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I am wondering about something related to the conflict between CDDL (Sun's license) and the GPL. Mainly pertaining to the reason ZFS cannot be added to the Linux kernel.

I was told ZFS cannot be distributed with the Linux kernel because it would be derived work of the kernel and according to CDDL it cannot legally be distributed because of the conflict with GPL.

Is this the same as saying because the ZFS module's origin is that of the Linux kernel it cannot be legally distributed?

Am I even close?

This brings to my real question.

Is it legal for me to compile my own kernel with ZFS inside of it?

As in could I add the code to the kernel and roll my own kernel with ZFS built in? Or does this still violate the terms of the licensing?

It would not be distributed (physically at least) but I would most likley write some kind of tutorial on it.

Any input would be great.

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closed as off topic by soandos, Sathya Jan 20 '12 at 13:52

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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

One of the Linux ZFS distributions has a reasonable answer: http://zfsonlinux.org/faq.html#WhatAboutTheLicensingIssue

They also have the incentive to care deeply about what is or isn't legal.

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Yeah I already use ZFS on Linux via this project. But the one problem I have is that it cannot act as a boot volume without a log of work and even then it breaks in the kernel is upgraded so that becomes an issue. –  Solignis Jan 20 '12 at 4:30
    
There should be no legal distinction between compiling that code as a module and compiling it statically linked to the kernel, unless you distribute the result. –  Daniel Pittman Jan 20 '12 at 4:34
    
Ok so it seems like comes down to what I do with the modules, as in distribution. It has very little to do with how I create them, right? I think I might throw this question to the guys over at ZFSonLinux.org I am sure they have looked over the license. –  Solignis Jan 20 '12 at 4:41
    
That is my understanding. In terms of GPL conditions, that is lawyer-approved (but pay your own). In terms of the CDDL, I understand so, but have never paid a lawyer to confirm that. –  Daniel Pittman Jan 20 '12 at 4:42
    
Yeah I understand I am not here for legal advice, I am just trying to get a rough understanding. –  Solignis Jan 20 '12 at 4:43
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