Low-cost Linux PC A GPL Violator?
The Asus eeePC made headlines last month when it went on sales as one of a number of ultra-low-cost Linux options, but the latest headlines are far less encouraging: the system is reportedly in violation of the GNU General Public License.
According to reports, Asus has modified the Linux kernel running on the eeePC to include a module for managing the system's hardware interfaces and has not published the source code for the module as required by the GPL. Java developer Cliff Biffle, who discovered the module, alleges that Asus deliberately obscured the module by removing references to it. Additionally, Biffle claims Asus has not provided the source code for the Linux distribution running on the machine.
Update: Asus has released the source code for the modified module, as well as current source code for the version of Linux running on the machine. Read more.
Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.