Building hsdis?

Volker Simonis volker.simonis at
Sun Dec 24 12:16:47 UTC 2017

Andrew Haley <aph at> schrieb am So. 24. Dez. 2017 um 09:27:

> On 23/12/17 17:02, Volker Simonis wrote:
> > Andrew Haley <aph at> schrieb am Sa. 23. Dez. 2017 um 12:25:
> >
> >> On 20/12/17 09:54, Volker Simonis wrote:
> >>> Yes, that's exactly the issue. And it was communicated to the OpenJDK
> >>> Governing Board more than two and a half years ago (see my mail
> >>> "Providing 'hsdis' binaries not possible because of GPLv2/GPLv3
> >>> license clash" from May 2015 [1]) and since then reiterated several
> >>> times. I'll plan to raise this issue again at the public GB meeting at
> >>> FOSDEM in February next year - however with very little hope that it
> >>> will be resolved :(
> >>
> >> How can the GB resolve it?  I can't think of anything we can do.
> >
> > The GB obviously can not solve it directly in the same way it can not
> solve
> > the (still existing) inability to push HotSpot changes or to finally
> create
> > a Vulnerability Group.
> >
> > But it can acknowledge the problem and try to put some pressure on Oracle
> > in order to work on and resolve the problem with a higher priority.
> Such as what, exactly?  Please propose something.
> > If a part of the OpenJDK is practically unusable because of licensing
> > issues I consider this inherently unhealthy. From my understanding it is
> > the GB which is responsible to “oversees the structure, operation, and
> > overall health of the OpenJDK”. Who else if not the GB should be
> qualified
> > to work on resolving it?
> >
> > [1]
> The GB can only solve problems which, in principle, can be solved.  I
> know of no reasonable way to solve this one.  There are some extreme
> solutions, such as re-licensing all of HotSpot, but that seems
> disproportionate.

There’a no need for any “extreme” solutions here. We’re speaking about 2
(in words “two”) files (i.e. src/utils/hsdis/hsdis.{c,h}) which are neither
part of the normal build nor part of any OpenJDK distribution. You have to
call the Makefile under src/utils/hsdis/ manually in order to build But this links in a part of the GNU binutils (which has been
relicensed to GPLv3) into the generated shared library. So currently,
everybody who builds hsdis violates the GNU license because he combines
GPLv2 with GPLv3 code.

I simply don’t understand what’s so complicated in relicensing these two
hsdis.{c,h} files to GPLv3? Just to stress it one more time: they are NOT
part of the HotSpot or the JDK. They are just a tool which can be used to
anslyze some HotSpot internals.

We could of course reimplement the hsdis functionality in an independent
project outside of the OpenJDK, but that would be indeed an “extrem”
solution for a trivial problem.

> --
> Andrew Haley
> Java Platform Lead Engineer
> Red Hat UK Ltd. <>
> EAC8 43EB D3EF DB98 CC77 2FAD A5CD 6035 332F A671

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