Bye bye non-free PHP JSON extension

PHP 5.5 rc2 was recently uploaded to Debian unstable by Ondřej Surý. Along side the new PHP version and its features the PHP team has dealt with the JSON extension being non-free because of the “The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil” license (see debian #692613).

php5 (5.5.0~rc1+dfsg-1) experimental; urgency=low

  * Add script to remove non-free JSON module
    (Closes: #692613)
  * Remove php5-json from Provides, since that's no longer true

 -- Ondřej Surý <>  Fri, 17 May 2013 14:41:41 +0200

A package with a DFSG replacement for the JSON extension is waiting in the NEW queue and should be available soon. The new JSON extension was done by Remi Collet (PHP developer and Fedora’s PHP maintainer). Review and patches are welcomed, code is available at . I hope the PHP project will  adopt the solution, after claiming they won’t fix it themselves (see #63520).


Filed under Debian GNU/Linux, PHP

10 responses to “Bye bye non-free PHP JSON extension

  1. Nice cross-distro work 🙂

  2. There is no such thing as immoral PHP code, its either well written or badly written.

  3. Excellent, that solves a nasty bug!

  4. It’s nice to know that if you create a machine that tortures kittens, you can still run Debian on it without getting licensing issues!

  5. Update: The free json extension is already available in Debian with php5-json package. This is the case for unstable since June 2013, and in testing since Aug 2013.

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