therefore it's in their best interest to get people to use Solaris which works well on Sparc.

Does that mean that Fujitsu no longer has the best-performing SPARC processors?

I think it's in Sun's best interest to abandon SPARC. I don't think they can afford to maintain their own architecture.

Sun has some pretty cool stuff, for example their new filesystem, zfs. Now if they were to release zfs as gpl v2, it could be used in linux, which doesn't help's Sun's bottom line(Sparc).

Further proof that SPARC should be allowed to die quietly. Linux runs on SPARC, but there's little point in supporting the latest and greatest hardware unless Sun actually took on the project.

An alternative to scrapping SPARC would be to scrap Slowlaris and port its useful features into Linux (including full support for any Solaris/SPARC binaries.) If Sun is as you say a hardware company at heart this would make dramatically more sense than trying to maintain Solaris. But then they would have to compete solely on the basis of the value of their hardware and I think that would kill them.

The final alternative is to simply die. I know I would not give Sun one dime since they hopped into bed with Microsoft, given any alternative - and there are many. By the same token, I would not do business with Novell.

Re:This makes sense (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17652568)

Or what If sun releases solaris with GPL3, after a few years, people are picking up on it, they ecide to exercise some pattent restrictions or something else and hold a, this open version is crippled, use this it's better. Then sun becomes a software company with good hardware.

And if any of the GPL people object, they pull the GPL from open solaris and make a statment about the GPL being poision for IP and this is proof. Now microsoft wins again. If i remeber corectly, they started the gpl poision thing.

And nobody will see it comming until some spokesperson is standing at a shareholders meeting going, We were duped into following into this GPL movment with claims of all the benefits and we didn't understand that we surendered our rights to make a profit while investing in it. So ladies and gentlemen, Enron type people has stolen this years profits and we need to start over again.

Of course that will be a lie. But If sun is going to die, and they can place blame somewere that doesn't make thier officals look like Enron or Tyco execs, they will. I might also suggest that some SUN CEOs could find jobs at microsoft after doing this. Likley at a salarie close to or better then when working at SUN. The anti pattent and anti TIVO clauses give them these tools. I would be leary about this deal until it is fully understood along with microsofts complete deals with SUN.

Re:This makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17658002)

Does that mean that Fujitsu no longer has the best-performing SPARC processors?

I think it's in Sun's best interest to abandon SPARC. I don't think they can afford to maintain their own architecture.


Obviously they do. It scales. Niagra has enough threading capability to put any x86's dick in the dirt.

An alternative to scrapping SPARC would be to scrap Slowlaris and port its useful features into Linux (including full support for any Solaris/SPARC binaries.) If Sun is as you say a hardware company at heart this would make dramatically more sense than trying to maintain Solaris. But then they would have to compete solely on the basis of the value of their hardware and I think that would kill them.


Slowaris eh? I work in as a network engineer in a datacenter for a Fortune 100 company. My wife works as a sysadmin in a datacenter for a Fortune 500 company. Guess what big boy.. the only linux in there is Red Hat and it's relegated to "Bitch" status for relatively unimportant non-mission critical roles. It's all AIX and Solaris with a few HP/UX machines thrown in for good measure.

The final alternative is to simply die. I know I would not give Sun one dime since they hopped into bed with Microsoft, given any alternative - and there are many. By the same token, I would not do business with Novell.


Yeah, not one dime eh? Look fuckhead, it's called business. The commercial Unices leave Linux in the dust as far as uptime, features that work predictably, and reliability. Bleat about porting zones and Dtrace all you like, but Linux by the day is becoming more of an unstable piece of shit. We're starting to see regression problems that you'd expect out of Microsoft.

I think you need to get your fat white pasty fanboi ass out of momma's basement.

Seriously, it's over-zealous idiots like you who make it hard for me to sell open source to my bosses.

Re:This makes sense (1)

udippel (562132) | more than 7 years ago | (#17659190)

I really wished I had mod points and I'd throw all of them to you for your insightful contribution.
Usually, we Linux-es are simply not really aware of SUN's business.
If SUN had some business-minded brains instead of technical wizardry, they'd left their singular isolated licensing boat quite a time ago. If Java (now I'm getting OT, I know) had not been hampered by its licensing restrictions since long, the world would look differently. Okay, it would have been forked forth and back; but still, it would be Java.

Now they have the same chance again, as you point out: They have ZFS (why does everyone mention ZFS and not DTrace as well ?!), undoubtedly the most scalable kernel architecture on this globe. And not much revenue from software. IMHO, nothing better than throwing that software to the crowds, together with an offer of big irons and support to run it in your next data center.
SUNs persistent problem is mainly too few people being used to and trained on it - exactly opposite to Microsoft that takes advantage of everyone somehow knowing Windows, and used to sell their often inferior software.

Re:This makes sense (1)

Serveert (102805) | more than 7 years ago | (#17659896)

"I really wished I had mod points and I'd throw all of them to you"

I'm flattered but you would just be throwing them away (see sig).

Linux-Watch (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#17651150)

I prefer Linix-Watch's coverage [linux-watch.com] .

(I hate e-week's site.)

Win all around (2, Interesting)

Voline (207517) | more than 7 years ago | (#17651240)

This will change things drastically. Solaris is a mature OS with some unique tools that could really benefit Free Software: DTrace [wikipedia.org] , ZFS [wikipedia.org] , etc. GPL licensed OS's would really benefit from this stuff. DTrace and ZFS will be included in Mac OS 10.5. But up until now they have been licensed under Sun's CDDL which is incompatible with the GPL [fsf.org] .

If Linus ceases to be bull-headed and moves the kernel to GPLv3. The Sun move will be great, Gnu/Linux will be able to integrate these new tools. Sun will be able to use and improve GPL licensed tools more easily. Everyone wins. Except proprietary software developers and MS in particular.

What if Linus continues to be an ass and refuses to license the kernel under GPLv3? Free software developers who do not want their work to be used in DRM or hardware that locks the user out of their software will move towards Gnu/Solaris! The Samba team, Alan Cox, all the GNU projects could all shift focus to Solaris as the default kernel. There is already a Debian-based Gnu/Solaris [gnusolaris.org] and this could become the main focus of Debian work. Would Ubuntu Gnu/Solaris be far behind?

If the second case happens Linus could continue with GPLv2 only for the kernel and see the importance of Linux diminish or he could give in and license it under "GPLv2 or later" and contain the hemorrhage.

Interesting, interesting.

Re:Win all around (2, Insightful)

mr_da3m0n (887821) | more than 7 years ago | (#17652170)

Uhm... Stop me if i'm spewing nonsense, but isn't the fact that Linus obviously doesn't give a shit about the GPLv3 a very tiny fraction of the problem?

The main problem being that it would be extremely difficult to track down every single person who contributed to Linux and holds the copyright to agree to the change?

Re:Win all around (1)

Voline (207517) | more than 7 years ago | (#17652514)

Good question. If I contribute code to Samba or the Linux kernel do I license my code to the project, or do I turn over ownership of the copyright to my code to the project?

Re:Win all around (1)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17652792)

you retain your copyrights unless you signed a waiver turning them over.

It being GPL, they ( kernel core, or samba ) only integrated your code based on the license you released it under ( GPL v2 ).

So yes, if they wanted to relicense it they'd need to track you down and get you to release it under v3, or CDDL, or BSD, or whatever

Option one (license, not turn over ownership) (1)

jonasj (538692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17652836)

IANAL, but in general, you own the copyright on the code you have written until you explicitly assign the copyright to someone else (as in "I hereby assign copyright of this code to Foo").

Re:Win all around (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654900)

Well, you're not completely wrong, but I'd say Linus' attitude is a very large portion. We can agree though, it's only a part.

At present, the kernel code is licensed under a number of licenses. They are all compatible with the GPL v2. Because he was shortsighted and omitted the 'and later language' from his own contributions, and encouraged others to do the same, it's NOT all compatible with GPL v3. But if he really wanted to upgrade the license, he could do so, it would just take some work and some time. He could relicense his own code, encourage others to do the same, and require GPLv3 compatibility on new submissions. Then wait perhaps 2-3 years for 'code churn' to take care of most of the problem. At that point, only a few lines of incompatible code would be left to hunt down and rewrite.

Re:Win all around (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17653286)

WOW, I'm trolling right now so don't take this as a serious reply.

I just find It Ironic when Someone talking about free and opensource software describes the inevitably destruction of someone's opensource product with the hopes of forcing them to use a license they don't agree with.

It is amazing to read all the posts wich result in "If You don't sucumb to our version of freedom, you won't have anything to participate in" or "You will be ruined if you don't agree with us" Or as you politly put it, Linus could continue with GPLv2 only for the kernel and see the importance of Linux diminish or he could give in and license it under "GPLv2 or later" and contain the hemorrhage. Knowing it isn't what the controler of the software wants but seems to justify the pain because it is what the free people want.

I hope I'm not the only one seeing the "you can be as free as I let you" setiment boiling down from this. I'm against the GPLv3 as it is currently writen so I guess I'm especialy compasionate to linus. Imagine, The idea of opensource software claiming to be a freedom movment and ending up with words like forced to use this or fail (die actualy but I don't want that would confused with physical harm, As far as I know, it has got that bad yet)

Re:Win all around (1)

Voline (207517) | more than 7 years ago | (#17656660)

You talk as though Linus was the sole author of the Linux kernel. He is not. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people contributed to producing it. Yet, he has sole decision-making power over whether the project changes licenses? The only "force" that can be exerted over Linus is the ability of people to choose to participate in his project or not. If a consensus forms in favor of converting to GPLv3 Linus will not be able to stand against it. This is one way that participants in a voluntary association exert their will over "leaders" and it is entirely legitimate. It is misleading to talk about the Linux kernel as if it were the private property of one person, like a stereo set or football. It is a collective project that was produced by people who voluntarily joined together under certain terms and conditions: The GPL. Because it was under the GPL, some fraction of the contributors are free to take the source and say, "Thanks, Linus. You did a great job managing this project for 15 years. But we're going to fork it and run the project differently from now on."

Re:Win all around (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17658180)

No, actualy the thing thing i said about linus was that I felt for him in hte way he has been treated. The other quote containing a reference to linus was from the GP.

But you corect, It is a coloberative effort between lots of people. However, linus err lets say the kernel develpoers do have some vioce over code that was contributed because the control was given to them. But the Kernel code as far as i know, Is primarly distributed under GPL2 and cannot be just pulled into a GPLv3 license. People often cite clause 9 In the GPL but fail to understand it when bullshiting position on it. This is not to mention that the GPL3 license as it currently stands goes against the Spirit of GPLv2 and that is the riding factor allowing for the upgrade in license. GPLv3 as it curently stands is also incompatible with a GPLv2 project so moving it will be an all or nothing effort.

Also the Idea behind the changes to the GPL in version 3 is to force companies to do things the "free way". I'm not sure you can force someone to be free, but what do i know, I'm just the user who is now leaning towards BSD for freedom. I get scared when hearing how free i could be when the same people are talking about forcing someone against thier will. Is it really as free as they say?

Re:Win all around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17656310)

I wouldn't bet on the anti-DRM crowd moving to OpenSolaris. Contributions to Solaris will require a copyright assignment. Sun says they will license under the GPL v3 AND THEIR OWN PROPRIETARY LICENSE.

The Solaris kernel and model is, if anything, more friendly towards the Trusted Computing DRM/TIVO control freaks.

ARwesome 2fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17651276)

prospects are 7ery to decline for

Nexenta (1)

xoundmind (932373) | more than 7 years ago | (#17651910)

Well, if Linux insists on staying at GPv2, then perhaps RMS will get behind the Nexenta/gnu-solaris [gnusolaris.org] project. Maybe someone in the know can explain (to me and others) whether this would meet the needs of a GNU operating system. While I am a *BSD user, I'd love to see a Linux-free GNU system take off. If for no other reason, Torvalds increasingly seems like an obstinate teenager. And to be snotty about, his kernel certainly does. I'll slip into my asbestos suit, so let it fly....

Re:Nexenta (1)

vga_init (589198) | more than 7 years ago | (#17652210)

That is an interesting point you raise, but I'm not so sure things will come out exactly like that. Even if Linux is kept at GPLv2, Stallman would still recognize that system as Free. After all, he promoted this license for ages.

Now, if he prefers GPLv3, he might come out and start saying that he prefers Nexenta. Stallman is not tied to Linux, even though it completed his goal of having a complete, Free system. Linux, while GPL, has not exactly been fully behind the Free software movement a la Linus Torvalds and other "pragmatists" that look at "open source" as a practical compromise rather than a moral solution. Also, the GNU project never intended to use Linux, but its own HURD system, which so far has failed to materialize.

If I were Stallman and I were really concerned about pushing GPLv3, I would either urge the community to move to Nexenta (if it were licensed as GPLv3) or say "Look, this is why we need to complete HURD."

Re:Nexenta (1)

xoundmind (932373) | more than 7 years ago | (#17652632)

Stallman is not tied to Linux, even though it completed his goal of having a complete, Free system.

Indeed, which is why this all seems so intriguing. I think someone else has mentioned the potential for a Debian backed GNU/Open Solaris port. While I cannot foresee them ever abandoning Linux, there is certainly no reason why the open solaris kernel could not become the primary emphasis. Though I choose to use FreeBSD, i certainly have tremendous respect for the ideals/goals of the Debian project. A v3 solaris kernel would seem to be much more in line with their ideology than a stuck-at-v2 Linux kernel.

This is all fantasy/supposition, but think of the spinoff effects of Debian diving into solaris. How would that affect Ubuntu? Well, Shuttleworth would have to actually hire some devs instead of relying on the significant efforts of the Debian/Linux team...Again, I'm getting ahead of myself, but this seems to point to some real potentaial effects of Torvalds' stance on v3. Maybe someday he'll wake up and find snarky comments on Slashdot about "Netcraft confirms the death of Linux".

Ok, back to reality...

Re:Nexenta (3, Insightful)

vga_init (589198) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654042)

Personally, I would find it incredibly amazing if Sun's system suddenly became the vanguard of Free software, "killing" Linux in the process. I had been following the market closely since I started using Linux years ago, and while a lot of GNU/Linux people were going head to head with Microsoft, it was obvious that what Linux was really doing was killing commercial Unix. In fact, the casualties were so bad that all big Unix vendors either converted themselves into Linux companies (IBM, Novell, Sun did Linux too) or died miserable deaths (SCO, SGI).

Sun's premier system probably had the biggest chance of standing up to Linux (popular, technically advanced), there was no way they could keep up unless they joined in on the "open source" thing. If they went in all the way and made it 100% Free, that could really shake things up. If the dispute between GPL versions becomes a big one, Sun would be poised to win big. Not only would their own system become an order of magnitude more popular, but it would also make them the Free software company. With Free products like Solaris and Java, their software is practically legendary (there is no use denying the popularity of Java, and Solaris has always been a Unix lover's darling system).

So, after all those years of "Linux is killing Unix," it would be amusing to see Sun turn the tables on that one. Don't think it can't happen, either... if large companies have proven anything, it's that they're good at absorbing the innovations of smaller entities and taking over. It's similar to how politics works in the United States--the two big parties stay on top partly by taking issues raised by small parties and making those issues their own, using their clout to "cover" the issue better and eliminating the need for the third party.

Re:Nexenta (1)

udippel (562132) | more than 7 years ago | (#17659354)

[Someone else who deserves all mod points that I don't have ...]

If Linus keeps playing the stubborn child, what you say can well happen.
The only stumbling block when I read your message - aside of the uncertainty if SUN behaves as childish as Linus when giving up their control is concerned - is my curiosity in how far Linux is technically superior and SUN would have difficulties to keep up. I have a distinct feeling that the SUN kernel has some serious advantages over Linux, the kernel.
Though I could be wrong.

Nexbuntu? (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 7 years ago | (#17656794)

Shuttleworth isn't in any danger.

Just how much of Ubuntu's innovation are actually tied to the Linux kernel?

My understanding is that Nexenta has imported a lot of Ubuntu code. It's still in alpha, meaning a number of issues related to meshing upstream solaris code need to be resolved. But essentially it is Ubuntu with a Sun kernel.

Re-licensing solaris will make life simpler for Nexenta developers in having changes endorsed by hardline-GPL upstream maintainers in debian.

Re:Nexenta (1)

udippel (562132) | more than 7 years ago | (#17659288)

perhaps RMS will get behind the Nexenta/gnu-solaris project. Maybe someone in the know can explain (to me and others) whether this would meet the needs of a GNU operating system.
Nexenta says so on http://www.gnusolaris.org/gswiki/FAQ [gnusolaris.org] , but I wouldn't bet on it. Though, the very moment SunOS / better: OpenSolaris gets GPLv3 instead / on top of CDDL, I do bet both him and Eben will put their weight (sorry - no pun intended) behind this combination.

So (1)

solid_liq (720160) | more than 7 years ago | (#17652200)

Does this mean there will be some way to fiddle with the GPLv2 vs GPLv3 licensing so we can get ZFS and DTrace into Linux?

Good for both GPLv3 and OpenSolaris; OK for DRM (1)

Freed (2178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17652446)

OpenSolaris under v3 makes it easier for code to go from the Linux kernel to OpenSolaris and not vice versa, which is good for Sun. A public corporate endorsement like this would spur adoption of v3.

Sun makes a big deal about adding licenses and not replacing them, so merely adding a v3 option to the CDDL one would do nothing for developers not wanting to help Tivoization a la Linux. In general, new contributors want to know their benefit in exchange for assigning copyright to Sun. Sun will have to appreciate the Tivoization issue as compromising their message to the community. Maybe after the license addition and enough (commercial) developers seeing the sky not falling with OpenSolaris under v3, Sun could comment on why using v3 and its exception clause cannot cover what they feel they need CDDL for.

On the whole, everyone should cut Sun some major slack. They seem to have been cooperating on issues of freedom more than other companies and even some projects such as the leading kernel developers.

Re:Good for both GPLv3 and OpenSolaris; OK for DRM (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17652890)

OpenSolaris under v3 makes it easier for code to go from the Linux kernel to OpenSolaris and not vice versa, which is good for Sun.


Er, no. As long as the Linux kernel remains under GPLv2 without the "or any later version" clause, code from it cannot be taken by Sun and incorporated into a product offered under GPL v3. Neither, of course, could code be taken from OpenSolaris under GPL v3 and incorporated into the GPL v2 Linux kernel.

Re:Good for both GPLv3 and OpenSolaris; OK for DRM (1)

Freed (2178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17653240)

No, you have fallen for a common misconception. While the kernel itself cannot be forked to v3, much of the code in the kernel is indeed licensed with the v2 or later clause and therefore can be used towards contributions to OpenSolaris under v3.

Re:Good for both GPLv3 and OpenSolaris; OK for DRM (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17653936)

No, you have fallen for a common misconception. While the kernel itself cannot be forked to v3, much of the code in the kernel is indeed licensed with the v2 or later clause and therefore can be used towards contributions to OpenSolaris under v3.


Such code would seem to be potentially problematic to start with, since if its in any way dependent on material (including interfaces) from the GPL v2-only kernel code, licensing under GPL v2 with the "or later" clause would seem to be a violation of the GPL v2-only license on the kernel itself.

Re:Good for both GPLv3 and OpenSolaris; OK for DRM (1)

Freed (2178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654392)

Such code would seem to be potentially problematic to start with, since if its in any way dependent on material (including interfaces) from the GPL v2-only kernel code, licensing under GPL v2 with the "or later" clause would seem to be a violation of the GPL v2-only license on the kernel itself.

There are no problems. Clearly, the linux kernel source contains both v2 and v2+ code and so as a whole can only be distributed under v2. Nothing including Linus Torvalds can stop anyone from taking v2+ code and distributing it under v3. Moreover, the individual copyright holders of the v2+ code can turn around and license their code however they want for other projects -- why not those under v3?

Re:Good for both GPLv3 and OpenSolaris; OK for DRM (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17652900)

Sun makes a big deal about adding licenses and not replacing them, so merely adding a v3 option to the CDDL one would do nothing for developers not wanting to help Tivoization a la Linux. In general, new contributors want to know their benefit in exchange for assigning copyright to Sun.

Ahh, but who says that contributors will be assigning their copyright to Sun? If Solaris is GPL, then contributors can modify and add to it without reassigning copyright to Sun. Then Sun has a choice between trying to acquire those copyrights for the CDDL version, ignoring those contributions and risking the community forking and the popular version being one they don't ship, or maintaining two separate distributions a GPL one and a CDDL one with differing functionality.

YUO FAIL IBT? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17652578)

of 7He above [goat.cx]

Response from Sun VP (4, Informative)

acoopersmith (87160) | more than 7 years ago | (#17653348)

A non-anonymous source inside Sun, who just happens to be Sun's VP of Software, has refuted eWeek's rumor spreading [sun.com] .

Re:Response from Sun VP (1)

Freed (2178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17653954)

He's not saying that it will not happen. Indeed, he has been positive in this link and elsewhere on v3 and its drafting process.

Here is a helpful reminder about Sun's considerations:

"I made it clear, back at launch time,'" said Phipps, "that we couldn't use GPL 2 because the source licensing in Solaris was so diverse. It's really not even an option, although we did explore it."

So license compatibility was a sticking point that v3 likely solves for Sun. I wish they would comment on why v3 and its permission/restriction clause does not make the CDDL superfluous for them. Maybe CDDL remaining just placates anti-GPL people.

Yu0 FaiL It (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17654082)

personal rivalries the official GAY Happinees Another 0n baby...don't BSD culminated in shitheads. *BSD stupid. To the

Re:Yu0 FaiL It (1)

tetsuo29 (612440) | more than 7 years ago | (#17656722)

I'll have 2 of whatever he/she had.

When can we use their CODE? (0, Troll)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654368)

This is great if you want to just use their applications.

But wake me up when they use a non-viral license.

Dual License? (1)

dblevins (559246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17657226)

How is that going to work? The second they incorporate a thirdy-party GPL library they loose they ability to legally distribute it under CDDL. Ten bucks says they give it a half hearted shot then announce they're dropping the CDDL version as it's too hard to pull off. Another 20 bucks says half of the Sun people working on this know that it's impossible to do and can't convince the other half. If anything is going to get forked in this scenario, it'll chunks of the CDDL version when Sun drops support for it.
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