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From "Ewan Mellor (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Created] (LEGAL-144) Request for permission for CloudStack to distribute secondary convenience builds containing libvirt-java (LGPL)
Date Fri, 03 Aug 2012 21:35:02 GMT
Ewan Mellor created LEGAL-144:

             Summary: Request for permission for CloudStack to distribute secondary convenience
builds containing libvirt-java (LGPL)
                 Key: LEGAL-144
                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-144
             Project: Legal Discuss
          Issue Type: Question
            Reporter: Ewan Mellor

This ticket is a request from the CloudStack project (currently in incubation) for an exception
to the written policy on LGPL-licensed software.

h1. Background

CloudStack is an infrastructure-as-a-service orchestration and management engine. It co-ordinates
hypervisors, networking, and storage elements to create a multi-tenant cloud.  It does not
actually provide compute, networking or storage services, but it calls out to them and manages
them in a co-ordinated manner.

Managing hypervisors is a critical part of CloudStack.  Each supported hypervisor (XenServer,
KVM, VMware ESXi, etc) is managed through the hypervisor's specific API.

Support for KVM is a non-essential but very important feature for CloudStack.  Non-essential
in the sense that it is possible to use a different hypervisor, but very important given KVM's
importance as a hypervisor in general, and more specifically as the Linux kernel's offical

It is important to us that KVM and XenServer are equally easy to use with CloudStack.  However,
libvirt-java (the official libvirt / KVM Java SDK) is licensed under the LGPL 2.1, whereas
XenServerJava (the official XenServer Java SDK) is licensed under Apache 2.0 terms.  This
means that Apache policy makes it harder to use KVM than XenServer, because KVM support must
be turned off in the default build.  We are looking to mitigate that problem as far as possible.

Note that there is a political element to this too: Citrix (owners of XenServer and original
donors of CloudStack to Apache) has been able to re-license XenServerJava to suit CloudStack
and the Apache Foundation policies.  This may create the appearance of bias towards XenServer
rather than KVM, even though no such bias is intended.

libvirt-java is not commonly distributed with Linux distros today (it is not in Ubuntu 12.04
for example) and we require very recent releases in any case.  It is therefore not possible
for us to treat it as a System Dependency as we understand the term.

h1. Work so far

CloudStack plans to release version 4.0 as soon as possible.  This will be the first release
as an Apache-incubated project.  The 3.x series of releases were all under Citrix / cloud.com

CloudStack has been refactored so that hypervisor-specific code is contained in plugins, and
hypervisor support can be turned on and off in the build.  (This work is in the final stages,
and will be completed for the CloudStack 4.0 release.)

Our understanding of Apache policy is that KVM support must be turned off in the default build,
because it is a non-compulsory component and it has a dependency on Category X software.

h1. Convenience builds

The CloudStack build is very complex.  Given this, we would like to distribute binaries for
the convenience of our users.  These would be built from the official source releases and
made available for download.

Our understanding is that this is already accepted under Apache policy in cases where the
builds include only Category A software.

h1. Proposal

# Disable KVM support in the default build, as per policy.
# Distribute binaries from a convenience build that matches the default build.
# Distribute a secondary convenience build with KVM support turned on.  This requires an exception
to policy, which we are asking permission for now.

The secondary convenience build would:
# include libvirt-java binaries, unmodified from their released form;
# be clearly flagged as a non-default build;
# be clearly flagged as not pure Apache-licensed software;
# be accompanied by the unmodified libvirt-java source code corresponding to the binaries
that we distribute.

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