Non-free (?) GLX code under GLX Public License and SGI Free Software Licence B

Daniel Stone daniel at
Sat May 3 04:22:17 PDT 2008

On Sat, May 03, 2008 at 01:23:28PM +0300, Timo Jyrinki wrote:
> According to [1] and [2], some/most of the GLX code in currently
> is either under GLX Public License or SGI Free Software License B,
> both of which are considered not to be free software licenses by FSF
> [3] or for example Debian Free Software Guidelines. I couldn't find
> discussion on mailing lists recently on the subject, but the
> licenses cannot be considered completely MIT/BSD-like free either
> because of the extra restrictions included in those.
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> Is project itself perfectly fine with those licenses, or is it
> somewhere there on the list of things that should be remedied at some
> point? It's not that the licenses would be That bad, more like they
> are annoyances that should be cleaned (your interpretation may vary).
> It may result in some strictly free software BSD or GNU/Linux
> distributions dropping the GLX support if it's not rewritten or
> relicensed. gNewSense already did that, but they apparently didn't
> discuss with upstream. The problem has been known in Debian also,
> though apparently it was thought to be fixed with the xfree86 -> xorg
> migration.

It's definitely on the list of things that should be remedied at some
point, but I don't know of anyone rewriting the GLX code right now.
We've already managed to get rid of all code under the (rather similar,
IIRC) CID licence, and I think GLX is the only obnoxiously-licensed
piece of code left.  Right now, our policy is to only accept MIT/X11 and
non-four-clause-BSD software (or anything with a more liberal license
than that).

Patches welcome, I'm sure. :)

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