GPL and kernel .config file

Nicholas Leippe nick at
Tue Jun 26 17:05:55 MDT 2007

On Tuesday 26 June 2007, Kyle Waters wrote:
> Stephen Ward wrote:
> > the kernel on our LiveCD.  Does anyone know if this is a legitimate
> > claim?
> > Does the .config file count as source code that we need to make
> > available?
> Section 3 paragraph 2 :
> "For an executable work, complete source code means all the source code
> for all modules it contains, plus any associated interface definition
> files, plus the scripts used to control compilation and installation of
> the executable."

IANAL, but IMO, it could still be argued. The .config file is not a script 
(depending on your definition of "script") as much as it is data generated by 
saving user input.

You could always select the /proc/kconfig option (or whatever it's called) so 
that it's already included in the kernel for you.

Doesn't seem like there'd be many good reasons to not just disclose 
the .config file anyways--it could probably be figured out by laborious trial 
and error anyways.

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