Re: Binary only module overview

Crispin Cowan (
Wed, 26 Sep 2001 15:12:10 -0700

David Weinehall wrote:

>On Wed, Sep 26, 2001 at 12:17:37PM -0700, Crispin Cowan wrote:
>>That is not clear to me. I have been unable to find a definitive
>>reference that states that is the case. If so, it is problematic,
>>because then every user-land program that ever #include'd errno.h from
>>glibc is GPL'd, because glibc #include's errno.h, among other GPL'd
>>kernel header files. Are you sure you want to declare nearly all
>>proprietary Linux applications to be in violation of the GPL?
>AFAIK, the glibc (and most other libraries) are LGPL rather than GPL.
It appears that while glibc is LGPL, it in turn #include's stuff from
the kernel. It more or less has to; otherwise glibc has to guess the
format of data structures the kernel is going to export.

Greg is partially correct that this is a licensing issue that the glibc
maintainers need to resolve. However, I am not convinced that they can
resolve it on their own. I see only the following possible resolutions:

* we all decide (an opinion) that #include some_gpl.h does not GPL
the code doing the including
* glibc changes its license to GPL, which would make it unpopular
among proprietary application developers
* Linux maintainers decide to change the license on the relevant
header files to LGPL

If one of the above does not happen, then I think I can derive "false" :-)


Crispin Cowan, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist, WireX Communications, Inc.
Security Hardened Linux Distribution:
Available for purchase:

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