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Newsgroups: gnu.misc.discuss
From: (Paul Crowley)
Subject: Novell's Linux-based OS
Message-ID: <>
Sender: (UseNet News Admin)
Organization: Edinburgh University
References: <> 
<> <2rqmgb$>
Date: Thu, 26 May 1994 09:28:00 GMT
Lines: 10

Can anyone confirm that Novell does *not* plan to release their
Linux-based operating system under the GPL?  Because the rumour I heard
said they did.

And if they do, I doubt they'll have any problems making a profit on it.
If I were a business and Novell said they'd sell me Linux, with support
and printed documentation, for $200, I'd buy it immediately.
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From: torva...@cc.Helsinki.FI (Linus Torvalds)
Newsgroups: gnu.misc.discuss
Subject: Re: Novell's Linux-based OS
Date: 31 May 1994 13:29:17 +0300
Organization: University of Helsinki
Lines: 38
Message-ID: <2sf3ht$2ii@klaava.Helsinki.FI>
References: <> 
<> <2rqmgb$> 

In article <>, Paul Crowley <> wrote:
>Can anyone confirm that Novell does *not* plan to release their
>Linux-based operating system under the GPL?  Because the rumour I heard
>said they did.

Note: I know no more about it than you do, but this discussion has gone
on for so long that I might as well get my feet wet too.. 

I don't see any way Novell would want to do a non-GPL kernel: they have
enough proprietary value-added stuff (if the reports are true) that
keeping the kernel GPL'd should be no problem at all for them.  The
kernel would be a very miniscule part of the CD-ROM after all. 

I seriously doubt Novell wants to get even a hint of copyright problems
when/if doing the release.  The major reasons I can see for Novell using
linux (apart from the technical ones, of course :-), is (a) make money,
and (b) get a wedge into the PC marketplace with UNIX.  To do both
they'll need to sell a rather large amount of CD's (frankly, I'd think
that (b) is more important to them: they can't expect to make huge
amount of money off a $99 CD-ROM, but they'd probably enjoy making UNIX
PR which then makes money indirectly through larger installations). 

And in order to sell huge amounts of CD-ROMs, the last thing Novell
probably wants is a lot of people running about and wondering if what
they do is legal.  Quite the reverse, I'd assume: by using a free kernel
Novell probably expects to get some goodwill and more room in the PC

Caveat: I obviously have no head for economics at all (why would I still
be a poor student if I had), so anybody taking my views as anything but
wild guesses should probably have their head examined. 

Personal opinion: I may be a blue-eyed optimist, but I think a Novell
distribution would probably be just a good thing.  I'd certainly like to
see looking-glass and windows emulation myself (and I'd expect a
complimentary copy if they ship, so nyaah...  :^). 


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