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Veteran Member
Posts: 4,699
Registered: ‎03-12-2011
Kudos: 2304
Solutions: 113

No more SDK?

I got an email stating the SDK is being removed to protect ubnts IP.

I am sorely disappointed that this was the best solution ubnt could come up with, especially considering how long certain features have been on request for and now the chances of hacking missing functionality on have been all but removed.
New Member
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎06-21-2012
Kudos: 2

Re: No more SDK?

 

 

This is really dissapointing. And whats worse is that the bulk of the software isn't even Ubiquity's. They are leveraging openwrt for the bulk of it and didn't even distribute the source for the really interesting bits like their wireless drivers or the polling code. Not to hassle these fine folks, but the GPL does in fact require them to continue distributing the code and their derived works, so it should be interesting to see how this plays out.

 

 

 

New Member
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎01-14-2011
Kudos: 2

Re: No more SDK?

I'd love to know precisely what kind of "abuse" they claim is going on that prompted this.

 

This is going to leaded to a lot of very unhappy meetings where I have to explain to my company that all of the gear we have in place , which we do minor customization of will need to be replaced with another vendor.... ugh

Regular Member
Posts: 431
Registered: ‎05-10-2008
Kudos: 36

Re: No more SDK?

> the GPL does in fact require them to continue distributing the code and their derived works

 

So do anyone have eggs and file a GPL complaint? Cat Tongue

New Member
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎06-21-2012
Kudos: 2

Re: No more SDK?

 

For those who haven't the letter...

 

April 1, 2013
Re: Termination of AirOSTM Software Development Kit Licensing Program
To whom it may concern,
With the global success of the AirOSTM platform, incidents of misuse and misappropriation of
the AirOSTM firmware have increased significantly. Furthermore, it is important for Ubiquiti
Networks to promote compatibility, ensure performance, and improve security of devices
operating under our AirOSTM firmware.
Therefore, in order to improve intellectual property protection and enhance security of our
firmware, as of April 1, 2013, Ubiquiti Networks has terminated its AirOSTM Software
Development Kit (SDK) Licensing Program. All outstanding licenses for the AirOSTM SDK
shall terminate immediately, except as may be set forth in a written agreement signed by both
Ubiquiti Networks and its licensee.
Ubiquiti strives to provide first-in-class support for our customers. We are committed to the
future development of the AirOSTM platform. We will continue to expand and improve the
AirOSTM platform, and release updated AirOSTM firmware for use with our AirMaxTM product
line.
We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.
Very truly yours,
Ubiquiti Networks, Inc.

New Member
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎10-10-2009
Kudos: 5

Re: No more SDK?

Yes, they distribute closed kernel modules without GPL wrapper like nVidia does, so it's a clear GPL violation. Even with a wrapper it would be illegal to distribute the firmware as a whole in the hardware. If some company which needs custom modification invested a lot in Ubiquiti gear, there might be a lot of trouble ahead for Ubiquiti... At least they should accept the need for custom modifications as a reason for RMA.

Emerging Member
Posts: 47
Registered: ‎08-27-2010
Kudos: 4

Re: No more SDK?

Ubiquiti, what do you expect us to do if we have thousands of devices running on 5.3.5 SDK or 5.2.1 SDK and there is a hardware failure?  The newer products (running DC:9F: mac addresses) won't run on the older firmware.  Are you then forcing us to look for a different product?

New Member
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎06-17-2012
Kudos: 6

Re: No more SDK?

Late april fools, anyone? The date on the letter matches....

Fingers crossed....
New Member
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎12-06-2012
Kudos: 1

Re: No more SDK?

Over the last 6 months I requested the sdk and never recieved an answer of any kind so I spent my money with some one else!!!

New Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-10-2013
Kudos: 1

Re: No more SDK?

If this is all true, it a total outrage for all of us that depend of it! I don't care what kind of "incidents of misuse and misappropriation" are happening. If we can't adapt it to be what we need, we will go somewhere else! 

New Member
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-20-2010
Kudos: 3

Re: No more SDK?


8an wrote:

Yes, they distribute closed kernel modules without GPL wrapper like nVidia does, so it's a clear GPL violation. Even with a wrapper it would be illegal to distribute the firmware as a whole in the hardware. If some company which needs custom modification invested a lot in Ubiquiti gear, there might be a lot of trouble ahead for Ubiquiti... At least they should accept the need for custom modifications as a reason for RMA.


Not so sure about that (unfortunately)... it seems like they're still making their GPL archives available, which are esentially the same as the SDK but without the proprietary blobs. So this might fulfill their obligations under GPL, but still prevent customization a la the SDK. Major disappointment either way.

New Member
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎10-10-2009
Kudos: 5

Re: No more SDK?


shaddi wrote:

Not so sure about that (unfortunately)... it seems like they're still making their GPL archives available, which are esentially the same as the SDK but without the proprietary blobs. So this might fulfill their obligations under GPL, but still prevent customization a la the SDK. Major disappointment either way.


That might fullfill their obligations under GPL for the various applications in AirOS, but not for the kernel. When I compared the GPL archive of 5.5.2 with SDK of the same version, the archive didn't even contain the kernel patches they use, there was only original unmodified kernel source.

New Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-03-2008

Re: No more SDK?

Je ne peux apprécier votre incompréhension ni votre manque de coopération devant une décision aussi insensée.  Notre réseau utilise depuis plus de 4 ans vos équipements installé sur un réseau WifiDog.  Il était intéressant que de pouvoir travailler avec ces équipements incluant les programmes tel que Discovery.  Mais voilà que vous vous désistez et qu'en prime, vous ne diffusez pas le code source de ce SDK.  Une honte, un vol !

Recevez mes plus sincères déceptions !

Regular Member
Posts: 452
Registered: ‎01-29-2009
Kudos: 60

Re: No more SDK?

As a (possibly soon to be former) loyal customer, I'm very disappointed, and still hoping it's a bad April fools joke...

The GPL says: "For an executable work, complete source code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to control compilation and installation of the executable." - so no, it's not enough to provide the GPL archive.

And, how does the lack of future SDK improve/enhance security as the letter suggests?  I think it's quite the opposite: the bad guys will find a way to exploit it anyway, and with no SDK we can't fix it ourselves but have to wait for the official release (which may fix some bugs, and introduce others at the same time - no way to get only this specific security fix without pulling in other changes to otherwise tested code base).

New Member
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎01-14-2011
Kudos: 2

Re: No more SDK?

For the interested, I swapped one of my airrouters over to OpenWRT this morning and so far I have to say it rocks.

 

Trivial install, The web gui interface is faster, multi ssid, per port vlan (tagged and untaged), an a ton more options and a boat load more software available at a single command.

 

Assuming this passes some tests on what I need them to do, this will replace AirOS on our gear if the SDK's are no longer going to be available:

 

http://blog.sleeplessbeastie.eu/2012/11/26/openwrt-on-ubiquiti-airrouter/

Member
Posts: 128
Registered: ‎08-09-2010
Kudos: 3
Solutions: 1

Re: No more SDK?

Hi Ubnt Staff,

 

I hope you will have a look into all of our comments about your decision and you are going to reconsider that. SDK package availability, for who wanted to add any useful package for its own needs, has been a very good selling tool for your brand and it helped a lot to gain share in the wifi market. I think you are quite clever  that you can protect your patented tool and feature even go on distributing the SDK as you did in the past. Hoping to see a step back.

 

 

Spoiler
 

 

   

SuperUser
Posts: 9,488
Registered: ‎10-28-2009
Kudos: 2901
Solutions: 227

Re: No more SDK?


GreyFoxx wrote:

For the interested, I swapped one of my airrouters over to OpenWRT this morning and so far I have to say it rocks.

 

Trivial install, The web gui interface is faster, multi ssid, per port vlan (tagged and untaged), an a ton more options and a boat load more software available at a single command.

 

Assuming this passes some tests on what I need them to do, this will replace AirOS on our gear if the SDK's are no longer going to be available:

 

http://blog.sleeplessbeastie.eu/2012/11/26/openwrt-on-ubiquiti-airrouter/


It is, only bad thing is, for most of us, we use their proprietary module (Airmax) which obviously isn't available with OpenWRT.

Tony Pierro
CTO - Wireless Internet Services, Inc.
Highlighted
New Member
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎02-17-2013
Kudos: 14

Re: No more SDK?


shaddi wrote:

Not so sure about that (unfortunately)... it seems like they're still making their GPL archives available, which are esentially the same as the SDK but without the proprietary blobs. So this might fulfill their obligations under GPL, but still prevent customization a la the SDK. Major disappointment either way.



They may have gpl downloads available, but, they are NOT the same kernel used in the actual devices.  The gpl download is configured to build the kernel in target/linux/ubnt, which I believe is included in the sdk, but, not available in the gpl download.  If you build the code from the gpl download, it does NOT include any of the ubiquity patches, and, is a completely different kernel, not even the same linux version.


We have based our decision to move into ubnt hardware for a network upgrade entirely on the open nature of the firmware.  So far our rollout is relatively modest, we have reached 400 nodes replaced in the field, and are on a schedule to do about a hundred a week for at least the next year.  We have developed our own in house management system for the network over the years, all based on our own firmware.  We are replacing G mode hardware running our own firmware, with N mode hardware running firmware with the same management system in place, on our own firmware.


I fired off sdk request a little over a month ago, and never got a response, until I saw the email this morning saying the program is terminated.  The letter implies they are going to move into a direction of preventing use of third party firmware on the devices, which is a complete and total show stopper for us.


I have just sent a note off to our purchasing folks, to put all standing orders for weekly deliveries on hold, pending clarification.  If there are updates in the pipe that'll prevent us from putting our own firmware on the devices, then it's time to start shopping around and find a new vendor.  We chose the ubiquity hardware based on the form factors, not because there is anything special about the radios themselves, but the enclosures are ideal for our deployments.  I've got a hundred different access points here in my lab that we have collected over the years, all running in house developed firmware.  Most of these ap's all work the same from a radio perspective, but, most also have form factor issues for a wide deployment.


Bottom line for me is, there are about a hundred different access points that'll take what amounts to the same firmware load (openwrt ar71xx), so the deciding factor is what works best for our installations, based on form factor.


I have managed this network since it's inception, and our management is based entirely on a large amount of automation which we have built into the system over the years.  My client expects stuff that 'just works', and, I will deliver stuff that 'just works'.  If ubiquity doesn't want our money, then I'm sure there is another vendor that does.  I have a budget to replace 10,000 access points, and it'll be spent over the next 18 months, only question is where.  But the bottom line for us is, if it doesn't have our own firmware on it, it wont be going up on the poles.  That part isn't even up for question, the only part up for question, who makes something we can load, that works for our installations.

New Member
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-20-2010
Kudos: 3

Re: No more SDK?

They may have gpl downloads available, but, they are NOT the same kernel used in the actual devices.  The gpl download is configured to build the kernel in target/linux/ubnt, which I believe is included in the sdk, but, not available in the gpl download.  If you build the code from the gpl download, it does NOT include any of the ubiquity patches, and, is a completely different kernel, not even the same linux version.

 

Right, but they could easily come in to compliance by simply releasing up-to-date kernel sources; they can keep their proprietary software private indefinitely. For me, the interesting part about the SDK was being able to modify and extend the firmware while maintaining compatibility with the proprietary bits -- the driver, the web interface, and the userspace program that tied everything together. The web UI and userspace pieces are separate bits of software that were never released under the GPL (unless maybe they've statically linked them with GPL'd code?), and proprietary kernel modules have historically been a legal grey area for GPL compliance.


All this is to say, I'm really disappointed about this decision but I don't see UBNT being forced to re-release the SDK solely for GPL compliance reasons. I hope someone can demonstrate how this is wrong. And I also hope that UBNT reconsiders this short-sighted decision that hurts many of its users.

SuperUser
Posts: 21,560
Registered: ‎11-20-2011
Kudos: 7580
Solutions: 229

Re: No more SDK?

Looks like Ubiquiti is in the same boat as MikroTik now... since MikroTik has never, to my knowledge, given out it's code either.



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