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Re: Bacula and OpenSSL

Shane M. Coughlan writes:

> Dear all
> Following comments on FSF's position regarding OpenSSL as a System
> Library in Debian, Brett Smith at FSF sent the following message:
> ===
> I apologize for my misunderstandings about OpenSSL's status in Debian,
> and appreciate the corrections.  However, even given all this
> information, I still don't see how OpenSSL meets part (a) of the System
> Library definition.  What is the Major Component that OpenSSL
> accompanies?  Kernels always come with C libraries, and GCC always comes
> with libgcc.  What package comes with OpenSSL?  I understand that there
> are some pretty important applications that require OpenSSL, such as
> apt, but that's not the same thing as accompanying apt.  Moreover,
> "pretty important" isn't the same thing as "essential" in the very
> narrow sense the license aims to define it in.
> ===
> I hope this helps clarify things. :)

I (as neither Debian Developer nor lawyer) think it makes things more
arbitrary, in particular the distinction between "come with" and

Which kernels come with C libraries in a different sense than they
come with a large set of other binaries?  When I download the Linux
kernel, it does not include any C library; when I download or update
the various free BSDs, they include the kernel, a C library, all of
gcc, and a variety of other GPLed works that are not System Libraries.

On the other hand, libgcc is distributed (by the FSF) with the rest of
GCC -- but is that not because it is part of GCC?  To pick an example,
libgcc includes crtstuff.c from the main gcc directory.  The copyright
comment at the start of that file says "This file is part of GCC."
The libgcc directory includes a variety of linker scripts and build
directives, but no separate source code.  Distributors usually sever
libgcc from the gcc binary, so that libgcc is distributed separately
from the packages containing the gcc compilers.

(Also: If, for a modern packaging system, a compiler is "essential"
but the packaging system is not, the FSF needs to have its head

Michael Poole

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