GRUB is the bootloader of choice for many Linux distributions and it’s now set to get new ZFS filesystem capabilities.
ZFS is being integrated into the mainline of GRUB, for a number of reasons — not the least of which is the simple fact that the GPL enables the GRUB maintainers to do so – with or without Oracle’s help.
“The ZFS code that has been imported into GRUB derives from the OpenSolaris version of GRUB Legacy,” GRUB developer Robert Millan
wrote on a mailing list posting. “On one hand, this code was released to the public under the terms of the GNU GPL. On the other, binary releases of Solaris included this modified GRUB, and as a result Oracle/Sun is bound by the GPL.”
That’s right, OpenSolaris may be dead, but that doesn’t mean that forks like Illumos or others that want to use ZFS in an open source distribution (and its bootloader) are out of luck.
I suspect that Oracle could exercise the same pressures they have on Hudson and OOo and claim an issue with the use of the name ZFS (if it’s a trademarked/copyrighted term), but the tech is open source and the GNU GRUB project is going to leverage the license to use ZFS.
That’s what open source is all about after all right? Software freedom.