Feeds

BT's Home Hub runs on Linux

But is it violating GPL?

The next step in data security

BT's wireless broadband router Home Hub may be in breach of the terms of Linux's General Public License, after it emerged the device runs on open source code.

The telco was reported to gpl-violations.org on 5 January.

Under the General Public License companies must publish the code they are using. In its simplest terms, the license says you can use free software as you like, but must credit where it came from and publish improvements you make to it.

BT responded quickly and posted an admission that it was using open source software and made it available to download late last week. However, investigation by the Freedom Taskforce, the part of Free Software Europe which deals with licensing, said BT had not in fact published the complete code.

Freedom Taskforce spokesperson Shane Coughlan told The Register: "It appears to be missing the scripts to control compilation and installation."

Gpl-violations.org is now investigating the telco.

Though he congratulated BT on its prompt action, Coughlan said: "It's great that they've taken this action but companies shouldn't really go to market until they've checked - they would not do so if it contained proprietary software from someone like Microsoft."

Coughlan suggested BT could make a contribution to a relevant open source project.

The other impact of all this, and one that BT is probably keen to avoid, is it opens up BT's home router to rewriting by assorted enthusiastic open source fans.

The posting on gpl-violations is here, and this is the software BT has admitted is in the Hub.

Also check out this blog, which is keeping an eye on the whole thing. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.