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The FreeBSD Migration To OpenZFS Is Still Looking To Be A Great Change

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  • The FreeBSD Migration To OpenZFS Is Still Looking To Be A Great Change

    Phoronix: The FreeBSD Migration To OpenZFS Is Still Looking To Be A Great Change

    Last year it was decided that FreeBSD's ZFS code would be re-based on OpenZFS (ZFS On Linux) code for ultimately better support and functionality as well as largely unifying the open-source ZFS ecosystem. While still transitioning towards the OpenZFS code-base, for FreeBSD it's still looking to be a positive move and one that will pay off for all parties involved...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...SD-2019-Change

  • #2
    Is the ZOL licensing still not compatible with the Linux kernel? and what could fix that? or would we have to wait for Oracle to die before the 2 could merge?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by elatllat View Post
      Is the ZOL licensing still not compatible with the Linux kernel? and what could fix that? or would we have to wait for Oracle to die before the 2 could merge?
      It is compatible if you ask Canonical.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by elatllat View Post
        Is the ZOL licensing still not compatible with the Linux kernel?
        Correct. Although the license allows use as a separately-developed module (as ZoL does)
        and what could fix that?
        Nothing.
        or would we have to wait for Oracle to die before the 2 could merge?
        No.
        The issue is on the GPL side, not on ZoL (CDDL) license side.
        Anyone that contributed to Linux kernel can sue everyone that tries to merge this upstream, not just Oracle (that has contributed to Linux so is entitled to this).
        Last edited by starshipeleven; 11-08-2019, 04:48 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cen1 View Post
          It is compatible if you ask Canonical.
          Canonical is not merging the code in Linux source, nor integrating ZFS directly into the kernel compiled binary. This is what is NOT allowed by the licensing conflict.

          Canonical is placing the ZFS third party module in the initramfs image, and this allows Linux kernel to use ZFS filesystem for root filesystem AND does not violate the GPL/CDDL.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
            ...The issue is on the GPL side, not on ZoL (CDDL) license side...
            So if someone re-wrote ZOL under the GPL it could be merged? (Yes I know there is btrfs)
            Or is API patentable or licensable?
            (I forget where the Oracle vs Google craziness ended up)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by elatllat View Post
              So if someone re-wrote ZOL under the GPL it could be merged? (Yes I know there is btrfs)
              Yes.
              Although this is not really a piece of cake as you can't just copy-paste stuff and change names, like Canonical does with Debian stuff to create Ubuntu, for example.

              This would mean to do a clean-room implementation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_room_design of ZFS (ZoL is ZFS on Linux, it's just the Linux branch of the bigger OpenZFS project), which is a massive pain in the butt to do, for something as complex as a next-gen filesystem.

              Or is API patentable or licensable?
              (I forget where the Oracle vs Google craziness ended up)
              For now Oracle won, so yes. Google is still fighting this and there is the third level of the judicial system (Supreme Court) to deal with.

              But for a filesystem this is much less important. The only applications that actually use a filesystem API directly are low-level filesystem tools, and you can just change the API and rewrite them too as part of the filesystem rewrite.

              I mean, it was horribly unpractical to do before and it remains horribly unpractical, rewriting filesystem tools does not matter much.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
                ... horribly unpractical, rewrite...
                aka perfect for a rust enthusiast, lol.

                Thanks for the help.

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                • #9
                  Why won't Oracle release ZFS under the GPL license also?
                  Wouldn't that solve the problem?
                  Or is it more complex than that?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nomadewolf View Post
                    Why won't Oracle release ZFS under the GPL license also?
                    Because they are selling products they don't need to maintain (it's a CentOS clone) with Btrfs https://blogs.oracle.com/linux/train...oracle-linux-7

                    And boldly claiming "BTRFS is production ready with Oracle Linux." as soon as 2016, no less.

                    And also they are still selling Slowlaris, where they have their own secret sauce closed source ZFS, if they open the code then they instantly lose the poor sods that are locked into still buying Slowlaris to avoid massive pains to migrate data around, as Oracle's ZFS is not compatible with OpenZFS anymore.

                    Wouldn't that solve the problem?
                    No.
                    Or is it more complex than that?
                    Yes. A ton of code was written after the ZFS fork, dealing with relicensing so much stuff is not really a walk in the park, even if Oracle somehow decided to be good for once.
                    Last edited by starshipeleven; 11-08-2019, 07:54 AM.

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