At Tomra we have been happily using log4j as a logging framework for our Java applications, and we now consider using log4cxx for our commercial (closed source) C++ applications. At first glance, that seems ok under the Apache 2 license, but when I inspected the dependencies of log4cxx I found that it depends on the Berkeley DB (libdb4.8) which is licensed under the Sleepycat License. This is a dual license that does not permit use in closed source applications unless we buy a commercial Berkley DB license from Oracle. I was a bit surprised by this finding, since it does not fit well with the permissive Apache 2 license.


I tested log4cxx on Ubuntu 10.4, Debian package liblog4cxx10 version 0.10.0-1.1build1, and looked for dependencies with:

$ ldd /usr/lib/liblog4cxx.so.10

        linux-gate.so.1 =>  (0x00228000)

        libaprutil-1.so.0 => /usr/lib/libaprutil-1.so.0 (0x00a0f000)

        libdb-4.8.so => /usr/lib/libdb-4.8.so (0x00229000)

        libapr-1.so.0 => /usr/lib/libapr-1.so.0 (0x00f5e000)

        libstdc++.so.6 => /usr/lib/libstdc++.so.6 (0x00110000)

        libm.so.6 => /lib/tls/i686/cmov/libm.so.6 (0x00634000)

        libc.so.6 => /lib/tls/i686/cmov/libc.so.6 (0x00a52000)

        libgcc_s.so.1 => /lib/libgcc_s.so.1 (0x004fb000)

        libuuid.so.1 => /lib/libuuid.so.1 (0x00d14000)

        librt.so.1 => /lib/tls/i686/cmov/librt.so.1 (0x00206000)

        libcrypt.so.1 => /lib/tls/i686/cmov/libcrypt.so.1 (0x0038a000)

        libpthread.so.0 => /lib/tls/i686/cmov/libpthread.so.0 (0x009a2000)

        libdl.so.2 => /lib/tls/i686/cmov/libdl.so.2 (0x0020f000)

        libexpat.so.1 => /lib/libexpat.so.1 (0x003bc000)

        /lib/ld-linux.so.2 (0x00fcb000)


I would be pleased if someone could check if I have understood the licensing stuff right.


If I am right, it would be nice if the log4cxx dev. team could either (in preferred order):


1)      Make a release of log4cxx without the Berkeley DB dependency

2)      Add some clarification in the licensing text regarding commercial closed source usage


Best regards,


Johnny Njåstad

Tomra Systems ASA