I am looking at the exception to the GPL v2. The exception is "classpath exception" and "GPL linking exception".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPL_linking_exception also has a classpath exception.

Does "classpath exception" and "GPL linking exception" have the same meaning?

1 Answer 1


I am not a lawyer, but I my understanding is that "GPL linking exception" refers to any linking exception applied to a GPL license by its owner. Such exceptions allow the module to be linked and distributed with other non-GPL modules.

The Classpath exception is one instance of linking exception, granted by the GNU Classpath project. Other projects, like the GCC runtime, also include custom linking exceptions.

GPL v3 standardizes the exceptions under section 7.

So, briefly, the Classpath exception is one instance of GPL linking exception.

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