We are developing a Yocto based embedded Linux project, it uses Linux kernel (of course), some MIT libraries, some GPL libraries, and our own commercial applications.

Since the GPL code is used to generate the final yocto image, to be compliant to GPL, I think we need to provide the required source code. Apparently we don't wan't to open our commercial source code.

I'm considering the list of source code:

  1. the Yocto project file (bblayers.conf, local.conf)

  2. the meta files (folder of meta-something), which actually points to our applications.

  3. the source code downloaded and saved in DL_DIR folder during Yocto compiling.

    Yocto document: https://www.yoctoproject.org/docs/2.6/dev-manual/dev-manual.html#maintaining-open-source-license-compliance-during-your-products-lifecycle

Question 1:

I'm not sure if it's necessary to provide files in 1 or 2, because those project file and meta files should be possible for a reasonably skilled user to recreate.

Question 2:

Of course we will not provide our commercial code, but if the commercial code is use to generate the final Yocto image together with GPL code, is it required to provide our commercial code? (Let's say our application does not need GPL code to build its own binary, it's Yocto that build them into a single image)

If so, I'm considering separating our application binary from the base Yocto image: build a totally open source Yocto image and open source it, then install our commercial packages during a separate phase.


--I understand that I'm not asking for legal advice, but engineering's understandings.

  • This isn't an engineering question, but a licensing (legal) one... – vonbrand Aug 7 '19 at 12:30
  • In case of doubt, be nice to recipients and ship source to everything (except your closed stuff). – vonbrand Aug 7 '19 at 12:32

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