I found Automotive Grade Linux , which is an open-source project based on Linux for automotive applications. This (German) news article says that you have to pay money to be a member of AGL. However, I can't find out the licence of the project and what it means to be a member: Do you need to be a member to use the code legally? Is this membership only required for commercial usage, so mainly for car manufacturers?

A docs repo was published under the Apache 2.0 Licence. However, it may only cover the documentation, is from 2016 and read-only. So I'd like to find official, recent information about the current licence state of the AGL project.

I had a look on multiple pages on their site, like the getting started guide for example, without being able to find the exact information about this topic.

This doesn't refer to general licencing information about Linux and other OS projects. I mean this specific to this project in the direction of: When I want to use AGL, what are the conditions and (if applicable) restrictions?

  • 2
    You don't have to be a member to use AGL. It's not like you have to join the Python Software Foundation to use Python. Aug 15, 2021 at 19:19

3 Answers 3


Different components of AGL have different licenses though all the ones I saw when browsing their git repository are open source.

From one of the links you posted their git repo can be accessed at:


The home page lists all available modules/components. Each component is it's own git repo. As per standard practice in open source projects each component's codebase has a LICENSE file in addition to a README file that describes the license the code is under.

Clicking around I found that you can view the files in each project by clicking on the "tree" tab.

For example, the example phone app built with AGL is licensed under the Apache license: https://git.automotivelinux.org/apps/phone/tree/LICENSE

Apache License

Version 2.0, January 2004



Similarly the sound manager and the window manager also appear to be under Apache license:

https://git.automotivelinux.org/staging/qlibsoundmanager/tree/LICENSE https://git.automotivelinux.org/staging/qlibwindowmanager/tree/LICENSE

You'll have to browse all the components individually to find out under what license they are distributed.


In general, a Linux distribution does not have a single license, as it is an aggregation of various separate components. While I haven't looked at ASL specifically, taking some pretty common components across any Linux distribution:

  • The kernel itself is licensed under GPL v2 only.
  • The core utilities are under GPL v3 or any later version.
  • Python is under the PSF License Agreement.
  • Nginx is under the 2 clause BSD license.
  • etc, etc, etc

Some distributions may then add things which are free-as-in-beer but available only in binary form, and some may add things which are not free-as-in-speech or free-as-in-beer and you have to pay for.

This means that there is no single set of conditions you have to obey when using AGL. If you distribute AGL to a third party, you have to individually obey the conditions on each component - for example, you would have to make the full source to the kernel available on request, but for nginx all you would have to do is to provide a copy of the 2 clause BSD license with appropriate copyright statement; for any non-free components, that's an issue for you and your lawyers to work out.

  • Maybe it was a bit misleading because of the singular, I know that there can be multiple licences. So this sadly doesn't really answer my question because the last paragraph is what I'd like to know regarding to ASL. Or in other word: When I'd like to use ASL, what are the conditions?
    – Lion
    Aug 14, 2021 at 22:41
  • 3
    If you're asking about the conditions on using non-free software, that is off-topic for Open Source Stack Exchange. Aug 14, 2021 at 23:32

I found this:

Anyone is free to access and use the deliverables of the project, and everyone is invited to contribute back to the project.

This statement is found on the Join - Automotive Grade Linux page of the AGL's website.

This is not a formal license; as @slebetman says, you'd have to review the LICENSE file in each repository to have legal coverage. However, as a statement of intent for the AGL organization as a whole, I think it answers your question.

I conclude that being a Member of AGL provides a company with other benefits. Perhaps being able to approve contributions to existing code, or to start new app projects for the distribution.

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