Commercial file-server software

Discussion in 'Linux Networking' started by sutil83, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. A little more elaboration for this, the reason I can't have open-source
    If that's the set of legal dogma in place, then it is sheer idiocy to
    recommend the use of Linux in the first place.

    After all, it is "open source," so if you combine it with proprietary
    software, then it should be clear, based on your own beliefs, the
    proprietary components must therefore suddenly become open to the

    If you imagine that sort of legal dogma to be the case, then the fact
    that you're considering Linux in the first place makes you a
    blithering idiot.
    Christopher Browne, Sep 13, 2005
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  2. sutil83

    Keith Keller Guest

    The above scenario depends to a large extent on the exact license of the
    open-source software (only the GPL behaves like the above, IIRC) and on
    the extent of the combination (if you merely include Samba and your
    product on the same physical machine, that does not constitute a
    combination that requires you to GPL your proprietary product). So,
    unless you're going to be using Samba libraries somehow in your
    proprietary product, you're probably safe using it. (You're using
    linux, right? Same problems with licensing there, too.)

    Obviously IANAL, so you need to find one to be sure; if you do need one,
    make sure he/she knows the GPL *and* how software works: I doubt that a
    typical license attorney will know what does and does not constitute a
    derivative work under the GPL.

    Keith Keller, Sep 13, 2005
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  3. sutil83

    gretchen Guest

    Nonsense, unless your "proprietary" EUAs state that, in which case the whole
    concept is probably so poorly written as to be shunned.
    gretchen, Sep 13, 2005
  4. sutil83

    Matt Payton Guest

    From the ORA "Using Samba" book :
    "...In addition, there are a large number of commercial SMB server
    products available from companies such as Sun, Compaq, SCO,
    Hewlett-Packard, Syntax, and IBM...."

    Snippet available here :

    But that book was published in 1999, and since then things have changed.
    Samba has matured, and gotten better and better. So I think your
    choices will be few. It's hard to compete with something that works as
    well as Samba, and also happens to be free. Plus, most commercial smb
    servers probably ran only on commercial Unix, not Linux.

    There is "Dave" -
    That should meet your powerpc requirement, but it's Mac only IIRC.

    If I really, really needed commercial support, I would check with
    IBM...They make the PowerPC, and they support Linux. Who knows, maybe
    they'd support Linux, on PowerPC, running samba. And I doubt they're
    going away anytime soon.
    Matt Payton, Sep 13, 2005
  5. sutil83

    sutil83 Guest

    I saw that list earlier and looked through it. All of those are either
    defunct, or released as open-source (unless I missed something).

    As far as I know Samba is distributed under GPL, meaning that inclusion
    of Samba into this project would force any other software, proprietary
    or not, to be bound by the GPL license as well. Correct me if I'm
    wrong on this but this basically means that using Samba as a part of a
    program forces the rest of the program to be open-source as stated by
    the GPL license.

    Either way any attempt by me to use open-source in the project would
    have the legal department (and the in house developers of the
    proprietary software) to be on me before this posts. Hence the bind
    that I'm in: cannot use open-source programs but it seems the only
    viable option is open-source.

    And by the way thanks all for the help thus far.
    sutil83, Sep 13, 2005
  6. sutil83

    sutil83 Guest

    "If you imagine that sort of legal dogma to be the case, then the fact
    that you're considering Linux in the first place makes you a
    blithering idiot."

    Buried somewhere in my previous rants states that I am actually not
    using Linux but a commercial "Linux-like" OS. The reason I mention
    Linux is because anything compatible with Linux on the PowerPC will be
    compatible with our OS on the PowerPC.
    sutil83, Sep 13, 2005
  7. That's just wrong, just read the op:
    That's all about support, NOTHING about legal with own software.
    Marco Dieckhoff, Sep 13, 2005
  8. sutil83

    gretchen Guest

    So why are you using Linux?
    gretchen, Sep 13, 2005
  9. OK, now I found the post you are referring to.

    You were referring to <>
    posted Date: 13 Sep 2005 14:35:59 -0700.

    But I answered Tue, 13 Sep 2005 18:36:33 +0200 (which is 9:36 -0700)
    to <43270990$0$18644$> posted 08:23:42 -0700.
    Marco Dieckhoff, Sep 13, 2005
  10. sutil83

    Tim Clark Guest

    This is two completely separate problems.

    The easy part is coming up with the
    best technical solution, which is quickly solved: it's clearly Samba.

    Having come up with the best solution, the second problem is
    demonstrating it meets the constraints imposed by the "higher powers".
    This is down to inventive presentation, which may involve the
    redefinition of basic terms some carelessly take for granted (free,
    commercial, support, etc.). Since the "higher powers" are obviously
    rather intellectually challenged - having adopted the policy they have -
    that surely can't be too difficult.

    It's the classic case of selling something to higher management who
    insist on getting involved in areas they're clearly out of their depth
    in. Never fight them; they relish fights and will grind you down.
    Instead chose the solution, lead them to it, and let them think they've
    chosen it.
    Tim Clark, Sep 13, 2005
  11. OK, here are some things you and your client may not understand:

    The GPL only requires that you supply source code if you distribute it outside
    your company. For example, I can take GPL source code, modify it, and use it
    inside my company without releasing my changes. But if I want to sell or give
    away the application THEN I must provide all the source code, including my changes.

    Unless you plan to compile the Samba SOURCE CODE into your application the GPL
    does not apply. Simply providing the Samba file sharing application along with
    your proprietary application does not violate the GPL. For example, some closed
    source UNIX type OSs provide the full GNU utilities when you purchase the OS.
    The GNU utilities are separate programs, so the GPL does not require that the
    source code to the OS kernel be provided. Even SCO provides Samba with their OS,
    so it MUST be OK ;)
    Phil Frisbie, Jr., Sep 14, 2005
  12. OK, now I'm confused....

    If you are talking about a proprietary solution, then I doubt that you
    will have access to the source code (unless you find someone who will
    share under NDA).

    OTOH, if all you will have is a proprietary product that uses samba to
    serve files, and do not link to the libs or anything like that, then the
    GPL doesn't apply....

    So... Perhaps there is a product under BSD-style license, though I
    doubt it....
    Captain Dondo, Sep 14, 2005
  13. sutil83

    Keith Keller Guest

    You are wrong on this. Only if you create a work based on Samba, *and*
    redistribute it (thanks to whoever caught this one, though it sounds
    like the OP would like to redistribute), does your work need to be
    available under the GPL.

    As I mentioned in another post (which you unfortunately misattributed),
    and as others have mentioned, simply *using* Samba as-is does not
    constitute creating a work based on Samba, and so does *not* make your
    software subject to the GPL. If you think your software does more than
    simply use Samba, you need to describe how it does so, either to the
    group or to a GPL- and tech-savvy lawyer (or both).
    Let the legal department look at it, by all means. Make sure they know
    what it means to be a derived work. Have them contact FSF if they need
    to clarify something. But don't take their excuses at face value--if
    they're simply saying "you can't do it" without even looking at the
    issue, they're bullshitting you, and you should call them on it (if you
    think you're right, of course!).

    Keith Keller, Sep 14, 2005
  14. | A little more elaboration for this, the reason I can't have open-source
    | is legal. This will be used with proprietary software (ours and
    | client's). We cannot use open-source because once you combine
    | proprietary with open-source, and any changes are made, the proprietary
    | software suddenly becomes open to the public. And thats a big no no.
    | I thought I mentioned this earlier but I realize I didn't. Very Sorry.

    Any situation where using a GPL product would cause the final software to
    be GPL would also get you into *very* hot water with a proprietry system,
    unless you get a (probably very expensive) licence to modify and distribute
    (or sell) the modified proprietry software.

    If using an off-the-shelf, shrink-wrapped product (with no access to the
    source code) would work, then your danger of "accidentally" incorporating
    GPL code into your product should be non-existant.
    Paul Colquhoun, Sep 14, 2005
  15. sutil83

    Bill Marcum Guest

    The vendor of that OS does not provide "samba-like" software?
    Bill Marcum, Sep 14, 2005
  16. You are saying that the client is ok with an Open source OS but not an Open
    source application running on that OS. Seems crazy. You could just tell
    them to buy for example Redhat Enterprise Linux which includes Samba as
    part of the whole supported package. Then you just say Samba is part of the
    OS they are getting.

    Llanzlan Klazmon, Sep 14, 2005
  17. I don't believe that is the case. Read what the GNU GPL actually says or
    hire some lawayers who actually have a clue about this.


    And thats a big no no.
    Llanzlan Klazmon, Sep 14, 2005
  18. It still shouldn't matter, as long as your proprietary software cannot be
    considered to be a a derivative work of Samba. You probably need to talk to
    some lawyers you are familiar with this sort of issue.

    Llanzlan Klazmon, Sep 14, 2005
  19. Could it be that this is because the open source options is so good
    that noone has bothered making an equivalent commercial product?
    Rolf Arne Schulze, Sep 14, 2005
  20. What I do get from this whole thread is that nobody here knows of any
    There aren't, because the "noncommercial" options have been good
    enough to effectively freeze them out.

    There used to be a variety of SMB products out there, most notably DEC
    PathWorks; Samba turned out to be so good that it wasn't worth trying
    to maintain the alternatives, because vendors essentially got pinched
    from two sides:

    - Microsoft continues to sell their versions, on the "expensive" end.

    Their marketing efforts pointed at "killing UNIX(tm)" were
    reasonably successful at poisoning anyone's interest in other
    commercial SMB implementations.

    - Samba, being free of licensing charges, undercuts anyone that would
    try to compete on the basis of price.

    For something to be of enough interest that it'll be more than a "bit
    player" in the Linux market, it needs either:

    a) Someone seriously marketing it, or

    b) To be free.

    In the case of filesystems, they *need* to be widely deployed in order
    to have the diversity of testing that will allow them to be anywhere
    near reliable. And there are enough people interested in there being
    "libre" implementations to make it an unprofitable market for someone
    planning to make money selling licenses.

    You wish it were otherwise? Well, you can't always get what you
    Christopher Browne, Sep 14, 2005
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