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I know that I can legally modify Ubuntu, but is it legal to redistribute an operating system that's based on Ubuntu for a small profit? I want to know this before I get started on my Ubuntu-based Linux distro.

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askubuntu.com/questions/93688/… –  Rinzwind Mar 25 '13 at 19:30
This is not a duplicate of that question. That question is about whether or not we can sell physical computers that contain an actual Ubuntu OS. This question is about whether or not we can sell an Ubuntu derivative that we have created! Those are extraordinarily different questions. This should be reopened. –  Eliah Kagan Mar 25 '13 at 21:18
I agree. That answer provided does not relate to this question. @EliahKagan As consolation for you here's a thread on Linux.com that has the information I think you're looking for. Let me know if you have other questions. archive09.linux.com/forums/topic/830 –  japzone Mar 26 '13 at 1:06
@japzone Eliah didn't create the question, it was asked by John (the real OP). –  Lucio Mar 26 '13 at 2:33
Whoops, typed in the wrong name. Oh well, doesn't matter now. –  japzone Mar 26 '13 at 6:07

1 Answer 1

An Ubuntu remix version:

The ability to customize Ubuntu to meet your specific needs is one of the great strengths of free software in general, and Ubuntu in particular.
Therefore the changes from the official Ubuntu product must be minimal for a version to be permitted to use the Trademarks.
Note that if the nature of the product's divergence from Ubuntu changes, the Remix naming and Trademark use may no longer apply.

Commercialize it:

Written permission is required from us to use any of the Trademarks.

These include any of the following:

  • Any commercial use and
  • Use on or in relation to a software product that includes or is built on top of a product supplied by us, if there is any commercial intent associated with that product

NOTE: This are fragments of the Ubuntu Trademark Policy


You must request for the necessary permissions to do your project. You can complete this form to request for an Ubuntu trademark license.

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This answer is incomplete and misleading, because it does not mention the other option, which is to remove the trademarked branding. This is the option taken by the most common and popular independent derivatives, like Linux Mint and Trisquel GNU/Linux. Since the OP has not specified a need to keep the Ubuntu trademarks, it is simply incorrect to say that he "must request for the necessary permissions to do [his] project." This leaves out the viable and commonly used option of removing the trademarks. –  Eliah Kagan Mar 26 '13 at 11:05
Feel free to modify the answer with all the content that you think necessary or incorrect information. –  Lucio Mar 26 '13 at 16:52

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