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Can we charge for a Fedora Remix?

asked 2014-08-01 10:47:36 -0600

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This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >750 is welcome to improve it.

We're creating highly integrated, optimized, tested, benchmarked, and documented distributions for very industry and application specific uses. This will involve a very non-trivial amount of investment on our part. In some cases,all the included tools and libraries will be open source, but in other cases, some 3rd party commercial software will be bundled in it. Our top end packages are based on RHEL, but we want to offer a range of more entry-level lower cost packages using Fedora, especially since Fedora tends to support newer hardware than current RHEL releases.

I've looked for restrictions or approvals about charging for Fedora Remix, and have not found them.

Can someone point me to language either way on this?

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The best place to get reliable, authoritative guidelines for this would be from the Fedora Legal team. You can contact Fedora Legal via their mailing list, https://admin.fedoraproject.org/mailman/listinfo/legal . Any advice you get here, however logical or accurate, should be considered anecdotal and not a formal legal opinion.

randomuser gravatar imagerandomuser ( 2014-08-03 22:39:42 -0600 )edit

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answered 2014-08-02 09:27:14 -0600

NickTux gravatar image

updated 2014-08-05 09:44:57 -0600

The Fedora operating system is licensed under the GPLv2 license. That means you can charge for a remix (please, at a logical fee) but you have to respect the terms of use at GPLv2 license.

Read the Fedora Users license agreement

also the GNU General Public License, version 2

Also, it would be good to read the Forbidden Items and see how Fedora treats them(this is an explanation of why such items cannot be included in Official Fedora release).

As for the name and trademark policies, if you are interested, you can read them here.

Be aware that

Not all Fedora software are under GPL, but other licenses are also not more restrictive in this regard (because AFAIK they will not be considered 'free' license if they are).

You can even include proprietary software in the remix.

You can find more about it at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DoesTheGPLRequireAvailabilityToPublic

Thanks to @hedayat for the addition.

If you have further questions you can send an e-mail at Fedora infrastructure mailing list and ask for more details there.

What is concern me, is the case you will include closed source/commercial software at this remix.

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You can find more about it at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DoesTheGPLRequireAvailabilityToPublic

Not all Fedora software are under GPL, but other licenses are also not more restrictive in this regard (because AFAIK they will not be considered 'free' license if they are).

You can even include proprietary software in the remix.

hedayat gravatar imagehedayat ( 2014-08-02 12:55:48 -0600 )edit

@hedayat, can't you edit my answer and add (or remove) informations, directly ? I ask because I don't remember what karma a user should have in order to do this. But, if you can, please improve the answer. Thanks.

NickTux gravatar imageNickTux ( 2014-08-02 14:33:42 -0600 )edit

@NikTh - I think it is 2000, because I am not able to do it yet. I'm almost the same level karma as @hedayat.

abadrinath gravatar imageabadrinath ( 2014-08-02 22:09:34 -0600 )edit

In summary: you're allowed to do what you want with open source software until you respect the licenses that apply to it. So, yes, you can charge for it. What you need to keep in mind is trademarks, so for example, if you make a remix that isn't approved by the board as an official Fedora spin, you must not use the Fedora trademarks - logos, naming, websites. You must replace the fedora-logos with the generic-logos package for example. Since you're going commercial, you should probably confirm all your queries with Fedora Legal at legal@fedoraproject.org to be safe.

FranciscoD_ gravatar imageFranciscoD_ ( 2014-08-03 03:18:35 -0600 )edit

@NikTh I wonder if I would be able to edit answers with any karma. Because I even cannot edit wiki posts (which IIRC are expected to be editable with any karma > 700). I think it is disabled because of spam mitigation policies. Probably only moderators can edit.

hedayat gravatar imagehedayat ( 2014-08-03 03:35:25 -0600 )edit
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answered 2014-08-01 21:27:57 -0600

abadrinath gravatar image

updated 2014-08-03 22:23:40 -0600

Hello! Welcome to Ask Fedora!

Please see my glossary here and go to the respective paragraph (due to @NikTh :))

  1. Alteratives to Fedora that work well

  2. Remixing Fedora

  3. Security

  4. Stability

  5. Fedora Server Edition 1.0 (experimental)

First of all, if your system is a "production system", if you know what I mean, and it cannot go down in any case, I would recommend not upgrading kernels often on Fedora. This can cause stability issues sometimes. However, in your question, you state that you want a system supporting new hardware. So, I would suggest you get Fedora 20, and upgrade to perhaps a kernel that is stable enough for you. One of the more stable kernels for me was the 3.11, the version which came with Fedora 20. That being said, it is not like Scientific Linux or RHEL or CentOS, because it still crashes sometimes (usually once a month for about 5 minutes). For a production system, that might be a very costly problem. Customers will be very upset. In that case, try CentOS, however, it may not support super-new hardware and gimmicks (such as video camera and fancy audio hardware). A few alternatives that are RH-based are CentOS, as I said, Scientific Linux, as I said before, Oracle Linux (costs money) and RHEL (costs money as well). Out of these, I suggest RHEL for top support and top package support (of course, there will be some pretty old kernels and old packages, but there is a huge variety in there). Then, CentOS and Scientific Linux, because they are a copy of RHEL without the logo and the support ;). Last, there is Oracle Linux, because it is not open-source like CentOS, and doesn't have as great support as RHEL. BTW, the RHEL team just released their seventh version, based on Fedora 19, so you can try that out. It's got a fairly new kernel, compared to RHEL 6.5.

Next, you can make a Fedora remix based on Fedora and call it your own, sort of like what RHEL does. You can include the stable bits of Fedora, slim it down, fix the bugs, whatever you need to do. Then you can call it your own and then sell it for money. That is completely valid and you can do that, considering Fedora is fully open-source. You can compile an relatively new kernel with good stability, fix the bugs, and add in your RHEL packages. Use the Fedora 20 or 19 repos, and then you will be good to go.

Thirdly, if you decide to use Fedora for your industry uses, I recommend some tools to make your system fully secure and stable for the industrial environment. This means that your system has to be bullet-proof against hackers, and it has to be super stable for the actual customers. Here are a bunch of tutorials and guidelines in order to complete this job effectively in Fedora 20 or 19:

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Security_Features?rd=Security/Features

https ... (more)

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The users asks for two things. 1) If they can redistribute Fedora as a remix with closed source software included . 2) If they can charge for this remix. Sorry, because your answer is very detailed, but it does not actually answer the two main questions.

NickTux gravatar imageNickTux ( 2014-08-02 09:17:34 -0600 )edit

Also, I've never heard that LVM hurts stability.

hedayat gravatar imagehedayat ( 2014-08-02 12:47:50 -0600 )edit

@NikTh - right here:

Next, you can make a Fedora remix based on Fedora and call it your own, sort of like what RHEL does. You can include the stable bits of Fedora, slim it down, fix the bugs, whatever you need to do. Then you can call it your own and then sell it for money. That is completely valid and you can do that, considering Fedora is fully open-source. You can compile an relatively new kernel with good stability, fix the bugs, and add in your RHEL packages. Use the Fedora 20 or 19 repos, and then you will be good to go. and @hedayat - sorry, read that from a website, removed.

abadrinath gravatar imageabadrinath ( 2014-08-02 21:00:49 -0600 )edit

Then probably I've lost this part, because your answer it's like a ...book :) You can make this part bold at your answer too, because this is what actually the OP asked for.

NickTux gravatar imageNickTux ( 2014-08-03 14:47:57 -0600 )edit

Fixed and added a glossary :). Thanks!

abadrinath gravatar imageabadrinath ( 2014-08-03 22:25:20 -0600 )edit
0

answered 2014-08-01 15:28:05 -0600

tonioc gravatar image

You should look at CentOS instead of fedora, which is the community-supported distribution based on RHEL , that follows RHEL life-cycle (and thus long-term support), and is more suitable for production environments.

Note: The meaning of "free" in fedora licensing is about freedom not money...

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He is saying that he want to support newer hardware, so this is not exactly the correct answer.

abadrinath gravatar imageabadrinath ( 2014-08-01 20:52:04 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2014-08-01 10:47:36 -0600

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Last updated: Aug 05 '14