Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 7th Jun 2010 10:15 UTC, submitted by kragil
Linux Employees of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have ported Sun's/Oracle's ZFS natively to Linux. Linux already had a ZFS port in userspace via FUSE, since license incompatibilities between the CDDL and GPL prevent ZFS from becoming part of the Linux kernel. This project solves the licensing issue by distributing ZFS as a separate kernel module users will have to download and build for themselves.
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CDDL is equally incompatible with both GPL versions.

Incompatibility is because GPL and CDDL are both copyleft licenses and neither permit re-licensing code to any other license; CDDL code is availabe under CDDL only and GPL code is available under GPL only. GPL's copyleft is wider and stronger, it requires all derivatives and extensions of GPL'd code to be under GPL-compatible license as well, while CDDL apply only to specific source files and allows proprietary extensions (or open source, as long it is not GPL). There are lot other differences, but this is biggest.

So, ZFS becomes part of kernel when is merged, and whole kernel is GPL. Since CDDL does not alow re-licensing to GPL, it can't be merged.

All this is not by mistake. Sun have chosen GPL incompatible license for OpenSolaris and ZFS on purpose. Danese Cooper is the one who actually wrote CDDL, and she said on Debian conference in 2006 that special requirement for was that license must be GPL-incompatible. Here is the link

PS: Watch at 11:30 and later.

So whole crack-pot idea of changing Linux to CDDL is crazy. Day when Linux switches to CDDL would be the day when ZFS switch to something else and Linux would be stuck with oldish version.

Not like that is going to happen, Solaris is going proprietary anyway.

Edited 2010-06-08 08:56 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

Moochman Member since:

Thanks for the explanation.

Not like that is going to happen, Solaris is going proprietary anyway.

What makes you think this? What would it even mean to "go proprietary"? Scrapping the CDDL? Really? To me it seems like the open-source nature of Solaris is the only thing keeping it vibrant. HP/UX and AIX may still have plenty of customers, but the question is, what percentage are just legacy? With Solaris I actually see some potential for growth, precisely because it is open-source.

Reply Parent Score: 2

gnufreex Member since:

They can't scrap CDDL'd code, but they probably wont opensource parts which are closed now, like SCC, Xsun, fishworks and such.

OpenSolaris is not selfhosting, you can't compile it without some proprietary libraries and there is some of "valued add" (or better say: Freedom subtract) parts, like mentioned fishworks.

Sun had plans to opensource that, and they also had plans to fix CDDL and remove choice of law clause in v2, making it acceptable license (look video for details). Oracle probably wont bother.

There is also problem with developer community... or lack there of. How many of OpenSolaris fans do serious kernel development? All kernel developers are at Oracle. If Larry moves them to proprietary Solaris version, OpenSolaris is toast. There is nobody to pick up development. 2009.6 will stay available, but how long will people use that? Oracle already discontinued paid support for OpenSolaris, there is now only proprietary Solaris 10 on their agenda. Or should I say SoLarry's.

I really liked Sun, but they really screwed with OpenSolaris licensing. If they used GPLv3, they would still be incompatible with Linux in start, but they would look good and see developers coming into their community and no Larry Elison could kill OpenSolaris. This way, OpenSolaris will be abandonware.

To all GPL bashers: That is what happen when you use GPL-incompatible license on purpose.

Reply Parent Score: 2