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Re: is it possible to use grub in a commercial application

From: Simon Hobson
Subject: Re: is it possible to use grub in a commercial application
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2014 09:25:27 +0100

jurassic pork <address@hidden> wrote:

> grub is a gpl v2 software , as i understand (may be it is wrong) i can use it 
> in a commercial application only if the application is distributed with all 
> the sources and must become GPL.

No, that's not usually the case - it's one of those "facts" that gets spread 
around (typically by those with an agenda against free and open software).

If you statically link your code with GPL software such that you end up with 
one object, AND you distribute that object, then you need to comply with the 
GPL for the combined object.

But if you are wanting to use Grub, then it will most likely end up as a 
standalone program on your system - and thus you can use it without having to 
make other parts of your system comply with GPL. What you will need to do is 
comply with the GPL for those programs that are under GPL - which means 
providing the required information somewhere in the documentation and "making 
the source available".

This really only means providing a notice that there are GPL programs 
incorporated in the system, with instructions where to find the licence and 
further information. If you use un-modified versions (eg from a standard 
distribution) then I believe you don't even need to provide the source 
yourself, it's sufficient to direct the user to where they can download it. For 
example, Apple use a load of open source software (some of it GPL) in OS X, 
while the system as a whole is not open - they list it at

There's more infor on the GPL here :

IN particular, you probably want these two items :

> The commercial application is for only one client ( not a public application).

That's still "distributing" it - but you are only required to provide any 
sources to the one client to provide the package to.

> i would like to use grub only  in a part of the application to build bootable 
> usb with winpe to install wim customized windows 7 client  image on different 
> types of PC.

AIUI, this is OK.

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