I'm distributing a device (ARMv8 server) which runs GNU GPL licensed software. I've changed this software so that it is able to load any plugin in the form of *.so file. I've open-sourced this feature and it is under GPL. I'm planning to distribute closed source shared library. This library will be loaded by GNU GPL thanks to a feature that I've added.

I'm wondering if I'm actually violating GNU GPL here?

GPL binary <---loads---> Closed-Source-Lib

1 Answer 1


Distributing the GPL binary linked to the closed-source lib will be a license violation. See FAQ.

However it depends a bit on circumstance. If the library can be used on its own or with another software, thus independent of the GPL binary and is distributed separately so that the user combines the work: likely fine. It is also fine if it is merely an aggregate work, thus if you distribute a GPL-licensed OS, it is of course allowed to run proprietary software on it.

If the library is only usable as a plug-in of the GPL binary, or if they share data and memory, or if they are distributed as a functional unit: then it is a violation of the GPL as by the FAQ.

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