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FreeBSD Images Reworked With ZFS On Linux Code Up For Testing

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  • #11
    Originally posted by k1e0x View Post

    ZFS is stable and it's on disk format isn't likely to ever change. It's supported state isn't really in question on FreeBSD as it's basically the defacto default file system there. Most of the improvements in ZFS in general are in performance and features. (Like encryption, ZFS reflow extending a raid5 just by adding disks and usability improvements)
    You and I have different ideas of what stable means... ZFS has been around ages. ZoL hasn't, and adding it was a manual process for a long time. There were questions around whether Oracle might invoke their license rights which could make a lot of commercial users choose to stop using it, which would obviously have an impact on whether any distros would maintain a build with ZoL support. When you are responsible for maintaining an origanization's servers you definitely consider whether you will lose security updates because your supported kernel stops getting patched because the filesystem you're using has been removed and your kernel build is no longer happening, which will force you to change filesystems or abandon good security practices.

    For me, seeing FreeBSD adopt ZoL is a sign that I can rely on ZoL continuing to be supported in Ubuntu for 12 years. That's stability. If I can't rely on the feature set for at least 2 LTS cycles, I would never commit to it.
    Last edited by linuxgeex; 04-26-2019, 11:02 AM.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by linuxgeex View Post

      You and I have different ideas of what stable means... ZFS has been around ages. ZoL hasn't, and adding it was a manual process for a long time. There were questions around whether Oracle might invoke their license rights which could make a lot of commercial users choose to stop using it, which would obviously have an impact on whether any distros would maintain a build with ZoL support. When you are responsible for maintaining an origanization's servers you definitely consider whether you will lose security updates because your supported kernel stops getting patched because the filesystem you're using has been removed and your kernel build is no longer happening, which will force you to change filesystems or abandon good security practices.

      For me, seeing FreeBSD adopt ZoL is a sign that I can rely on ZoL continuing to be supported in Ubuntu for 12 years. That's stability. If I can't rely on the feature set for at least 2 LTS cycles, I would never commit to it.
      Oracle does not have the ability to stop others from using OSS. The open source definition clearly states that there is no ability to discriminate and the CDDL is compliant with it. There are no magical “license rights” that lets them change that.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by ryao View Post

        Oracle does not have the ability to stop others from using OSS. The open source definition clearly states that there is no ability to discriminate and the CDDL is compliant with it. There are no magical “license rights” that lets them change that.
        I'm sorry, but that is wishful thinking, not a legal opinion. CDDL compatibility with GPL is a red herring.

        What you fail to understand is that contributors to these OSS projects often hold onto individual copyrights covering their contributions. Many times specific developers have chosen to deny rights to use their works in order to force bad actors - like TIVO who were using Linux without distributing the sources (violation of GPL) - to do the right thing. This same tactic is being used to this day to force various bad actors, mostly Chinese manufacturers, to distribute the sources to their GPL2-driven products. There have also been lawsuits by individual copyright holders to extort payments out of commercial users of Linux, and EFF and Linux Foundation have on occasion helped defend against frivolous claims by kernel contributors, and there's a policy in place for that now.

        Oracle can still, as copyright holder, choose to deny rights to anyone they want, for any reason. Oracle can on a whim invoke their copyrights in their contributions to the GPL2 Linux Kernel, to prevent anyone who doesn't comply with their wishes to cease and desist in using ZFS with Linux. The fact that FreeBSD has adopted ZoL is an indication that FreeBSD believes that Oracle is very unlikely to do that. But don't kid yourself that Oracle *cannot* do that.

        There's a bit of an arms race that helps prevent frivolous denial of use. For example if Oracle denied use of ZFS to Linux now, they would piss off developers in FreeBSD, Linux, and other projects which Oracle themselves are dependent upon, and those developers could deny Oracle rights to use their contributions to those projects. Now that ZoL has wider use I feel a lot more secure that Oracle will not misbehave.
        Last edited by linuxgeex; 04-28-2019, 12:52 PM.

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