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Difference Between GPL and LGPL

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Main Difference

GPL stands for General Public License. LGPL is like an amended version of GPL. It stands for Lesser General Public License. It limits your requirement to provide some of your code, but you still are required to divulge the modifications that you implement. What you are permitted to keep private is the proprietary material that you directly link to the software. This allows you change the software, create your own personal twist, and still protect your own material. The term GPL is broader in meaning and practicalities as compared to LGPL. LGPL has the potential to be transferred into GPL terms.

What is GPL?

The General Public Licence, or GPL as it’s often called, is the most popular free software licence and it’s used by many different projects, including the Linux kernel, the GNU tools and literally hundreds of others. GPL is the basis of open source software for programmers.

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What is LGPL?

The LGPL is similar to the GPL, but is more designed for software libraries where you want to allow non-GPL applications to link to your library and utilize it. If you modify the software, you still have to give back the source code, but you are allowed to link it with proprietary stuff without giving the source code to all of that back.

Key Differences

  1. The difference between the GPL and the LGPL is that with the LGPL, the entire “work” doesn’t have to have the same license.
  2. In contrast to LGPL, GPL requires that you provide the code for all changes made to the software.
  3. Among the two GPL is the basis of open source software for programmers.
  4. LGPL is used for software libraries, versus the execution files of GPL.
  5. GPL offers a wide range of potential improvements for the entire programming community.
  6. LGPL has the potential to be transferred into GPL terms.
  7. The term GPL is broader in meaning and practicalities as compared to LGPL.
  8. With both licenses, the person who wrote the code owns it. The license doesn’t affect that.
  9. According to Black Duck software’s research, GPL is much more used than LGPL is.
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Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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