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07.06.13

Novell/SUSE is Microsoft in Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Novell at 5:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft brings the whole family

On the beach

Summary: Microsoft-funded proxies still instrumental in pushing Microsoft’s restricted booting and Microsoft’s patent traps into the kernel of unparalleled ubiquity

Linux needs to remain free of patent extortion and also free to boot on any system. Denial of these properties would render it less free (or not free at all).

SUSE, which is now Microsoft-funded reasons, helps advance the agenda of restricted boot in UEFI. To quote a new report:

Developers at SUSE, the Linux company based in Germany, are working on cryptographic technology to allow the use of both hibernation and kexec by Linux on secure boot-enabled machines, according to Vojtech Pavlik, director of SUSE Labs and head of kernel development at the company.

This is kernel work which mostly helps Microsoft. SUSE spent years doing Microsoft’s work on Linux, by proxy. SUSE gets paid for that. There are many examples that we covered. There is also a “kernel driver that supports both reading and writing for the exFAT filesystem developed by the Microsoft Corporation,” but we struggle to see who is behind it. For quite some time and even last week Microsoft’s partner Tuxera did this and to quote this new report:

If you’ve watched the news lately, you know that last week a Linux developer has released the first ever native Linux kernel module for Microsoft’s exFAT filesystem.

Looking at the project’s page, the developer just has a cryptic username. Who is it that’s promoting this patent trap? Two of us have looked hard to who’s behind this development and struggled to find an answer. Why would someone do this pro-Microsoft job almost anonymously? This is suspicious. Can anyone help us get the name or company behind this exFAT effort?

Postscript: Upon closer examination of the source code (which has a name) and some subsequent Internet searches we found this:

No, that person said it was a fork of the Samsung exFat module, which, after a quick look on google, seems fully proprietary. I.e, not implicitly GPLv2.
I looked at the vFat code, and it’s not the same, so not likely a fork of it.
The code mentions joosun hahn, who seems to work for Samsung.

So all in all, nope, not forever GPL, and most likely illegally distributed.

Samsung has been paying Microsoft for FAT for about 6 years now, so its interest here would be selfish and dangerous. That is, if Samsung is the power behind it at all… maybe it is just its staff coding outside of work. There needs to be more clarity here.

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