bit-tech.net

Asus Eee PC violates Linux GPL?

Asus Eee PC violates Linux GPL?

The Eee PC has proven immensely popular, but it may have broken the Linux GPL

The best things in life are free and, if you listen to the Linux userbase, they are publicly available too. That's the whole idea behind the Linux General Public License policy.

Apparently though, companies like Asus aren't quite clued in on that yet and a number of Linux users have raised concern over the fact that the Eee PC hasn't complied with the Linux GPL.

The Eee PC, a new cheap and lightweight notebook which uses the Xandros Linux distro, has proven immensely popular recently and naturally a fair bit of effort has gone into tinkering with it.

It turns out though, according to Slashdot, that the source code for part of the kernel has not been released and that the Eee PC does not easily allow users to install a new distro onto the notebook.

That said, most Eee PC owners probably don't care - the entire point of the laptop is that it is focused at low-end users and those who want something which is simple and easy to use.

Have you picked up an Eee PC yet, or do you have a different Christmas present in mind? Let us know in the forums.

13 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
steveo_mcg 26th November 2007, 13:42 Quote
I was reading about this yesterday, from what i seen on the web their 1.8gig source download doesn't include a couple of parts that they have modified. I think the most important bit being asus_acpi which means your effectively tied to the supplied kernel until either it is reverse engineered or asus release the changes. I'm hoping its a matter of incompetence over malice and it will be resolved in due course, it would be a shame if it came to a law suite. I don't think Linux needs any bad publicity amongst the great unwashed/white box shifters just as it starts to make in roads.
proxess 26th November 2007, 14:01 Quote
I already got my early christmas present running ubuntu so no problems there ^^
a centrino duo t5500, 2gb ram, ati x2300, 120gb disc. Asus Z53j (I think its a regional version of F3).
DXR_13KE 26th November 2007, 14:24 Quote
"That said, most Eee PC owners probably don't care - the entire point of the laptop is that it is focused at low-end users and those who want something which is simple and easy to use."

i consider my self an advanced user and i would definatly would buy this laptop.... it is light, cheap and small, and has enough power in it for lots of stuff.
if i got one i would install ubuntu in a flash.... but it seams i cant..... i will just wait for one that i can put the OS i want an that has a black color instead of white....
Greenie 26th November 2007, 15:26 Quote
the original article is here: http://cliffhacks.blogspot.com/2007/11/asus-eeepc-first-impressions-and-gpl.html

i doubt its something asus have done just to keep things closed, or so that it takes more effort to install whatever OS you please. They probably just forgot to include the modified source. I am sure we will see it appear in the next few weeks, because to adhere to the GPLv2 they will have to distribute the source, unless the authors of the current closed software have signed the rights over to asus

DXR_13KE: you can install ubuntu on it, the cliffhacks page also has a tutorial to do that, recompiling the kernel using the modified asus_acpi to provide proper power management and after that, ndiswrapper to sort out the wireless.
Woodstock 26th November 2007, 17:42 Quote
i thought asus_acpi was intgrated into the standard kernel, is it just the dsdt for this particular model
Tyinsar 26th November 2007, 18:00 Quote
This laptop could provide a nice push for Linux and I'm torn between the violation of GPL and the thought that enforcing the GPL might cause Asus to stop making these (if they intentionally violated GPL). If Asus releases the source then all is well.
IanW 26th November 2007, 18:05 Quote
DXR_13KE: The Eee is available in black if you shop around.
Phil Rhodes 26th November 2007, 19:28 Quote
ACPI is by far the trickiest thing to get working on Linux laptops - frankly, unless you happen to have exactly the same hardware as an expert in the field, and you can get it installed and set up right (often no small task under PenguinOS, it's worth remembering) you will generally be out of luck. I have never seen any laptop other than an IBM Thinkpad correctly sleep or hibernate under Linux and that makes it effectively unusable for laptops in general.

This is therefore a fairly turnkey piece of software and, while I hesitate to assume that anyone's acting maliciously, it wouldn't be surprising to find that someone considered it sensitive.

Phil
completemadness 26th November 2007, 19:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
I have never seen any laptop other than an IBM Thinkpad correctly sleep or hibernate under Linux and that makes it effectively unusable for laptops in general.
I dont know what youve been looking at, but at university i have seen dozens of laptops of all kinds that have functioned correctly (sleep and hibernate)

Hell i put ubuntu on a dell laptop and it worked perfectly ....
specofdust 26th November 2007, 20:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanW
DXR_13KE: The Eee is available in black if you shop around.

The term "available" has to be used very loosely. Very few shops have them in, and those that do are all charging Ebay prices (i.e. - £50 more than it's worth). Given that Asus is selling every one of these things that it's making, I'm sure they're not worried about having to correct this mistake, or even about not correcting it and just dealing with the lawsuit.
The_Beast 26th November 2007, 22:13 Quote
I want one, I really don't care as long as I connect to the Internet and open Word documents I'm just fine with it
Techno-Dann 27th November 2007, 08:52 Quote
Issue resolved: ASUS released the source for the module. Engadget has a few details, along with a link to the downloads.
Tyinsar 27th November 2007, 16:42 Quote
Thank you Asus.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums