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Old 08-10-2010, 09:44 PM   #1
billingd
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Posts: 42
Karma: 8616
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: Kobo
Kobo runs linux and busybox

A week later: Apologies for the tone of this post. It was ill-considered and rude. I did change the title on the message shortly after I posted, but this didn't update the original thread title. Thanks to the moderator who fixed it. I have avoided saying anything else for a week so things can die a natural death. I'd just add that the responses were measured and well deserved. billingd 2010-08-17

Borders Australia have released an SD card firmware (1.4) image links for AU/NZ

A quick analysis shows that it contains runs linux - which we already knew - and ships with a busybox binary that contains a GPL V2 licence string. I have raised the small matter of the source code with Borders Australia. I wait with baited breath for not much to happen.

US readers may have more joy as there are a number of court cases active there. See groklaw for a discussion.

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For the technically inclined, download bordersau-full-1_4.tgz. Download size is 123 MB.

As the .tgz suffix implies, it is a gzipped tar file. This is a standard unix thing. There are many Windows utilities that will open it, including 7-zip.

The file has been tarred, then compressed twice with gzip. A more descriptive name would be bordersau-full-1_4.tar.gz.gz

I have generated a list of files and posted it on the other thread.

$ gunzip bordersau-full-1_4.tgz
$ tar tzf bordersau-full-1_4.tar > bordersau-full-1_4.txt

Given the file structure and presence of busybox, it is almost certain that the KOBO runs linux and used GPLed code.

If we look at the busybox binary:
$tar --strip-components=2 -xzf bordersau-full-1_4.tar ./bin/busybox
$strings busybox

we see:
Copyright (C) 1998-2006
Erik Andersen, Rob Landley, and others.
Licensed under GPLv2.

Oh dear.

Last edited by billingd; 08-17-2010 at 12:01 AM. Reason: Add apology
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