[PETSC #18705] PETSc and Cygwin License (POSIX layer)

Lisandro Dalcin dalcinl at gmail.com
Thu Dec 4 12:58:42 CST 2008

On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 4:42 PM, Barry Smith <bsmith at mcs.anl.gov> wrote:
>  Make is NOT the problem! (It is just one of several)

Indeed. However, at some time I'll try to make PETSc build with Scons.
But we need to fix configure first.

>  Config/configure.py uses the SHELL constantly for basically everything. Try
> running config/configure.py
> under Windows without using cygwin.

I tried at home to run it with standard Windows's Python and
MinGW+MSYS, but I had no success up to now (however, I have not tried

>> I for one think it should be possible to remove 'make' from the
>> toolchain, leaving us with only win32fe, which we distribute. Thus
>> I think we could abandon cygwin once and for all. I would even be
>> willing to write a \emph{make clone} to accomplish this, even though
>> I am a committed enemy of make (which once TP'ed my house).
>>   Matt
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> From: Barry Smith <bsmith at mcs.anl.gov>
>> Date: Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 12:00 PM
>> Subject: Re: [PETSC #18705] PETSc and Cygwin License (POSIX layer)
>> To: Stefan Benkler <benkler at itis.ethz.ch>
>> Cc: petsc-maint at mcs.anl.gov
>>  Stefan,
>>   Here is my understanding of the situation.
>>   Conjecture: You CAN use an open source compiler (GNU)  to compile
>> proprietary code and then sell
>> the binaries without making the proprietary code GNU licensed so long as
>> you just use the
>> GNU compilers out of the box and don't change their source code and don't
>> include the compliers
>> libraries in your binaries.
>>  IF this is true then you are safe, the Cygwin environment is only used by
>> PETSc to have
>> a system to compile PETSc. None of it is included in the binaries
>> generated.
>>  On the other hand, if my initial conjecture is wrong, then there could be
>> a problem.
>>  Barry
>> We've tried over the years to use Windows "posix" environments to develop
>> a build system
>> for PETSc so we don't need cygwin to build PETSc. Unfortunately their
>> stuff is so "un-unix"
>> like that it just wasn't practical and using developers studio to build
>> PETSc directly is
>> possible but requires some how getting all the PETSc source properly into
>> developers studio
>> and as far as I know the only way to do this is manually through the gui
>> which is very painful;
>> plus if we change something in the Unix build side later we'd need to
>> change it manually
>> on the developers studio side.
>> If the situation has changed and Windows does provide a reasonable way to
>> build large
>> unix codes I'd love to hear about it and use it. We hate cygwin but feel
>> with have no other
>> reasonable option.
>> On Dec 4, 2008, at 3:33 AM, Stefan Benkler wrote:
>> Dear PETSc developers
>> Since a while, I successfully use your fantastic library on Windows. Thank
>> you very much!
>> Lately, I had a discussion about the involved copyrights/licenses with a
>> colleague. The main point was if PETSc requires the POSIX layer of cygwin on
>> Windows (and therefore would need to fulfill cygwin's GPL license).
>> My standpoint was that cygwin is just used to configure and build the
>> library, but only native Windows libraries (using MS or Intel's Windows
>> compiler, MKL) are finally linked to the PETSc libs. However, I have
>> difficulties to proof this claim, which is the reason for this email.
>> Please comment/clarify the licensing on a Windows system.
>> Thanks a lot for your informations.
>> Best regards
>>  Stefan Benkler
>> --
>> What most experimenters take for granted before they begin their
>> experiments is infinitely more interesting than any results to which their
>> experiments lead.
>> -- Norbert Wiener

Lisandro Dalcín
Centro Internacional de Métodos Computacionales en Ingeniería (CIMEC)
Instituto de Desarrollo Tecnológico para la Industria Química (INTEC)
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)
PTLC - Güemes 3450, (3000) Santa Fe, Argentina
Tel/Fax: +54-(0)342-451.1594

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