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Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 269

IPMI 2.0 includes serial over LAN, but that's text only console redirection. If you want graphical console redirection, you need to use a proprietary tool from your vendor,

I... don't. Why would I? Both Linux and Windows (since 2003 with EMS) lets you do any system fixing & reconfiguration you could want, via serial console.

With OoBM, you really only need to get your system booting again, and network reconfigured and working. After that, you connect via in-band management, whether that's SSH, RDP, NX, VNC, etc. It's stupid, wrong, and terribly inefficient to use your OoBM for all your system management.

If you're running graphical Linux, you need graphical console redirection

Bullshit. You mean if you don't have a clue how to manage the basics on a Linux system without the GUI, THEN you're in trouble if you don't have graphical console redirection.

You get power on, off, cycle, read the (hardware) system event log, configure the network settings of the BMC, and console redirection to a serial port. For Dell, you also have to enable redirection via COM2 in the BIOS if you want serial over LAN.

As I said before, IPMI also enables you to change BIOS settings. You can "enable redirection via COM2 in the BIOS" directly & remotely via IPMI, without ever entering the BIOS. It's a simple one-liner. Then you

The "redirection" isn't even really needed, except for seeing BIOS messages on boot-up. Otherwise you just need to tell your OS to enable a console on serial, and you're fine.

Comment Re: ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 269

But it's combined by the user at runtime, not by canocal. The GPL allows an end users to do this.

This is a way that people kid themselves about the GPL. If the user were really porting ZFS on their own, combining the work and never distributing it, that would work. But the user isn't combining it. The Ubuntu developer is creating instructions which explicitly load the driver into the kernel. These instructions are either a link script that references the kernel, or a pre-linked dynamic module. Creating those instructions and distributing them to the user is tantamount to performing the act on the user's system, under your control rather than the user's.

To show this with an analogy, suppose you placed a bomb in the user's system which would go off when they loaded the ZFS module. But Judge, you might say, I am innocent because the victim is actually the person who set off the bomb. All I did was distribute a harmless unexploded bomb.

So, it's clear that you can perform actions that have effects later in time and at a different place that are your action rather than the user's. That is what building a dynamic module or linking scripts does.

There is also the problem that the pieces, Linux and ZFS, are probably distributed together. There is specific language in the GPL to catch that.

A lot of people don't realize what they get charged with when they violate the GPL (or any license). They don't get charged with violating the license terms. They are charged with copyright infringement, and their defense is that they have a license. So, the defense has to prove that they were in conformance with every license term.

This is another situation where I would have a pretty easy time making the programmer look bad when they are deposed.

Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 269

Yet you can't do what the OP said he needed the video out for - fix OS configuration issues.

Yes you can. Of course you can. I've used IPMI extensively, and have absolutely no idea what you are ranting on about.

UNLESS your mobo manufacturer developed/bought a chip and software to do that for your specific OS,

There's nothing OS-specific about IPMI. There's no "chip" for each OS.

Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 269

Uh, that doesn't work. The problem is that doing exactly what you've written down is contriving to avoid your copyright responsibility by deliberately creating a structure in someone else's work which you believe would be a copyright insulator. If you went ahead and did this (I'm not saying that you personally would be the one at Ubuntu to do so), I'd love to be there when you are deposed. Part of my business is to feed attorneys questions when they cross-examine you. I have in a similar situation made a programmer look really bad, and the parties settled as soon as they saw the deposition and my expert report. See also my comment regarding how Oracle v. Google has changed this issue. You can't count on an API to be a copyright insulator in any context any longer.

Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 269

I think you need to look at this in the context of the appeal of Oracle v. Google. We had a concept of an API being a boundary of copyright based on 17 CFR 102(b) and elucidated by Judge Walker's finding in CAI v. Altai. That stood for a long time. But Oracle v. Google essentially overturned it and we're still waiting to see what the lower court does in response.

Comment CDDL and GPL don't mix (Score 3, Informative) 269

Regardless of what Ubuntu has convinced themselves of, in this context the ZFS filesystem driver would be an unlicensed derivative work. If they don't want it to be so, it needs to be in user-mode instead of loaded into the kernel address space and using unexported APIs of the kernel.

A lot of people try to deceive themselves (and you) that they can do silly things, like putting an API between software under two licenses, and that such an API becomes a "computer condom" that protects you from the GPL. This rationale was never true and was overturned by the court in the appeal of Oracle v. Google.

Comment Re:BTRFS is getting there (Score 1) 269

I don't why so many in the Linux community are so hooked on ZFS. BTRFS has a feature set that is rapidly getting there,

I think you already explained it in that first sentence... ZFS has been stable, reliable, and successfully managing huge amounts of data for the past decade (2005). BTRFS is still unstable, not remotely a suitable alternative for ZFS, with only the vague promise of maybe eventually "getting there".

Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 2, Insightful) 269

I don't have a serial terminal, so having video output when needed is very important

So that's three-strikes... You're 1) using a regular PC as a server (no IPMI), 2) that PC doesn't even have a serial port to be used as an OoBM console, and finally 3) you've got some issue with the video card not even displaying text-mode. With all three strikes against your server, I just can't muster any sympathy for the predicament you put yourself in, relying on an unsuitable cheap piece of crap equipment.

In fact it's probably FOUR strikes... Presumably your video problem was an issue with KMS or similar, and 4) you didn't bother to figure out how to fix/disable/bypass it, and use plan old text-mode. Instead you went with the quickest (but obviously flawed and easily breakable) option of depending on a proprietary video driver. That's just not thinking things through. Reminds me of folks who has just a switchable PDU as their sole method of OoBM... works right up until they acidentally do a clean shutdown of a remote server.

Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 269

And even then, IPMI is extremely limited.

I don't see how anyone can claim "IPMI is extremely limited" with a straight face. It does nearly everything you could want in an OoBM interface, except (usually) a GUI. You can do lights-out management, powering systems off and on, setting BIOS/UEFI options like boot device statelessly (not just at boot-up), it can be configured to have a dedicated NIC port, or shared with the OS whether you're bonding NICs or not, gives you a serial console (including BIOS access) over the network. etc., etc.

Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 269

And IPMI console typically requires java. Within a year or so NO browser will support that!

No, you can use serial-over-LAN via native utilities like ipmitool. You're talking about the idiot-friendly web interface a few OEMs happen to include. Most ipmi implementations don't even have any web/browser interface to begin with.

"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..." -- Crazy Nigel