cygwin licensing question

Brian Inglis
Wed Feb 26 21:04:00 GMT 2020

On 2020-02-26 09:37, MrPmghost . wrote:
> I am Pierre Meignen, software developer working for a belgium company.
> I have a question regarding cygwin and its use.
> Is it allowed/legal to integrate cygwin installer (2.11.1(0.329/5/3)) into
> the installer of an application that we plan to distribute commercially?
> I have checked the past cygwin posts but I did not see any clear answer to
> my question.
> I know how to handle source code in LGPL but I have difficulty to
> understand what I can do with cygwin (LGPL) but which also contains tools
> covered by the GNU GPL and so on.
> We have customized cygwin installer in order to install locally the
> necessary packages.
> Once in its execution, our application launches cygwin.bat and launch
> commands to upload embedded systems.
> We do not link towards cygwin.dll.

> We currently use the application internally but we plan to distribute it
> commerically in the future.
> Thanks in advance for your support/feedback,

[Disclaimer: I am not any kind of lawyer or project lead just another volunteer]

Cygwin is not a formal organization and has no officers or lawyers, at best
volunteer project co-leads and maintainers with commit privileges to primary
source repositories.

Cygwin is an online project which has volunteers around the world
collaboratively maintaining a collection of packages archived and distributed on
third party donated and supported domain names and infrastructure.

Copyright and licence compliance is your responsibility if you download any
binaries or sources. As you are based in Belgium in the EU you also have to
comply with Belgian and EU law which may have stricter copyright and licensing
compliance requirements.

Each package comes with its own licensing terms, including cygwin (cygwin1.dll)
and setup (setup_x86{_64}.exe), usually under (case insensitively):


You will have to provide your corporate lawyers with the licences for each
package you wish to include in your product.

Your corporate lawyers will have to determine what responsibilities you have
related to package licensing requirements, what you must do (e.g. publish and
attribute all copyrights and licences in your product distribution and
documentation, distribute and provide online source archives, and submit patches
upstream, etc.), and how you are limited by the licences in what you may do with
each package.

As so many packages are licensed under the [L]GPL2/3 or by the FSF if GNU
sourced, see your corporate lawyers may want to
work with the FSF Licensing and Compliance Team or
their lawyers as Cygwin has no lawyers.

In general, you probably need to document, track, submit, and log submission of
any modifications you make to any Cygwin package source code as patches to, or upstream to the upstream package maintainer or source
given in the package source archive, often shown in a .cygport file.

Question for project leads - who maintains the maintainer copyright assignments,
attributions, disclaimers, releases, etc. and where, or is that all also only in
some mail archives?

Take care. Thanks, Brian Inglis, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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