Feb 032006

In a post to the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) last week, Linus Torvalds plainly stated that the Linux kernel would not be moving to the third revision of the General Public License (GPL). The reasons given in his post included the the requirement that developers publish their private keys and the amount of effort it would take to track down every kernel contributor to gain their permission to update the license of their code. Interestingly, he did not initially comment on the new, rigid restrictions version 3 places on using GPL software in conjunction with any Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems. Many in the community have conjectured the new DRM clause has influenced Torvald’s decision as much as any of the other changes, and NewsForge.com has published a summary of 3 posts that Linus has made to LKML over the last two days regarding this issue.

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Feb 022006

Earlier this week, I wrote that ZDNet UK had recently spoken with Alan Cox about his opinion of the third revision of the General Public License (GPL). The original CNET News.com article was a little light on content, offering a few quotes from Cox but not much else. Today CNET News.com has published the full interview which took place last week after a Cox speech at the Trusted Computing conference in London. In addition to GPLv3 the interview covers OSS, DRM, software patents, and Linux kernel development. The interview offers no surprises since most of Cox’s opinions on those subjects are well known and have not changed. I did, however, learn that this interview took place before Linus’s shootdown of GPLv3 on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) last week. That would explain why Cox, who is leaning towards the new revision, did not address any of the issues raised by Torvalds.

Jan 312006

Alan Cox

After Linus Torvald’s outright rejection of the third revision of the General Public License (GPL) last week, it appears that Alan Cox, the Linux kernel’s unofficial number two man, remains open-minded, sticking by his wait-and-see approach to the revision which will be open to public discussion for most of 2006. Cox spoke recently with ZDNet UK, and his comments to them are similar to those he made in the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) thread that brought Linus’s misgivings about the new version to the public’s attention.

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Jan 262006
Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds

Even though the first discussion draft of the third version of the General Public License is only a little over a week old, Linus Torvalds, father of the Linux kernel, has made it clear that the kernel source code will remain under GPLv2. The revelation came in a message Linus posted to a thread in the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) yesterday. In addition to clearing up some confusion about the language the kernel’s license was originally published under, Torvalds succinctly and definitively summarized his position about transitioning to v3 saying, “Conversion isn’t going to happen.”

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Oct 292005

Tux the Linux Penguin Mascot

After some delays forced by last minute bug reports, kernel 2.6.14 has been released. Linus Torvalds said in September when he first froze the code for 2.6.14 that there were changes “all over the place,” and that is definitely the case. LinuxDevices.com has a good summary, and the announcement from Linus himself is available at Linux Weekly News.

Of course, if you need the source and patches you can find them at The Linux Kernel Archives.