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FSF/GNU

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GNU
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  • Christoph Hellwig's case against VMware dismissed

    The GPL-infringement case brought against VMware by Christoph Hellwig in Germany has been dismissed by the court; the ruling is available in German and English. The decision seems to be based entirely on uncertainty over where his copyrights actually lie and not on the infringement claims.

  • diffutils-3.4 released
  • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: August 12th
  • Licensing resource series: h-node hardware directory

    This is the second installment in the Free Software Foundation's Licensing & Compliance Lab's series highlighting licensing resources.

    While our Respects Your Freedom hardware certification program gets lots of attention from all the new fully free hardware being certified, the FSF has actually had more resources on hardware for quite some time. In the past, we maintained a list of hardware that worked well with free software. But a few years back we made this into a community run project, h-node.

    Hardware listed on h-node doesn't come with FSF certification, but it does come with the information users need to find out the extent to which the hardware is supported by fully free GNU/Linux distros. Members of the community can submit entries to h-node whenever they get a chance to test it against one of these free operating systems. By sharing this information, everyone can help more users to make the switch to a fully free system by making it easier to know what hardware already works perfectly with a free system. Hackers looking to help increase support can also find hardware with some remaining issues and direct their efforts there.

  • GNU dico Version 2.3

    Version 2.3 is available for download from the Main GNU site as well as from its home. Mirrors worldwide are also available.

  • GnuTLS 3.5.3

    Released GnuTLS 3.5.3, a minor enhancement and bug fix release in next stable branch.

On the boundaries of GPL enforcement

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GNU
Legal

Last October, the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) and Free Software Foundation (FSF) jointly published "The Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement". That document described what those organizations believe the goal of enforcement efforts should be and how those efforts should be carried out. Several other organizations endorsed the principles, including the netfilter project earlier this month. It was, perhaps, a bit puzzling that the project would make that endorsement at that time, but a July 19 SFC blog post sheds some light on the matter.

There have been rumblings for some time about a kernel developer doing enforcement in Germany that might not be particularly "community-oriented", but public information was scarce. Based on the blog post by Bradley Kuhn and Karen Sandler, though, it would seem that Patrick McHardy, who worked on netfilter, is the kernel developer in question. McHardy has also recently been suspended from the netfilter core team pending his reply to "severe allegations" with regard to "the style of his license enforcement activities".

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The Importance of Following Community-Oriented Principles in GPL Enforcement Work

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GNU
Legal

The GNU General Public License (GPL) was designed to grant clear permissions for sharing software and to defend that freedom for users. GPL'd code now appears in so many devices that it is fundamental to modern technology. While we believe that following the GPL's requirements is neither burdensome nor unreasonable, many fail to do so. GPL enforcement — the process to encourage those who fail to correct problems and join our open software development community — is difficult diplomacy.

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Linux Australia backflips on Appelbaum stance

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Linux
Legal

Linux Australia has done a backflip on its stance over privacy advocate Jacob Appelbaum who was recently thrown out of several software groupings following numerous accusations of sexual harassment.

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Remaining Articles About PS3 Settlement Over GNU/Linux

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GNU
Linux
Legal

PS3 Settlement

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GNU
Linux
Legal

A Brief History of Free and Open Source Software Licensing

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Legal

Open source software licenses may not excite people as much as open source code, but they have been just as important in keeping software free. Open source licensing as we know it today didn't always exist, however. It evolved as programmers developed more sophisticated strategies regarding their intellectual property.

Below is a look at the major milestones in open source licensing history. It doesn't cover every twist and turn. That would take a book.

But it outlines the major arc in open source licensing strategies, from the days when free software promoters disdained licenses altogether through present-day battles about software licensing and the cloud.

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Also: Licensing resources series: A Quick Guide to GPLv3

Licensing and Compliance

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Legal
  • New API helps open-source developers 'become license-aware'

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI), the steward of the Open Source Definition (OSD), announced today it has created a machine readable publication of OSI approved licenses.

    According to the organization, the API will allow third parties to "become license-aware", giving businesses everywhere the means to determine if a license is open source or not.

    The Open Source Initiative considers this the next "logical step" and quite important, knowing all the copyright and license legal battles going on nowadays, and how expensive they can be.

    Open Source Lead at GitHub, Brandon Keepers offered, "A canonical, machine-readable source of license metadata is a great step towards enabling developers to build tools around open source licensing and compliance. We can’t wait to see what the community does with it".

  • Oracle's Lead Lawyer Against Google Vents That The Ruling 'Killed' The GPL

    Except, of course, tons of copyright experts predicted exactly this result (and many more argued that APIs should not be subject to copyright at all). Famed copyright scholar Pam Samuelson has been writing extensively about the case, focusing both on why APIs should not be covered by copyright (and, why basically every other court has agreed) as well as why, even if it is covered, it's fair use. Hell, she even wrote a response to the Hurst piece, explaining why Hurst was wrong. It's weird for Hurst to take a position that actually seems at odds with a huge number of copyright experts, and then state that none would take the position that many did.

    [...]

    Once again, this shows a rather unfortunate ignorance of how coding works. It's not about a desire to "copy freely." It's about building amazing and innovative services, and making use of APIs to increase interoperability, which increases value. Copying an API structure is also just much more about making developers comfortable in using new environments. You know, like how Oracle copied SQL from IBM. Because lots of people understood SELECT-FROM-WHERE and it made little sense to create a relational database that didn't use that structure. It's not about copying freely. It's about interoperability.

    And, really, the idea that an Oracle lawyer is "concerned" about the future of the GPL is fairly laughable. Thankfully, many people have weighed in in the comments -- including plenty who are quite familiar with the GPL and software development to explain to Hurst why she's wrong. Somehow, I think she has some fairly strong reasons to ignore those responses.

Licensing and Coding

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Development
Legal
  • The Oracle v. Google Suit is Still an Anti-Open Move That Shouldn't Have Happened

    All the way back in 2010, when Oracle filed a complaint for patent and copyright infringement against Google regarding parts of the Java code found in Google's Android mobile OS, I wrote a post calling the move "the anti-open move of the year." Fast-forward to today, and in the Oracle v. Google trial that just concluded, a jury returned a verdict in Google's favor. It basically concluded that Oracle's suit against Google, claiming that the use of Java APIs in Android violated copyright law, was bunk.

    Now, in an op-ed piece for Ars Technica, Annette Hurst, an attorney who represented Oracle, equates the jury's decision with the death of open source.

    [...]

    Hurst makes a good point that dual licensing models are increasing, with many open source projects available for free, while commercial versions, often including support, come at a cost. But the Oracle suit originated because Oracle essentially perceived itself as owning a moat around Java that didn't really exist.

    [...]

    Indeed, one of the lasting images of this long running legal skirmish is going to be Oracle behaving in a decidedly anti-open fashion. It may have been wiser for Oracle to simply let this one go.

  • Here’s how to check if software license is open source

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI), the steward of the Open Source Definition (OSD), announced today it has created a machine readable publication of OSI approved licenses.

    According to the Initiative, the API will allow third parties to ‘become license-aware’, giving businesses everywhere means to determine if a license is Open Source or not.

  • 3 Things Infrastructure as Code is Not

    The role of the network engineer is changing. This is not a result of DevOps, although some would claim it is. As DevOps takes center stage in organizations, it can seem like network engineers are being asked to become developers.

    There have been a number of talks discussing this, some of which have surfaced at Interop Las Vegas. The shift has been Infrastructure as Code (IaC), which was fundamental to the start of the DevOps movement. So maybe you could say this is caused by DevOps.

  • Introducing Blue Ocean: a new user experience for Jenkins

    While this project is in the alpha stage of development, the intent is that Jenkins users can install Blue Ocean side-by-side with the Jenkins Classic UI via a plugin.

    Not all the features listed on this blog are complete but we will be hard at work over the next few months preparing Blue Ocean for general use. We intend to provide regular updates on this blog as progress is made.

    Blue Ocean is open source today and we invite you to give us feedback and to contribute to the project.

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More in Tux Machines

Containers & Events

  • Video: Containers Should Contain... Right?
    Here's a presentation video from the very recent OpenStack Summit Vancouver 2018. The topic repeats what Dan Walsh was saying a couple of years ago. Again, this is talking about application containers using traditional kernel features like namespaces and cgroups... because as we all know, in the Linux kernel, containers are NOT a REAL thing. Just to be clear, OpenVZ... which is a mature out-of-tree patch for system containers that has been around and maintained for well over 13 years... does contain... but the hype is all around application containers like Docker and its work-alikes.
  • Updates in container isolation
    At KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2018, several talks explored the topic of container isolation and security. The last year saw the release of Kata Containers which, combined with the CRI-O project, provided strong isolation guarantees for containers using a hypervisor. During the conference, Google released its own hypervisor called gVisor, adding yet another possible solution for this problem. Those new developments prompted the community to work on integrating the concept of "secure containers" (or "sandboxed containers") deeper into Kubernetes. This work is now coming to fruition; it prompts us to look again at how Kubernetes tries to keep the bad guys from wreaking havoc once they break into a container.
  • Autoscaling for Kubernetes workloads
    Technologies like containers, clusters, and Kubernetes offer the prospect of rapidly scaling the available computing resources to match variable demands placed on the system. Actually implementing that scaling can be a challenge, though. During KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2018, Frederic Branczyk from CoreOS (now part of Red Hat) held a packed session to introduce a standard and officially recommended way to scale workloads automatically in Kubernetes clusters. Kubernetes has had an autoscaler since the early days, but only recently did the community implement a more flexible and extensible mechanism to make decisions on when to add more resources to fulfill workload requirements. The new API integrates not only the Prometheus project, which is popular in Kubernetes deployments, but also any arbitrary monitoring system that implements the standardized APIs.
  • An introduction to MQTT
    A few years ago, I was asked to put temperature monitoring in a customer's server room and to integrate it with their existing monitoring and notification software. We ended up buying a rack-mountable temperature monitor, for nearly £200, that ran its own web server for propagating temperature data. Although the device ostensibly published data in XML, that turned out to be so painful to parse that we ended up screen-scraping the human-readable web pages to get the data. Temperature sensors are fairly cheap, but by the time you've wrapped them in a case with a power supply, an Ethernet port, a web server, enough of an OS to drive the above, and volatile and non-volatile storage for the same, they get expensive. I was sure that somewhere there must be physically-lightweight sensors with simple power, simple networking, and a lightweight protocol that allowed them to squirt their data down the network with a minimum of overhead. So my interest was piqued when Jan-Piet Mens spoke at FLOSS UK's Spring Conference on "Small Things for Monitoring". Once he started passing working demonstration systems around the room without interrupting the demonstration, it was clear that this was what I'd been looking for.

Ubuntu: Ubuntu Unleashed, Technical Board, 'Edge', Xubuntu and More

  • Ubuntu Unleashed 2019 and other books presale discount
  • Call for nominations for the Technical Board
    The current 2-year term of the Technical Board is over, and it’s time for electing a new one. For the next two weeks (until 6 June 2018) we are collecting nominations, then our SABDFL will shortlist the candidates and confirm their candidacy with them, and finally the shortlist will be put to a vote by ~ubuntu-dev. Anyone from the Ubuntu community can nominate someone.
  • Decreasing the complexity of IoT adoption with Edge as a Service model
    Last week, much of the IoT industry descended on Santa Clara, California, for the annual IoT World trade show. One of the exhibitors present were Rigado who Canonical partnered with earlier this year to deploy Ubuntu Core on their IoT gateways primarily targeted at commercial applications such as smart lighting and asset tracking. Rigado used IoT World as an opportunity to discuss the launch of Cascade, their new ‘Edge as a Service’ proposition, for commercial IoT. Cascade, which is offered as a simple monthly subscription, enables companies to focus on their business and what generates revenue rather than expending effort and resource dedicated to managing the infrastructure behind it. With many organisations looking at ways they can benefit from adopting IoT while removing perceived barriers, Cascade offers a low-risk, low-cost entry which in turn enables project teams to benefit from reduced development, support and no upfront hardware costs. The end result is a quicker path to IoT deployment and resulting ROI.
  • Xubuntu: New Wiki pages for Testers
    During the last few weeks of the 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) cycle, we had 2 people drop by in our development channel trying to respond to the call for testers from the Development and QA Teams. It quickly became apparent to me that I was having to repeat myself in order to make it “basic” enough for someone who had never tested for us, to understand what I was trying to put across. After pointing to the various resources we have, and other flavours use – it transpired that they both would have preferred something a bit easier to start with. So I asked them to write it for us all.
  • How to install Ubuntu Server 18.04
  • How To Install Firefox Beta in Ubuntu & Linux Mint

Kernel Coverage at LWN

  • XFS online filesystem scrubbing and repair
    In a filesystem track session at the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), Darrick Wong talked about the online scrubbing and repair features he has been working on. His target has mostly been XFS, but he has concurrently been working on scrubbing for ext4. Part of what he wanted to discuss was the possibility of standardizing some of these interfaces across different filesystem types. Filesystem scrubbing is typically an ongoing activity to try to find corrupted data by periodically reading the data on the disk. Online repair attempts to fix the problems found by using redundant information (or metadata that can be calculated from other information) stored elsewhere in the filesystem. As described in Wong's patch series, both scrubbing and repair are largely concerned with filesystem metadata, though scrubbing data extents (and repairing them if possible) is also supported. Wong said that XFS now has online scrubbing support, but does not quite have the online repair piece yet.
  • Supporting multi-actuator drives
    In a combined filesystem and storage session at the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), Tim Walker asked for help in designing the interface to some new storage hardware. He wanted some feedback on how a multi-actuator drive should present itself to the system. These drives have two (or, eventually, more) sets of read/write heads and other hardware that can all operate in parallel. He noted that his employer, Seagate, had invested in a few different technologies, including host-aware shingled magnetic recording (SMR) devices, that did not pan out. Instead of repeating those missteps, Seagate wants to get early feedback before the interfaces are set in stone. He was not necessarily looking for immediate feedback in the session (though he got plenty), but wanted to introduce the topic before discussing it on the mailing lists. Basically, Seagate would like to ensure that what it does with these devices works well for its customers, who mostly use Linux.
  • Using user-space tracepoints with BPF
    Much has been written on LWN about dynamically instrumenting kernel code. These features are also available to user-space code with a special kind of probe known as a User Statically-Defined Tracing (USDT) probe. These probes provide a low-overhead way of instrumenting user-space code and provide a convenient way to debug applications running in production. In this final article of the BPF and BCC series we'll look at where USDT probes come from and how you can use them to understand the behavior of your own applications. The origins of USDT probes can be found in Sun's DTrace utility. While DTrace can't claim to have invented static tracepoints (various implementations are described in the "related work" section of the original DTrace paper), it certainly made them much more popular. With the emergence of DTrace, many applications began adding USDT probes to important functions to aid with tracing and diagnosing run-time behavior. Given that, it's perhaps not surprising that these probes are usually enabled (as part of configuring the build) with the --enable-dtrace switch.

Wine: VKD3D and DXVK

  • Wine's VKD3D 1.0 Released For Running Direct3D 12 Over Vulkan
    The Wine project has announced the release of VKD3D 1.0, the first official release of this Direct3D 12 over Vulkan layer primarily developed at CodeWeavers. VKD3D is the approach Wine is pursuing for getting Direct3D 12 games from Windows working on Wine under Linux or also under macOS when paired with MoltenVK. For the VKD3D 1.0 release there are D3D12 demos now working but features are known to be missing and bugs are expected. Geometry and tessellation shaders are among the big ticket items still left to be implemented in future releases.
  • DXVK 0.52 Brings More improvements For Direct3D 11 Over Vulkan
    While VKD3D 1.0 is out today for Direct3D 12 mapped over Vulkan, the DXVK project for running Direct3D 11 over Vulkan is also out with a new release today. Most prominent to the new DXVK 0.52 release is initial support for DXGI 1.2, the updated Microsoft DirectX Graphics Infrastructure that brings various updates for drivers. The initial DXGI 1.2 support in the process fixes at least Bioshock 2 Remastered as well as Frostpunk.
  • Vkd3d 1.0 Released
    This is the first release of vkd3d. A lot of Direct3D 12 features are still missing and bugs are expected. The current version was tested mainly with demo applications. A number of features that are being worked on have been deferred to the next development cycle. This includes in particular geometry and tessellation shaders support, various shader translation improvements, as well as various improvements for core Direct3D 12 methods.
  • vkd3d for Direct3D 12 to Vulkan in Wine has released the first stable version
    Today, the Wine developers officially announced that vkd3d for translating Direct3D 12 to Vulkan in Wine has reached 1.0.