[linux-elitists] Virtualization

Greg KH greg@kroah.com
Wed Feb 23 10:16:42 PST 2005

On Wed, Feb 23, 2005 at 12:42:45PM -0500, Aaron Sherman wrote:
> On Wed, 2005-02-23 at 12:00, Greg KH wrote:
> > 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.

"Political agenda"?  No, legal agenda.  See the part where I mentioned
lots of IP lawyers agreeing with this stance.

> More power to em.

True, I don't fault them for this, I just am complaining about how it
breaks all service contracts if you use it.

> > 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.

See the part where they hacked up a 2.4.9 kernel as part of their main
bread-and-butter product line :)

> 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.

Um no.  You can't modify the Windows APIs.  Windows is supported and
developed by a for-profit company.  Not a community of developers and

I'll say it again, binary drivers take from Linux.  They do not give
_anything_ back.  That's not a nice thing to do to the community.  As
such, the community is fighting back to combat this.

> 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.

Are you positive about this?  I know for a fact, one _very_ large
company that uses vmware to run Linux instances.  Lots of Linux
instances.  And that contract was probably vmware's largest single
customer just based on the size of the company...


greg k-h

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