[lsb-futures] [lsb-discuss] Qt libs ... included in the kernel 2.6 ... Why still blocked?

Joerg W Mittag Joerg.Mittag at GMX.Net
Fri Nov 7 01:55:05 PST 2003

[To: and CC: trimmed]

> Theodore Ts'o wrote:
>> On Thu, Nov 06, 2003 at 10:34:23PM +0100, Dr. Giovanni A. Orlando 
>> wrote:
>>>> It's not blocked because people don't use it, it's blocked for 
>>>> license reasons. 
>>> I know that very well ... But the Linux Kernel are using it!!!,

Yes. So? The kernel is GPL'd, which means, they are allowed to use it.
Commercial vendors, on the other hand, cannot use Qt, whether under GPL
or QPL, which is why Qt cannot be included in the LSB.

>>> in other words if someone that wants to compile the kernel in
>>> graphical mode will compile the file:
>>> /usr/src/linux-2.6.0-test9/scripts/kconfig/qt.cc
>>> that requeries the Qt library. What is the situation in this case 
>>> about the licenses?
>> The Qt license certainly allows an individual who chooses to 
>> use the Qt method of configuring the kernel to use it, yes.
> ... And there are no other way to configure the kernel graphically, 
> actually!
> This is not optionally, but the only possible choice.

That is wrong, and you have already been told so. There are five ways to
configure the kernel: edit .config directly, make config, make
menuconfig, make gconfig, make xconfig. Two of those are graphical.
(Three, if you use a graphical editor for .config. Four, if you consider
make menuconfig being graphical, which it is. It uses ASCII and not
pixels for its graphics, but it is graphical.) Only one of those
requires Qt. AFAIK there are even more graphical kernel configuration
programs, which are not distributed with the kernel source code itself.

> I beleive that Qt must be active, you can also choose Qt (GPL), and 
> leave Qt (Commercial) for commercial purpose, to maintain.

Qt is licensed under QPL and GPL. None of those two licenses allows
commercial vendors to use it. Libaries which cannot be used by
commercial vendors won't get included in the LSB. It's that simple.
Unless Qt is licensed under a license, which allows linking with closed
source software (like LGPL, for example) *or* there is a different
implementation of the Qt interface under such a license, that is.

> Tcl/Tk was and is GPL, and allow to recompile the kernel
> graphically. Now, the choice is Qt. Well, if you don't make changes
> ti the LSB, people are configuring the kernel ... in some 'illegal'
> mode ... in accord with actual

This is FUD. As has already been explained to you multiple times, the
kernel is distributed unter the terms of the GPL, which means that it is
allowed to link to GPL'd libraries. Using make xconfig to configure the
kernel is in no way illegal.

>> case of an ISV writing a commercial application, they may not be
>> able to distribute code linked with the Qt license without first
>> paying royalties.  The requirement of making an ISV pay large
>> amounts of royalties to potentially dozens of entities is the
>> reason for the LSB licensing criteria which requires a no-cost
>> license for use by commercial applications.
>> Whether or not the Linux Kernel uses Qt (optionally!)
> No.

Yes. There are numerous ways to configure the kernel, severel of them
graphical, and only *one* of them requires linking with the Qt

>> as a configuration mechanism is completely irrelevant to this
>> particular point.
>>>... So, actually both the Linux Kernel and Qt are at the same
>> level: GPL.
>> The difference is that commercial applications don't have to link
>> with the Linux Kernel, so they don't have to pay licensing fees 
>> just because they are running their application under the Linux
>> Kernel. However, this would not be true in the case of a commercial
>> application linked with Qt.
> qtconf.cc is NOT a commercial application.

Yes, and that is why it can use Qt.

Commercial (closed source) applications cannot use Qt, because this is
prohibited by both the GPL an QPL. Libraries which cannot be used by
commercial applications will not be included in the LSB.

> Again, because actually is blocked because licenses, commercial 
> licenses, but Qt is also available under GPL, you may enable Qt ...
> but Qt (GPL). And this means only the Qt when the terms are GPL and
> therefore for free software.
> This will solve the problem, I think.

No, it won't, because the GPL (for libraries!) also prohibits the use by
commercial vendors. And products which are licensed under terms which
require commercial vendors to pay royalty fees, are not included in the


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