ChibiOS has various licensing options both libre/open source and/or commercial.

License Type Cost Restrictions Use cases
GPL3/Apache2.0 Libre/Open Free no Evaluation, open source projects, hobby, teaching, learning, business where GPL3 license is acceptable.
GPL3/Apache2.0 with Exception Libre/Open Free yes1 Small business.
Free Commercial Free yes2 Small volumes, prototyping.
Development Commercial Paid no3 Product development, small or medium volumes.
Production Commercial Paid no Large scale deployment.
  1. GPL is still present but the exception text makes it possible to link proprietary code without being “infected” by GPL. Read-only source code. Basic features only.
  2. Mandatory advertisement of ChibiOS use in products. Maximum 500 cores deployment, renewable. Read-only source code. Some advanced features not available.
  3. Available in 1000 or 5000 cores deployment options.

Products license matrix

The various products that are part of ChibiOS are available under different licenses, this is the matrix.

Component GPL3 Apache 2.0 Free Commercial Full Commercial Notes
RT yes no yes yes
NIL yes no yes yes
HAL no yes no no It is a free-only product. No licensing required.
EX yes no yes yes

Licensing F.A.Q.

The following matrix describes what you can or can't do under the various licensing schemes:

Question GPL3 GPL3 Exception Apache Free Commercial Full Commercial
Is ChibiOS free? free free free free priced
Can I use ChibiOS in my closed source embedded product? no yes yes yes yes
Do I have to open my source code? yes no no no no
Do I have the right to modify the ChibiOS source code? yes read-only yes read only yes
Do I have to open source my changes to ChibiOS? yes - no - no
Do I have to document that my product uses ChibiOS? yes yes no yes no
Do I have to offer the ChibiOS code to users of my product? yes yes no no no
Is support available? public public public public public or premium
Is a warranty provided? no no no no yes
Is ChibiOS deployment unlimited? unlimited unlimited unlimited 500 1000, 5000 or unlimited
Differences in features? full basic full intermediate full

Features comparison and use cases.

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