July 9, 2007 12:13 PM PDT

Samba will move to GPLv3

The new version 3 of the General Public License got a major endorsement Monday from the project leaders of Samba, widely used open-source software for networked file sharing and printing.

"After internal consideration in the Samba Team, we have decided to adopt the GPLv3 and LGPLv3 licenses for all future releases of Samba," said Jeremy Allison, a Samba project leader. "We feel this is an important change to help promote the interests of Samba and other free software."

The Free Software Foundation released GPLv3 in June, bringing significant changes regarding patents, compatibility with some other licenses, and the use of GPL software in consumer devices such as personal video recorders. With GPLv3 complete, attention now focuses on how widely adopted it will be.

Innumerable small free and open-source projects employ the GPL, but heavyweights such as Samba, the MySQL database, the Linux kernel and Java do as well. Linus Torvalds, leader of the Linux kernel project, has said he prefers GPLv2, released in 1991.

Samba will move to GPLv3 with its upcoming version 3.2, a release whose previous version number was to have been 3.0.29. "To be clear, all versions of Samba numbered 3.2 and later will be under the GPLv3; all versions of Samba numbered 3.0.x and before remain under the GPLv2," Samba said.

Because source code under GPLv2 and GPLv3 may not necessarily be freely intermixed, moving an open-source project from one license to another can be complicated.

The Samba team will continue to provide security fixes to the GPLv2 versions, but new features will be added only to the GPLv3 versions, the team said.

The Free Software Foundation has already released a number of elements of its Gnu's Not Unix (GNU) project under GPLv3, including the widely used "tar" command for compressing and decompressing files.

See more CNET content tagged:
GPLv3, Samba, Free Software Foundation, GPL, GNU


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This will be fun for Linux shops
Corporations that use Linux to any extent will need to watch how this all turns out. In particular, any company that has a stock trading symbol (or works with the Markets) need to get the licensing just right to avoid conflict with the SEC.
In the near term Admins will need to pay close attention to the mix of packages installed on each machine. Until some solid guidelines are available, I hope a grace period will be permitted by the courts.
Posted by Marcus Westrup (630 comments )
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Anybody who uses software already had to check the licenses to make sure they are not running afoul of license violations. So, there is nothing new here, just one or two more licenses to add to the mix.
Hardly earth-shattering...
Posted by JoeF2 (1306 comments )
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Potential for SEC Conflict?
Please elaborate.
Posted by angrykeyboarder (136 comments )
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When this happens
MS will officially be a GPL3 distributor and will be subject to the terms in regards to that software.

So much for their proclamations recently.
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
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