Scyld and GPL
jim at ks.uiuc.edu
Wed Aug 22 11:10:31 PDT 2001
On Wed, 22 Aug 2001, Eric T. Miller wrote:
> Since Scyld is built on top of Red Hat, isn't it subject to the GPL just
> like any other Linux distribution? It is my understanding that if any
> previous code is used to develop a new distribution, then it is clearly a
> product of the GPL and should be made freely (and easily) available. Please
> correct and educate me if I am wrong!
The GPL requires you to provide source code for your modifications, and to
make it reasonably available. This is in ftp://ftp.scyld.com/pub/beowulf/
but there is no link to it from the Scyld web site (which is bad). The
GPL does not require you to release binaries, much less a complete Linux
distribution containing your modifications, and it certainly doesn't
require you to allow the world to FTP CD-ROM images from your web server.
The low-cost edition is really a good approach to this, since you get a
real distribution for basically media and handling costs.
> If this is the case, however, will we see the download links given equal
> billing with the commercial (pay) links on Scyld's homepage? This seems to
> be the status quo with all other major Linux distros. I think many
> potential clustering enthusiasts are put off at first by the "fog" that
> surrounds getting your hands on the Scyld software. This is not indicative
> of the sense of community fostered by the whole of the Linux family.
Since Scyld isn't required to do a low cost CD, I can't complain much
about the placement. There's nothing to stop you from building your own
CD-ROM using the GPL source code and distributing it yourself. (I'm
pretty sure that you can't just pirate the original Scyld CD image.)
Personally, however, I like seeing open source developers get paid.
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