[linux-elitists] RPM non free?

Tanner Lovelace lovelace@trilug.org
Wed Apr 7 05:58:49 PDT 2004

Karsten M. Self said the following on 4/6/04 5:13 PM:

> From Debian Weekly News:
>     RPM orphaned and not free anymore? Joey Hess [17]orphaned [18]rpm
>     since the newest version depends on the non-free elfutils library.
>     This makes it impossible for Joey to update the package. Not being
>     able to include rpm in Debian could have far reaching consequences -
>     from problems with the LSB to increased difficulty to run other
>     distributions software on Debian and vice-versa.
>      17. http://bugs.debian.org/239518
>      18. http://packages.debian.org/rpm
> RPM support is required by LSB.
> This could be an oversight on the part of Red Hat.  Or it could be a
> strategic move on the part of Red Hat to exclude free distributions
> including Debian and Gentoo, from LSB compliance.

This intrigued me so I went and looked at the code.  I then went
and talked to Tom "Spot" Callaway who runs the aurora linux
project and works for Red Hat.  Tom has contributed code to
RPM.  He spoke to Ulrich and got this:  RPM only links to libelf
from elfutils.  Libelf (at least as of 0.95, which is what I checked)
is licensed under the GPL.  So, there's absolutely no problem.
Joey, iirc, you are on this list, so perhaps you could take a look
at this again?

Apparently, rpm before version 4.3 shipped with a version of elfutils.
I looked at rpm 4.2.2 from Mandrake and it shipped with elfutils version
0.76.  The curious thing about that is that the elfutils in rpm at that
point *was* licensed under the OSL 1.0, according to headers in the
source files.  So, if anything, Debian should have had problems before
this that were resolved in elfutils 0.91 when libelf changed from
OSL1 to GPL (according to the NEWS file in elfutils 0.95).

> I sense a great disturbance in the force.

Looks like just a bunch of misinformation to me.

Tanner Lovelace
Tanner Lovelace     | Have we sent the "Don't shoot, we're pathetic"
lovelace@trilug.org | transmission yet? - Commander John Crichton

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