Remix OS is a custom version of Google Android designed to run on desktop and notebook computers. While it’s based on open source software, the operating system itself is not fully open source… but as has recently been pointed out, the developers at Jide may have violated some software licenses when they released Remix OS for PCs earlier this month.
Jide says that was never the plan… and they’re taking steps to remedy the situation.
The company has already released some of the relevant source code, and plans to release more soon.
In a nutshell, Remix OS for PC allows you to load the operating system on a USB flash drive so that you can run Remix OS on many recent computers. The underlying operating system is based on Android. The user interface and many other modifications come from Jide. And the developers leveraged Android-x86 project code to add compatibility with computers featuring Intel and AMD processors.
As Jide co-founder David Ko told me at CES, Jide did this with consent from Android-x86 developers (and in fact, Remix OS is featured on the Android-x86 home page in a positive light… unlike another project that uses Android-x86 code).
But now the company has released a statement saying that Jide is taking steps to comply with the open source licenses for Android-x86 software by publishing source code for relevant components of Remix OS for PC to github and promises to publicly release other changes to open source code as they’re made from here on out.
Along with Remix OS for PC, the company released a tool that allows you to prepare a USB flash drive. It’s based on the open source UNetbootin, developed by Geza Kovacs… who says he’s cool with Jide’s use, since they seem to have just followed his guide for customizing UNetbootin.
That said, Jide has released the source code for their version of the tool in order to be “fully compliant with GPL.
Here’s Jide’s full statement on the matter:
At Jide, we take all open source licensing protocols very seriously and aim to abide by all established conventions. As such, please see our responses to both claims with regards to any breach of our commitment to adhering to open source licensing standards.
As has been reported, Remix OS Flash Tool is indeed built on the open source UNetbootin. To ensure that we are fully compliant with GPL, we have already pushed out the source code of our tool to the public. You may check it out here: https://github.com/jide-opensource/remixos-usb-tool.
Remix OS for PC is built based on the Android-x86 project with their full consent. We have clearly acknowledged and credited the project on our website – https://www.jide.com/en/remixos-for-pc.
Based on the information listed on the Android-x86 website (link), it was our understanding that Android-x86 was an open source project based only on the Apache License. However, we have since discovered that some of the files from the project are under GPL license and so we will be opening our code modifications up to the public with immediate effect, to ensure that we are fully compliant with GPL. All open source code can be found here – https://github.com/jide-opensource
In addition, any other changes to open source code, such as those that are kernel-based, will be released to the public community as quickly as possible. To ensure that there is no uncertainty, we will also have a disclaimer included in our next release package that states details of our compliance.