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Discussion on: I write my own web desktop OS for 3 years and this is what it looks like now

tobychui profile image
Toby Chui Author • Edited on

Hi! First of all, as an open source developer, sometime I do make things that is close source :P
For the ArozOS project, as you can see, all source code are available on Github for anyone who want to read it (and hence the "source is opened" ). There is a section in README that explains the usage requirement / license of this system. Feel free to contact me via email or telegram if you have any inquiry of using this system for any other use cases other than those listed in README.

mikeschinkel profile image
Mike Schinkel

Hi Toby,

Thanks for the quick reply.

Hmm. I assumed you knew the definition of open-source already — especially being a student in CS — maybe your university does not cover it?

Please forgive me in advance if you do already know this, but your reply makes me think maybe you do not?

So there is well known definition of "open source" and you can find it here on the Open Source Initiatives website. Unfortunately while having source be readable is necessary, it is not sufficient to qualify a project as "open-source":

In a nutshell being "open source" refers to the type of legal license you provide for your source code that allows users to freely modify a work, use said work in new ways, integrate the work into a larger project or derive a new work based on the original.

Here is the list of licenses that are currently recognized as open-source:

Given your stated usage terms ArozOS would sadly not be considered open-source by the OSI's definition, which AFAIK is pretty universally accepted.

Why do I care? I have a project called Launch I am developing designed to provide a super easy way to run Docker containers without having to even know anything about Docker:

When I saw AroxOS I thought Launch would be a great tool to help you let other people easily run your solution without having to figure out how.

Of course our motivation would be that everyone who used Launch to run ArozOS would of course end up with Launch installed on their computer.

However, for software where the license in unclear there is too much legal liability for me to wrap your software and distribute it via our Launch repository. That is why I wanted to know if you planned to license it as open source.

If you do decide later to license it with one of the established open-source licenses please do reach out to me via email at mike at because I think there could be some real synergy between our two projects, assuming you are looking to make it really easy for people to try it and/or use it (which I assume you do since you wrote this article.)

Whatever the case, you've created some pretty amazing software. Kudos!


P.S. We have not started a public push for Launch adoption, but plan to soon. Also, our Launch source code is not currently on our repo but will will release it and license with an OSI-approved license once we reach 1.0 and really start promoting it.

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tobychui profile image
Toby Chui Author

Hi Mike, thanks for your detail explanation. This is just a simplified reply that I post on Please proceed to your GitHub issue to see the full reply regarding the license issue. We are looking forward to cooperate with you if you are interested in using this project for your business and we can make a great deal out of it :)

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mikeschinkel profile image
Mike Schinkel