the brief

I want to do "open source" project.

In my mind, I would like to :

  • that the code has always the same license even if it is redistributed or sold etc...
  • that the authors and contributors are cited even if it is redistributed or sold etc...

I have been browsing this site to think about what license to use in my projects.

Historically, I did all my code under the MIT license. While browsing the site, I saw the "GNU GPLv3" license and the internet variant "GNU AGPLv3". I also saw the "Mozilla Public License 2.0" license, which just seems to add a trademark rule.

I read that the GPL3 license requires that any modification have documentation. I found this rule pretty useful, especially for future pullrequest or contributions.

I also read that the GPL3 and AGPL3 license requires that the source code should be distributed to the user.

the project

Right now I'm working on a plugin for KDE plasma desktop environment.

And in this situation, I use their (Plasma KDE) library and package and Qt/QtQuick library and package, in the form of import, like import QtQuick.Controls 2.15 or import org.kde.plasma.plasmoid 2.0 and I distribute my code via github and pling (par of opendesktop.org).

the question

  • Is the AGPL3 license good for my project?
  • Under the GPL3/AGPL3 license, is the fact of putting my code on GitHub in public enough to fill the request of distribution of the source code?
  • Do I have to give the licenses of the used packages somewhere (Qt, QtQuick, plasma)?
  • What happens if someone wants to contribute to my project? Do I have anything to do if they do (an obligation)?
  • 4
    AGPL is normally meant for interactive apps that run on the Web (the license actually says "network server", though). Is your "plugin" intended to run on the Web or over a network? The way I understand it, a KDE plasma desktop app normally runs on in a Desktop environment, so it's not usually a Web application or "running over" a network as I understand it.
    – Brandin
    Commented Nov 21, 2022 at 13:54
  • 1
    Yes it is not executed on the web, it is loaded in the desktop environment, but it performs operations via the network (checking for available updates for example)
    – Hadock
    Commented Nov 21, 2022 at 15:14
  • GPL is a very popular one. AGPL is usually only used if there is a reason to use it, but you can also use AGPL "just because", if you like - when the program is used on the desktop there's no big difference. IMO it wouldn't be terrible if all GPL software was actually AGPL Commented Jun 26, 2023 at 17:53

1 Answer 1


GNU GPL v3 is best for your case.

AGPL is often used for backend applications, databases, and other similar server-side software.

Qt is licensed mainly under the LGPL; some parts are under the GPL (you can check here)

I'm not familiar with KDE licensing (I know they use LGPL, GPL, and other similar licenses), but it should be compatible.

This is not legal advice.

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