Sun offers an olive branch to Linux

Sun Microsystems chief executive Jonathan Schwartz is looking to make peace with the development community behind the Linux operating system.

A day after Linux creator Linus Torvalds lashed out against the server vendor over its open source track record, the Schwartz posted an open letter on his blog and invited Torvalds to dinner at his home.

Torvalds earlier this week denounced Sun as a dishonest open source player in a posting on the Linux Kernel Developer mailing list.

Linux developers have been debating the forthcoming third version of the General Public Licence.

Although Torvalds reiterated his view that there is no reason for the Linux kernel to switch licences, he added that he might change his mind if Sun picked GPLv3 for its Solaris operating system.

Torvalds would be especially interested in adopting Sun’s ZFS file system, Torvalds said in an email on Tuesday.

“Maybe ZFS is worthwhile enough that I’m willing to go to the effort of trying to relicense the kernel,” Torvalds wrote.

“But quite frankly, I can almost guarantee that Sun won’t release ZFS under the GPLv3 even if they release other parts. Because if they did, they’d lose the patent protection.”

Schwartz countered in his open letter that the company is “interested in seeing ZFS everywhere, including Linux, with full patent indemnity”.

Torvalds made it clear in Tuesday’s email that he has little confidence in Sun’s motives with the open source community and in particalur with Linux.

Written by: Tom Sanders in California,

2 Responses

  1. […] Sun offers an olive branch to Linux […]

  2. Good for Sun, they are making big waves with Solaris. Linus must be worried a great deal that he is out of innovation.

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