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Software Licenses in Debathena

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There are two main categories of software that will be installed on your machine when you install Debathena:

  1. software developed by MIT (or the Debathena Project),
  2. and software provided by Ubuntu, but required by Debathena software.

All Debathena-developed and MIT-developed software is what is known as Free Software a, in that you have complete freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change, and improve the software. The software is licensed under one of the GPL Licenses or the "MIT License" (a.k.a. the Expat license). (We are working on standardizing the license text across all packages, and will update this page once that project is complete.) Free software licenses apply to modification and distribution of the software, not use – that is, you do not have to agree to the terms of the license in order to use the software.

In addition, the vast majority of Ubuntu packages required by Debathena are also Free Software. However, some components are licensed in a manner that is incompatible with the Free Software movement. Some members of the MIT Community do not wish to use any "non-free" software, and others merely want to read the full terms of licenses before they use any software. This page lists all the "non-free" software licenses that are relevant to the Debathena project. Unlike free software licenses, agreement with the terms of these licenses is required for installation (and use) of the software. For this reason, the Debathena installer agrees to some of these licenses on behalf of the user in order to faciliate unattended installation.

We make every effort to keep this page up to date, but users who wish to review the full text of every license before agreeing to it should seek out the license terms on their own.

a The terms "free" and "non-free" on this page refer to the philosophy described above, not to monetary value. IS&T does not charge any software-related fees to private workstation owners.

The Debathena-extra-software metapackage

The Debathena-extra-software metapackage currently contains the following packages that use different licenses. Depending on how your system is configured, these packages may not be installed (they are Recommendations, not Dependencies).

  • ttf-mscorefonts-installer (formerly msttcorefonts): This package provides some Microsoft TrueType fonts, which are licensed under [these terms ].
  • flashplugin-nonfree: This package installs Adobe Flash Player, which is licensed under [these terms ] (PDF format, multi-language. The English license text is on page 66.).
  • [{{*mplayer*}} ]: Though most of mplayer is licensed under the GPL or LGPL, some components have different licenses. Those components are listed here.
  • [{{*ttf-xfree86-nonfree*}} ]: This font package contains some fonts licensed under terms that are incompatible with Free Software licenses.

Additional information

The full text of the license for any installed package can be viewed at /usr/share/doc/packagename/copyright. (Replace packagename with the name of the package in question).

The copyright file for any Ubuntu package may also be viewed online at , in the right sidebar, on a package's information page.

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

December 14, 2020

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