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Re: [Qemu-devel] why is kqemu closed?

From: Leonardo E. Reiter
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] why is kqemu closed?
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2006 11:56:35 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.7 (X11/20051013)

No it's not! In fact, in the latest version, he explicitly gives it a commercial ("Proprietary") license. He also does not import any exported GPL symbols from the kernel. In fact, if your claim is true, then the following very popular products violate the kernel license agreement:

VMware Workstation, GSX Server, ESX Server, Server Beta (free)
Parallels Workstation
NVIDIA drivers
Win4Lin 9x (shameless self-promotion, I admit)
Win4Lin Pro (which distributes KQEMU under license from Fabrice)

In fact, KQEMU uses almost no kernel functionality at all. Allocating, freeing, and locking memory into place is not that interesting and is not something that Linux does alone - every OS in existence provides these services. On Linux, you are not forced to be a GPL module to use them, because, they are simply not that interesting and are mandatory to run just about any type of application or driver. The real meat of KQEMU is kernel-independent (the same binary runs on just about any OS, unmodified), and deals with the CPU directly. It would be a crying shame if drivers like these would not be allowed in future kernels - they use the kernel as simply a loader, not to do anything really interesting.

I admit since I am a vendor, I have certain biases against forcing all software to be GPL. However I respect these licenses fully, and also respect the author's choice to use whatever license he or she pleases, and also to allow exceptions to these licenses. You might recall Linus Torvalds years ago explicitly giving an exception to "binding" when it came to loading kernel modules. It would be hard to convince any vendor in the world to develop software for Linux if you were not allowed to run non-GPL applications on Linux. Let's hope that never happens, although I understand that the latest sentiments seem to unfortunately be leaning that way. This is not how Linux will beat Windows on the desktop, nor on the server!


Leo Reiter

Auke Kok wrote:

On Mon, 10 Apr 2006 17:20:54 +0200, "Hetz Ben Hamo" <address@hidden> wrote:

Fabrice is the owner of the KQEMU code, and he decides for his own
reasons to put the code under closed source license.

I'm sure that Fabrice knows and that I'm beating a dead horse, but this is 
(strictly speaking, discussions pending ;^)) violating the linux kernel license 


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Leonardo E. Reiter
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