I saw Google's Chrome OS which is running on the Chromebooks and Chromeboxes and I heard that Chrome OS is cosed-source on the Chroomeboks and the open-source version is called Chromium OS. So, Chrome OS come pre-installed closed-source on the Chromebooks but the open-source version of it it's called Chromium OS. Is Chrome OS closed-source or open-source? And to give an example: Let's say I want to make a computer business, manufacturing computers and selling them with a Linux distribution made by me. And that Linux come pre-installed closed-source on the computer. But I make another version of that OS which is open-source and I publish it on the internet, is this legally? Will I have problmes with the GPL? Will my OS be considered open-source or closed-source? I got to mention that only the closed-source version would come pre-installed on the computers and the source code of that OS would be released for free. That was just an example :)

  • 1
    Hire a lawyer. :) – dobey Nov 14 '14 at 19:02
  • This might be better asked on a google related site. And/or a lawyer ;) – Rinzwind Nov 14 '14 at 19:05

Chromium Project is open source. Anybody can take the source code and make their own softwares. Google takes the code from chromium project and makes closed source Chrome OS and Chrome browser.

It's a one way route. You can take an open source project and add your proprietary things and give it away as closed source. It doesn't work the other way round. Because as the name suggests, closed source wont give you any source code to fiddle with and if you reverse engineer it and do something, that is illegal.

This question is out of topic at this forum.

| improve this answer | |
  • Chrome OS is a Linux distribution and Linux is under GPL so Chrome OS shouldn't be open source? Or is considered open source because of Chromium OS which is basically the same OS... that's what I want know... – Florin Țenea Nov 14 '14 at 20:57
  • Chromium OS is completely open source and is under GPL. But Chrome OS is not same as chromium OS. There's a major difference. Google adds proprietary apps(gmail, drive, etc) into Chromium and creates the Chrome OS. Google would never want us to know the code of these apps. That's why it closes off the source and distributes Chrome OS. On similar terms, Chromium browser and Android project are open source. But chrome browser and Android image provided on Nexus device aren't. – astrob0t Nov 14 '14 at 21:43

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.