[vbox-dev] Permission to redistribute VirtualBox guest additions for MacPorts

Klaus Espenlaub klaus.espenlaub at oracle.com
Wed Apr 4 03:13:40 PDT 2012

Hi Roy,

On 04.04.2012 01:04, Roy Liu wrote:
> Greetings VirtualBox developers,
> I am the maintainer of the MacPorts virtualbox port found here:
> https://trac.macports.org/browser/trunk/dports/emulators/virtualbox/Portfile
> We at MacPorts try to give users the easiest installation possible:
> Getting a fully working VirtualBox should really be as easy as typing
> "sudo port install virtualbox".

I wonder why the port needs to build VirtualBox then - it could just 
fetch the whole Mac OS X package and install it... avoids getting quite 
a few prerequisites and build time. It would make it a lot easier for 
you to deliver the latest version without delays.

> It would be great to have VirtualBox guest additions included as port of
> the installation process, with your consent.  FYI, I am going off this
> Arch Linux thread as an example of proper protocol:
> https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=29433
> If any policies have changed then, I would be happy to work with the
> VirtualBox developer community to make the guest additions a reality.

There have been significant licensing changes since then (in 2007 a 
significant part of the guest additions was not covered by GPLv2, and 
was binary only covered by PUEL). For a while (since 4.0.0) everything 
in the guest additions ISO is covered by GPLv2.

Alexey already pointed out that because of this you don't need to ask 
for permission any more. In fact there's nothing we can do to stop you 
from redistributing the guest additions ISO, as long as you follow the 
rules defined by GPLv2.

> You may also find the proposed patch to include guest additions here:
> https://trac.macports.org/attachment/ticket/32615/virtualbox-guest-additions.diff

The license in this patch isn't up to date any more, and 4.1.8 also 
isn't brand new any more either. Having an up to date VirtualBox build 
helps a lot with avoiding problems...

Additionally it might save you time if you could make the checksum check 
more flexible. Otherwise you have to change the checksums for every 
release we make. Not our problem in the end ;)

Also, VirtualBox contains code to automatically download the guest 
additions ISO if the build doesn't contain them. Is there a particular 
reason for not using this? In my eyes it makes little difference if the 
port install downloads them or the first use triggers the download...


> Thank you for your time and kind regards,
> Roy

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