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A GNU/Linux Distro Needing Windows To Install? 174

Posted by kdawson
from the for-some-values-of-instant dept.
dgun writes "I recently put together a new PC. When I purchased the motherboard, I noticed that it came with an instant-on OS, a small GNU/Linux distro called Splashtop. I assumed that the OS was on a ROM chip on the motherboard. To my great annoyance, when I tried to boot to this OS, a message said that it was not installed. It turns out that motherboard comes with an install disk for this GNU/Linux OS — that you can only run from Windows, to install Splashtop on the hard drive. First of all, doesn't installing it on the hard drive defeat the point of having an instant-on OS? If I wanted to dual-boot a small GNU/Linux OS, there are plenty that I could choose from. Second, if distributing GPL'ed software by means that completely preclude it from being used without Windows is not a violation of the GPL, should it not be?"
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A GNU/Linux Distro Needing Windows To Install?

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  • give me a break (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sir_Lewk (967686) <sirlewkNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday July 19, 2009 @01:20AM (#28745757)

    Second, if distributing GPL'ed software by means that completely preclude it from being used without Windows is not a violation of the GPL, should it not be?

    No. Stop being absurd. There are plenty examples of GPLd programs meant only for windows. While this might be a little silly in this case there is nothing "wrong" with it and you need to stop getting so upset about it.

    • by ModernGeek (601932) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @01:43AM (#28745871) Homepage
      I was thinking not to give them any ideas for GPLv4.
      • I was thinking not to give them any ideas for GPLv4.

        I only hope you were joking:

        • It's best to get users hooked on cross-platform copylefted applications so that when they do take the plunge into a Free kernel, the lack of immediate retraining makes a better first impression. I know it wouldn't have been practical for me to try Puppy and later Ubuntu without having first used the Windows versions of OpenOffice.org, Firefox, GIMP, and the GCC/Binutils/Coreutils/Make toolchain.
        • Both GPLv2 and GPLv3 contain a special exception for "System Libraries" that impleme
    • Re:give me a break (Score:4, Insightful)

      by noidentity (188756) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @06:21AM (#28746655)

      Second, if distributing GPL'ed software by means that completely preclude it from being used without Windows is not a violation of the GPL, should it not be?

      How does it being for a particular OS take away a user's freedom to use it or modify it to work standalone? Or do you think that all GPL software shouldn't require any OS, or any hardware at all? Sounds like you think the GPL is a "make whatever I don't like a violation" license.

      • by XO (250276)

        I think submitter believes that GPL is specifically something having to do with Linux. Damn kids.

        Back in the days before there was Linux, we used the GNU tools on BSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, on AIX (where we could get them to work), on IRIX, on .. whatever NeXT's OS was called.. and virtually every piece of software there was that didn't come with the operating systems that was on each system was GPL.

      • Re:give me a break (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dgun (1056422) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @11:04AM (#28747783) Homepage
        So I overreacted. But still, this is a little different than just downloading and installing some FOSS software on Windows. Part of the software is on the BIOS, or rather there must be some instructions in the BIOS to look for Splashtop, which ASUS calls Express Gate. And what of the setup program? Does the source for the setup program have to be provided? True the setup is probably just copying files, but it would be nice to know exactly where and what the BIOS is looking for to determine whether or not Express Gate is installed.

        Anyway, I was just pissed off because the way the thing was distributed, and I find it a little more than ironic that Asus is marketing an instant-on Linux distro as a feature to sell their motherboards, yet requires Windows to run it.

        byw, I have read on Ubuntu forums that Express Gate source is available on ASUS' website, but as yet have been unable to find it.
        • Re:give me a break (Score:5, Informative)

          by UncleTogie (1004853) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @12:47PM (#28748339) Homepage Journal

          byw, I have read on Ubuntu forums that Express Gate source is available on ASUS' website, but as yet have been unable to find it.

          That's 'cause these folks [splashtop.com] make Splashtop, not ASUS. You can find the sourcecode at their page here... [splashtop.com]

          • by sumdumass (711423)

            Well now. That would seem to be a violation of the GPL to some degree, or could be. If you don't give the source code with the GPLed software when you distribute it, you have to either accompany it with a piece of paper describing how to get it from you or provide it for download yourself in a manner consistent and obvious.

            So if the source code isn't provided on the CD, or there isn't some piece of paper saying where to get the source code, putting it on Splashtop's site without some obvious reference to th

          • Asus are distributing a copy of the software on a CD so that the OP can install it. They should be either providing the source code, or providing a way to access the source code.

            GPL. Section 6. Seems pretty clear cut to me.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Darkness404 (1287218)
              But did they attempt to contact Asus?

              d) Convey the object code by offering access from a designated place (gratis or for a charge), and offer equivalent access to the Corresponding Source in the same way through the same place at no further charge. You need not require recipients to copy the Corresponding Source along with the object code. If the place to copy the object code is a network server, the Corresponding Source may be on a different server (operated by you or a third party) that supports equivalent copying facilities, provided you maintain clear directions next to the object code saying where to find the Corresponding Source. Regardless of what server hosts the Corresponding Source, you remain obligated to ensure that it is available for as long as needed to satisfy these requirements.

              That seems to allow them to have it hosted on Splashtop's site. If they didn't even attempt to contact Asus, much less Google Splashtop and look at their site, I don't see how you can call it a violation.

              • by adolf (21054)

                Bingo.

                I'd like to take a moment to point out how important it is, when reading a contract or any other sort of written agreement, to read the whole thing -- not just the parts you like.

                It seems pedantic to have to spell this out, but since so many folks here seem to need it spelled out for them . . .

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by shentino (1139071)

      Except that in order to install the program you have to get into windows.

      ...which implies agreeing to the EULA and making the windows tax nonrefundable.

      One of the few times where you can get ripped off and still get your money's worth.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @01:20AM (#28745759) Journal
    Splashtop is available in ROM(well, almost certainly flash, not actual ROM) on certain motherboards; but that involves actual components, and raises the cost. Presumably, the maker of the motherboards has some sort of bulk licence with the Splashtop guys, so providing the HDD version is virtually free, and adds a bullet point. Pretty useless; but you can see why that happens.
    • by tepples (727027)

      Presumably, the maker of the motherboards has some sort of bulk licence with the Splashtop guys, so providing the HDD version is virtually free, and adds a bullet point.

      If the Splashtop installer were a bootable CD, much like the installer for almost every other popular PC Linux distribution on the planet, there wouldn't be a problem.

      • True. I'm not sure why they did that. I assume that it is "more user friendly" in the same way that DSL modems that come with no setup information, just a horrible setup CD containing an activeX based (IE6 on 2000/XP only) setup CD are "more user friendly". Idiotic; but not wildly unexpected.
  • Port the code then (Score:5, Informative)

    by eggman9713 (714915) <{eggman97132007} {at} {mac.com}> on Sunday July 19, 2009 @01:22AM (#28745767)
    I'm sure quickly enough someone will port it to be installable without Windows. I'm sure it was meant to be for the typical user who has windows installed first, and just wants the instant on one for when they just need the browser quickly and the computer is not on. Someone, anti-MS or not, will port it, I'm sure. Isn't open source great?
  • by LurkerXXX (667952) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @01:22AM (#28745771)

    The poster of the story didn't even bother to read the link he provided... You can install it from a USB drive from the source. Asus simply doesn't provide that installer on their install CD.

    This is a non-story. The distro doesn't need windows to install. The distributor was just being cheap.

    • by Ryvar (122400) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @01:29AM (#28745801) Homepage

      Yeah, the original post is terrible. If he was *really* trying to get people to needlessly hyperventilate he should have titled it "A GNU/Linux distro needing BSD to install?!?!"

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ssintercept (843305)
        not only terrible...

        Second, if distributing GPL'ed software by means that completely preclude it from being used without Windows is not a violation of the GPL, should it not be?

        but pretentious shit.

        even Stallman's beard would choke that tool out...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by finity (535067)
        I dream of the day that we see the article titled: "A Windows distro needing Linux to install?!?!"
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by gaderael (1081429)

          Well, I've had to use liveCD a couple of times to save data off of a Windows install before reformatting. Does that count?

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by houstonbofh (602064)

            Well, I've had to use liveCD a couple of times to save data off of a Windows install before reformatting. Does that count?

            Nahh... People use Linux to remove Windows all the time.

        • I dream of the day that we see the article titled: "A Windows distro needing Linux to install?!?!"

          It doesn't???

          Anybody remember how long it takes to partition and format a fresh hard drive on Windows as opposed to the minute or two it takes in Gparted from a liveCD? Doesn't need it, but it makes things a hell of a lot quicker.

          • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

            Anybody remember how long it takes to partition and format a fresh hard drive on Windows as opposed to the minute or two it takes in Gparted from a liveCD? Doesn't need it, but it makes things a hell of a lot quicker.

            Dude, when was the last time you used Windows, back in the 3.1 days? Diskpart is pretty darn fast, but really all the tools these days are. I've used both gparted and diskpart recently, and I'd have a really hard time saying gparted was faster than diskpart. Of course, the reverse is true as well.

            Also, I'd prefer a WindowsPE disk for fixing any issues with windows these days. It's basically a 150mb (more or less, depending on what tools you add) bootable version of Vista. It runs almost all windows pro

            • Dude, when was the last time you used Windows, back in the 3.1 days?

              From your comment, it sounds like that was the last time you used Windows. I had to reinstall Windows on someone's computer recently, and with no GParted disc around to quickly reformat it, the install process took two hours just on the formatting process (I presume it runs the Windows equivalent of badblocks before or after the real filesystem format), on a 120GB drive. I should also note that it was Windows XP; not the newest version o

            • Dude, when was the last time you used Windows, back in the 3.1 days? Diskpart is pretty darn fast, but really all the tools these days are. I've used both gparted and diskpart recently, and I'd have a really hard time saying gparted was faster than diskpart. Of course, the reverse is true as well.

              Dude.. About 2 months ago for a friend. Windows XP. Had to remove the Linux partitions as it was a spare disk I was lending her. I had a boot disk in my tool kit. Prior to using Gparted, I used to let the windows installer take it's own sweet time.. Hours and hours of sweet time in any sizeable disk..

              Never heard of Diskpart. Does it run from the XP install disk on a fresh PC with no other OS?

              Also, I'd prefer a WindowsPE disk for fixing any issues with windows these days. It's basically a 150mb (more or less, depending on what tools you add) bootable version of Vista. It runs almost all windows programs without a hitch, and is very very quick. There's some stuff that linux just can't do for windows.

              To each their own. Although why I'd want to boot a Vista install is beyond me.

              Any Linux disk does the most useful fi

  • by Tenebrousedge (1226584) <tenebrousedge&gmail,com> on Sunday July 19, 2009 @01:23AM (#28745775)

    Second, if distributing GPL'ed software by means that completely preclude it from being used without Windows is not a violation of the GPL, should it not be?

    Is that a trick question? The GPL says nothing about Windows, it just says that if they're distributing GPL'd binaries, you should be able to get the source code from them. Just because you don't like something does not mean it should be illegal.

    • by Nutria (679911)

      Just because you don't like something does not mean it should be illegal.

      Where have you been for the past, ohhhh, since-the-beginning-of-humanity???

      A huge chunk of humanity (and, believe you me: not just right-wing religious fundamentalists) thrives on telling other people what to do and think, how to dress, etc, etc ad nauseum, and do their damnedest to ensconce their beliefs into law...

  • by iamacat (583406) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @01:23AM (#28745777)

    As long as you provide the source code on demand, it doesn't matter if the binary only works for Windows or even if you are charged $1000 to get a copy. Splashtop is designed as a secondary system for Windows. Other installers are probably not their priority.

    • You also need to provide the installation and compiling scripts. Relevant in this case, since said scripts are what you need in order to do the porting.

    • by Nursie (632944)

      "As long as you provide the source code on demand, it doesn't matter if the binary only works for Windows or even if you are charged $1000 to get a copy."

      I'm pretty sure there's some provision for the source to be made available for a reasonable fee - i.e. media, shipping and time. You can charge what you like for the software, but when you've given them the binaries the source must be made available at reasonable cost of reproduction.

  • by JackieBrown (987087) <dbroome@gmail.com> on Sunday July 19, 2009 @01:25AM (#28745781)

    Fortunately, I read the customer reviews at newegg so I was expecting it.

    I installed windows then splashtop. Splashtop is pretty but was not worth the time for the installation of windows.

    I was hoping I would at least be able to update my bios through it.

    It can't update the bios and cannot read any of my partitions.

    I changed my bios setting pretty quick to skip it from asking me to load splashtop.

  • I would like to know which motherboard you're talking about so that I can avoid this nonsense...and here's why: -

    ...To my great annoyance, when I tried to boot to this OS, a message said that it was not installed. It turns out that motherboard comes with an install disk for this GNU/Linux OS -- that you can only run from Windows...

    Doesn't this state of matters boarder on the brink of insanity?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Though I dont know the OP, probably the ASUS boards. A lot of them come with at least the software for "ExpressGate" as they call it. My board; the P5Q-SE2, had the install software on the DVD, but I had to manually install to the hard drive, the higher priced boards have basically a USB flash drive attached to the MB. Though I did uninstall the ExpressGate software within a few hours of messing with it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lehk228 (705449)
      Doesn't this state of matters boarder on the brink of insanity? No, it really doesn't. Don't get so hysterical.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by GameboyRMH (1153867)
        Needing a three-digit piece of software to start installing an operating system is incredibly stupid, bordering on insane. Luckily if you RTFA that's not really the case, but I've seen similarly asinine things - like a mainboard that needs Windows, IE and ActiveX to stream BIOS updates from the Internet into your chip (not kidding), along with a host of Windows-only firmware update utilities - sure, you could give those a try in WINE, but why not use a boot disk? Running firmware updates from an OS is a pre
        • but I've seen similarly asinine things - like a mainboard that needs Windows, IE and ActiveX to stream BIOS updates from the Internet into your chip (not kidding)

          Please tell us what that was. I need to avoid that mess for many reasons! With that kind of stupid in the updates, what is in the code?!?

          • MSI Eclipse SLI - one of the top gaming mobos right now. Well known to brick themselves during BIOS updates regardless of the method used. Had to RMA mine but all was well once they sent me a working and updated one.
            • MSI Eclipse SLI - one of the top gaming mobos right now. Well known to brick themselves during BIOS updates regardless of the method used. Had to RMA mine but all was well once they sent me a working and updated one.

              RMA for a BIOS update? And people thought a floppy was bad...

    • by dgun (1056422)
      It's an ASUS board. I don't think all of them are like this, but the one I got was. For the record, it was not evident from the description of the board that it required an installation disk. To me it defeats the whole purpose. People say read RTFM, but it's kind of difficult to RTFM when you don't have TFM. And it would have never occurred to me to do so anyway in this case, considering what I understood an instant-on OS to be .

      People have so easily dismissed my question about the licensing issue, which is
  • If you cannot use the binary, it wasn't even 'distributed'.
    How would it be a gpl violation?
    Got the sources? Or do you know whether the sources are available for download?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tubal-Cain (1289912)

      If you cannot use the binary, it wasn't even 'distributed'.

      Sure it was. I don't think owning a DVD player is a prerequisite for Wal-Mart selling (distributing) a DVD to you.

      How would it be a gpl violation?

      It's not. Where OP pulled that out from, I don't know. Nothing in the GPL says "Don't use APIs and programming languages that aren't implemented on more than one OS."

    • If you cannot use the binary, it wasn't even 'distributed'.

      Based on current case law, yes it was. Now pay your $8 million.

  • The GPL Angle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @01:33AM (#28745823) Homepage

    Second, if distributing GPL'ed software by means that completely preclude it from being used without Windows is not a violation of the GPL, should it not be?

    I don't think so. GPL is mostly about granting access and rights to the source, under certain conditions, so you can modify the code to work on your system, not about requiring the author to make it work on your system. If it only runs on Windows, so be it, as long as the source code is Freely available so it can be fixed.

    Now, if they're not making the source available through reasonable means, well, that's another problem, and is a violation of the GPL. But the "requires Windows as distributed" thing is the same as lots of GPL software.

  • BIOS and firmware upgrades that only work from Windows ... or from a USB floppy disk!
    Ask ASUS (but I'm sure it's not the only manufacturer)!
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by a09bdb811a (1453409)

      This isn't such an annoying issue anymore. Most BIOSes these days have a built-in flasher, and can read the BIOS from any local FAT filesystem, including a USB drive. If not, you can format a USB flash drive so that it appears as a floppy and boots DOS normally. You definately don't need a real floppy or CDROM drive anymore (praise Vishnu).

      • This isn't such an annoying issue anymore. Most BIOSes these days have a built-in flasher, and can read the BIOS from any local FAT filesystem...

        Oh, damn. Here come the Microsoft lawyers...

    • My MSI Eclipse SLI required Windows, IE and ActiveX to do BIOS updates. This mobo is notorious for bricking itself in the middle of the update process. I found a flash drive update package buried in the guts of their site, but it later turned out that they quietly buried it because it caused a higher incidence of brickings.

      At least the RMA process went quickly.
    • by schon (31600)

      BIOS and firmware upgrades that only work from Windows ... or from a USB floppy disk!
      Ask ASUS (but I'm sure it's not the only manufacturer)!

      Bullshit.

      I've used tons of ASUS boards, and none require a USB floppy.

  • by timmarhy (659436) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @02:03AM (#28745945)
    dawson take this stupid bullshit off the frontpage - it's crappy even for slashdot.
  • by Simon80 (874052) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @02:13AM (#28745971)
    Don't get me wrong, I respect Richard Stallman's ideals and achievements, but there comes a point when Linux should simply be called Linux and not GNU/Linux. Chances are that a system like Splashtop is past that point, since it would probably have few, if any GNU packages included, given that it's based on busybox.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sir_Lewk (967686)

      At least they're not calling it Busybox/Linux. It's far more typing...

    • by thrash242 (697169)

      there comes a point when Linux should simply be called Linux and not GNU/Linux.

      You mean an infinite spectrum of points? The only time Linux should be called GNU/Linux is if GNU were to make its own distribution of Linux, in which case they could call it whatever they wanted.

      Why don't the FSF make their own distro of Linux? Isn't GNU supposed to be an OS? Why must Stallman try to hijack all distros of Linux and try to take credit for most of it just because they use GNU software?

      This GNU/Linux BS is the main reason I'm seriously considering switching to FreeBSD--to get away from the

      • by Simon80 (874052)
        Why would you switch over it? Most development is unaffected by these petty squabbles.
  • Yep.. nothing new. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cyberjock1980 (1131059) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @04:16AM (#28746341)

    I love these motherboard manufacturers. I used to buy ASUS for their new "power saving" feature called EPU. You guessed it, requires Windows. I even went so far as to install Windows just to enable the feature, then reboot into Linux. Didn't work. It doesn't even work with some versions of Windows (Server 2003 x64 I believe).

    So, I switched to Gigabyte motherboards. They have the same feature, but they call it DES. Of course, again, it only works in Windows. And again, rebooting into Linux after booting into Windows doesn't fix it.

    This might be a nuisance, but I actually BOUGHT both of those motherboards with the intention of using those power saving features... in Linux! I couldn't take them back for a refund, the manufacturer told me too bad, so I'm stuck with them. Nowhere in any documentation from the manufacturers does it state it requires a particular OS. They should be completely honest with their consumer and tell us what features will require a particular OS. Otherwise, I'm going to expect it to work based on hardware/BIOS options.

    I feel your pain, but I regret to inform you that if you consider yourself "had", you were "had" when you took it home.

    I understand the argument with drivers not being available for Linux. But geez, this is out of control.

    • by countach (534280) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @04:43AM (#28746397)

      Back in my pre-Mac days when I could be bothered with all this stuff, I always assumed as my starting point that nothing works with Linux, until proven otherwise with sufficient research on the internet. Like it or not, the computer parts industry is still basically a Windows world. Nothing works outside Windows unless proven otherwise.

    • by Ant P. (974313)

      I check on review sites before buying hardware. Haven't been stung in a few years now.

      Though I suppose the right thing to do would be checking with the manufacturer directly too, just to cause them the annoyance of having to tell their own potential customers their hardware sucks. If enough people do it (which will probably never happen) the message might get through.

    • by Nutria (679911)

      I couldn't take them back for a refund, the manufacturer told me too bad, so I'm stuck with them.

      That's why I buy from Newegg.

    • This might be a nuisance, but I actually BOUGHT both of those motherboards with the intention of using those power saving features... in Linux! I couldn't take them back for a refund, the manufacturer told me too bad, so I'm stuck with them.

      Oh, yes you can. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implied_warranty [wikipedia.org] In your case, Warranty of Fitness. And you can bring this case in a local JP court without an attorney, and include your costs to do so. Usually the threat is enough.

      The reason that they get away with it is that we let them.

  • Second, if distributing GPL'ed software by means that completely preclude it from being used without Windows is not a violation of the GPL, should it not be?

    Why? Because you don't like Windows?

    Look, suck it up. The GPL is about freedom, and that includes for your mortal software enemies. So long as they are releasing any changes they made to the code (and in all likelihood they just bundled it up and didn't change a thing) they're in full compliance with both the letter and the spirit of the GPL.

    This

  • Are you seriously trying to claim that I can't release software for a non-Free OS under the GPL.

  • 1-800-cry-baby
    and
    1-888-asus-supp
    and
    www.asus.helpafuckingdummy.com

    FFS, every hardware manufacturer I have ever heard of has a support line SOMEWHERE. Granted, some of the smaller fly-by-night mainboard people make it hard to find a support site, but they are there.

    Personally, I'd be a bit embarrased to post on slashdot that I didn't know how to search for support.

  • I swear some of you people are like the North Korean refugees who are afraid if they touch the ground in South Korea, their hands will rot and fall off.

    Your glorious supreme leader and chief asshat-for-life, Richard M Stallman, is lying to you. If you use Windows, your hands will not rot and fall off.

    The motherboard manufacturer obviously mistakingly though you were part of the 99% of users that used Windows, and gave you an easy tool to either flash directly (do not attempt this in linux) or flash a usb st

    • by ratboy666 (104074)

      "asshat"
      "You don't have this luxury in linux. There is no right way to distribute binaries, so the best they can do is offer Windows junk and assume if you have Linux, you probably occasionally boot into Windows anyway when you have to complete grownup work."
      "Windows has a much better grasp of the PC specification" "I assume that, like every other PC system, they don't understand the PC specification either"

      Well, I could try arguing here, but somehow I feel that it would be a waste of time. To keep it short

    • "it's going to require a part of Windows that that's system/driver oriented"

      I presume that you refer to that portion of Windows that acts as a DOS emulator. DRDOS was THE standard for flashing, only a few years ago. Manufacturers STILL recommend making a bootable DOS disk for flashing purposes. It is still dangerous to attempt flashing operations from within Windows, no matter the marketing aspect of doing so.

      It seems that you may be a bit infatuated with Bill Gate's operating system. In fact, the only

      • I presume that you refer to that portion of Windows that acts as a DOS emulator.

        I was actually talking about a tool that formats and images a usb stick. That's not the kind of behavior that Wine "emulates."

        It seems that you may be a bit infatuated with Bill Gate's operating system. In fact, the only reasons we don't routinely flash from Linux involve proprietary mfrs refusing to code for Linux.

        You mean Dave Cutler's operating system, right? I am a big fan of NT, I won't lie. I think motherboard manufacturer's disinterest in linux has more to do with a lack of consistent driver API's, and the knowledge that they don't have to waste time and money so that 15 of their users can play with UNIX on their systems (home users). Someone else will do it. Workstation oriented boards

  • Read the GPL FAQ (Score:3, Insightful)

    by selan (234261) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @05:15PM (#28750237) Journal
    "If distributing GPL'ed software by means that completely preclude it from being used without Windows is not a violation of the GPL, should it not be?"

    The GPL FAQ [gnu.org] says no.
    I would like to bundle GPLed software with some sort of installation software. Does that installer need to have a GPL-compatible license?
    No. The installer and the files it installs are separate works. As a result, the terms of the GPL do not apply to the installation software.

  • I'm presuming we are talking about ASUS. The company that made a lot of noise about this around the same time they were making noise about Linux based eeepcs. Then Microsoft stepped in, and ASUS's 'enthusiasm' about Linux dramatically reduced, and they started talking up the Windows EeePC and slapped a Windows installer for their linux 'platform' with poor platform management relative to their windows support.

    So MS presumably made some questionable deals with ASUS. It sounds like paranoia, but EeePC was

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