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Abit fends off Linux boycott

Caught driving a distro without a license

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Abit appears to have headed off a boycott of its Linux distro by open source users.

Resentment has been simmering for weeks, when Abit launched its own distro under the Gentus brand. Abit is offering the software as a bundle with its own motherboards, or as a free download. Gentus Linux is basically Red Hat, plus patches for ATA-66 support and IDE software RAID out of the box. The patches are available separately under GPL.

The problem is, Abit has failed to acknowledge the author of these patches and fulfill its GPL obligations, according to critics. Andre Hedrick, the "Linux ATA/IDE guy", has consistently pointed that this amounts to theft.

However for the first time Gentus has acknowledged this as an issue.

"The management are aware of this. And it should all be fixed before the next release," wrote Gentus' Tim Chen on the company's bulletin board. In response, Hedrick says he has sent Abit the latest ATA-100 patches as a gesture of good faith.

Abit isn't the first distributor to find itself rebuked for open source violations - Corel received a mountain of complaints after its beta Linux failed to include source code - but Abit has taken much longer to acknowledge the issue. Concerns were first raised on Gentus' bulletin boards in April. ®

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