An anonymous source close to Sun revealed that the company plans to dual-license OpenSolaris, making the source code available under the GPL3 as well as the CDDL. Sun supposedly plans to complete the dual-licensing process after the GPL3 solidifies. At present, the GPL3 is still being revised.
It is still unclear whether or not it will be possible to mix GPL3 OpenSolaris code into the Linux kernel, which is currently licensed under the GPL2. The Linux kernel development community has stated that there are currently no plans to transition the Linux kernel to GPL3, and since the kernel development community doesn’t use any kind of copyright assignment agreements, it probably wouldn’t be possible to transition the whole code base to GPL3 anyway.
The anonymous source who leaked the plan explains that the primary motivation behind dual-licensing OpenSolaris is a desire to simplify integration of code and components developed elsewhere in the open-source community. The unnamed source told eWeek that “The next version of Solaris will include things like GNU Userland, which is already being attempted with OpenSolaris, while open-source solutions from other communities for things like package management also look very promising. Dual-licensing OpenSolaris with GPLv3 could make this even easier.”
OpenSolaris components are already being adopted by other operating systems. Apple has already incorporated Sun’s DTrace system analysis framework into Mac OS X, and some early signs seem to indicate that support for Sun’s ZFS file system will be included in Leopard.
Although some creative developers have already managed to bring ZFS support to Linux and Mac OS X through FUSE, it would definitely be nice to see DTrace supported in the Linux kernel. Will it be possible? At this point, it seems unlikely that code mingling will be facilitated.
January 17, 2007
Sun to dual-license OpenSolaris
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