View Full Version : On Selling Linux

12-12-2004, 08:39 PM
If i wanted to set up a site which onselled downloaded linux distros purely for the betterment of peoples computing experiences could i do it without getting into legal hassle


12-12-2004, 08:42 PM
As long as the distributions contain no commercial software you will be fine.

12-12-2004, 08:44 PM
Why not?
Read the GPL. it tells you all you need to know. Somr items are NOT covered by the GPL, you would have to make suitable arrangements for those cases with the developers, but there are a huge number of things covered. But, you in turn cannot prevent others from on-selling what you have sold them. Follow the rules and you stand as much chance of making or losing money as anyone else. Good luck.

Ashley Matthews
12-12-2004, 08:50 PM
You also may need to steer clear of the Distros which are not free themselves, i.e Xandros, Linspire etc.... Take a good look at the licenses that come with them, as I think they are not entirely GPL based.

12-12-2004, 09:03 PM
yeah i thought that with the non free distros , the current prices that i see the distros selling for are very high and i think for the price i will offer them at iwill have a chance - and the linux market is growing fast

12-12-2004, 09:37 PM
I sell them usually for a couple of bucks a disc....

At a cost of $0.35 per blank CD-R + Approx $0.80 to send them... there's not a fortune to be made, and you would quickly tire of burning CD-R's and downloading the latest and the greatest.

Id suggest you simply put your hand up when you see people on PF1 asking for them :-/ There's already a million and one different shops out there so unless your price/quality is much much better I cant see much point.
Ask nz_liam

12-12-2004, 10:05 PM
I sell them too, there is some interest, but I don't make too much money. It only takes 2 minutes to burn a 700mb CD, so not too much hassle for $3 or so profit.

It's only really as an added extra to my services, people on dialup mostly benefit.

12-12-2004, 10:11 PM

This is correct, the market for the downloaded distro is flooded, and has no margin, to offer quality you really need a pressed product with your own label (Like the current DSE MDK/Knoppix release).

And thats your top market price.

Burnt product is legall but $6-00 for a set of three including postage your doing well.

Burning, add the time factor, the electricity, equippment wear and tear, and the packaging cost, that's slave labour.


12-12-2004, 10:16 PM
i live with my parents still , i dont currently put a price on my time , pacaking - not courier - $1 , cd's - bulk - .40cents , cases - dunno cant be that much , getting your sister to change the cd every two minutes - Free - if you do it the right way

12-12-2004, 10:17 PM
i dont intend to do it to make money - just to show people and give them a alternative

12-12-2004, 10:20 PM
copyleft has them for $7.50 per cd - thats fresh download , no other stuff - bit expensive

12-12-2004, 10:28 PM
> i dont intend to do it to make money - just to show
> people and give them a alternative

This is good, I do this all the time, any unit I sell at least get's a free copy of Knoppix , freequently knoppix and mdk 9 or 10.

So many people dont realise how much better its got and how cheap it is.

Clowns are still pirating 98, why??

These people may not convert, but at least they may no longer regard linux as something to fear, and it can help to destroy the "its all command line myth".


Murray P
12-12-2004, 11:00 PM
You can't sell Linux as such.

What you can do is sell your time and effort in creating a CD with Linux on it. You can also sell a service to provide support for the goods you have provided and Linux itself.

As mentioned before, the applications that run on Linux, may be different in that they are not GPL'ed, have a different kind of OSS license or may be proprietary product.

12-12-2004, 11:03 PM
thats what i plan on doing - burning it to cd and then selling it - unless i create my own disto - unlikey * 100

Just out of interest are there any New Zealand distros

Murray P
12-12-2004, 11:23 PM
> Just out of interest are there any New Zealand
> distros

Yes, Yoper.

12-12-2004, 11:25 PM
wow - you learn something new everyday

12-12-2004, 11:31 PM
george - how much do you sell for

13-12-2004, 01:08 AM
$5 for a distro

I sell other things too, all $5 each for the CD(s). I mean compilations of free stuff that people want, but don't want to download. Kind of like the PCWorld CD-ROMs, saving people downloads. Useful for formats etc.

Only stuff that the licensing permits it of course, or if I have permission from the software writer. The vast majority of free software and trials though, can be freely distributed.

Greg S, don't accuse me of advertising! I'm not trying to sell these CDs :p

Cheers George

13-12-2004, 01:33 AM
Insert rescue cd is a good one, as is SysRecueCD

13-12-2004, 09:35 AM
Yes, rescuse CDs are another useful goodie. I use ntfspart a lot if I need to resize partitions. It's great.

13-12-2004, 01:42 PM
Any real utilities are good giveaways,

But I feel we need to be sure the user/recipent has the skills required, some utilities in the wrong hands, can be really dangerous.


13-12-2004, 02:19 PM
i am currently planning to give a free copy of Knoppix or some other small easy linux distro with all purchaces. Are the installation guides subject to copyright ?

13-12-2004, 03:31 PM
Free I *think*.

It's a good idea, noone - I offer linux (any distro) preinstalled on the PCs I sell, but so far noone has wanted it. 100% have chosen Windows (of those that wanted an OS with it).

I guess, most people who use linux would be the kind to build their own PCs?

13-12-2004, 03:45 PM

the instsllation guides are public licence, if you alter/edit you must acknoweledge source and make you source available.

Give knoppix free as is no worries.

Others check.

Anything that is free doewnload or freeware is generally not an issue as long as you dont F with it.

just like writing a uni paper, declare all sources No Worries.

Unlike the Maori Trust in northland, Claiming New Zealand copy wright to boot disks, downloaded from boot disk dot com.


13-12-2004, 03:59 PM
>Unlike the Maori Trust in northland, Claiming New Zealand copy wright to
>boot disks, downloaded from boot disk dot com.

Eh ? ?


John H
13-12-2004, 05:55 PM
>Unlike the Maori Trust in northland, Claiming New Zealand copy wright to
>boot disks, downloaded from boot disk dot com.

Yes, I thought the reference was a bit obscure as well. A Maori Trust in Northland has erected a fence and locked gate so that the public will not be able to gain access across the Trust's land to a camping ground in the bay. They are letting people who are already there come and go.

This apparently has nothing to do with the foreshore and seabed debate. DoC runs the camping ground and has a lot of sympathy with the Trust and seems to be supporting the Trust's position.

All of this area is Maori land apart from a block owned by a millionaire (?American I think). The legal access to the camping ground is not across the Maori Trust's land at all - it is over the millionaire's land, but he has a locked gate that prevents legal access. The Maori trust have got fed up with the behaviour of the public on their private land, and fed up with the lack of progress over freeing up the legal access over the millionaire's land, so they have shut the gate.

Of course, because it is a Maori trust, some people may leap to a faulty conclusion about what they are doing without checking the facts. There didn't seem to be the same level of publicity about the guy who cut off the legal access, at least down here in Canterbury. Sounds familiar.

John H
13-12-2004, 05:58 PM
Or have I got the reference wrong? I have maybe leapt to a conclusion myself, because the camping ground thing is fresh news this morning, and I have not heard of any Northland Maori Trust involvement in copywrite issues.

drb1 - can you clarify?

Roll on the new PressF1 if it lets you retrieve a post that may be in error. Apologies to drb1 if I got the reference wrong.

13-12-2004, 06:01 PM
which are the main distros that are non - commerical ( no money - download ) . Which of the main ones are commerical ( i no a few but not all )


13-12-2004, 07:54 PM
distrowatch.com will help.

I would recommend Ark Linux for home user. Yoper for intermediate, and Gentoo for anybody wanting a server, to learn a little more about the "guts" of Linux, or somebody who's just wanting Total Control!

13-12-2004, 07:55 PM
> >Unlike the Maori Trust in northland, Claiming New
> Zealand copy wright to
> >boot disks, downloaded from boot disk dot com.
> Eh ? ?
> R2


Straight up man.

ON SCAMME of course, big statment in the bottom of the add the RA RA trust is the NZ copright holder RA RA.

Got pinged buy the private S/W police of course, but silly thing to write.

I can still, probably find them/references to them, if its a real issue.


13-12-2004, 08:02 PM
John H,

The Maori Trust Copywright Piracy/Scam, is a little old SCAMME news/issue.

It was just vaguely pertinant to noones inquiry.

IMHO as an example of stupid IP theft/copyright theft, or straight out piracy.

IMHO something not to do.


13-12-2004, 09:25 PM
chill - could you give me a l ink for this information on Distrowatch - cant seem to find it

John H
13-12-2004, 10:40 PM
Thanks drb1. I will check it out. Sounds interesting.


14-12-2004, 12:29 AM
Over the right-hand side is the most viewed pages.

Otherwise look up the top of the page under "Major Distributions".


14-12-2004, 10:15 AM
cool - thanks for that