Providing 'hsdis' binaries not possible because of GPLv2/GPLv3 license clash

Donald Smith donald.smith at
Thu May 28 14:17:53 UTC 2015


Chris raised this topic 21 hours ago.  We have ACK'd the issue. We're 
not going to comment on the legal issues or proposal side of this as 
Dalibor already noted.

Yes we have ACK'd the issue and topic.  We will need more than 1 day to 
respond.  No we're not going to comment on the proposed solution.

  - Don

On 28/05/2015 10:01 AM, Volker Simonis wrote:
> Hi George, Mark, Andrew,
> recently Chris Newland raised an issue with the license of the 'hsdis'
> sources [1] on the adoption-discuss mailing list [2].
> 'hsdis' is actually a thin wrapper around the GNU binutils. 'hsdis' is
> not build as part of any OpenJDK build nor is it part of any Open- or
> Oracle-JDK delivery. It only consists of two files and must be
> manually build with the help of its own Makefile.It statically links
> the two hsdis files together with a static version of the GNU binutils
> into a shared library. If the created 'hsdis' shared library is
> available at runtime, it can be used by the HotSpot VM to disassemble
> generated code sequences which proves extremely helpful when
> developing or debugging the VM.
> The problem pointed out by Chris is that the hsdis-files are licensed
> under GPLv2 while newer versions of the GNU binutils are licensed
> under GPLv3. According to the GPL-FAQ, these two licenses are
> incompatible and combining code released under both these licenses
> violates section 6 of GPLv2.
> This problem prevents people from creating and distributing 'hsdis'
> binaries which would be extremely useful for other developers.
> One way to fix this problem (according to [3]) would be to release the
> two hsdis source files under GPL “version 2 or later”. As we already
> have files with licenses other than GPLv2 (e.g. LGPL) in the OpenJDK
> project, this doesn't seem to be impossible.
> What would be necessary to change the license of the two files:
> hotspot/src/share/tools/hsdis/hsdis.c
> hotspot/src/share/tools/hsdis/hsdis.h
> from "GPLv2" to "GPLv2 or later".
> Thank you and best regards,
> Volker
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]

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