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Don’t Use ZFS on Linux: Linus Torvalds

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Linux creator Linus Torvalds is skeptical of ZFS open source licensing and doesn’t recommend using it on Linux.
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Avoid Oracle's ZFS kernel code on Linux...

  • Linus Torvalds: Avoid Oracle's ZFS kernel code on Linux until 'litigious' Larry signs off

    The Linux kernel creator says he refuses to merge the ZFS module into the kernel because he can't risk a lawsuit from "litigious" Oracle - which is still trying to sue Google for copyright violations over its use of Java APIs in Android - and Torvalds won't do so until Oracle founder Larry Ellison signs off on its use in the Linux kernel.

    "If somebody adds a kernel module like ZFS, they are on their own. I can't maintain it and I cannot be bound by other people's kernel changes," explained Torvalds.

    "And honestly, there is no way I can merge any of the ZFS efforts until I get an official letter from Oracle that is signed by their main legal counsel or preferably by Larry Ellison himself that says that yes, it's OK to do so and treat the end result as GPL'd," Torvalds continued.

    "Other people think it can be OK to merge ZFS code into the kernel and that the module interface makes it OK, and that's their decision. But considering Oracle's litigious nature, and the questions over licensing, there's no way I can feel safe in ever doing so."

Linus Torvalds: “Don't use ZFS”

  • Linus Torvalds: “Don't use ZFS”

    ZFS could be the fastest file system in the world and randomly disperse kittens and I still wouldn’t touch it with a ten metre pole if I were Linus. Oracle is a colony of snakes led by the biggest snake of them all, and adding their code – even through shims or interfaces – should be a complete non-starter for any project.

Discussion in Slashdot now

Linus Torvalds says “Don’t use ZFS”

  • Linus Torvalds says “Don’t use ZFS”—but doesn’t seem to understand it

    Last Monday in the "Moderated Discussions" forum at realworldtech.com, Linus Torvalds—founding developer and current supreme maintainer of the Linux kernel—answered a user's question about a year-old kernel maintenance controversy that heavily impacted the ZFS on Linux project. After answering the user's actual question, Torvalds went on to make inaccurate and damaging claims about the ZFS filesystem itself.

    Given the massive weight automatically given Torvalds' words due to his status as founding developer and chief maintainer of the Linux kernel, we feel it's a good idea to explain both the controversial kernel change itself, and Torvalds' comments about both the change in question and the ZFS filesystem.

Torvalds warns against Oracle module

  • Torvalds warns against Oracle module

    IT’s Mr Sweary, Linus Torvalds has warned engineers against adding a module for the ZFS filesystem that was designed by Sun Microsystems, now Oracle, due to licensing issues.

    As reported by Phoronix, Torvalds has warned kernel developers against using ZFS on Linux, an implementation of OpenZFS, and refuses to merge any ZFS code until Oracle changes the open-source license it uses.

    ZFS has long been licensed under Sun's Common Development and Distribution License as opposed to the Linux kernel, which is licensed under GNU General Public License (GPL).

It's a no to ZFS in the Linux kernel from me, says Torvalds

  • It's a no to ZFS in the Linux kernel from me, says Torvalds, points finger of blame at Oracle licensing

    Linux kernel jockey, Linus Torvalds, has taken time out to remind open source loyalists that he is no fan of the ZFS file system due, in part, to the sometimes tortuous nature of open source licensing.

    Torvalds was responding to a question late last week regarding a recent update to the Linux kernel breaking the third party ZFS module.

    With his new non-sweary hat on, Torvalds patiently explained his position around out-of-tree components such as ZFS. In essence, they aren't his problem. We imagine ensuring nothing breaks in the user space is challenging enough.

    "Note that 'we don't break users' is literally about user-space applications, and about the kernel I maintain," he explained, adding: "If somebody adds a kernel module like ZFS, they are on their own. I can't maintain it, and I can not be bound by other people's kernel changes."

    So there you have it, ZFS fans. Except, of course, you don't.

    The Linux supremo went on to throw a little shade at Platinum Linux Foundation member Oracle, adding, "There is no way I can merge any of the ZFS efforts until I get an official letter from Oracle that is signed by their main legal counsel or preferably by Larry Ellison himself that says that yes, it's OK to do so and treat the end result as GPL'd."

Linus Torvalds Won’t Merge ZFS Code Into Linux Kernel

  • Linus Torvalds Won’t Merge ZFS Code Into Linux Kernel

    In the recent “Moderated Discussions” forum at realworldtech.com, Linus Torvalds warned kernel developers against adding a module for the ZFS filesystem until Oracle were to re-license the code for mainline inclusion.

    He was answering a user’s question about a year-old kernel maintenance controversy, as reported by Phoronix.

    “Honestly, there is no way I can merge any of the ZFS efforts until I get an official letter from Oracle,” he wrote. “Other people think it can be OK to merge ZFS code into the kernel and that the module interface makes it OK, and that’s their decision. But considering Oracle’s litigious nature, and the questions over licensing, there’s no way I can feel safe in ever doing so.”

Oracle, OpenZFS respond

With text

  • Oracle, OpenZFS respond to Linus Torvalds saying 'Don't use ZFS'

    The reporting around his comments -- coming from a wide array of news outlets (some Linux-centric, others less so) -- has been heavy on opinion... but light on commentary from the key parties involved.

    In fact, I have yet to see a single article on this topic where the journalist has reached out to the folks that own ZFS (Oracle) or the maintainers of OpenZFS (which was forked from an earlier, open source version of ZFS).

    Let's correct that.

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