A licensing information surprise on FreeBSD

I love FreeBSD. If perhaps the relationship has been cooler in recent years, it was because I was messing around with a red-headed stepsister called OpenSolaris and because suspend didn’t work on the laptop I was mostly using for the past two years.

KDE on FreeBSD is very much alive. Oh, and there’s EuroBSDCon in the Netherlands in a month and a half.

In my case, FreeBSD remains the go-to place for getting stuff done at the server end of things. Today, that meant installing bugzilla so I could test a patchfor bugzilla information harvesting in XML format. I love how it’s a dead-simple "portinstall bugzilla" and it does whatever heavy lifting and interactive configuration is necessary.

While running that, I did notice the following license information line in the output (screenshot of a FreeBSD VM in VirtualBox):

So this is telling me I’ve accepted ART10 GPLv1 — I know that’s Artistic License 1.0 and version 1 of the GPL, (which is probably considered deprecated and replaced by GPLv2 and GPLv3).

I like this. It tells me, when I’m installing something, what the license obligations are. Naturally it’s Free Software, so my freedom to use it for any purpose doesn’t hinge on the license. However, if I were to further distribute the software (eg. as a VM image), then the license obligations are relevant, and I’m happy to have this stated up-front.

3 thoughts on “A licensing information surprise on FreeBSD

  1. the license framework still needs love. at the current state it’s quite immature, and not too many ports are using it, but it certainly has room for improvements, and i agree it’s a nice feature

    and yes, kde on freebsd is very much alive 😉

  2. Pingback: A licensing information surprise on FreeBSD | Bobulate | Linux Blog

  3. That’s actually very, very cool! Thanks for sharing this. It’d be neat to see this adopted in Linux distributions, especially in some of the Libre kernel ones. 🙂