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I recently studied the FreeBSD operating system development [https://freebsd.org/news/status/report-2020-10-2020-12/ report] for the fourth quarter of 2020, which reminded me GPL-licensed components continue being removed from the FreeBSD base system. During the reporting period, the GDB debugger was removed and, a little earlier, so was the GCC compiler suite. These are a couple of the most striking examples of the whole bunch. In this article, I would like to tell you why this removal is happening. Whether you are a FreeBSD user or not, I believe that a clear understanding of the challenges faced by the developers of one of the largest software development projects is very important for you, especially, if you are also a developer. It’s just interesting, after all.
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I recently studied the FreeBSD operating system development [https://freebsd.org/news/status/report-2020-10-2020-12/ report] for the fourth quarter of 2020, which reminded me GPL-licensed components continue being removed from the FreeBSD base system. During the reporting period, the GDB debugger was removed and, a little earlier, so was the GCC compiler suite. These are a couple of the most striking examples of the whole bunch. In this article, I would like to tell you why this removal is happening. Whether you are a FreeBSD user or not, I believe that a clear understanding of the challenges faced by the developers of one of the largest software development projects is very important for you, especially if you are also a developer. It’s just interesting, after all.
 
So, to answer the question of why FreeBSD developers clean the base systems of components distributed under the GPL, you need to understand:
 
So, to answer the question of why FreeBSD developers clean the base systems of components distributed under the GPL, you need to understand:
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