Commercial usage of OpenWrt in branded devices

I have found some questions about the usage of OpenWRT in terms of the licence of OpenWRT. But what about the OEMs? I know some local companies that uses existing branded devices (for example TP-Link, Linksys, etc) with their own custom firmwares to sell networking sollutions.

What can we say about that? If I develop some applications with original functionalities and I build a custom firmware, I will face legal restrictions if I sell a branded device (Miktrotik, D-Link, TP-Link, Linksys, etc) with my custom firmware? (advertising my firmware with my own brand)

Of course any experience story would be nice to know.

Thanks in advance.


The only generic advice for these questions would be, read the (individual) licenses and ask your lawyer.


Long story short - read GPL and provide source codes on your site.

Here in OpenWRT licensing:

it's GPL.

So you make changes on OpenWRT codes to include in branded devices then you must provide source code as-is and your patches.


As @slh already pointed out, in addition to OpenWrt licence, you need to be aware of the license of other components, drives and packages as they won't necessarily be all the same.

Thanks guys, but maybe I explained it wrong. I was talking about legal issues with the OEMs, and I find that the best answer to that is to directly contact them.

Some manufacturers have no problem but of course the consumer guarantee gets void. Anothers ones offer the "white label" model giving the possibility to whole customize your own brand.

Thanks again and any other comment which could enrich the discussion is welcomed.

Because it's complicated i will show few examples.

  1. RedHat - since they have 2 distros - RHEL (Enterprise Linux) and Fedora. Fedora is free but, RHEL have pricing AND open-sourced. Situation with RHEL is simple - they provide source for EVERYTHING, but when you are using same sources compiled on distro RHEL then you need to pay.
    This is one of best Linux!
    And some people getting same sources and providing almost same RHEL experience , but this time it's called CentOS.

  2. Linksys - since release of extremely popular 15 years ago routers WRT they using Linux. But they are using it without providing sources... and this was seen from some persons. So they reach FSF (Free Software Foundation). And FSF threatened Linksys with lawsuit. This make Linksys to release all sources that are used in router as-is. It's described here:

What's happened next - it's epic! OpenWRT was born!

  1. What router manufacturers do? Make a section of GPL on their sites where EVERYONE can download sources without contacting them:

And others:


So - in short. You can use OpenWRT on commercial devices! Just need to make a section on website where people can download a source codes.

Tell that to Ubiquiti!

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OK then!

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