I am confused about how compiled executables are licensed vs the source code that built it. I'm in the situation where I am creating a Docker image of my application. My application itself and the Dockerfile that creates the image I have licensed using MIT (and the source code is freely available). But what about the compiled image?

Once the Docker image is created (and hosted on dockerhub for example), it contains a lot of GPL binaries like the Linux Kernel and Bash. Does that mean that the resulting image is GPL? And then wouldnt it follow that all Docker images or virtual images or Linux CDs/DVDs would have to be GPL? Or am I reading the GPL incorrectly. Does this come down to differentiating between bundling and linking?

My goal is to keep my project MIT licensed, not GPL.

  • Thanks. Yes, I agree this is a dupe. I meant to close it earlier.
    – Jono
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 19:13


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