FreeRadius licensing and distribution

Peter Nixon listuser at
Sat Feb 24 14:27:37 CET 2007

On Sat 24 Feb 2007 04:03, Frank Cusack wrote:
> On February 23, 2007 9:46:21 AM +0100 Alan DeKok
> <aland at> wrote:
> > devquest at wrote:
> >> (*) Can this be legally done?
> >
> >   There are restrictions, but yes.  The module MUST be licensed under
> > the GPL, as it is a derivative work of FreeRADIUS.  At that point, you
> > might as well submit the module to us for inclusion in the main release.
> Is a FR module a derivative work or just a "user" of FR in the sense
> that FR is a framework for such modules?
> >> (*) If the above rlm_ module depends on some external SDKs
> >> (unrelated to FreeRadius) and its source is contributed to
> >> FreeRadius, does the source to the SDK need to be contributed as
> >> well?
> >
> >   Not necessarily.  For example, the FreeRADIUS modules depend on libc,
> > which is proprietary in many OS's.  If the libraries needed by a module
> > are normally part of the OS, then the source does not have to be
> > contributed back.  If, however, the libraries are not part of the OS,
> > but are part of the application you're selling along with FreeRADIUS,
> > then you have a choice:
> >
> >   a) distribute the source to the libraries, too.  Likely under the GPL
> >   b) do not distribute FreeRADIUS or the module you're adding.
> c) be sole copyright holder of the new module and don't worry about
> the libraries.
> FR links to openssl, I don't hear anyone complaining.

OpenSSL is distributed as part of the operating system for almost all 
platforms that freeradius builds on...


Peter Nixon
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