[linux-elitists] Virtualization

Aaron Sherman ajs@ajs.com
Wed Feb 23 09:42:45 PST 2005

On Wed, 2005-02-23 at 12:00, Greg KH wrote:

> I complain as the vmware module taints my kenel, requires a separate
> step to build from my normal kernel build process, and if I load it into
> my kernel, I invalidate any and all support contracts I might have paid
> for, and I can no longer ask for help with any kernel problems from
> anyone in the open source kernel community.
> Anyway, I'm not trying to argue here.

Er... ok.

> vmware is a great product, I use it all the time to reverse engineer
> windows drivers :)
> I just don't like the fact that their kernel modules are not included in
> the main kernel tree.  I view Linux closed source modules as derivative
> works, and feel they should be required to be released under the GPL.  

Fair enough. You're allowed to have a political agenda, but as you say,
VMWare is a great product playing by the rules that the community has
publicly set forth. More power to em. They also supply a host of very
good tools for managing their virtual hardware in combination with a
number of operating systems including about a dozen variants of Windows,
many more variants of Linux, BSD, OS/2, NetWare, SCO Unix, etc., etc. I
don't see free tools catching up to the point that they cover anything
but casual use any time soon.

> I also begrudge the fact that the amount of development effort that
> vmware gives back to the kernel community is pretty much non-existant,
> in comparison to everything they are taking from it.  But for more
> details on that topic, see my OLS paper for this year...

Keep in mind that they make MOST of their money in the
Windows-on-Windows world, and spending lots of money to support a
low-income section of their business would be foolish.

It would be sort of like Microsoft complaining that The Gimp didn't work
harder to support Windows APIs... well, that's because The Gimp was
ported to Windows as an afterthought. Same thing for VMWare on Linux. It
got some good press under Linux, and lots of Linux users know about it,
but their bread and butter is in virtualizing Windows boxes, not letting
Linux users run Word.

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