Jide Releases Enough Source Code For GPL Compliance

January 21, 2016 - Written By Daniel Fuller

Jide’s x86 compatible version of their Android-based Remix OS, based on the Android-x86 project, has been in hot water for source code violations before, has released some of their source code. For the uninitiated, Jide’s RemixOS used bits of open source projects, which obligates them to clearly mark changes they’ve made, credit the original sources and publish these changes under the General Public License, or GPL. The projects in question were open source bootable USB tool Unetbootin, Android-x86 and the core Android kernel itself, which is based on Linux. Although they had worked with the creators of Android-x86 and clearly marked changes, and marked changes in Unetbootin in compliance with the project creator’s rules, they had not published these changes or other source code. This left code from two projects out of compliance and another project left unaddressed entirely.

Despite being forked from open source projects, Remix OS itself was not open source. As such, users requesting the source should have gotten it, but instead were told, “the answer is no. You are not a partner of Jide. Remix OS isn’t open source.” Since Jide had been deep under the hood of Android-x86 and the Android kernel to make the changes that turned it into Remix OS, the likelihood this could have been an honest mistake is rather low. Additionally, source code changes to the core Android kernel weren’t published, nor were changes to Unetbootin, which were fairly minimal. The creator of Unetbootin, , came forward on The Linux Homefront Project’s comments section to declare he was okay with Jide’s actions with his project, but that still left the Android-x86 and core Android kernel bits out of compliance until the recent release.

Remix OS is still, for the time being, not open source. Bits and bobs gleaned from open source projects were, of course, published on Github in order to bring the project into full compliance with applicable licenses, including the GPL and Apache. With these issues resolved, Jide should have no trouble forging on with Remix OS in the future and making their own unique stamp on the open source landscape.