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From Martyn Taylor <mtay...@redhat.com>
Subject ActiveMQ Artemis: Using LGPL licensed libraries at runtime
Date Thu, 24 Dec 2015 11:57:53 GMT
Hi all,

I have a question surrounding the use of LGPL licensed libraries at 
runtime for Apache ActiveMQ Artemis.

ActiveMQ Artemis has two methods of persisting messages.  The first 
method (NIO) uses standard java libraries to enable persistence, the 
second method (ASYNCIO), interacts directly with the linux kernel and 
gives far superior performance.  ActiveMQ Artemis does not force any 
particular option on users, however, the default configuration (as 
shipped in the ActiveMQ Artemis binary), will, at runtime, attempt to 
use the ASYNCIO method, (providing there is an appropriate OS and 
required system libraries are installed), otherwise ActiveMQ Artemis 
will default to using the pure java solution, NIO.  In other words, it 
attempts to use the most optimal method available on the system and will 
default to a less optimal should the necessary libraries not be available.

In order for ASYNCIO to work.  A linux system library must be installed, 
called "LibAIO".  LibAIO is licensed under LGPL.

Some members of the ActiveMQ community are concerned that by shipping a 
default a configuration that makes use of an LGPL licensed library, 
LibAIO (if it is installed), at runtime, we are in breach of the Apache 
legal policy.  It has been suggested that ActiveMQ Artemis, should not 
use ASYNCIO as default and users should explicitly enable it should they 
require it.  However, other members of the community would prefer to 
ship the most optimal out of the box configuration, i.e. always prefer 
to use the most optimal solution.

To summarise:

* LibAIO is LGPL licensed
* By default ActiveMQ Artemis will make use of LibAIO at runtime, *if it 
is available*.
* If it is not available ActiveMQ Artemis will default to using a (less 
optimal) pure java solution.
* The configuration shipped by default, will attempt use LibAIO if it is 
installed and available on the system.
* ActiveMQ Artemis *does not distribute* any LGPL licensed code or binary.

Could you please help us understand, if there are any legal concerns 
about the current default behaviour of ActiveMQ Artemis regarding the 
use of this LGPL licensed library. If so, could you please offer us 
advice as to what the correct behaviour is.

Kind regards and happy holidays,

Martyn

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