MariaDB server is GPLv2. I plan to use it on a server, unmodified, for let's say an online shop. The users would have a GUI and through this GUI they would add products to a cart.

Would this be considered distribution (and trigger the GPLv2 license conditions) or not?

1 Answer 1


As you never distribute the code to anyone else and you never change anything GPLv2 is not triggered by your usage.

  • So the trigger is the source code distribution and not interaction with the user.
    – ossx
    Jul 19, 2017 at 7:12
  • But can we assume in this way that any GPLv2 library that is run on a server will never trigger the license obligations ? (of course with the user not having direct access to the source code)
    – ossx
    Jul 19, 2017 at 7:13
  • Right, the simple usage - no matter about the amount of users - is not part of GPLv2. Part instead is distribution of source-code, this is possible in combination with own code or code from other sources. Latter case is usually done by keeping the licenses of main- and each sub-package but there never exists a (cover-all) license for combined licenses.
    – David
    Jul 19, 2017 at 8:48

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