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Is there a Linux distribution with a preference for permissive free software licenses (such as the BSD license), or, in other words, for avoiding GPL and other copyleft licenses? I do know about the BSD OSs.

Edit: This is why I care: I sometimes find a library that is in the public domain, but my distribution has modified it by adding a GPL'd file, which brings the status of the distributed library, and the ability of any commercial product to link against it, into question. An example is libselinux, to which Debian added GPL'd and LGPL'd code.

Edit: Just to be clear, I'm still looking for an answer. Broam's is nice, but not quite what I want.

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Not sure specifically what you're asking for. Are you looking for a Linux based distro that actually is released under a license other than GPL, or merely a distro that primarily uses non-GPL (but still F/OSS) licensed software/package management? –  Matrix Mole May 26 '11 at 17:17
    
@Matrix - the latter. –  Brian May 26 '11 at 17:22
    
@Matrix - although, really, any avoidance of GPL et al is desired. –  Brian May 26 '11 at 17:24

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You mean a Linux distribution for the desktop using something other than the GNU userland?

Remember as Linux the kernel is GPL-licensed, you can't exactly avoid GPL and use Linux the kernel at the same time.

As much as the FSF makes noise about "always please call it GNU/Linux", it's funny - I don't see Linux distros for desktop use without GNU userland, and even Busybox is GPL.

Android, maybe?

Try Linux from Scratch; you can specify all the pieces that go into the distro.

OpenBSD is pretty hardcore MIT/BSD/ISC, to the point where the default install is completely BSD licensed AFAIK.

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Let me clarify. I sometimes find a library that is in the public domain, but my distribution has modified it by adding a GPL'd file, which brings the status of the distributed library, and the ability of any commercial product to link against it, into question. An example is libselinux, to which Debian added GPL'd and LGPL'd code. –  Brian May 26 '11 at 17:34
    
The status of the code that links against THAT library is fairly straightforward - if you use the library in its unmodified form, you can use it as public domain. With the inclusion of that GPL/LGPL code, the entire library is considered to be under GPL/LGPL. There's no question. Debian source packages package the original library and Debian's modifications in two separate archives in the source package. You can go back to the unmodified version but you'll have to distribute that yourself (it's public domain). –  Broam May 26 '11 at 18:10
    
LGPL is fairly easy to code for - just allow users to replace the library and you're done. –  Broam May 26 '11 at 18:10
    
you could compile against the upstream version (Public Domain), and then still likely be able to run against the distributed versions. Obviously you could compile statically, and avoid any problem caused by modifications. –  TechZilla Feb 8 '12 at 20:57

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