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By Karim Yaghmour; et al

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Additional info for Building embedded Linux systems : Previous ed.: published as by Karim Yaghmour. 2003. - Includes index

Sample text

Because the kernel is itself under the GPL, many contend that modules cannot be distributed under any other license than the GPL because the resulting kernel is a derived work. Others contend that binaryonly modules are allowed as long as they use the standard services exported to modules by the kernel. In fact, in response to this logic, the kernel community created wrapped macros EXPORT_SYMBOL, EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL, and EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPLFUTURE. The idea behind these is that over time, new symbols (kernel functions and data structures) will be exported to the rest of the kernel via one of the GPL macros and thus all symbols will ultimately transition toward being explicitly GPLonly.

This issue won’t go away any time soon. In fact, it generally comes up on a semi-annual basis when it appears for a brief moment that binary modules will finally be killed off, before the issue dies down once again. To save a great deal of headache, you are advised to consider strongly whether you really need to have binary kernel modules in the first place. Consult your legal counsel if you are in any way unsure of how to proceed; we can’t tell you what the law says (only how the community will react to you).

Thanks in part to the first edition of this book, vast numbers of embedded Linux developers also know of Karim Yaghmour and his Opersys consultancy. Resources Most developers connect to the embedded Linux world through various resource sites and publications. It is through these sites and publications that the Linux development community, industry, and organizations publicize their work and learn about the work of the other players. In essence, the resource sites and publications are the meeting place for all the people concerned with embedded Linux.

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