MySQL stops providing Enterprise source for free

August 9, 2007 by · 9 Comments 

For the past few months I have been providing "Red Hat"-style RPMs of the newest MySQL versions, including the Enterprise-only releases. Unfortunately it looks like that practice is going to come to an end. The developers of MySQL have decided to change the release policy of the Community version and the availability policy of the Enterprise sources.

On the first point, the stable release of MySQL (currently 5.0) will receive "at least 2" binary releases per year and quarterly source releases. It seems that the intention is to release more frequently only if there is a critical flaw to be fixed. In addition, whenever a new GA is released (like the soon-to-be-released 5.1), there will be monthly binary builds until the product reaches suitable stability levels and is deemed "mature".

As to the second point, up until now the source code for the Enterprise releases has been posted on the main MySQL FTP server for anyone to download and compile themselves. Unfortunately (for us), they've now decided decided to restrict the download of the Enterprise sources to paying Enterprise customers, meaning that there will no longer be a free way to upgrade your MySQL install with the monthly bug-fix releases. For those of you about to start screaming that this is a GPL violation, it's not. They're not saying that the project is now closed-source, just that they aren't going to distribute that source to anyone but paying customers.

If something changes I'll start building the releases again as I have been. If not, don't worry, I'll still build new releases every quarter so you can keep your systems up-to-date without having to worry about changing package structures by using the RPMs available directly from MySQL.

Source: Refining MySQL Community Server

Comments

9 Responses to “MySQL stops providing Enterprise source for free”
  1. Well, albeit I am not personally concerned (we have an account with MySQL), but it does seem to be a GPL violation. Source of the changes made to a GPL project have to be (AFAIK) freely available. Obviously most of the enterprise stuff will eventually leak into the community versions, but having a version with extra bug fixes/features without making the source immediately available seems like a violation

  2. Jason says:

    Well, apparently they talked to the FSF and were told that it was OK as long as they provided to the source to any paying customer. The GPL FAQ backs that up. Interestingly enough though, they only have to provide it to paying customers but those paying customers can give it to anyone without charge.

    That said, I would tend to believe that these Enterprise-only releases will leak at least every once in a while so my guess is that I'll be able to create updates more often than once per quarter.

    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DoesTheGPLRequireAvailabilityToPublic

  3. Jacek says:

    Jason, RedHat made available MySQL SRPM for the latest RH Web Application Stack at:
    ftp://ftp.redhat.com/pub/redhat/linux/updates/enterprise/4AS/en/RHWAS/SRPMS/mysql-5.0.44-1.el4s1.1.src.rpm
    It has some new exciting options. I thought you might be interested. All the best, Jacek

  4. Jason says:

    I've never used the Red Hat Application Stack. What changes do they make to MySQL for their release? All I could find in their literature was that they use the "Pro" version of MySQL.

  5. Snorkel says:

    Hi,
    You can always use PostgreSQL, same if not better performance than MySQL 5.x and no weird licensing issues as PostgreSQL uses a BSD license.

  6. Jason says:

    @Snorkel,

    There really isn't much of a point as none of the software I use actually works with PostgreSQL.

  7. Snorkel says:

    Yes, that's a issue that needs to be addresed by the software vendors.
    A lot of software does give the option to use both though, so it's just something to keep in mind. I don't know what software you are using, but it's possible future versions may support PostgreSQL and you could always put a hint in their ears :-)

    Later,

    Snorkel

  8. How to Get Six Pack Fast says:

    Not that I'm totally impressed, but this is a lot more than I expected for when I stumpled upon a link on Digg telling that the info here is quite decent. Thanks.

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