Linux Kernel Licensing - toward "grep"ability.

A1 | Thu 24 Jan | 1:30 p.m.–2:15 p.m.

Presented by

  • Kate Stewart

    Kate is a Senior Director of Strategic Programs at the Linux Foundation, responsible for the Open Compliance programs including SPDX, FOSSology, OpenChain, and other compliance related efforts. Kate was one of the founders of SPDX, and is currently the specification lead. Since joining The Linux Foundation, she has also launched Real-Time Linux, Zephyr and the CHAOSS Projects.


During the Maintainer Summit in 2017, the guidelines for adding SPDX identifiers to the Linux kernel source files were agreed on, and documented properly a couple of months later. While the Linux Kernel is GPL-2.0-only at the top level, there are lots of other licenses included in the source files. Linux kernel contributors are now able to accurately express the license a file is released under with a single one-line comment that can be "grep"d for, and it satisfies the conditions of using the DCO. This talk will overview the state of licensing information in the Linux kernel, how ambiguous files can be cleaned up, and progress made in 2018 towards the "grep" goal by the community. Linux Australia: YouTube: