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license implications when packaging TrueCrypt

March 6th, 2011 by

I use an encrypted USB stick to carry credentials and data for production servers I look after when I’m on call. One requirement was portability between my work (Windows) and home (GNU/Linux) desktops, so TrueCrypt came to mind. I packaged it all up an applied some patches to fix compiler issues and warnings. The TrueCrypt license, however, is not OSI-approved, and as such the program cannot be built in the openSUSE build service (see blacklist, discussion).

I almost forgot about the whole thing until I upgraded the package for new dependencies in the upcoming release of openSUSE 11.4. I talked with people over at packman, a popular 3rd-party repository for software not included in openSUSE proper for one reason or another. We analysed the license a bit and concluded that if we shipped binaries built from non-pristine sources, the product would have to be re-branded as per the requirements of their license. I am usually pragmatic about these things as long as FLOSS and non-FLOSS licences can be adhered to, but didn’t want to go the route Debian took with Firefox et al.

We contacted the TrueCrypt developers on this issue, we’ll see what comes out of that. Until then, if someone wants to build this package, here is what you need:


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One Response to “license implications when packaging TrueCrypt”

  1. “We contacted the TrueCrypt developers on this issue, we’ll see what comes out of that.”

    Please do, I depend on TC as a backup system, and love that it is a portable solution between different OS’s.