From Issue #146June 2006
You are comparing a freely downloadable distro (Fedora) with a commercial paid version of distro from Novell. I don't think you are comparing apples to apples.
Download free SUSE from opensuse.org and compare it with Fedora.
Hey, could you take a look at Autopackage and rant about it in a future column? I donno about you guys, but making it easy for people to install software off the web sounds like a bad idea to me.
Nicholas, have you actually read the Java license?
It clearly requires several things which make it impossible to include in Fedora -- even if Fedora accepted non-Free/OSS licenses.
For one thing, redistribution is only allowed with "Your programs", and only "for the sole purpose of running your Programs" -- you can't distribute it as a convenient operating system component. (It's pretty clear about that -- your programs must "add significant and primary functionality to the Software" -- you can't just include a "hello world" to get around this.)
Furthermore, "you do not distribute additional software intended to replace any component(s) of the Software" apparently means that gcj has to be patched out of gcc, which would be unfortunate given how strong that's gotten.
And then there's the indemnification clause...
Disks are cheep, so I usually install multiple partitions and OSes on a computer. When it comes to labels for the partitions, I make sure each has a unique label (they do not have to match the mount points). So for the first OS, I use "/1" and "/boot1", and for the second OS, "/2" and "/boot2". After I backup an OS from one partition to another, all I need to do is edit the numbers in the master grub.conf file and the copied /etc/fstab file. It is a lot easier than remembering partition numbers. Life is great having a bootable backup of the OS.
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