Question on Cygwin User Tool licensing

Chris Faylor
Fri Dec 31 13:28:00 GMT 1999

On Wed, Dec 01, 1999 at 08:25:12AM -0800, Earnie Boyd wrote:
>--- "David M. J. Saslav" <> wrote:
>> I have two questions:
>> Scenario:
>> Company builds and ships a set of Unix command line tools as Unix shell
>> scripts alongside a proprietary server product.
>No problem.
>> Company ports server product to Windows NT and ships that too, but
>> chooses not to convert the Unix shell scripts into .BAT file
>> equivalents.
>No problem.
>> Customers with Win32 shell emulation environments (MKS toolkit or Cygwin
>> user tools) have no problem invoking and using the Unix shell scripts
>> "as is" from NT workstations.
>Good! ;)

Most of the tools like 'ls', 'awk', 'sed', etc. are distributed under the
terms of the GPL.  That means that you must be able to supply your users
with the exact sources that were used to create these tools.  You can't
just post a cygnus URL and say "go there for the sources".

Some of the utilities, like sh, are distributed under the BSD license
which probably won't present an obstacle.

>> Questions:
>> 1) In the case of Cygwin User tools, does this sort of use require
>> purchase or licensing of the Cygwin User tools on the part of the
>> Customers?
>Free net downloads.  Or a purchase of the Version 1 CD allows for multiple
>installs to as many machines as you wish.

NO!  You do *not* have the right to distribute copies of the Cygwin CD
to your customers!

The answer is that if you adhere to the GPL you won't have to worry
about anything.  There is no alternative to this.  You have to comply
with the GPL.

Since you apparently aren't using the cygwin DLL in your proprietary
server, the only thing that you need to worry about is the GPL.  If you
are using the Cygwin DLL in your server, then, your server becomes
DLL'ed too.

If this is unclear, send email to

>CAVEAT EMPTOR: I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.


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