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SubjectPlease open sysfs symbols to proprietary modules
Hello!

I'm writing a module under a proprietary license. I decided to use sysfs
to do the configuration. Unfortunately, all sysfs exports are available
to GPL modules only because they are exported by EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL.

I have found the original e-mail where this change was proposed:
http://www.ussg.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0409.3/0345.html

Patrick writes:

"The users of these functions are all, in most cases, other subsystems,
which provide a layer of abstraction for the downstream users (drivers,
etc)."

Maybe it was true in September 2004, but it's not true in February 2005.
sysfs has become a standard way to make configurable parameters available
to userspace, just like sysctl and ioctl.

All I want to do is to have a module that would create subdirectories for
some network interfaces under /sys/class/net/*/, which would contain
additional parameters for those interfaces. I'm not creating a new
subsystem or anything like that. sysctl is not good because the data is
interface specific. ioctl on a socket would be OK, although it wouldn't
be easily scriptable. The restriction on sysfs symbols would just force
me to write a proprietary userspace utility to set those parameters
instead of using a shell script.

My understanding is that EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL is only useful for symbols so
specific to the kernel that the modules that use them would be effectively
based on GPL code. But a module providing its internal state to the
userspace doesn't need to be based on the kernel code in any way.

Please replace every EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL with EXPORT_SYMBOL in fs/sysfs/*.c

--
Regards,
Pavel Roskin
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