Open Source Philosophy

At Cesanta we believe in free open source software for a reason. As developers, we appreciate easy access to code and seamless integration. It’s great to be able to play around with the software before financially committing to it. Also, if you are working on a non-commercial project, it’s good not to have to pay anything out.


Embedded software and the Internet of Things are at the forefront of technology. In our opinion IoT open source should be a standard expectation, so that as many developers as possible can learn, integrate and make devices better.


We are committed to this philosophy, and as part of the wider developer community, will stick with this.


As we continue to grow, we do have to be sure that as a business we make a return on investment. To make both sides of the coin stick,  we have decided to adapt GPLv2 licensing to our products.


It’s quite simple really, if you are working on a non-commercial product or while you are developing a prototype, you can continue to use Cesanta’s software free of charge under GPLv2 license. Once your project is available to the end user and/or commercially, you have to decide between two options:

  1. Purchase a commercial license

  2. Open your end source code fully and continue to use it under GPLv2 licensing

These terms are baked into our source code and we’d be happy to run through these with you also. Contact us .

The two most common open source questions: 


How will license incompatibilities affect me? 

When you grab components from different sources and are not aware of license restrictions, it can turn out that licenses are not compatible and components you choose cannot be used in a single product. To make sure your work is not wasted, check the licensing of each solution you choose.


Can't I just continue to use the software and not share the fact that it's being used commercially? 

Tough question...because, of course, you could not share the information. But there are consequences. For one, legal ramifications once it is discovered. But the more serious one is that it stunts the growth for developers like us. Commercial licenses allows us to work on fixes, upgrades and new products. It is how we finance our business and ultimately how we are able to provide you with great software to integrate into your products.
Have a read of this article to find out more about the pros and cons of free vs. commercial licensing.


Our commitment to you is that we will continue to make our software available on an open source basis and should you ever have a query around compliance, come speak to us and we’ll give you the advice you need.


Contact Us
Have questions about Cesanta, our licensing, support services or anything else? Let us know and we'll get back to you.