The Most Popular Licenses On GitHub & SourceForge

Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 10 January 2015 at 12:14 AM EST. 24 Comments
What are the most popular software licenses on GitHub and SourceForge? What about on CodePlex and the Apache Software Foundation? Here's some numbers.

Protecode, an open-source management company, has shared with Phoronix an infographic covering "open-source forges by the numbers" and looks at the percentage of different open-source licenses across GitHub, SourceForge, CodePlex, and the Apache Software Foundation. The licenses looked at were MIT, GPL, BSD, Apache, LGPL, and the Microsoft Open-Source Licenses.

Protecode's numbers show the percentage of copyleft licenses on SourceForge to be above 80% while for GitHub the percentage was below 30%. Their results also indicate that the MIT license is the most popular on GitHub followed by the GPL. On SourceForge, however, the most common license for projects was the GPL.

Across the four monitored "open source forges", the overall most popular license was the GPL. The full info-graphic can be seen in PDF form courtesy of Protecode.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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