Not for long the music played ... or how the OS Elbrus never became free

    A few days ago, some media outlets reported the possibility of free downloading the Elbrus operating system. Links to the distribution was provided only for x86 architectures, but even in this form, this could be a very important milestone in the development of this operating system.

    One of the headlines in the media: OS Elbrus has become free. Download Links
    The developer of the Elbrus line of domestic processors has updated the section on specialized software on its website. Elbrus OS for standard x86 architecture processors was freely available for download. Soon, developers plan to open its source codes.
    Another headline for the same news: The Elbrus operating system can already be downloaded!

    Yes, this could indeed be a very important milestone in the development of the Elbrus OS. It could become, but unfortunately, it has not yet (I hope that the word will be the key word for now )


    How it all ended without starting

    The very day after the publication of the news, the download links stopped working, and the website did not open **. But even when the links to downloading the images were working, the speed ranged from 6.08KB / s to 54.0KB / s , and in the comments to the news there were messages “ boot.x86_64.iso - 3.65 GB file, Opera says what to download “2 days left”

    Finally, the connection was lost on the afternoon of April 4, i.e. about a day after the publication of the news:

    Here are the logs when I tried to download the x64 version of the boot image:
    wget --limit-rate=2500000 -c
    --2019-04-04 14:33:07--
    Распознаётся (
    Подключение к (||:443... соединение установлено.
    HTTP-запрос отправлен. Ожидание ответа... 206 Partial Content
    Длина: 3923822592 (3,7G), 3307703777 (3,1G) осталось [application/octet-stream]
    Сохранение в каталог: ««boot.x86_64.iso»».

    boot.x86_64.iso 17%[++++++++++> ] 648,23M 33,3KB/s in 41m 54s

    2019-04-04 15:30:34 (24,7 KB/s) - Ошибка чтения, позиция 679721193/3923822592 (Выполнено). Продолжение попыток.

    --2019-04-04 15:30:35-- (попытка: 2)
    Подключение к (||:443... ошибка: Нет маршрута до узла.
    Распознаётся (
    Подключение к (||:443... ошибка: Время ожидания соединения истекло.
    Продолжение попыток.
    Currently, the server is unavailable, and all links to downloading images do not work. *

    Please note that the expected download time of the image was more than two days, and the site worked for less than a day ;-)

    Now we can only guess whether the server could not cope with the load (but to eliminate such problems it was possible to publish installation images in the form of a torrent), either it was intended, to declare, to tease, and then say that the server couldn’t bear the load ;-(

    On LOR, they wrote to the LORs that they were distributing the x86 installation image in torrents, but when trying to download it, the torrent client does not find peers.

    cloud / public / pSVn / 55paFywLn
    magnet:? xt = urn: btih: 1ff8a7de0e08ea7bb410 f3a117ec19a4a88004b1 & dn = boot.x86.iso

    I myself also started to download from the x86 image, and also managed to completely load only the first disk. After that, I thought it would be better to download the 64-bit version and started to download both ISO files at once. The idea to upload two images at the same time instead of the second disk turned out to be a mistake. And the x86 image did not download the second disk, and x86_64 no images.

    The total boot progress was:

    boot.x86.iso - 100%
    disk2.x86.iso - 0%
    boot.x86_64.iso - 679721193 out of 3923822592 (17%)
    disk2.x86_64.iso - 706065116 out of 2216939520 (31%)

    We look at what is available

    It’s good that the very first boot.x86.iso file remained, which I managed to download completely. Next, under the spoilers, screenshots of the installation process:

    Installation start
    Start installing Elbrus OS

    Choosing an Installation Image
    Choosing an Elbrus OS installation image

    The result of automatic partitioning of the hard disk
    The result of automatic partitioning of the hard disk into partitions of the Elbrus OS

    Choosing Installation Options
    Choosing options for installing Elbrus OS

    One of the screens of the installation process
    One of the screens of the Elbrus OS installation process

    The installation process itself is skipped.

    GRUB menu when booting Elbrus OS from a hard drive
    GRUB menu when booting the Elbrus OS from the Elbrus OS hard drive

    A couple of screenshots of the Elbrus OS boot process
    Elbrus OS boot process

    Elbrus OS boot process

    Although not the first time, the system was installed and I became a legal user of the Elbrus OS ;-)

    Authorization screen of the Elbrus OS

    Elbrus OS authorization screen

    Versions of individual components:


    What about the source?

    Quotes from the material: OS Elbrus has become free. Download Links
    According to Trushkin, revealing the codes, the company pursues marketing goals related to the promotion of MCST products, and also seeks to expand the community of software developers under the Elbrus OS.
    ICST Marketing Director Konstantin Trushkin, in a conversation with CNews, noted that the source codes for the company's products are not yet available for independent download or by request, but the company intends to open them soon.
    I also wrote a support request to clarify the issue with the source. Here is the response letter:

    This issue is under consideration.

    *********** *****************

    On 04/04/2019 09:41 AM, Ryabikov Alexander wrote:
    > Good afternoon!
    Thank you for the Elbrus OS for x86, which I downloaded from your site
    > Please tell me where and how I can get its source
    > code for viewing and studying?
    >> Regards,
    > Ryabikov Alexander
    Thus, it turns out that the sources of the Elbrus OS are not available, and judging by the disconnected server, it is hardly worth hoping for their appearance in the near future.

    But, as they say, there is a nuance ...

    The foundation of the Elbrus OS distribution is Linux. And as you know, Linux is distributed under the free GPL virus license. Clarification of the virus means that derivative software products, which include the Elbrus OS, must be released under the exact same or compatible license. In other words, a similar license as a virus is transmitted for all derivative software products and this cannot be canceled.

    By itself, a free virus license does not require distributing derivative software for free. Also, mandatory publication of derivative software in the public domain is not required. However, a license requires that legalthe user had the opportunity, upon request, to obtain the source codes of the software used. In this case, the source code for Elbrus OS.

    Previously, there could not have been any questions to the ICST about distributions, and especially their source code, since only legitimate users could raise these questions. A legal user could only become after signing the contract or NDA (with an individual or legal entity). Although such a restriction violated the “spirit” of free software, everything was more or less correct from the point of view of legislation.

    If you violate the NDA or the contract, then you cease to be a legal user, and since you ceased to be a legal user, then you do not have the right to demand any freedom guaranteed by the GPL license.

    But everything changed at the time of publication of the software distribution in the public domain! From this moment, any user has become able to download the distribution kit of Elbrus OS. And after downloading it and installing it, it automatically becomes a legal user, to whom the freedoms of the original GPL license are available:

    • The program can be freely used for any purpose.
    • You can study how the program works and adapt it for your own purposes.
    • You can freely distribute copies of the program
    • You can freely improve the program and publish your improved version.

    Moreover, these freedoms are determined not by the decision of the developer (in our case, the MCST), but by the very fact of using the GPL license of the source distribution.

    I want to especially note that these freedoms apply to all users who have downloaded and installed the Elbrus OS. That is, any user has the right to get the source code of the used version of the software. And this right does not stem from the desire of the MCST (we want to open it, but we want not), but from the property of the original GPL of the Linux license, on the basis of which the Elbrus OS was developed.

    I sincerely hope that the decision to increase the attractiveness of the Elbrus OS by creating a community was serious and informed. And the MCST company will not “pedal back”, will be able to follow this path to the end and publish the source code of the software, as required by the GPL.

    Indeed, in addition to serious reputational risks, it’s possible that someone will try to test the strength of the Russian judicial system by requiring, as a legitimate user of the Elbrus OS, the forced source opening, thereby creating a judicial precedent and testing the GPL for licenses in realities Russian legislation.

    Sentry, everything was lost or what to do ICST?

    In connection with the publication of freely available distributions of OS Elbrus, a very interesting situation has developed. I see the following possible options for further actions:

    1. If the decision to publish the distributions was not an individual's mistake (and judging by the available publications, this decision was conscious), then you need to go to the end and publish the sources, as required by the GPL. Moreover, this needs to be done promptly so as not to form a negative sediment in the potential community, for the sake of which everything was started.

    In addition to this, you can still determine the rules for using the Elbrus trademark so that there are no abuses, primarily from legal entities, when trying to commercialize the situation in their own interests. Moreover, such a restriction will not affect ordinary users.

    2. You can pretend that the decision to publish installation images was a mistake. To publicly declare this (possibly with the appointment of perpetrators), and thereby try to give the existing installation images the status of unlicensed copies.

    Theoretically, such a solution is possible, but it is difficult to say what will happen to the reputation of the ICST and its attempt to form a loyal community around the Elbrus OS. And it’s not a fact that they will be able to get rid of existing copies (for example, I’m not going to delete mine).

    3. The most negative option for the development of further events, as it seems to me, will be to leave everything as it is at the moment (there are ISO images for installation), but refuse to publish the sources as required by the GPL or try to transfer them under the NDA.

    Not only will this be a direct violation of the GPL license, which will negatively set the potential community against itself, but it will also create certain legal risks if such a decision is challenged in court.

    What will I do?

    For some time I was thinking whether to write this final part of the article. And in the end, he came to the conclusion that he was probably worth it, including in order to answer possible questions in advance.

    So, since I became a legal user of the Elbrus OS, I have all the rights guaranteed by the GPL license. But in view of the prevailing certain uncertainty, for the time being (for several days) I will refrain from publishing installation images so that the ICST will understand the current situation and decide on its further actions. After that, most likely, I exercise my right to distribute copies of the Elbrus OS to help build a community, as was originally planned by the ICST ;-)


    Stay tuned, as I will supplement the article as new information becomes available.


    It’s good that there was enough karma to publish the material.

    UPDATE 1

    For publication in the hub "Legislation in IT", there was still not enough karma (already enough).

    *) UPDATE 2

    As written in the comments:
    They just realized that there were too many people who wanted to download, and they clog their channel, and they uploaded everything to Yandex disk.

    Here are the links:
    - for x86_64,

    - for x86,

    **) UPDATE 3

    Website on the evening of April 8 has already earned.

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