I'm a system administrator in our company. I have purchased some HP servers.

I asked my local vendor to install CentOS on them using original images.

When I went to server room today to install them, I saw some strange label

example (rendered from <code>/etc/glat/coa.svg</code> file)

on every new server.

In addition, program glat-client was installed. After uploading this label, it started spamming the following message every hour:

This copy of GNU/Linux is not activated. You may be a victim of software counterfeiting. See ...... for details.

What does this label mean?


GNU/Linux Activation Technologies (GLAT) “license keys” are practical joke (arguably taken too far)

Based on the Linux Genuine Advantage parody of the similar Microsoft programme http://www.linuxgenuineadvantage.org/faq/ somebody actually set up a key server and printed stickers that allows them to instruct ignorant / gullible users that for using Linux distributions that anybody can download and use free of charge they need to enter a license code (and possibly pay)

  • Is it really a joke? It was labeled as a joke on notabug.org, but they moved it to GitHub and said such labeling is a "defacement". – user549189 Nov 19 '19 at 19:47
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    So it looks like scam, not joke. – user549189 Nov 19 '19 at 19:51
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    I would simply do what you were already going to do anyway - simply install the systems (with the linux distribution / OS of your choice) and ignore that license sticker similar to how you would ignore a sticker with a Windows activation key – HermanB Nov 19 '19 at 20:01
  • CentOS is already installed but there is some program glat-client which does nothing useful. It says my GNU/Linux copy is "not activated" every hour on a server which I used as an example. I'm sure they blacklisted my product key for "leaking" it. – user549189 Nov 20 '19 at 17:31
  • @DarrenP.Quinn the system installed is clwarly not clean. Wipe everything. Install Linux – Josef says Reinstate Monica Nov 20 '19 at 20:12

It's a joke, mostly.

The github link brings up glat-client, which in turn links to http://www.linuxgenuineadvantage.org/

From http://www.linuxgenuineadvantage.org/faq/:

Q: Is this for real?

A: It's for real in the sense that the code actually makes your computer less useful. Although there is an actual license server, it doesn't do anything except return "FAIL", making any computers running Linux Genuine Advantage disable logins after the grace period expires. Incidentally, this is similar to what has happened with some other systems, such as Circuit City's DIVX system after they decided it was no longer profitable, even before they went out of business.

If those servers come preinstalled with the OS, I'd double check that they don't have glat-client installed on them. Otherwise you can just ignore the sticker.

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    Oops. glat-client is installed. – user549189 Nov 19 '19 at 19:43
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    @DarrenP.Quinn where did you get these servers from? This is quite concerning! – vikarjramun Nov 20 '19 at 3:24
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    @DarrenP.Quinn in that case, uninstall it. Or better yet, do a fresh clean install. If someone put that on it, who knows what else they might have installed! – Baldrickk Nov 20 '19 at 14:19
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    @DarrenP.Quinn. How do you know they verified the images? – Mad Physicist Nov 20 '19 at 19:26
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    Also, if all they were supposed to do was to obtain the images from CentOS directly and just flash them on, I suggest you do it yourself next time. – Mad Physicist Nov 20 '19 at 19:27