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GNU is Not Unix Networking Open Source Apple

Apple Remove Samba From OS X 10.7 Because of GPLv3 1075

recoiledsnake writes "The upcoming release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Server will remove the formerly bundled open source Samba software and replace it with Apple's own tools for Windows file sharing and network directory services. In both Mac OS X Server and client editions, Samba enables Macs to share files with Windows clients on the network and access Windows file servers. It has also later allowed Mac OS X Server to work as an NT Domain Controller to manage network accounts and make roaming profiles and home directories available to Windows PC users. However, the Samba team has moved active development of the project to the more strict GPLv3 license, which prevents Apple from using the software commercially. Apple is now said to be recommending Active Directory to users who are still dependent upon the older NT Domain Controller network directory services. Apple has previously stopped contributing code to GCC and started looking at other options like LLVM because of GCC's switch to GPLv3."
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Apple Remove Samba From OS X 10.7 Because of GPLv3

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  • by Jeremy Allison - Sam ( 8157 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:39PM (#35599902) Homepage

    Apple has been moving away from the GPL in all it's forms for a while now. They just got around to us (I'm guessing we were pretty high on the list once they got rid of gcc :-).


  • by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:41PM (#35599938) Homepage Journal

    the more strict GPLv3 license, which prevents Apple from using the software commercially

    This is a gross mis-representation of GPLv3, and obfuscates the real basis of argument that Apple may have in conforming to the licensing terms.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:42PM (#35599954)

    The more strict GPLv3 license, which prevents Apple from using the software commercially it doesn't. Read the license. If you don't want to read the license, just read GNU's handy GPL FAQ, which includes a section on whether or not you can sell GPL software commercially.

    I'll give you a hint: the answer is yes, you can.

    That said, Apple may have perfectly legitimate reasons for not wanting to use the GPLv3, but an imaginary prohibition on commercial software isn't one of them!

  • by Superken7 ( 893292 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:46PM (#35600000) Journal

    woops, OK. It appears GPLv3 allows commercial use. The summary got it wrong? (surprise!)

  • Prevents Tivoization (Score:5, Informative)

    by pavon ( 30274 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:48PM (#35600038)

    Yeah, that was my first reaction as well. The summary is flat out wrong the way it is worded, but there are legitimate licensing issues.

    The problem is with the iPhone, not OS X (yet). If you distribute binaries covered by the GPLv3 on a device, the license requires you to provide any signing keys, or other information/tools required to run modified versions of the software on the device. The iPhone requires all applications to be signed, and does not provide signing keys to it's users, thus they can't use GPLv3 software (like samba) on iOS.

    They probably figure it is easier to maintain a single SMB/CIFS implementation rather than two, so they are ditching it on OS X as well (or they have other plans for OS X that we are not aware of yet).

  • by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:54PM (#35600144)

    No, they have the liberty to disagree. They are then subject to copyright which by default disallows them to distribute copies of the software.

    There is nothing "jacked up" about this.

  • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara@hudson.barbara-hudson@com> on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:03PM (#35600300) Journal
    The GLv3 doesn't say that you can't use the software commercially. This article looks like just another shot in the whole "Open Source = BAD" war, from yet another FUD-packer (in this case, the member of the AppleInsider staff who wrote the original article).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:04PM (#35600308)

    But last I checked, the grocery store called obtaining without purchasing shoplifting.

    Shoplifting (stealing) isn't obtaining without purchase, it's removing something from the property owner's possession without the required compensation.

  • Incorrect summary (Score:4, Informative)

    by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:05PM (#35600344)

    However, the Samba team has moved active development of the project to the more strict GPLv3 license, which prevents Apple from using the software commercially.

    That should be: However, the Samba team has moved active development of the project to the more strict GPLv3 license, which prevents Apple from using the software commercially in the way they want to use it.

    On the iPhone and iPad, Apple wants the device itself to be closed, which means the user is not allowed to install operating system components. Samba is an operating system component. If Apple allowed the end user to replace it, then jailbreaking would be as easy as replacing Samba with a hacked version, then using Samba from within any application. On MacOS X, no problem; you may replace Samba as much as you like; if it doesn't work, it's your problem obviously.

    So on iDevices, Apple cannot use GPL v3 code commercially _the way they want to use it_. So they can't use it. At that point it's obviously better to have one code base and replace it on MacOS X as well.

  • by PhilHibbs ( 4537 ) <> on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:10PM (#35600408) Homepage Journal

    What I want is the ability to use it and not be told my customers can't.

    So long as you pass on to your customers the benefits that you gained by adopting GPL'd software, no problem. They can use it. If you want to pass on a version with additional restrictions on what they can do with the software, then no, you can't do that. And that's the entire point of the GPL. Is it so hard to understand?

  • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara@hudson.barbara-hudson@com> on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:10PM (#35600416) Journal

    Claiming someone is a paid shill because they disagree with you is the lamest way to lose an argument.

    In this case, the original article [], where it states:

    However, the Samba team has moved active development of the project to the more strict GPLv3 license, which prevents Apple from using the software commercially.

    ... was written by AppleInsider Staff [mailto]. If you're not happy about the misrepresentation, tell them so.

    AppleInsider takes commercial advertising, so yes, paid shill (or commercial FUD-packer) fills the bill nicely.

  • by Jeremy Allison - Sam ( 8157 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:19PM (#35600594) Homepage

    Samba isn't owned by one entity, and so re-licensing under special terms isn't possible. It's one of the advantages (or disadvantages, depending on your point of view :-) of having distributed copyright ownership.

    I won't say who offered, but tridge was once offered a multi-million deal to "sell" Samba to a networking company (a long time ago, before people understood what Free Software/Open Source really meant :-).


  • by Guy Harris ( 3803 ) <> on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:22PM (#35600676)

    A new set of SAMBA tools.

    What's a "SAMBA tool"? Samba is the name of one particular implementation of the Server Message Block protocol; it's not the name of the protocol itself.

    From Jaguar days, when a Mac that went to sleep had to be rebooted to ever reconnect to a Windows share it happily saw before, to (Snow) Leopard when they simply won't connect at all most of the time, at home or at work, even with an IP address

    Those sound like client-side issues. The OS X SMB client isn't based on anything from Samba (given that it's a "kernel extension", i.e. a loadable kernel module, basing it on GPLed code would probably be a bit tricky), it's based on the FreeBSD in-kernel SMB client (but has had a lot of additional work done on it). Switching the SMB server from Samba to something else wouldn't affect that.

  • by tgd ( 2822 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:35PM (#35600928)

    The problem is the IP clauses in it. Any company with a reasonable legal department has already made even the installation of a GPLv3 package a fireable offense. V3 has all sorts of automatic grants of patent rights in it. Its toxic to any company trying to even maintain a defensive IP portfolio.

  • by TheNinjaroach ( 878876 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:57PM (#35601266)

    The BSD license is free as in beer.

    I don't think you understand what "free in as beer" means. When something is free as in beer, you are welcome to drink as much of it as you want for no charge. You don't get the recipe to the beer, you aren't given the ingredients, you don't get a say in how the beer should taste or could be tweaked for the better.

    Closed source software that doesn't doesn't have licensing costs is the analogy described by "free as in beer."

    The GPL license is free as in liberty.

    Both the GPL and the BSD are free as in liberty, because you are given the code and permission and customize it to do what you want.

    In my opinion, the GPL is less free than the BSD license because my liberty becomes limited when I want to distribute my changes in the application to others. With BSD, I'm given the liberty to license the software how I want and I'm given the liberty of not having to provide my source code to others. For a lot of the work that I do, that becomes a big deal -- I can provide software or a service without having to worry about the extra effort required to release something as GPL.

  • by CharlyFoxtrot ( 1607527 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @02:21PM (#35601696)

    Either way, Apple wasn't planning on letting people modify the version of CIFS they shipped, or contribute fixes back to the Samba tree, so no real loss there. Long story short, we learned something about Apple's ideology and nothing more.

    Wrong [] : "Apple has been updating and hardening a branch of the Open Group's DCE/RPC library. We'd decided to share
    these changes with the community at large and will continue to invest in modernizing and advancing this
    code base. The goal is to establish a common, authoritative DCE/RPC codebase that everyone can leverage
    or contribute to, under very liberal terms.

    We have published Apple's contributions at [] Please check out the web site for any
    more details. We are looking for someone to port it to the various Linux SMB implementations.


    James Peach and George Colley

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @04:21PM (#35603614)

    Code is property

    Interesting, because when last I checked, the relevant sections of law -- copyright and patent -- were neither property laws nor laws protecting natural rights. Then again, IANAL.

    Version 3 which is anti-commercial

    Completely false; go check with Red Hat if you think GPLv3 is anti-commercial.

    Is RMS completely ignorant of the fact that many of these projects received a lot of commercial support in the past and that Version 3 is basically a big middle finger directed at them? Is he out to destroy the FOSS movement by alienating some of its largest contributors?

    No, RMS is neither ignorant nor is the GPLv3 harmful to business. The Free Software Foundation has always had the protection of user freedoms as its primary goal, and while the GPLv2 served that goal for a long time, there were certain loopholes that some companies were exploiting -- loopholes that the GPLv3 corrected. Having the right to study and modify code is meaningless if your computer prevents you from running your modified code, and software patents could be used to deny you the right to redistribute your code.

    Corporations are as able as they have ever been to sell, sponsor, and benefit from software licensed under GPLv3; little has changed since the GPLv2. Corporations that seek to maliciously exploit loopholes (TiVo) may have a problem, but most corporations do not do that and will be largely unaffected by the move. If you are granting your users the freedoms the GPL is designed to protect, then GPLv3 is not a problem.

  • by tibit ( 1762298 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @04:57PM (#35604136)

    I agree on technical points. GCC is a mess of a code base to work with; good luck with anyone trying to port it. LLVM is not so bad in that respect. I could whip out a proof-of-concept port to a new architecture over a week of work, never having looked at LLVM before. I gave up the same task on gcc codebase after two weeks: it was an incomprehensible mess.

  • by Kludge ( 13653 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @06:19PM (#35605516)

    the GPL has the practical effect of ruining any mechanism for monetizing the software.

    That is completely untrue. Red Hat is a successful commercial enterprise that uses mostly GPL software.
    It would be even easier for Apple to make money on Samba because 99.9% of their users don't know how to download, compile, and configure Samba for their devices. 99% of them probably wouldn't even know it was an option: No one reads the fine print.

    You can only "sell" a GPL'd piece of software if you are the author,

    Untrue. You can sell GPL software as much as you want. You just have to make sure the source is also available.

    Apple Corp is just a bunch of assholes who do not want to contribute to open source software.

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer