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Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2014 21:09:29 -0700
From: Greg KH <>
Cc: Solar Designer <>,
	VMware Security Response Center <>,
	Monty Ijzerman <>
Subject: Re: Request for linux-distros subscription

On Wed, Jun 04, 2014 at 12:33:13PM -0700, Ramon de C Valle wrote:
> Hi Alexander,
> > On Tue, Jun 03, 2014 at 01:16:47PM -0700, Ramon de C Valle wrote:
> > > I can attest that Monty is my colleague and the Manager of VMware Security
> > > Response Center. As a former colleague of you (Kurt) and also former
> > > linux-distros subscriber, I would like to ask for your consideration for
> > > subscribing Monty (or myself) to linux-distros on behalf of VMware.
> > > Although ESXi isn't a Linux distribution, it implements Linux-compatible
> > > system calls and provides a GNU/Linux -like ecosystem that allows many
> > > applications that are compiled on/for Linux operating systems to run
> > > seamlessly. This ecosystem includes OSS that should be supported in timely
> > > fashion pretty much like like any other Linux distribution on the list. It
> > > also implements a Linux kernel module interface and uses many Linux device
> > > drivers and kernel modules that also should be supported. In addition,
> > > ESXi is the base layer that many of the Linux distributions on the list
> > > rely upon and run atop of in many datacenters around the world.
> > 
> > Thank you, Ramon.  This is pretty good rationale, but I feel that
> > getting VMware onto linux-distros for the reasons given above would be a
> > (possibly desirable) change in who the list is for.  So far, it's been
> > for Linux distros, and I deliberately chose the linux-distros name for
> > it.  Now a non-Linux-distro wants to be specifically on linux-distros
> > (not just on distros), and be exposed to Linux-specific vulnerability
> > details (albeit for good reasons).  I'd appreciate comments by others
> > active in this community.
> I'm afraid I can't comment on Greg's comments due to my lack of legal
> understanding. However, in addition to the reasons explained above and
> also Alan's comments (which, IMO, also add to our reasons), I'd also
> appreciate comments by others active in this community and would be
> happy to answer any questions anyone might have.

Ok, let's keep this on a purely community basis, no legal issues
involved (to quell the tide of private emails about this as well.)

Your company takes the Linux kernel drivers (a large majority of the
Linux kernel source tree) and builds a product around it, while refusing
to contribute back to those drivers.  What you are doing has been
explicitly stated as something you should not be doing by a number of
community members.  Somehow you feel that your tiny "core" of a custom
kernel is more important than the larger body of community work you are
relying on in order for that core to work properly.

Because of this reliance on that large body of code, you are now asking
to be notified ahead of time about vulnerabilities in that code base by
the same community members you are ignoring in the first place.

Does that seem like a fair thing to be asking for?

To me it does not, but feel free to persuade me otherwise.


greg k-h

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