Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-security (88 mails)

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Re: [suse-security] sendmail update for suse 9.0 ?
  • From: Crispin Cowan <crispin@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2006 13:18:33 -0700
  • Message-id: <44318319.5080505@xxxxxxxxxx>
Rainer Duffner wrote:
> Am 31.03.2006 um 22:06 schrieb Chuck Linsley:
>> What is the reason for SuSE's choice of Postfix over qmail?
> Licensing. Or the fact that DJB didn't provided any kind of license
> with Qmail.
> Also, redistribution in binary-format is not allowed.
Indeed. The licensing of Qmail is very interesting, and frustrating for
distributions like SUSE.

The Qmail license says all sorts of interesting things. You can
re-distribute the source code. You can modify the source code. You can
compile and run the source code and host it yourself. *But* as Rainer
points out, you are not permitted to distribute the binaries. More
specifically, the only binary you are permitted to distribute is the one
that DJB produced, bit for bit verbatim. no re-compiling of any kind.

DJB justifies this by saying that he does not want to do support on
hacked versions of his code, because he considers 3rd party
modifications to be the most likely source of vulnerabilities, and he
doesn't want to clean other peoples' messes. An arrogant position for
most people, but for DJB he is likely correct.

As a consequence, Qmail is formally *not* open source, even though the
source code is available, because the source code is not *freely*
(libre) available because of this restriction.

Therefore it is basically not possible for SUSE to distribute Qmail. At
most we could bundle the source code and give you instructions on how to
compile it.

Crispin Cowan, Ph.D.
Director of Software Engineering, Novell

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