What Is Linux's Open-Source License?
The Linux trademark belongs to Linus Torvalds. He has placed the Linux
kernel under the GNU General Public License, which basically means
that you may freely copy, change, and distribute it, but you may not
impose any restrictions on further distribution, and you must make the
source code available.
There is a FAQ for the GPL at:
This is not the same as Public Domain. See the Copyright FAQ,
ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/law/copyright, for details.
Full details are in the file COPYING in the Linux kernel sources
(probably in /usr/src/linux on your system).
The licenses of the utilities and programs which come with the
installations vary. Much of the code is from the GNU Project at the
Free Software Foundation, and is also under the GPL.
Note that discussion about the merits or otherwise of the GPL should
be posted to the news group gnu.misc.discuss, and not to the
For legal questions, refer to the answer: ("Where Are Linux Legal