We reported the other day that Debian developer Petter Reinholdtsen informed the community about the implementation of ZFS filesystem support in the Debian GNU/Linux operating system.

While the Debian community welcomed the native ZFS for Linux implementation in the acclaimed and widely-used GNU/Linux operating system, some were wondering how this stands from a legal point of view, as the license under which the ZFS for Linux project is distributed does not comply with the Debian Free Software Guidelines.

Earlier today, May 15, 2016, we were contacted by Donald Norwood of the Debian Publicity Team, who informs us of the fact that the ZFS for Linux implementation is not available for installation from the “main” software repositories of Debian GNU/Linux, as we stated in our previous report, but from the “contrib” ones.

“ZFS is available in the /contrib/ part of the archive and not /main/ of the archive. The reasoning being that the current ZFS license does not comply with the Debian Free Software Guidelines. As such users could download the source code and compile against binaries themselves if they so chose,” said  Donald Norwood, Debian Publicity Team.

ZFS support in Debian shouldn’t be compared with what Ubuntu is shipping

On the other hand, it appears that some people mistook the ZFS for Linux implementation in Debian GNU/Linux with the one shipped by Canonical in the recently released Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), which, according to Software Freedom Conservancy, it violates the GPL license.

However, it looks like Debian’s ZFS for Linux package contains some patches from Ubuntu. If you want to try ZFS on your Debian GNU/Linux operating system, you’ll need to download the latest zfs-linux package from the contrib repositories, along with DKMS. More details about ZFS in Debian should be available here.

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