[svlug] Copying Enterprise Linux and the GPL

Akbar Ahmed akbar_svlug at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 29 09:45:43 PDT 2003

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone knew why no distos are based
on either of the two main enterprise Linux distos (Red
Hat and United). I understand that United Linux is
designed to be as unopen as possible, but what about
Red hat EL?

There are countless distros based on RH, but no one
(at least that I know of) has based their disto on
RHEL. Since RHEL is mostly GPL'd software shouldn't it
be perfectly legal to copy, modify, and redistribute

Or, according to the GPL shouldn't it be perfectly
legal for one person to buy RHEL and then give a copy
to a friend. I went to a RH presentation and someone
asked a question about legal restrictions on multiple
installations. The response was that it was legal for
you to install RHEL on as many machines as you like.

Am I missing something, or have people chosen to stop
exercising their rights under the GPL? 

I read on a list that a person was looking for a copy
of RHEL. The response was that RHEL costs money and
you cannot give another person a copy. However, this
doesn't make sense if the code is GPL'd. For example,
if person A sells GPL'd code to person B, then there
is nothing stopping person B from giving away the code
to another person C free of charge. Isn't this

If the issue is that RHEL contains some proprietary
software, then could you just remove that software and
then redistribute the GPL'd code?

Sorry for the long rant, but this issue has been
bothering me.


Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free, easy-to-use web site design software

More information about the svlug mailing list