[sf-lug] Rick's explanation of his internet setup.

Adrien Lamothe alamozzz at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 3 20:25:42 PST 2006

What program, bundled with SuSE 9.3, disallows non-for-profit copying and dissemination?

Not allowing customers to benchmark a software product is illegal and unenforceable.

Novell profit declined 90% last quarter. We'll see what happens next quarter. Apparently most, if not all, of the SuSE develoers are gone from Novell. There is no way to know what is really happening at Novell, but the SuSE developers essentially WERE SuSE Linux. If Novell doesn't replace those developers, then the SuSE acquisition was a waste. But you have to be happy for the SuSE people, who toiled hard for many years, because they most likely received a very handsome payday when acquired by Novell.

- Adrien

Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote: Quoting Adrien Lamothe (alamozzz at yahoo.com):

> I said "... game servers running Linux to host the game Half-Life."
> This sentence is probably unclear. It means the hardware is used to
> host the Half-Life game servers, not the clients. Half-Life servers
> are written for both Unix/Linux and Windows. The site uses the Linux
> versions.

Ah.  I had no idea that Half-Life uses a client-server model, not being,
as you probably figured out, much of a gamer.

[low CPU draw, in Linux:]

> That depends. KDE has gotten fairly heavy in recent years. GNOME, with
> a CORBA underpinning, is probably equally heavy.

Both environments tend towards the "heavy" in the sense of RAM gulping,
but not necessarily CPU usage -- especially if you cool it with the
optional visual effects glitter.  (This is easily adjustable in KDE if not 

It doesn't stand to reason that merely running a CORBA broker would
create a heavy CPU draw, y'know:  It's just an object broker.  That
would hit up I/O (meaning mostly disk) and RAM, but not so much CPU.

> >have found out the hard way that the proprietary drivers tend to become
> >unusable as the kernel's interfaces change, or when you try to migrate 
> >the hardware to a new box (ia32 to AMD64, say).
> My SuSE distros have utilized standard stuff, unless specifically
> configured otherwise. SuSE has also done an excellent job of
> supporting AMD, both 32 and 64.)

I am not sure if you got my point on the fragility and lack of
portability of proprietary drivers, or not.  Your remarks pretty much
ignore what I said.  I'm delighted that your hardware works well, but
that really is unresponsive to what I said.

> If you read the SuSE 9.3 license, you will find that copying it and
> giving away those copies to others is allowed, as long as the copies
> are not given away for profit.

This is a frequently repeated misconception -- which I've been obliged
to disprove in several forums before, so I happen to have the material

First of all, that is not what the licence says, if you heed its _full_
language (cited below).  Second, even if it did say that, Novell/SUSE
Linux AG would not have the copyright title enabling it to speak for
(and nullify the non-redistributable licensing of) Adobe, Real Networks,
Opera Software ASA, and Matrica AG.

Disk 1 includes a number of licensing-relevant files in its root
directory.  Here are the English-language ones (as they're also
duplicated with German-language ones).


Predictably, COPYING is the text of GPLv2.

COPYRIGHT is, in part, Novell's brief GPL-compliance document, pointing
out that a number of packages' source code is available, and stating
where to get it.  It also includes the following warning:

    Not all programs on the CDs are free software.  Some of them 
    are shareware, restricted to noncommercial use, or may have 
    other restrictive conditions. 
    The package information mentions the respective license and authors.
    We cannot, however, ensure the correctness of this information.  In
    cases of doubt, refer to the original copyright information of the
    respective programs. 

LICENSE.TXT asserts formation of a contract betwen any recipient and
Novell, Inc., concerning "Software", which is defined as "the software
product identified in the title of this Agreement, media (if any), and
accompanying documentation".  The "title" is "SUSE LINUX PROFESSIONAL

This text follows:

    You may make and use unlimited copies of the Software for 
    Your distribution and use within Your Organization.  You 
    may make and distribute unlimited copies of the Software 
    outside Your organization provided that: 1) You receive
    no consideration; and, 2) you do not bundle or combine 
    the Software with another offering (e.g., software, hardware, 
    or service).

However, the next paragraph severely limits that grant:

    The Software is a modular operating system.  Most of the components
    are open source packages, developed independently, and accompanied
    by separate license terms.  Your license rights with respect to
    individual components accompanied by separate license terms are
    defined by those terms; nothing in this Agreement (including, for
    example, the "Other License Terms and Restrictions," below) shall
    restrict, limit, or otherwise affect any rights or obligations You
    may have, or conditions to which You may be subject, under such
    license terms.


    The Software may be bundled with other software programs ("Bundled
    Programs"). Your license rights with respect to Bundled Programs
    accompanied by separate license terms are defined by those terms;
    nothing in this Agreement shall restrict, limit, or otherwise affect
    any rights or obligations You may have, or conditions to which You
    may be subject, under such license terms.


    Non-Novell Products. The Software may include or be bundled with
    hardware or other software programs licensed or sold by a licensor
    other than Novell.

Interestingly, even the generous-sounding Novell rights grant cited
above is non-transferrable!

    Transfer. This Agreement may not be transferred or assigned without
    the prior written approval of Novell.

So, you're allowed to "make and distribute unlimited copies of the
Software outside Your organization", but then those recipients don't 
enjoy the same rights?  Weird.

Interestingly, Novell restricts benchmarking!

    Benchmark Testing.  This benchmark testing restriction applies to
    You if You are a software vendor or if You are performing testing on
    the Software at the direction of or on behalf of a software vendor.
    You may not, without Novell's prior written consent not to be
    unreasonably withheld, publish or disclose to any third party the
    results of any benchmark test of the Software.

Anyhow, I think that more than suffices to show that the claim is
incorrect.  That is why I refer to 9.3 Professional as a "shrik-wrapped
retail edition", one of several they've had, off and on.

I try to keep track of the editions and their legal status, here:

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