I know restricted and multiverse are not free software, but what about source code and independent?

EDIT : I'm referring to free as in freedom.

  • do you free as in beer or? If looking for the source code, you can always refer to this possible duplicate: askubuntu.com/questions/28372/…
    – Mordoc
    Mar 20, 2013 at 2:12
  • What is the answer that you are looking for if you already know how it works?
    – Lucio
    Mar 20, 2013 at 2:25
  • Some notes: restricted don't have a 100% free license, but it could be free of cost some versions. You're forgetting about main and universe software, that are 100% free. More information in What's the difference between multiverse, universe, restricted and main?
    – Lucio
    Mar 20, 2013 at 2:32
  • And please, clarify if you are talking about free of cost or free and open source.
    – Lucio
    Mar 20, 2013 at 2:32
  • @Lucio I've read this before, but there is no reference to source code or independent.
    – phil
    Mar 20, 2013 at 2:48

1 Answer 1


Main provides free software (as in freedom) that is supported by Canonical.

Universe provides free software (as in freedom) that is supported by the community.

Restricted provides non-free software that is supported by Canonical. (This consists mostly of proprietary drivers for officially supported devices.)

Multiverse provides non-free software that is supported by the community.

The Partner repository, practically speaking, provides non-free software. The Extras repository provides some free software but mostly provides non-free software.

Many repositories provide both binaries and source code. These are enabled separately in your APT configuration, however. Both binaries and source code from Main are free (as in freedom), for example.

There are no repositories in Ubuntu that are actually called Source code or Independent. Perhaps some other OS has repositories called that. Or perhaps those terms appear in descriptions somewhere for some of Ubuntu's repositories.

See Repositories/Ubuntu for more information.

  • Follow your hyperlink, scroll down and look at the screenshot: there is a Source Code check box. When you check Source Code, will it only get it from the checked repository (main and universe for free). Also, I think Independent is the Extras repository.
    – phil
    Mar 20, 2013 at 13:42
  • @Phil As I explained, source code is not really a separate repository. Most repositories provide both source code and binaries, and you can enable neither, either, or both. Source code and binaries and typically licensed the same, and the definitions of the official Ubuntu repositores (in my answer) apply to the licensing of both source code and binaries. Please note that sometimes source code is not available; this is the case for most applications in the Partner repository, as they are mostly proprietary. Mar 20, 2013 at 13:47
  • Okay, I just wanted to make sure it won't get Source code from Multiverse (for example) if Source Code is checked, but Multiverse isn't. I guess I'll just explore my sources.list file by my own to make sure.
    – phil
    Mar 20, 2013 at 13:53
  • @Phil If multiverse is disabled, then it should be fine that source code is enabled. You should still not get any source code (or other content) from the multiverse repository. However, to make sure, you can always look at what is enabled and what is commented out (with a leading # character) in the /etc/apt/sources.list configuration file. Official repositories are typically enabled/disabled there (though .list files in /etc/apt/sources.list.d should also be checked if you want to be absolutely certain of what repositories are enabled/disabled). Mar 20, 2013 at 13:57
  • @Phil You should be aware, though, that (1) disabling a repository doesn't remove any software from it that has already been installed, and (2) depending on your standards for "free," even some software in main and universe might not be considered free--for example, there are drivers in main that are free except that they contain images of proprietary firmware, for writing to hardware devices. Such proprietary firmware doesn't run on your CPU (except "microcode"); typically it runs on devices like network adapters and video cards. Mar 20, 2013 at 13:59

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