AGPL License Limitation to Use Proxmox VE for PaaS Auxilary Platform

Erol Ozcan

Member
Oct 9, 2018
2
0
6
48
Hi,

We are considering to use Proxmox VE as auxilary VM platform for our PaaS platform. We will develop PaaS installation automation which will interact VMs which are running at Proxmox VE. The PaaS VMs will be running another virtualization platform, not at Proxmox VE. The PaaS services will be available to public use via internet. We will use Proxmox VE as-is, without any code modification. Proxmox VE platform will not open to public as PaaS or SaaS.

We are confused strictly prohibited use any AGPL license software at Google :
"...any product or service that depends on AGPL-licensed code, or includes anything copied or derived from AGPL-licensed code, may be subject to the virality of the AGPL license."

https://opensource.google/documentation/reference/using/agpl-policy

We are not sure about AGPL 3.0 license of Proxmox VE free to use without make open source of our PaaS developments. Do we have to open source code of our PaaS development related anything?

Thanks.
 

mmenaz

Active Member
Jun 25, 2009
828
20
38
Northern east Italy
I don't think so. If you modify Proxmox (i.e. add some library / api / whatsoever) to interact with your PaaS services, THEN you have to provide the source code of THOSE parts of software (the "proxmox side" ones) as well.
I think you have to consider AGPL as a "GPL not circumvented by Internet access". With GPL, if you distribute the program to customer, you have to provide the source code as well and with compatible license. So if you modify GPL code but don't distribute the resulting software (making it accessible through web access) you don't have to provide the source code. With AGPL instead you have to.
AGPL is fortunately here for provide and preserve user's freedom even in this situation.
 

Erol Ozcan

Member
Oct 9, 2018
2
0
6
48
I don't think so. If you modify Proxmox (i.e. add some library / api / whatsoever) to interact with your PaaS services, THEN you have to provide the source code of THOSE parts of software (the "proxmox side" ones) as well.
We will not modify anything (add library/api etc.). at Promox VE.

Lets make it more understandable; i.e. we could have the following VMs :
  • repoDbVM, A repository VM which will be running at the Proxmox. The VM will be created by manually or Promox API calls.
  • paasPltfVm, Main platform management VM which will be running at the Proxmox, and include a web frontend. The VM will be created by manually or Promox API calls. The web frontend will be opened to public.
  • paasVM, a PaaS VM which be running at another virtualization environment such as OpenStack/KVM. Services of the PaaS could be opened to public.
Our a basic flow scenario could be as follow:
  • A user trigger a PaaS VM (i.e. nginx) using frontend at the paasPltfVm
  • The paasPltfVm creates paasVM using information at repoDbVM
  • The paasVM initialize using information at repoDbVM
  • A Nginx at the paasVM running a web server accessible via internet (opened to public).
In the above scenario, it looks like we do not need to make open source our developed software of both the paasPltfVm and the paasVM. But according to the Google, the software of the paasPltfVm and the paasVM may be subject to the virality of the AGPL license. What do you think about virality of AGPL?
 

mmenaz

Active Member
Jun 25, 2009
828
20
38
Northern east Italy
We will not modify anything (add library/api etc.). at Promox VE.

Lets make it more understandable; i.e. we could have the following VMs :
  • repoDbVM, A repository VM which will be running at the Proxmox. The VM will be created by manually or Promox API calls.
  • paasPltfVm, Main platform management VM which will be running at the Proxmox, and include a web frontend. The VM will be created by manually or Promox API calls. The web frontend will be opened to public.
  • paasVM, a PaaS VM which be running at another virtualization environment such as OpenStack/KVM. Services of the PaaS could be opened to public.
Our a basic flow scenario could be as follow:
  • A user trigger a PaaS VM (i.e. nginx) using frontend at the paasPltfVm
  • The paasPltfVm creates paasVM using information at repoDbVM
  • The paasVM initialize using information at repoDbVM
  • A Nginx at the paasVM running a web server accessible via internet (opened to public).
In the above scenario, it looks like we do not need to make open source our developed software of both the paasPltfVm and the paasVM. But according to the Google, the software of the paasPltfVm and the paasVM may be subject to the virality of the AGPL license. What do you think about virality of AGPL?
So your software is just using Proxmox API, correct?
So is like a "web browser" that is using HTTP protocol to talk with a web server. If the web server is AGPL, the web browser can have whatever license it likes.
BUT if your web browser requires that you "enhance" or patch or extend web server functionality (in this case, Proxmox code, libraries, api, whatever) then THAT MODIFICATIONS are subject to AGPL as well, not the browser.
 

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