[clug] What can't be distributed with Linux?

Paul TBBle Hampson Paul.Hampson at Pobox.com
Mon Mar 26 14:12:55 GMT 2007

On Thu, Mar 22, 2007 at 04:30:54PM +1100, Alex Satrapa wrote:
> Go read the "debian-legal" mailing list for a few years' of
> entertaining reading on the subject of compiling a distribution out of
> packages with non-compatible licences.

And see [1] for the (I feel) excellent results.

One of the goals of the DFSG is to let people throw stuff that's
DFSG-free together onto CDs, DVDs, FTP sites etc. without conflict.

So if something's DFSG-Free, you ought to be able to throw it into a
Linux distribution, barring linking conflicts.

Obviously, things linking against each other can introduce extra
conflicts, but that has to be considered on a license-by-license basis.

And you can usually spot the ones that can't link, it seems to
be mainly things that don't let you add more restrictions (eg GPL)
vs things that add more restrictions (4-clause BSD, OpenSSL)

[1] cat /var/lib/apt/lists/mirror.linux.org.au_debian_dists_unstable_main_source_Sources |grep '^Package: ' |wc -l
(That's 10987. 19113 is the binary package count on PowerPC.)

Paul "TBBle" Hampson, B.Sc, LPI, MCSE
On-hiatus Asian Studies student, ANU
The Boss, Bubblesworth Pty Ltd (ABN: 51 095 284 361)
Paul.Hampson at Pobox.Com

Of course Pacman didn't influence us as kids. If it did,
we'd be running around in darkened rooms, popping pills and
listening to repetitive music.
 -- Kristian Wilson, Nintendo, Inc, 1989

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.1/au/
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