The SUSE Open Source Policy
SUSE is an open source company. Open source is in our genes. Our products are all open source and our development mantra is “Open source first, upstream first”. This is because working in the open allows for a level of collaboration which is not possible with proprietary software. By being part of the community and contributing with many others within and outside of SUSE we broaden the base for our technology and business in a way which would not be possible with a more restricted development model.
Open source is so natural for us that we sometimes take it as a given and forget that there are still occasions where it needs some explanation. We don’t have an open source program or an open source office because is simply part of just about everything we do. Open source is at the core of the SUSE culture and operating model.
In a growing company it is good to be explicit about the culture and it’s also important to not only be open about code but also about how it’s done. That’s why we have written down the SUSE Open Source Policy and are publishing it now. This is the guideline we use for our developers. It also explains how we work and it might be an inspiration for others as the policy itself is, of course, open source.
The policy covers two big parts. The first is how we produce open source software. How we contribute to upstream projects, how we manage the projects where we are ourselves upstream, what legal aspects have to be considered, where code is put, and how to be a good citizen of the open source community.
The second part is how we consume open source software. How we use it in our products, how we deal with licenses, how we integrate it in our products with our open “factory first” work flow. We are distributing thousands of open source projects as part of our products for more than 25 years and we have learned a thing or two while doing it.
Open source has become the predominant model for software development, especially for infrastructure. It’s powering the data center and the cloud and it’s fueling growth in many areas of new technology. We at SUSE are proud to be part of this community. We maintain projects such as the Open Build Service, YaST, and many others and are contributing to even more projects in the wider community. Our Open Source Policy is one part of how we are doing it.