Motherboard Forums


Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes

Newbe -Linux - licensiing & hardware

 
 
aregan
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-10-2011, 08:53 PM
Hi,

I'm looking at the possiblity of developing a product which will use linu
embedded but have few newbe questions. I'm a software engineer with abou
15 years expierence, but its been a while since I've developed for linux.

First question is about licensing.
Lets say I'm building a new device that uses linux, for example its a ne
router. What versions of linux are free for me to use as my device OS.
Must I only make available the OS source code, or must I also mak
available the source code that drives my device?

Second question
Any suggestions on ultra low cost hardware.
Requirements:
1 Lan interface port
1 input gpio, 1 output gpio
Processor, ram (any. Slow / Low is fine)
1 audio input port, 1 audio output port
fanless
No vga port required other than for testing / debug.
Must support linux. Preferably ship with linux.

All advice for a novice welcomed!




---------------------------------------
Posted through http://www.EmbeddedRelated.com
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
Vladimir Vassilevsky
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-10-2011, 09:43 PM


aregan wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I'm looking at the possiblity of developing a product which will use linux
> embedded but have few newbe questions. I'm a software engineer with about
> 15 years expierence, but its been a while since I've developed for linux.
>
> First question is about licensing.
> Second question
> Any suggestions on ultra low cost hardware.
> All advice for a novice welcomed!


A young guy and young girl came to the rabbi to ask for his advice.

A girl:

"Tomorrow is my first night with my fiance. What kind of night dress
should I put on? Should it be a long dress, or a short dress, or an open
dress, or a closed dress, or anything?"

A boy:

"I got some money. Will you please give me an advice what to do with it:
maybe, invest into something, or buy some real estate, or gold, or put
it into a bank?"

The rabbi:

"My dear children, I have one answer for both of you: whatever you do,
you will be ****ed"

VLV
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
linnix
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-10-2011, 10:56 PM
On Nov 10, 12:53*pm, "aregan" <alan.regan@n_o_s_p_a_m.redkey.ie>
wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I'm looking at the possiblity of developing a product which will use linux
> embedded but have few newbe questions. I'm a software engineer with about
> 15 years expierence, but its been a while since I've developed for linux.
>
> First question is about licensing.
> Lets say I'm building a new device that uses linux, for example its a new
> router. What versions of linux are free for me to use as my device OS.
> Must I only make available the OS source code, or must I also make
> available the source code that drives my device?


I believe the gnu license will force you to release the driver in
source, to prevent you from making cosmetic changes and then making it
proprietary. Especially if you adapt it from some existing drivers,
to work with the OS. However, there is not many reason to write your
own driver, unless you are making a new chip.

>
> Second question
> Any suggestions on ultra low cost hardware.
> Requirements:
> * * * 1 Lan interface port
> * * * 1 input gpio, 1 output gpio
> * * * Processor, ram (any. Slow / Low is fine)
> * * * 1 audio input port, 1 audio output port
> * * * fanless
> * * * No vga port required other than for testing / debug.
> * * * Must support linux. Preferably ship with linux.
>
> All advice for a novice welcomed!
>


AVR32, PIC32, PPC32, ARM32, etc.

> ---------------------------------------
> Posted throughhttp://www.EmbeddedRelated.com


 
Reply With Quote
 
Tim Wescott
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-10-2011, 11:04 PM
On Thu, 10 Nov 2011 14:53:05 -0600, aregan wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I'm looking at the possiblity of developing a product which will use
> linux embedded but have few newbe questions. I'm a software engineer
> with about 15 years expierence, but its been a while since I've
> developed for linux.
>
> First question is about licensing.
> Lets say I'm building a new device that uses linux, for example its a
> new router. What versions of linux are free for me to use as my device
> OS. Must I only make available the OS source code, or must I also make
> available the source code that drives my device?
>
> Second question
> Any suggestions on ultra low cost hardware. Requirements:
> 1 Lan interface port
> 1 input gpio, 1 output gpio
> Processor, ram (any. Slow / Low is fine) 1 audio input port, 1
> audio output port fanless
> No vga port required other than for testing / debug. Must support
> linux. Preferably ship with linux.
>
> All advice for a novice welcomed!


I've never shipped a product with Linux, but I've done some research.
So, take this with an appropriate-sized grain of salt:

The GPL is written to cover the code you got, the code you added to it,
and the code for anything that links in. Don't link it in, and you're
safe. There are some issues with kernel code if you write drivers, but
answers will be out there (I think the GPL doesn't cover dynamic linkage,
just static -- so you can write kernel modules that link at run time.
But _please_ check for yourself!!!).

The LGPL is specifically written to _not_ cover the code you link in, so
you can, for example, use an LGPL library in your code without
'poisoning' what you've written.

This is all out there on web pages and in books. I happen to have Doug
Abbot's "Linux for Embedded and Real-Time Applications", but that's
because I wanted to buy a book, he was signing books right after (or
right before) I was at the Elsevier booth at the Embedded Systems
Conference, and I wanted to be polite (and get a Signed Book, too!). So
I can say that it seems to be well written and to the point (and it has a
section on licensing), but that's about all.

As for the hardware, I'm not sure what's "Ultra low cost" to you. Get a
copy of (or subscribe to) Circuit Cellar magazine -- the ads are chock
full of boards that you may want, many of which tout that they ship with
Linux.

--
www.wescottdesign.com
 
Reply With Quote
 
Les Cargill
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-11-2011, 02:09 AM
linnix wrote:
> On Nov 10, 12:53 pm, "aregan"<alan.regan@n_o_s_p_a_m.redkey.ie>
> wrote:
>> Hi,
>>
>> I'm looking at the possiblity of developing a product which will use linux
>> embedded but have few newbe questions. I'm a software engineer with about
>> 15 years expierence, but its been a while since I've developed for linux.
>>
>> First question is about licensing.
>> Lets say I'm building a new device that uses linux, for example its a new
>> router. What versions of linux are free for me to use as my device OS.
>> Must I only make available the OS source code, or must I also make
>> available the source code that drives my device?

>
> I believe the gnu license will force you to release the driver in
> source, to prevent you from making cosmetic changes and then making it
> proprietary.



No. You can use existing drivers unmodified or patch ( with patch files
in your build process - like "patch driver.c < /place/patches
/driver.c.patch" ) existing drivers.

If you write a new driver from scratch ( or by copying an existing
driver - same deal ) it's yours to license or not. These drivers
can be, and are, trade secret.

> Especially if you adapt it from some existing drivers,
> to work with the OS. However, there is not many reason to write your
> own driver, unless you are making a new chip.
>


If one exists, sure.

>>
>> Second question
>> Any suggestions on ultra low cost hardware.
>> Requirements:
>> 1 Lan interface port
>> 1 input gpio, 1 output gpio
>> Processor, ram (any. Slow / Low is fine)
>> 1 audio input port, 1 audio output port
>> fanless
>> No vga port required other than for testing / debug.
>> Must support linux. Preferably ship with linux.
>>
>> All advice for a novice welcomed!
>>

>
> AVR32, PIC32, PPC32, ARM32, etc.
>
>> ---------------------------------------
>> Posted throughhttp://www.EmbeddedRelated.com

>

--
Les Cargill
 
Reply With Quote
 
George Neuner
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-11-2011, 05:09 AM
On Thu, 10 Nov 2011 14:53:05 -0600, "aregan"
<alan.regan@n_o_s_p_a_m.redkey.ie> wrote:

>Hi,
>
>I'm looking at the possiblity of developing a product which will use linux
>embedded but have few newbe questions. I'm a software engineer with about
>15 years expierence, but its been a while since I've developed for linux.
>
>First question is about licensing.
>Lets say I'm building a new device that uses linux, for example its a new
>router. What versions of linux are free for me to use as my device OS.
>Must I only make available the OS source code, or must I also make
>available the source code that drives my device?


IANAL and I would encourage you to check with a qualified IP attorney
if you have any doubts. That said, I attended a certificate program
on embedded Linux development last year and this is what was told to
us.

- You can use any version of the kernel. Check out www.kernel.org
to see what's available. Stay away from the latest and greatest
unless you desperately need some feature only the latest version
provides.


- You do not have to provide kernel source unless you modify it
because the kernel sources are readily available. You can just
tell your customers where to download it.

- Similarly, you do not have to provide sources to publicly
available GPL'd or LGPL'd libraries unless you modify them.


- Libraries and other code licensed under LGPL are not infectious
and do not require you to release your sources.


- Drivers and other kernel mode code that are compiled as separate
modules and loaded via insmod can remain proprietary unless
they themselves include GPL'd code.


- Drivers and other kernel mode code that are statically linked into
the kernel are a gray legal area. The core kernel is under GPL 2
which theoretically allows for proprietary drivers, but some
parts of the 2.x and 3.x distributions now are under GPL 3 which is
extremely infectious. AFAIK, there has been no definitive legal
ruling on how (or whether) the presence of statically linked GPL 3
code affects statically linking to the GPL 2 kernel.

Bottom line: write your code as a module, don't statically link it
to the kernel.


- A user mode application can remain proprietary unless it itself
includes GPL'd code.

IANAL

>Second question
>Any suggestions on ultra low cost hardware.
>Requirements:
> 1 Lan interface port
> 1 input gpio, 1 output gpio
> Processor, ram (any. Slow / Low is fine)
> 1 audio input port, 1 audio output port
> fanless
> No vga port required other than for testing / debug.
> Must support linux. Preferably ship with linux.
>


Sorry, can't help you there.


George
 
Reply With Quote
 
Dennis
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-11-2011, 06:06 PM
On 11/11/2011 07:34 PM, Mark Borgerson wrote:
> In article<(E-Mail Removed) >, gneuner2
> @comcast.net says...
>>
>> On Thu, 10 Nov 2011 14:53:05 -0600, "aregan"
>> <alan.regan@n_o_s_p_a_m.redkey.ie> wrote:
>>
>>> Hi,
>>>
>>> I'm looking at the possiblity of developing a product which will use linux
>>> embedded but have few newbe questions. I'm a software engineer with about
>>> 15 years expierence, but its been a while since I've developed for linux.
>>>
>>> First question is about licensing.
>>> Lets say I'm building a new device that uses linux, for example its a new
>>> router. What versions of linux are free for me to use as my device OS.
>>> Must I only make available the OS source code, or must I also make
>>> available the source code that drives my device?

>>
>> IANAL and I would encourage you to check with a qualified IP attorney
>> if you have any doubts. That said, I attended a certificate program
>> on embedded Linux development last year and this is what was told to
>> us.
>>
>> - You can use any version of the kernel. Check out www.kernel.org
>> to see what's available. Stay away from the latest and greatest
>> unless you desperately need some feature only the latest version
>> provides.
>>
>>
>> - You do not have to provide kernel source unless you modify it
>> because the kernel sources are readily available. You can just
>> tell your customers where to download it.
>>
>> - Similarly, you do not have to provide sources to publicly
>> available GPL'd or LGPL'd libraries unless you modify them.
>>
>>
>> - Libraries and other code licensed under LGPL are not infectious
>> and do not require you to release your sources.
>>
>>
>> - Drivers and other kernel mode code that are compiled as separate
>> modules and loaded via insmod can remain proprietary unless
>> they themselves include GPL'd code.
>>
>>
>> - Drivers and other kernel mode code that are statically linked into
>> the kernel are a gray legal area. The core kernel is under GPL 2
>> which theoretically allows for proprietary drivers, but some
>> parts of the 2.x and 3.x distributions now are under GPL 3 which is
>> extremely infectious. AFAIK, there has been no definitive legal
>> ruling on how (or whether) the presence of statically linked GPL 3
>> code affects statically linking to the GPL 2 kernel.
>>
>> Bottom line: write your code as a module, don't statically link it
>> to the kernel.
>>
>>
>> - A user mode application can remain proprietary unless it itself
>> includes GPL'd code.
>>

> This bit confuses me. Does using the standard C libraries mean that
> my user mode application includes GPL's code? Or does that apply
> only if I used the library sources, not the compiled libraries?


RTFM http://www.gnu.org/s/hello/manual/li...g.html#Copying

If you use LGPL libraries and dynamic linking, then you are under
section 6b and should be OK. If you modify the libraries then you must
supply the changes, either as full source or as a patch file to a
readily available source (usually a standard distribution).

>
> <SNIP hardware stuff>
>
>
> Mark Borgerson
>
>


 
Reply With Quote
 
Mark Borgerson
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-12-2011, 01:34 AM
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, gneuner2
@comcast.net says...
>
> On Thu, 10 Nov 2011 14:53:05 -0600, "aregan"
> <alan.regan@n_o_s_p_a_m.redkey.ie> wrote:
>
> >Hi,
> >
> >I'm looking at the possiblity of developing a product which will use linux
> >embedded but have few newbe questions. I'm a software engineer with about
> >15 years expierence, but its been a while since I've developed for linux.
> >
> >First question is about licensing.
> >Lets say I'm building a new device that uses linux, for example its a new
> >router. What versions of linux are free for me to use as my device OS.
> >Must I only make available the OS source code, or must I also make
> >available the source code that drives my device?

>
> IANAL and I would encourage you to check with a qualified IP attorney
> if you have any doubts. That said, I attended a certificate program
> on embedded Linux development last year and this is what was told to
> us.
>
> - You can use any version of the kernel. Check out www.kernel.org
> to see what's available. Stay away from the latest and greatest
> unless you desperately need some feature only the latest version
> provides.
>
>
> - You do not have to provide kernel source unless you modify it
> because the kernel sources are readily available. You can just
> tell your customers where to download it.
>
> - Similarly, you do not have to provide sources to publicly
> available GPL'd or LGPL'd libraries unless you modify them.
>
>
> - Libraries and other code licensed under LGPL are not infectious
> and do not require you to release your sources.
>
>
> - Drivers and other kernel mode code that are compiled as separate
> modules and loaded via insmod can remain proprietary unless
> they themselves include GPL'd code.
>
>
> - Drivers and other kernel mode code that are statically linked into
> the kernel are a gray legal area. The core kernel is under GPL 2
> which theoretically allows for proprietary drivers, but some
> parts of the 2.x and 3.x distributions now are under GPL 3 which is
> extremely infectious. AFAIK, there has been no definitive legal
> ruling on how (or whether) the presence of statically linked GPL 3
> code affects statically linking to the GPL 2 kernel.
>
> Bottom line: write your code as a module, don't statically link it
> to the kernel.
>
>
> - A user mode application can remain proprietary unless it itself
> includes GPL'd code.
>

This bit confuses me. Does using the standard C libraries mean that
my user mode application includes GPL's code? Or does that apply
only if I used the library sources, not the compiled libraries?

<SNIP hardware stuff>


Mark Borgerson


 
Reply With Quote
 
George Neuner
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-12-2011, 06:24 AM
On Fri, 11 Nov 2011 17:34:02 -0800, Mark Borgerson
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, gneuner2
>@comcast.net says...
>
>> - A user mode application can remain proprietary unless it itself
>> includes GPL'd code.
>>

>This bit confuses me. Does using the standard C libraries mean that
>my user mode application includes GPL's code? Or does that apply
>only if I used the library sources, not the compiled libraries?


The GCC C and C++ standard libraries are under LGPL, so regardless of
how you link to them the sources for your application can remain
proprietary.

If you link dynamically there is no library code in your application.
You need to supply the library binaries in your installation for
systems that don't have them already. (Even if the system has them,
it may not have the specific versions you used.)

However, if you link *statically* then library code *is* in your
application. The linker extracts from the library the code for the
functions used by the application and copies it into the application
executable. Note that the whole library isn't in your application,
but only the functions you actually used and any lower level functions
on which they depend.


LGPL demands that you make the library available, but so long as you
use the library "as is" and do not modify it, you can just point
people to where they can get their own copy of its source.

George
 
Reply With Quote
 
John Devereux
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-12-2011, 10:42 AM
Les Cargill <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> linnix wrote:
>> On Nov 10, 12:53 pm, "aregan"<alan.regan@n_o_s_p_a_m.redkey.ie>
>> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>>
>>> I'm looking at the possiblity of developing a product which will use linux
>>> embedded but have few newbe questions. I'm a software engineer with about
>>> 15 years expierence, but its been a while since I've developed for linux.
>>>
>>> First question is about licensing.
>>> Lets say I'm building a new device that uses linux, for example its a new
>>> router. What versions of linux are free for me to use as my device OS.
>>> Must I only make available the OS source code, or must I also make
>>> available the source code that drives my device?

>>
>> I believe the gnu license will force you to release the driver in
>> source, to prevent you from making cosmetic changes and then making it
>> proprietary.

>
>
> No. You can use existing drivers unmodified or patch ( with patch files
> in your build process - like "patch driver.c < /place/patches
> /driver.c.patch" ) existing drivers.
>
> If you write a new driver from scratch ( or by copying an existing
> driver - same deal ) it's yours to license or not. These drivers
> can be, and are, trade secret.


I don't believe this is correct. If you distribute kernel binaries
linked with your proprietary driver, the GPL requires you to release the
source code of both the kernel and your driver.

If the driver can be put into userspace then it is OK.

[...]


--

John Devereux
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Recommend newbe hardware jacodeguy@gmail.com Sun Hardware 8 09-13-2007 10:05 PM
newbe question: Can you over clock a Celron D Lockar IBM 0 01-06-2006 04:14 AM
6 beeps on startup issue with MSI-6570 (newbe) .:: Fast Niko ::. MSI 0 05-15-2005 08:57 AM
Newbe Crosscompile a ModuleDriver for arm Hans-Dominik Embedded 3 03-07-2005 09:17 PM
Re: newbe ? overclocking gateway Nick Hogg Overclocking 2 08-23-2003 11:29 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:42 PM.


Welcome!
Welcome to Motherboard Point
 

Advertisment