dgun writes “I recently sicken together a new PC. When I purchased the motherboard, I noticed that it came with an instant-on OS, a small GNU/Linux distro called Splashtop. I assumed that the OS was on a ROM chip on the motherboard. To my great annoyance, when I tried to boot to this OS, a message said that it was not installed. It turns out that motherboard comes with an install disk for this GNU/Linux OS — that you can only run from Windows, to install Splashtop on the hard drive. First of all, doesn’t installing it on the hard drive defeat the point of having an instant-on OS? If I wanted to dual-boot a small GNU/Linux OS, there are plenty that I could choose from. Second, if distributing GPL’ed software by means that completely preclude it from being used without Windows is not a violation of the GPL, should it not be?”

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