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11 April 2013, 17:23

Linux kernel: Licence problems for old ARM FPU code

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The arch/arm/nwfpe/ directory of the ARM code in the Linux kernel includes code which has a licence that contains an indemnity clause. Russell King has pointed out that the Free Software Foundation (FSF) feels that such clauses are not compatible with section 6 of the GPLv2, which is used for the Linux kernel. King stated his intention to remove the code, which is used for emulating a floating-point unit (FPU). Linux creator Linus Torvalds doesn't see a problem with the licensing and is fighting against the removal, King later wrote.

In his original email, King explained that removing the code would be a big problem for ARMv4 and ARMv5, since the userspace environments rely on FPU emulation in the kernel. Two other listserv members, however, pointed out that most systems would not be affected, since userspace code has been taking care of FPU emulation for years. King responded that he still has systems that do not work that way.


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