[Nagiosplug-devel] Plugin licensing

Ton Voon ton.voon at altinity.com
Thu Jul 19 10:47:21 CEST 2007

On 19 Jul 2007, at 07:03, sean finney wrote:

> On Wednesday 18 July 2007 23:19:55 Kevin Menard wrote:
>> getting murkier.  Given that I'm not a lawyer and don't profess to be
>> one, I'll probably just go with the consensus here.  Does a Nagios
>> plugin have to be GPL'd?

Sean's response was accurate, from my point of view, so I've stuck it  
on our website:


Any comments?

I was thinking that when I create a new C plugin, I usually copy an  
existing one and strip out everything except the getopt handling and  
the help stuff. Then the new bits are just the communication with the  
external system. However, under the definitions above, this would  
mean it is a derived work, so would have to be GPL'd.

Then I was thinking, maybe we could provide a library with headers  
and have that under LGPL, but we use a lot of gnulib code (getopt  
handling, internationalisation) which is GPL'd, not LGPL'd, so our  
executable would have to be GPL'd.

If you wanted to protect some intellectual property, you'd have to  
make a library which returned all the data you wanted, and then  
create a plugin which is GPL'd, but only uses the library API to get  
at the information.

Alternatively, to make a plugin NOT under GPL, you'd have to write it  
from scratch without any external libraries which are GPL'd, which is  
certainly possible, though a bit more work.

Remember, the aim of the Free Software Foundation is to make all  
software free.


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