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[debian-knoppix] Knoppix source and the GPL

Hello List,

I have the following problem. As some of you might have noticed, I'm working
on a changed version of Knoppix - as many of you are. This goes well.
However, as lots of the software included is GPL'ed, I need to be able to
provide sources for this CD.

The GPL says (in Section 3) that one either:
1) accompanies the binaries with machine readable source code
2) accompanies the binaries with a written offer to send the source code
3) accompanies the binaries with information about a written offer that *you*
received to provide the source code, but this can only be done when you
*did* receive a written offer as seen under "2" *and* you distribute
non-commercial software packages.

Now the problem is that Knoppix contains a lot of binaries *that do not have
sources anymore* - or at least I can't find them, but more specifically does
not offer the sources in any way. I know I sound a bit like a nit-picker and
this is absolutely not what I mean to be, and I'm absolutely positive that
this is not a GPL breach in the broad sense, but when you take the GPL
literally (which is probably at least what you should try when it's about
legal documents), the impossibility to provide sources is a breach of the

A quick test with

cat /var/lib/dpkg/status|awk 'BEGIN { FS = "\n"; RS = "" }
/Status: [^ ]* [^ ]* installed/{ print }' |
awk '/^Package:/{PKG= $2}
/^Source:/{PKG= $2}
/^Version:/{print PKG "=" $2}' |
xargs -i bash -c 'apt-get -s source {} 2>> apt-get-errors || echo "{}" >>no-source-version-available'

reveals a rather long list of packages that do not have sources available (I
tested the January 3.1 Knoppix CD, which has 745 packages without sources.
For those interested, the list is at
http://o.sessink.nl/~valentyn/nosource.txt - this is the list of sources,
i.e. you should be able to do
apt-get -d source `cat nosource.txt`
to get all sources.

For the 2003-03-30 .ISO, stats are better: 194 missing packages. However,
this still means that about 20% of the Knoppix distro is not conforming to
the license.

Please note that the above script can easily provide you with the correct
sources when you change apt-get -s (simulate only) for apt-get -d

Is there a way the sources issue could be resolved? Klaus, could it be
possible for Knoppix to have the sources ready when you supply a new
version? You could use the script from above to get these, and once a new
ISO is there, a new source packages directory could be made. Do you use a
local Debian mirror or do you get your packages from?

Best regards,

http://www.openoffice.nl/   Open Office - Linux Office Solutions
Valentijn Sessink  valentyn+sessink@nospam.openoffice.nl
debian-knoppix mailing list

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