Towards a software license change

Dear RIOT developers and users,

we are currently evaluating the advantages and drawbacks of various software licenses for RIOT.

The goal is to favor maximum OS adoption (including industrial use), while retaining the advantages of open source and community-based development.

After the long discussions we had on the subject (both with people outside and inside the RIOT community, with potential industrial partners, with simple users and with software license specialists) we reached the conclusion that we should contemplate migrating towards LGPLv2. For details on this license see or

In a nutshell, the main difference from GPLv3 (the current license for RIOT code) are that:

  • it would make it possible to link proprietary applications to the core RIOT, without releasing the application source code,
  • it would not contain patent-related text that many industry lawyers can’t deal with.

There are many examples of very successful community software projects that use LGPLv2, including for instance VLC, GNU C Library, or Git, as well as industrial products, such as for example Panasonic LCD HDTV.

We would like to know if there are strong arguments about relicensing RIOT as LGPLv2.

If you have an opinion about this, positive or negative, please let us know your arguments so that we can discuss this together, and make the right decision together, as a community.