I'm looking for a distribution that uses software that is actually free and allows commercial use too. It can be under MIT, BSD, Public Domain and similar licenses.

closed as unclear what you're asking by G-Man, muru, Jeff Schaller, countermode, Archemar Apr 20 '17 at 14:38

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    Given that the kernel is GPLv2, that’s going to be tough... – Stephen Kitt Apr 19 '17 at 21:30
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    The GPL allows commercial use. – DopeGhoti Apr 19 '17 at 21:34
  • Very true, thanks @DopeGhoti. The tough part is the “without any GPL software” part ;-). – Stephen Kitt Apr 19 '17 at 21:36
  • Commercial use for closed source? – Xis88 Apr 19 '17 at 21:42
  • Is Linux a must-have? Pretty sure the various flavors of BSD are under the BSD license. – DopeGhoti Apr 19 '17 at 21:47

There is no such Linux distribution. Since version 0.95 in March 1992, the Linux kernel has been under the GNU GPL.

Prior to that version, it was not under the GPL, but a different licence that prohibited commercial use, failing your other criterion.

There can thus not be a Linux distribution that does not include GPL software and allows commercial use. There are, however, many BSD-licensed Unix-like systems with their own kernels, including OpenBSD, FreeBSD, and NetBSD. Some of those include Linux syscall compatibility, and are able to run many programs compiled for Linux systems.

  • All BSDs have GNU software in various amounts in the base system. For a GNU-free Unix, you would probably have to look at buying a commercial Unix, or move to Solaris and avoid installing GNU packages. Or, wait a few years until OpenBSD has phased out all GNU components (or help in the effort). – Kusalananda Apr 19 '17 at 22:41
  • Oh, and OpenBSD recently removed Linux compatibility. It was slowing down development and nobody was actually using it. – Kusalananda Apr 19 '17 at 22:45
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    You'd have to delete some stuff, yeah. For an embedded system it should be achievable, I think. – Michael Homer Apr 19 '17 at 22:48
  • gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#GPLCommercially You are allowed to sell copies of the modified program commercially, but only under the terms of the GNU GPL – Ole Tange Apr 20 '17 at 20:38

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