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SubjectRe: Please open sysfs symbols to proprietary modules

On Wed, 2 Feb 2005, Pavel Roskin wrote:

> 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

No, thanks. Nothing has changed dramatically enough in 5 months to
necessitate this change, and it's certainly not going to happen for a
single binary driver.

What is wrong with creating a (GPL'd) abstraction layer that exports
symbols to the proprietary modules?

Thanks,


Pat

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