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SubjectRe: namespace support requires network modules to say "GPL"
On Sat, 01 Dec 2007 08:10:17 -0500
Mark Lord <> wrote:

> > Now that we have network namespace support merged it is time to
> > revisit the sysfs support so we can remove the dependency on !SYSFS.
> ...
> Now that the namespace updates are part of 2.6.24,
> there is a major inconsistency in network EXPORT_SYMBOLs.
> It used to be that an external network module could get away without
> having to add a MODULE_LICENSE("GPL*") line to the source.
> In support of that, common networking functions (still) use EXPORT_SYMBOL()
> rather than the more restrictive EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL().
> Eg. register_netdev(), sk_alloc(), __dev_get_by_name().
> But now, none of those three are actually usable by default,
> because they all require "init_net", which is EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL().

Then init_net needs to be not GPL limited. Sorry, we need to allow
non GPL network drivers. There is a fine line between keeping the
binary seething masses from accessing random kernel functions, and allowing
reasonable (but still non GPL) things like ndiswrapper to use network
device interface.

Stephen Hemminger <>

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