License for cboot

A typical license for the cboot source looks like this:


  • Copyright © 2016-2018, NVIDIA CORPORATION. All rights reserved.
  • NVIDIA CORPORATION and its licensors retain all intellectual property
  • and proprietary rights in and to this software, related documentation
  • and any modifications thereto. Any use, reproduction, disclosure or
  • distribution of this software and related documentation without an express
  • license agreement from NVIDIA CORPORATION is strictly prohibited

How do I get an “express license agreement from NVIDIA CORPORATION” so I can use this code?

Hi brmrbt,

Please find the L4T Software License Agreement from

Quoting from the L4T license:

2.1.1 Rights. Customer may install and use multiple copies of the
SOFTWARE on a shared computer or concurrently on different computers,
and make multiple back-up copies of the SOFTWARE, solely for Customer’s
use within Customer’s Enterprise. “Enterprise” shall mean individual use
by Customer or any legal entity (such as a corporation or university)
and the subsidiaries it owns by more than fifty percent (50%).

2.1.2 Linux/FreeBSD Exception. Notwithstanding the foregoing terms
of Section 2.1.1, SOFTWARE designed exclusively for use on the Linux or
FreeBSD operating systems, or other operating systems derived from the
source code to these operating systems, may be copied and redistributed,
provided that the binary files thereof are not modified in any way
(except for unzipping of compressed files).

This looks like a license for programs or binary modules distributed as such. It is very hard to understand how this applies this when we are dealing with software. It could even be interpreted as a restriction of the license of the Linux code included as part of L4T.

The strictest interpretation of this is that we may not create a product based on the L4T and sell it to our customers. Is this the intention? If it is not the intention then the license should say so.

Hi brmrbt,

The Linux kernel, and patches to it, are provided under the GPLv2 license. So there is no concern from the NVIDIA side regarding redistribution of the kernel source code or patches specifically to the kernel provided by NVIDIA.

See also:

For more questions, you better to consult with a lawyer for those legal issue.

This is a very hard tone for a clarification question.

If it came to a battle of lawyers I am sure that I would be trampled on by Nvidia’s, whatever my lawyer said.

I think in this case when the license is not clear, how Nvidia interprets it is key.

My original question was about the source code for CBOOT. What is Nvidia’s interpretation of the license in the context of the CBOOT source code? May I modify, in Nvidia’s opinion, the CBOOT source code and distribute the result as part of our product?

If Nvidia would like questions of this nature to go away then a clear source code license would be very welcome.

Hi brmrbt,

It’s certainly the intent that customers can modify the source and distribute it, but please ensure that you are aware of the LICENSE.cboot.txt license file that accompanies the software. This license indicates your rights and covers your question, but if you have questions specific to your use, you should consult with your attorneys.

I can’t answer legal questions here.