Monday, July 20, 2009

Congratulations Microsoft

Nice. Microsoft has released the Hyper-V drivers as GPLv2. I know was a hard step for Microsoft to take, since it means acknowledging GPL and respecting the Linux community. The releasing of the drivers is good news for users, developers, and in the end Microsoft as well. Like most GPL related actions, a lot of work was done behind the scenes to get the offending company into compliance.

This saga started when one of the user's on the Vyatta forum inquired about supporting Hyper-V network driver in the Vyatta kernel. A little googling found the necessary drivers, but on closer examination there was a problem. The driver had both open-source components which were under GPL, and statically linked to several binary parts. The GPL does not permit mixing of closed and open source parts, so this was an obvious violation of the license. Rather than creating noise, my goal was to resolve the problem, so I turned to Greg Kroah-Hartman. Since Novell has a (too) close association with Microsoft, my expectation was that Greg could prod the right people to get the issue resolved.

It took longer than expected, but finally Microsoft decided to do the right thing and release the drivers.