for kids educational purpose, I've made a "modified" version of Raspbian for PC. Pratically speaking, I've simply installed and configured some software (mainly minetest and its python api) and taken a backup from USB key. The backup is a .iso file containing original system partition and custom persistence partition. Now I want to distribute my image (at no cost) so kids at home can write it on their usb key and use the learning environment. Since all the pieces are under the (l)gpl license, I'm allowed to freely redistribute it? I have to put the gpl license file somewhere alongside the downloadable image?

Thanks in advance.


1 Answer 1


TL;DR : You don't have to do anything , since you are not doing commercial business.

If your offer is explicitly non-commercial you can simply point people at raspbian.org / raspberrypi.org and say "just use apt-get source to get the source code for packages". No need to host anything yourself , no need to include a written offer for source code. This is the special exception in paragraph 3c) of the GPLv2.

Please note that the proprietary software in official Raspbian images like Mathematica and Oracle JVM is most likely not redistributable. Remove it before creating your own images.

  • Thanks for the clarification. Unfortunately the procedure to get all components working together as I want is fairly complex and the main reason behind the entire work is to ease the environment setup for students, therefore your solution isn't an option for me (but I'll bear it in mind for future)
    – Lannec
    Feb 24, 2017 at 9:55
  • 1
    You misunderstand. As long you don't make money with GPLv2 binaries , there is nothing you have to do. If you do make money (which i doubt , since you said its for educational use only) you have to follow the steps in my sentence before the last in above answer , no excuses.
    – flakeshake
    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:39
  • I'm not convinced. The raspbian image includes licensed version of, say, Java, Minecraft, or Wolfram Alpah which you are not allowed to redistribute. Also, the GPL doesn't discriminate "commercial" or "money making" offerings. Oct 4, 2017 at 15:11
  • The point i was trying to make (probably poorly ..) is that the Exception granted in paragraph 3c) of the GPLv2 is not available to commerical redistributors.
    – flakeshake
    Oct 5, 2017 at 8:01

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