[CentOS] I have RHel6. How does that turn into Centos 6?

Fri Apr 29 16:43:14 UTC 2011
Johnny Hughes <johnny at centos.org>

On 04/29/2011 11:17 AM, Paul Johnson wrote:
> The bickering here about Centos 6 has made me wonder what is actually
> legally necessary to re-distribute the RPM files that come with RHel6.
> I am not starting a flame ware, I hope.  I'm just curious about what
> is minimally necessary go from RHel6 to another distribution. I
> suppose we could discuss "Paul Linux 6" instead of Centos, if that
> makes you feel more comfortable. (and not too OT)
> Suppose I dump out all of the SRPM packages and do a global find and
> search to change the characters "RedHat" to "Paul".  What else would I
> have to do?
> Which of the RPM files in RH6 have "proprietary" software in them?
> Those cannot be re-distributed as is? I figure there must be
> something, because I installed the test version of SL6 back in January
> and it locked up in disk recognition, whereas RH6 did not. So the Rhel
> 6 folks know some secrets stuff.
> So, obviously, to create Centos 6, oops, Paul Linux 6,  I have to
> isolate the non-GPL software and then replace it with something
> workable.
> After that, what am I legally required to do?  As far as all of the
> other RPM packages are concerned, couldn't they be redistributed
> exactly as they are, without any modification at all? In Centos-devel,
> it appears to me most of the discussion is about "re-branding", going
> through the packages and changing "RedHat" to "Centos" and swapping
> out icons.
> Is that legally necessary?  In my memory, there was a Linux distro
> called Mandrake and it was exactly the same as RH for i386, except
> they re-compiled with gcc options for i686.  I recall that in many of
> the RPM packages in Mandrake, they did not bother to replace "RedHat"
> with some other name.

This is not the PAUL Linux mailing list.  It is the CentOS mailing list.

The CentOS project will not redistribute files signed by Red Hat, and we
will not sign files that we do not create.  Simple as that.

You also must make a "good faith effort" to not distribute any branding
that makes your version of Linux tell people that it is Red Hat Linux or
Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

That "good faith effort" is required for all packages (GPL or not).

And yes, it is legally necessary make that good faith effort not to
infringe upon someone else's trademarks.

This is specifically called out here:

This PDF file tells you in great detail what you need to do:


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