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Publicado porNurul Istiqomah

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Published by: Nurul Istiqomah on Dec 14, 2010
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Software licensingis increasingly seen as a “hassle”by system administrators and their
managers. There’s a trend toward increasingly complex licensing terms. Some such
licenses are complex enough to require review by the legal department. All this license
reading is time consuming,worrisome,and certainly not within the organization’s core

Several companies now make a good living selling “license tracking”software designed
to prevent inadvertent violation of software licenses. Such software isn’t cheap,but the
alternative is often manual tracking. This can mean the network administrator must take
affirmative steps to limit who can use the software,or otherwise risk license violations.

Violation of licensing provisions can be costly both monetarily and in terms of one’s
career. Software licensing is often seen as a sword hanging over the IT department’s
head. Even an inadvertent violation can result in legal action.

Many software licenses,including those of the most popular commercial network operat-
ing systems,require a per-user fee. Although provisions vary,this typically means that
in addition to the purchase price of the network operating system,a fee must be paid for
every client computer connected to the server. As new client computers are added,new
fees must be paid and new paperwork must be tended to.

Contrast this with a Linux/Samba server combination. Both are “free software”covered
by the GNU GPL license (this is a free software and Open Source license). This means
it’s perfectly legal to install multiple copies of Linux and Samba,without informing
anyone,without paying anyone,and without worrying about how many computers are
connected to them. In fact,it’s very easy to obtain a 100% Open Source CD containing
Linux and Samba together (as well as Apache and Sendmail and networking software).
Such a CD can be legally installed on unlimited computers.

Choosing Samba









The term Open Sourceis a common term referring to software whose license
states that the software must be accompanied by its source code. Although
there is no official definition for the Open Source term, a very widely accepted
definition existsat www.opensource.org/osd.html. Throughout this document
we have tried to conform to that definition in our use of the term Open Source.

The term free softwareappliesto a type of license that requires more than
just the inclusion of source code. It also requires that all source used by
the free software–licensed program is itself free software and that no free


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Introduction to Samba



source–licensed source code can be used in software that is not free software.
Free software is designed from the ground up to prevent any proprietary use
of itself. Note that free software adheres to the Open Source definition at www.

opensource.org/osd.html. By its nature, free software can be always be legally
copied, as long as the source code is supplied with the copy. You can learn more
about free software at the Free Software Foundation’s Web site (www.fsf.org).

The GNU GPLis a standard software license that implements free software. GNU
is a software project devoted to creating a free software UNIX clone. In fact,
many Linux utilities, including the compiler and the editors, came from the GNU
project. For this reason, many people refer to the operating system commonly
called Linux as GNU/Linux.

GNU stands for GNU’s Not UNIX. GPL stands for General Public License.

Therefore,the Linux/Samba combination’s licensing provisions eliminate numerous
headaches for the administrator,managers,and the organization.

There’s one other trait of Open Source software that’s just starting to be recognized as an
advantage. Because the source code is open to all,there are more eyes inspecting it. Many
Open Source projects,including the Samba project,have incredibly large development
“staffs.”Although common sense tells us too many cooks spoil the broth,in fact the results
to date indicate that Open Source licensing,with its huge development community,pro-
duces more reliable software. Even when there are bugs,they’re often fixed in a few days.

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