1. Is Sailfish OS open source licensed?
No, Sailfish OS is proprietary software of Jolla Oy, Finland (license)So, is it going to be open source licensed?
This has been promised for a few times. See section 5. "The future of Sailfish OS open source licensing"
2. The current stage of open source licensing
Overview on the image shows which parts are open, you can find more details on subtopic 6 and on the comment section. Image source
- proprietary packages framed violet
- open source licensed framed green
3. Available open source code on Sailfish OS
Sailfish OS sources & Linux kernel sources:
Mer core (middleware software):
4. "Open source" used in marketing purposesJolla has used words "open", "openness" and "open source" in the marketing of their software. Wrong usage of "open source" during Jolla Tablet Indiegogo campaign was publicly notified by OSI. Few examples, latest known on top:
- 2016-02-24 Jolla at MWC16, Press Event, video at 0:11:05 -->
Antti Saarnio, Head of the Board at Jolla presented Sailfish OS to the press:
"We have Sailfish operating system, unique open innovation platform ...",
"Then, we have lots of interest from the security device vendors, who sees that our open source platform very interesting and very unique opportunity to start building on more security features on top of that." , and
"...open source is that when the core is visible, you can really see that there are no backdoors."
Related articles after the event: 1, 2, 3, 4
- 2015-08-14 Jolla to Kauppalehti (Finnish video, Subtitled version)
"security is based on fully open source OS" (04:00, translated)
- 2015-07-23 Androidpit (article)
"The open source Sailfish OS"
- 2015-05-08 Jolla (article)
"-- several open source projects, and Sailfish OS is one of them."
- 2015-03-02 Softpedia (article)
"-- real open-source alternatives like Sailfish"
2015-03-02 Tech Week europe (article)
"-- running the open source platform"
- 2014-11-15 Jolla at Slush 2014 (video, time 17:40)
Tablet announcement, spoken, claims it's open source
- 2013-10-02 Jolla at Mindtrek (image below)
"We don't use open source - we are open source"
- 2013-05-20 Laptopmag (article)
"Sailfish OS is an open source mobile operating system"
- 2012-12-29 Engadget (article)
"this open source mobile OS"
- Undated: Engadget (product listing)
"Sailfish OS, key specs, source model: open"
The following articles, originally mentioning "open source" have been corrected with a later update:
- 2015-07-08 Bestmobs (original image below)
- 2015-01-29 TechCrunch (article) see also
- 2014-12-10 Forbes (article)
From the lists above we can clearly guess that the misuse of terminology is intentional and it's been going on for several years, despite the reaction of OSI. This misuse might have played a role in
- engaging the open source community to support SW development
- development of 3rd party applications running on Sailfish OS
- gathering contributions in the Jolla Tablet Indiegogo campaign
5. The future of Sailfish OS open source licensing
On February 8, 2017 Sami Pienimäki, CEO at Jolla shared a new promise on open sourcing more components of the Sailfish OS, especially in the areas of apps and user interface. According to Mr. Pienimäki:
We have also received a lot of interest from corporate and governmental business sectors for independent and open mobile OS development projects.
Previously we’ve also mentioned that we’re working on the further open sourcing of Sailfish OS. We have now taken the necessary steps and preparations to enable us to further open source Sailfish code, in particular in the areas of apps and UI. We have a decision process ongoing but you should expect exciting news on this during upcoming months. SOURCE
But but... a bigger promise has been shared already earlier. According to Antti Saarnio, Chairman of the Board at Jolla in an interview to TechCrunch on May 28, 2015:
"We have a timeline to open source basically all of the non-commercial parts, some of them are third party parts which we can’t open source of course. But we have a timeline to open source most of the platform — because it helps us to work with the developer community and also our partners. But we are not yet releasing the timeline. We will come out very soon with an announcement about the scale of this open sourcing schedule." SOURCEThe promised announcement has not seen the daylight by now (March 2017), but instead the "open source" was once again mentioned as an existing feature of Sailfish OS by Antti Saarnio during Jolla's press event at Mobile World Congress 2016, according to our anonymous source.
6. Open vs. proprietary packages in more details
A mid-term review based on licenses of packages on Sailfish OS. Image from this review is still up to date for Sailfish OS 2.0 (Thanks for confirming this to us Ossi1967, see comments below)
7. Where to find more information?Open Source license situation has been discussed mostly in SailfishOS, open source, collaboration meetings. The meeting schedule and topics. You can also find other related questions on TJC.
Sources: sailfishos.org, merproject.org, jolla.com (EULA)
Published: 2015-09-20 18:21 UTC
Updated: 2017-03-27 14:46 UTC (topics 1. and 5.)