Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 29th Mar 2013 23:45 UTC
Linux "Today the ZFS on Linux project reached an important milestone with the official 0.6.1 release! Over two years of use by real users has convinced us ZoL is ready for wide scale deployment on everything from desktops to super computers."
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"Technically" great work, ...
by MacMan on Sat 30th Mar 2013 13:28 UTC
MacMan
Member since:
2006-11-19

There is no doubt that this is an achievement from a technical standpoint, but because of the license mess, I doubt that very many will use it.

I guess that no distro is permitted to distribute a kernel with zfs. I really doubt Oracle will change the lisense ever, I think the cddl was specifically written to be Gpl incompatible.

Sadly I think their effort would have been better spent on making btrfs better.

Reply Score: 7

RE: "Technically" great work, ...
by saso on Sat 30th Mar 2013 14:23 in reply to ""Technically" great work, ..."
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

I guess that no distro is permitted to distribute a kernel with zfs.

This is more of a political/religious issue, rather than a real legal dispute. I highly doubt any open-source distro would ever get sued by any GPL license holder due to the CDDL being incompatible in technicalities. But that's just my opinion.

I really doubt Oracle will change the lisense ever

While Oracle still holds copyright to large portions of the codebase that went into ZoL, they don't hold all of it any more. Many other companies and individuals have contributed, and they'd all have to agree to relicense.

I think the cddl was specifically written to be Gpl incompatible.

Depends on who you ask. Some people say it was, some people say it wasn't.

Sadly I think their effort would have been better spent on making btrfs better.

The amount of work needed to get a complex storage stack up to production quality is mind blowing, so I can't blame them for not wanting to reinvent the wheel and instead just port something that works. Look at the mess SystemTap is in (http://dtrace.org/blogs/brendan/2011/10/15/using-systemtap/) and those guys have been at it since 2006.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Sodki Member since:
2005-11-10

This is more of a political/religious issue, rather than a real legal dispute. I highly doubt any open-source distro would ever get sued by any GPL license holder due to the CDDL being incompatible in technicalities. But that's just my opinion.


I disagree, especially since Oracle is one very interesting party. There is an unquestionable legal incompatibility between the GPL and the CDDL, not a political one, so Linux with ZFS can't be distributed, and that is a fact. On the other hand, if I'm not mistaken, nothing prevents you from building Linux with ZFS, or having ZFS as a module, as long as you do not distribute it.

In a nutshell, you cannot legally have a complete binary Linux distro with ZFS out of the box, but you can work around it by building it on the fly.

Reply Parent Score: 10

MacMan Member since:
2006-11-19


The amount of work needed to get a complex storage stack up to production quality is mind blowing, .


I agree, it's an incredible amount of work, that's why I hate to see all this effort expended on a project that will never likely be accepted by most of the Linux community.

It would really be fantastic if it could be, but I doubt Oracle will ever change. In fact it would not surprise me if they close sourced zfs like they did with Solaris.

Reply Parent Score: 2

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

This is more of a political/religious issue, rather than a real legal dispute. I highly doubt any open-source distro would ever get sued by any GPL license holder due to the CDDL being incompatible in technicalities. But that's just my opinion.


No credible distro will ask itself whether it can get away with something without getting sued. The question is whether it's legally entitled to distribute it, which it isn't.

Reply Parent Score: 5

sforstall1983 Member since:
2012-09-28

I know OS4, http://www.os4online.com, distributes ZFS. Dont know if its in 13.3, I read something on the Facebook page about it being included.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

As I read and understand it* a distribution could package it as a kernel module and include ZFS just fine.

There seems to be an effort to package it for Debian when you look at the package development server of Debian.

Debian who are very strict when it comes to licenses already includes a ZFS implementation in the form of Debian/kFreeBSD.

I agree about btrfs, if only because zfs can never be part of the standard kernel.

* the FAQ entry about the license on the ZoL site:
http://zfsonlinux.org/faq.html#WhatAboutTheLicensingIssue

Edited 2013-03-30 16:38 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

* the FAQ entry about the license on the ZoL site:
http://zfsonlinux.org/faq.html#WhatAboutTheLicensingIssue


That link explains the situation pretty much exhaustively: cannot be distributed as kernel built-in, but can be distributed as a separate module or source-code. Thanks for the link.

Reply Parent Score: 2

laffer1 Member since:
2007-11-09

I think it's important to be realistic here though. Folks really into Linux and GPL software are not going to ever accept ZFS because of the license. Those folks also will not run debian with a FreeBSD kernel.

It just makes more sense to run FreeBSD or Solaris if you want ZFS. The only use case I can think of is if you do gaming and want to use ZFS for storage. That would require a Linux kernel due to the video driver situation in BSD.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Have used both ZFS and Btrfs, I think I'd rather see ZFS mature on Linux (or use FreeBSD for file serving) than run Btrfs.

But that's just my opinion.

Reply Parent Score: 6

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

The real question is when btrfs is ready.

When it is ready it would rather use btrfs, it is better integrated with the rest of Linux.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: "Technically" great work, ...
by chekr on Sun 31st Mar 2013 05:34 in reply to ""Technically" great work, ..."
chekr Member since:
2005-11-05

The license was not written to be GPL incompatible, this is FUD. The GPL by its nature is incompatible with anything bar public domain and MIT or BSD style licenses.

The CDDL had some other patent provisions (which were good things) which the GPL did not cover, therefore making the two incompatible.

Reply Parent Score: 2