BSD folks position on GPL, Novell, IBM, SCO, and MS...

Mike Hauber mchauber at
Sat Nov 25 14:41:26 UTC 2006

This question was originally posted to the questions list, and I was referred 

I am by no means trolling here.  I just haven't heard much of anything from 
the BSD community on the subjects, and would like to know the general 
consensus.  If advocacy is not the place for questions like this, could 
someone re-direct me to an appropriate list or reference, or sending me an 
email directly is fine, too.

I have been an avid user of the BSDs (mostly FreeBSD and OpenBSD), and have 
experimented with the Linuses for a good while now (Mainly Debian, RH, and 
SuSe).  I pretty much get it that the BSD folks and the Linux folks don't 
completely see eye-to-eye on licensing issues, but it seems to me that the 
overall attempt of both communities seems to be "get the code out there and 
keep it free."

(I was corrected on this point by a FBSD-questions member stating essentially 
that the GPLs function is perpetuality where the BSD license is simply to 
"release it free," if I understood that correctly)

I was just wondering what the general consensus was on the GPL, Linux in 
general, SCOs lawsuit, Sun's open sourcing, IBMs contributions to Linux, 
Novell's contributions, Novell's deal with MS and how this really affects 
SuSe (there's a lot of hype on that and I literally don't know what to 
believe at this point).

Being that most folks here would be in positions of having to deal with a 
variety of OSs and have in the past dealt with opposing forces at work, I 
figured there would be at least one or two educated folks I could glean from.

I'm an avid reader of GrokLaw and LamLaw, as well as other (not so thorough 
sources), but still haven't really heard anything as far as the stance from 
the BSD side of the OS community.

Thanks, and sorry for the imposition,


PS...  One more question...  Being that Linux emulation is available as a port 
for the BSDs, I would assume (but haven't taken the time to research) that 
GPLd code is used.  If there comes to be issues with Linux, what would that 
mean for BSDs compatibility in regards to emulation?

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