Request Review for RTEMS License (Legacy?)

Joel Sherrill joel.sherrill at
Mon Aug 18 20:33:34 UTC 2008

Chuck Swiger wrote:
> Hi, Joel--
> On Aug 18, 2008, at 7:50 AM, Joel Sherrill wrote:
>> Project: RTEMS (
>> License:
>> The RTEMS license is a modified GPLv2 which is based
>> upon the license used for the GCC language run-times.
> Perhaps you may have wanted to place your code under the LGPL rather
> than the GPLv2 plus an exception for using the runtime classes and
> headers...?  
RTEMS is an embedded real-time operating system which
is statically linked with potentially proprietary user code.
Currently there is no burden placed upon end users when
shipping their application. The LGPL would require then
to ship a binary for their proprietary code and a relinking
kit. This is not acceptable.

Being statically linked causes problems.

> Anyway, granting additional permissions doesn't change
> the status of the GPLv2, which is already OSI approved;
Playing devil's advocate here...does that mean one could
write an exception paragraph which went against the spirit
of the GPL and still claim the result to be OSI approved?

On a more practical note, does this mean your policy does
not distinguish between the licenses found in these files
(links to GCC SVN)?

GPL+ exception 1:
GPL + exception 2:

If this is the case, I will gladly accept that the RTEMS
license is covered under the GPLv2 umbrella.
>  or you might
> consider switching to the GPLv3 which provides more explicit handling
> of this in clause 7 about "Additional Terms".
There is a GPLv3 based run-time license circulating around
in draft form to standardize the licensing for GCC run-time
files. If there were a GPLv2 variant of this, we would seriously
consider it because that is what we wanted for 10+ years.

But it is GPLv3 based and I don't see us switching.

> Regards,
> --
> -Chuck

Joel Sherrill, Ph.D.             Director of Research & Development
joel.sherrill at        On-Line Applications Research
Ask me about RTEMS: a free RTOS  Huntsville AL 35805
   Support Available             (256) 722-9985

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