Linux's DRM GPUVM Code Relicensed From GPLv2-Only To GPLv2 Or MIT

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 19 October 2023 at 05:01 PM EDT. 25 Comments
Sent out today were a new batch of drm-misc-next changes intended for Linux 6.7. There's various fixes to the smaller Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) drivers, DRM VM_BIND async documentation, and other small changes. Plus the DRM_GPUVM code has been re-licensed from being GPLv2-only to now GPLv2 or MIT.

DRM_GPUVM is the DRM GPU VA Manager that handles the GPU virtual address (VA) space and managing the virtual mappings. The DRM_GPUVM code is used by the various mainline DRM kernel drivers. This code is being dual licensed to GPLv2 and MIT to allow for it to be re-implemented by other non-GPL licensed operating systems, such as the BSDs.

Thomas Hellström at Intel was the one to organize the re-licensing and was acknowledged by Red Hat with having a copyright on the original code. This isn't very surprising with the likes of AMD and Intel already relying on the MIT license for their kernel DRM drivers for code re-use and portability.

DRM_GPUVM license patch

While the code is to be dual licensed with Linux 6.7, the exported DRM_GPUVM kernel symbols are being kept GPL-only "EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL" to prevent DRM_GPUVM being used as a proxy by non-GPL kernel drivers like the NVIDIA proprietary driver.

This dual licensing of DRM_GPUVM is part of today's drm-misc-next ahead of the Linux 6.7 merge window.
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