Description of problem:
Not any Nvidia proprietary video driver is available in live CDs/DVDs.
Proprietary video drivers are one of the most important software of any Linux distro.
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Steps to Reproduce:
Previous Mageia 5 live version had proprietary Nvidia driver.
That's not a bug, but a bugfix. Up to Mageia 5 we provided pre-compiled kernel modules for proprietary drivers, but that was a violation of the GPL, so we stopped doing that.
The proprietary drivers are still provided on ISOs, but in form of dkms modules (e.g. dkms-nvidia-current) which are compiled against the current kernel during the boot.
New RPM package request =>
Release (media or process)Resolution:
*** Bug 20141 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Violation of GPL? The GPL is for any peace of software, not for distros.
This FAQ says something different:
This is not mere aggregation, as those prebuilt Nvidia drivers are built using kernel code licensed under the GPL, so they cannot be distributed.
After some readings, it seems there is some confusion between the use of the source codes and the use of the APIs of programs.
I hope that some special versions of live CD/DVD including proprietary video drivers will be also released.
CC'ing Thomas who might be able to explain the issue better than I can :)
Ben Hutchings from Debian explained it nicely, so I'm quoting him now:
licence says we have no right to source code for, or even the right to
attempt to decompile, the binary blob they provide, and doesn't allow
relicensing either the blob or provided source code to follow the GPL's
copyleft provision. Once they are combined with a GPL'd work, the
combination is not legally distributable.
As for the idea that the nvidia kernel driver is an independent work:
the part provided as source code uses Linux specific kernel APIs such
as procfs, CPU hotplug notifiers and seq_file, and provides wrappers
for the console_lock and console_unlock functions that can then be
called by the blob.
Note that there are expert FOSS lawyers that consider proprietary Linux kernel modules to be GPL violations in a number of circumstances (and others
with opposed views). And there are no relevant legal ruling yet AFAIK.
So since Mageia is pro FOSS, we do what we can to protect / follow GPL licensing and in this case that some considers "unclear case" we take the side of caution.
And since in this case we can provide nvidia drivers as dkms source packages that gets built on the end-user system, thereby we complying with both nVidia and GPL licenses.
The fact that we provide proprietary drivers in our repos is a service to our users, not a requirement for our distribution.
(In reply to Michele Aloi from comment #6)
> I hope that some special versions of live CD/DVD including proprietary video
> drivers will be also released.
They are already on the Live DVDs. See
for how to enable them.
(In reply to Martin Whitaker from comment #9)
> (In reply to Michele Aloi from comment #6)
> > I hope that some special versions of live CD/DVD including proprietary video
> > drivers will be also released.
> They are already on the Live DVDs. See
> for how to enable them.
Ok, but when I read inside the lst files (such as Mageia-5.1-LiveDVD-KDE4-i586-DVD.lst) I cannot see any Nvidia packages.