I wrote a game in Windows a while back, and I'd like to port it to finish it under Ubuntu, especially as I could publish it via the software centre. However, It's written in C/++ and OpenGL, with SDL for windowing & input.

The SDL site says:

"SDL is distributed under GNU LGPL version 2. This license allows you to use SDL freely in commercial programs as long as you link with the dynamic library."

And after reading around, I've heard there are a few restrictions I need to take into account with the LPGPL V2 license. Personally, I've honestly tried and I simply can't get my head around all these licenses.

Can anyone here tell me whether I can use it commercially or do I need to cut out all the SDL framework?

Any help is hugely appreciated.

Thank you.

  • If you get a response here telling you 'yeah, it's fine' and you get sued then what? Some legal questions are okay here but I think most are not. Good luck with the game anyway. Oct 7 '12 at 21:53
  • @TomBrossman This is a simple question about the LGPL. Maybe it's off-topic for being insufficiently about Ubuntu, but I think this is far more objectively answerable by non-experts than most licensing questions we consider on-topic. Oct 8 '12 at 0:18

Yes, you can use SDL in a commercial project. The LGPL allows you to link SDL to proprietary code. (See this, this article, and that version of the license itself.) What it means is if you change SDL you have to also release those changes under the LGPL.

It is, of course, important that you read and understand the license itself before creating any derivative work of a work licensed with it, including before creating a program (proprietary or otherwise) that links to SDL.

Furthermore, please note that this answer is provided for general informational purposes only.
This post is not legal advice.

  • 1
    A good case study: Dungeons of Dredomor. Gaslamp Games legally used SDL to create DoD, and now they have a good, cross-platorm game which has appeared in a Humble Indie Bundle, and, speaking as a owner of it, is pretty solid and well-made.
    – fouric
    Oct 4 '12 at 22:18

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