[collectd] New to collectd - About licence of plugins

Mariusz Gronczewski xani666 at gmail.com
Wed Apr 5 12:02:53 CEST 2017


> but I found no other example yet or documentation that this is even possible to release a modified collectd package containing non-free plugins which is restricted.

Not a lawyer but as I understand it you can sell GPL code you modified
but you must provide a source code to whoever you are selling it to
(and only them). So you *could* write GPL plugins and still sell it.
Of course then they can take that code and publish it but that's how
GPL is supposed to work

> As I'm not a lawyer, I query explicit allowance from collectd authors and
> strongly hope it is possible to distribute a plugin with a non-free plugin
> as this would allow me to deploy efficient applications without complex
> pipelining. Of course, non-free licencing would only limit to the plugin and
> would still make me liable of giving source code of collectd parts which are
> covered by free licence.

First, I think you can just use one of the Perl/Python/Exec interfaces
for site/customer specific here, AFAIK there is not licensing problems
with those, at least the exec one, as your code is *basically* just
printing lines of text on STDOUT and collectd is just reading it.

Second, I'd argue that there is a very little value in single plugins
as something to be sold just because how easy it is to make a new one.
We got about 20 of our internal ones and they took anywhere from 5
minutes (take template, get output of this command or that file,
display it) to maybe 2 hours top ("dump every useful varnish stat",
"dump all java GC info" ). So for any company that has developers
that's trivial

What is harder (and probably something someone is willing to pay for)
is gathering filtering, graphing and acting on that data. In our setup
we feed collectd data to riemann->influxdb->grafana pipeline. Creating
a plugin or two is trivial. Setting up infrastructure that ultimately
ends up generating something like this: http://i.imgur.com/ZtGscoQ.png
is way more harder (and beneficial. Having good stats saves SOOO much
time for debugging) and thus easier to monetize.


Mariusz Gronczewski (XANi) <xani666 at gmail.com>
GnuPG: 0xEA8ACE64

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