question about RedHat/Fedora and the GPL

Howard Johnson merlin at
Tue Jun 7 09:16:27 UTC 2005

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.

On Mon, 2005-06-06 at 05:26, condition terminal wrote:
> OK, firstly, I am sorry if I am miss understanding the text of the GPL. 
> The part I am questioning is this: 
> ---QUOTE---
> complete source code means all the source code for all modules it
> contains, plus any associated interface definition files, plus the
> scripts used to control compilation and installation of the
> executable.
> --END--QUOTE---

Red Hat make available all of the SRPMs from which the GPL-licenced
components of their OSes are built (including RHEL). Red Hat have made
available a number of OSes which include the rpmbuild command, using
which I can rebuild the SRPMs and get binaries. In my (personal,
non-lawyerish) opinion, that means they've fulfilled their obligation
under the GPL.

At the end of the day, Fedora and RHEL may as well be built with a for
loop in shell for all it really seems to matter. Having rebuilt large
chunks of various releases of Red Hat myself, the only impact I've seen
from not having used beehive is the /etc/beehive-root check in the
modern kernel spec files.

> The same applies to the scripts for building the ISOs. I have seen
> examples of what people have been doing, but no comment form
> RH/Fedora.

The ISO building scripts are, IIRC, part of anaconda, and distributed
with modern versions of RHEL and Fedora. I've not tried building actual
ISOs recently, but I've certainly generated all the hdlist files and
whatnot for a custom network install.

Frankly, having read the rest of this thread, I suspect there won't be
much more gained without the consultation of lawyer or three.

Howard Johnson <merlin at>

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