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stipulations for using the Linux kernel?

Link to this post 12 Nov 11

I am working on a new open source operating system for games and I would like to be able to use the Linux kernel so that I am not re-inventing the wheel. What are the stipulations for using the Linux kernel? Being that it is strictly for games, what *nix (Unix, Posix, Linux, etc.) standards do I follow, if any? Since it is an OS for games, would I be inclined to follow these standards or, more bluntly, can I do with the kernel as I will? My goal with the gaming OS is to strip out everything in Linux that would not or may not pertain to games or game development and maybe change a thing or two (but NOT in the kernel since the API for game developers will be a separate thing).

Basically: what am I allowed to do with the kernel? what am I required to do? what cannot I do?

Link to this post 13 Nov 11

That question has many answers. You might want to look at the documentation on the Kernel Newbies site for information.

http://kernelnewbies.org/Documents

The Kernel is also covered by the GNU General Public License. Any changes to the code must be documented and shared with the rest of the community. You can read more about that here.

https://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html

Link to this post 15 Nov 11

Thank you.

Link to this post 02 Dec 11

So, basically you can use the Linux kernel for whatever you want, as long as you submit back to the kernel development team any changes you made. Often, it would not be necessary to make changes to the kernel. If you are adding some specialized hardware device drivers that don't require any other kernel changes then you would not necessarily have to post the code for them, though it would be good etiquette to do so. Others may help you find/fix bugs, add enhancements, improve performance if they have the source available in an open source license mode.

Note that open source does not mean you cannot sell your stuff. It just means you have to share as well. People will pay for "free" stuff if they feel they are getting value for $$.

Link to this post 02 Dec 11

But does that mean that I would have to follow other unix standards (if i don't modify the kernel): i.e. directory structure, file system structure, etc. ?

What about Pay Per Use? i.e. So that I'm not having to reinvent the wheel, I'm looking at using the Linux Kernel in an OS for arcade games (yes, the kind you put your quarters into). Because I'm not selling the OS (nor intent on making any changes to the Kernel) but rather charging people to play the games that will sit on top of the Kernel, would that violate any license agreements?

Link to this post 02 Dec 11

"But does that mean that I would have to follow other unix standards (if i don't modify the kernel): i.e. directory structure, file system structure, etc. ?

What about Pay Per Use? i.e. So that I'm not having to reinvent the wheel, I'm looking at using the Linux Kernel in an OS for arcade games (yes, the kind you put your quarters into). Because I'm not selling the OS (nor intent on making any changes to the Kernel) but rather charging people to play the games that will sit on top of the Kernel, would that violate any license agreements?"

Not as far as I know. As I said, there isn't any restriction on charging for goods and services - just think of all the routers and cell phones / tablets out there that use Linux as a base OS. As I said, that if you modify the kernel per se (other than writing device drivers for custom hardware), then you will have to make those changes available (push back to the community, or have some means to download or order them - you can charge for shipping). From what I am hearing you say, however, that will probably not be an issue. So, yes, you can create physical arcade-style games that use a Linux OS and charge as the traffic will bear.

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