Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 26th Mar 2011 02:00 UTC
Mac OS X When you run smbd -V on your Snow Leopard installation, you'll see it's running SAMBA version 3.0.28a-apple. While I'm not sure how much difference the "-apple" makes, version 3.0.28a is old. Very old. In other words, it's riddled with bugs. Apple hasn't updated SAMBA in 3 years, and for Lion, they're dumping it altogether for something homegrown. The reason? SAMBA is now GPLv3.
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Apple's Samba is GPL2
by FellowConspirator on Sat 26th Mar 2011 04:40 UTC
FellowConspirator
Member since:
2007-12-13

If you are a corporation, GPLv3 is indeed bad. Not so much for fear the patent clause will require you to license one of your own patents, but because it opens up a bunch of liabilities for you and is an invitation to get sued. Getting sued is expensive. GPLv3 requires each distributor of the the software or patches to indemnify that software against patent violations - including patents held by third parties. This means that, if you do it right, you need to evaluate every bit of code and identify all the patents it may infringe upon and verify that the license terms for those patents is fulfilled. It's possible, but not practical. If you aren small potatoes, you can probably get away with breaking the rules, but bigger fish need to watch out.

This probably doesn't matter for Apple, though, since, as was pointed out, Apple's using an older version of Samba that was released under GPLv2. They could simply use that and fork it if they wanted to.

Presumably, Apple's reasoning is two-fold: they want better SMB/CIFS support, and they don't see GPLv3 Samba or maintaining a GPLv2 fork as being practical. Specifically, Apple wants better performance and better Windows 7 and AD support - none of that was forthcoming or worth the effort to cram into an old version of Samba, so they wrote their own.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Lion devs report better performance, and it works with Windows 7's modified authentication.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Apple's Samba is GPL2
by Nth_Man on Sat 26th Mar 2011 05:48 in reply to "Apple's Samba is GPL2"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

If you are a corporation, GPLv3 is indeed bad.

If the plan of those corporations was: getting the customers into a vendor lock-in... yes, it's bad for those corporations.

If the plan included putting hardware restrictions on software modifications, so that John had to depend on those corporations to modify the device that John bought... yes, it's bad for those money-sucking corporations [see what happened with "tivoization"].

it opens up a bunch of liabilities for you and is an invitation to get sued. [...] GPLv3 requires each distributor of the the software or patches to indemnify that software against patent violations - including patents held by third parties. [...] It's possible, but not practical.

This is not even real, instead of a long explanation, we can see the example of Linux distributions, plenty of GPLv3 software, and companies like Canonical, Novell, Red Hat, Oracle, etc that distribute them. I can tell you that they have lawyers :-)

Edited 2011-03-26 05:52 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 9

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

True. I also think history has shown us that sometimes companies need to be protected from themselves. The economy as a whole works best when there is more competition. The corporate modus operandi is to grow profits as large as possible, which leads to monopolistic behaviour, which would kill itself in the long run. Its like when an organ of the body becomes cancerous, its cells just want to grow and multiply but end up killing the whole body instead of improving the functioning of the body.

We need controls on corporate greed, for the sake of the good of all the corporations ( as well as the consumers, obviously). GPL V3 is such a control. The increased adoption of it, would be a good thing for many companies, including those that are afraid of it.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Apple's Samba is GPL2
by kaiwai on Sat 26th Mar 2011 06:08 in reply to "Apple's Samba is GPL2"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Presumably, Apple's reasoning is two-fold: they want better SMB/CIFS support, and they don't see GPLv3 Samba or maintaining a GPLv2 fork as being practical. Specifically, Apple wants better performance and better Windows 7 and AD support - none of that was forthcoming or worth the effort to cram into an old version of Samba, so they wrote their own.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Lion devs report better performance, and it works with Windows 7's modified authentication.


Agreed; from what I have heard SMB 1.0 was pretty much a walking disaster area with SAMBA and Microsoft programmers both screaming in horror when having to maintain it given that it was never cleanly documented from day one. SMB2 is a fresh start for all concerned, written from the ground up with all the parts properly documented and I'm sure Apple realised that the vast majority of people are running Windows Vista and 7 in the next couple of years so it would be best to focus on supporting the technology that people are and will be using than trying to maintain a horrible mess that should have been jettisoned years ago.

What I'd love to know is how does this affect their SMB implementation on Airport Extreme and Time Capsule? Will we see a firmware upgrade to SMB2 or will Apple do a silent refresh of their products to bring SMB2 to the said devices?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Apple's Samba is GPL2
by Valhalla on Sat 26th Mar 2011 10:43 in reply to "Apple's Samba is GPL2"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

If you are a corporation, GPLv3 is indeed bad.

Hmmm.. so why is IBM, Red Hat, Novell, Intel, AMD, Google etc all contributing code to GPLv3 licenced projects such as GCC?

GPLv3 requires each distributor of the the software or patches to indemnify that software against patent violations - including patents held by third parties

Please point me to the GPLv3 paragraph (or any other source of information) that says distributors have to indemnify GPLv3 software against patent violations.

What GPLv3 says is that if you contribute your patented code to a GPLv3 licenced project you can't turn around and sue the recipients for patent infingement, instead you grant the recipients the right to modify and redistribute your patented code. Again, show me the licence text pertaining to patent indemnification against patent violations. I sure haven't found any:

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0-standalone.html

As for Apple not using GPLV3 (and not GPLv2) it's obviously because they want to incorporate the code into their proprietary products. Just like llvm in XCode, Webkit into Safari etc.

Back in the days of Next, Steve Jobs had his first brush with the GPL when he tried to use GCC as a frontend to a proprietary ObjectC backend, this wouldn't fly and after the threat of going to court Next decided to release ObjectC as GPL since they needed to use the GCC frontend, thus GCC got ObjectC support and everyone was happy, well apart from Steve Jobs/Next.

So it's not hard to see why Jobs went and supported llvm when the opportunity arised, but this ended up being a good thing (imo) since llvm is open source (and hopefully Apple will continue to send or their non-XCode related in-house patches upstream) and it also provides much needed competition to GCC.

So if Apple does indeed make their own Samba replacement open source then that's obviously great. If not then it's not like they were contributing to Samba anyway afaik.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Apple's Samba is GPL2
by Stratoukos on Sat 26th Mar 2011 11:47 in reply to "RE: Apple's Samba is GPL2"
Stratoukos Member since:
2009-02-11

Hmmm.. so why is IBM, Red Hat, Novell, Intel, AMD, Google etc all contributing code to GPLv3 licenced projects such as GCC?

You are cherry picking companies. I could list a thousand companies that don't. I believe that GPL is indeed bad for companies, but that's beside the scope of this issue.


As for Apple not using GPLV3 (and not GPLv2) it's obviously because they want to incorporate the code into their proprietary products. Just like llvm in XCode, Webkit into Safari etc.

How is GPLv2 different ot GPLv3 in this regard? The exact same restrictions apply. Apple has been able to work with (or around) them either by open sourcing their code (webkit, objc support in gcc) or by not directly linking with GPLed code (eg spawning new processes to use gcc and gdb inside Xcode).


So if Apple does indeed make their own Samba replacement open source then that's obviously great. If not then it's not like they were contributing to Samba anyway afaik.

Here we agree. Making a big deal about licenses is for zealots. If Apple makes the new implementation open source it's a win-win-win situation.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Apple's Samba is GPL2
by JAlexoid on Sat 26th Mar 2011 11:18 in reply to "Apple's Samba is GPL2"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

GPLv3 requires each distributor of the the software or patches to indemnify that software against patent violations - including patents held by third parties.


Where are you getting this? What anti-GPL FUD outlet did you read to get to such conclusion?

Reply Parent Score: 4