What part of PlatformIO is open source licenced?

I often help development teams move forward in their projects. I can work with their tools or I can use open source tools. What can’t do is introduce new proprietary tools. If it has a commercial license or cost a single cent then it needs approval from the IT department, often located in another country. If I recommend PerfectVC at $1 a seat I would be told that they use SolidWorks PDM and I must use that. It wouldn’t matter that PDM doesn’t run on Linux and truly sucks for software version control. If I recommend GIT there is no problem, no permissions are needed and I can deliver results.

I often find my self updating old projects that use abandoned tool chains. The first thing I do is port them to GCC so they will not stop working in future. I recently discovered PlatformIO and while it has issues it is way ahead of other open source options in the embedded space. I have been making enough progress with it that I was getting ready to introduce it to the development teams of two companies.

My understanding of PlatformIO is it is open source with paid support options. That is fine, a common way to do things. Pages such as Professional collaborative platform for embedded development — PlatformIO latest documentation and URGENT: The further fate of PlatformIO Project... Part II made me assume PlatformIO CLI and IDE were open source and I was safe to recommend it’s use to others. However an email sent on the 27th Jan now says “PlatformIO IDE 2.0 requires a lot of resources and time. We love our community and I decided to keep it Free for non-commercial use only.”.

I don’t object to charging for things but I do object to changing what is charged for after the fact. If the email is correct and I had already deployed PlatformIO with the development teams I would now be in the embarrassing situation of having to uninstall it from all the workstations and install Eclipse/GCC instead. My reputation would have suffered. Fortunately it looks like it is only the time I have invested in learning PlatformIO that is at risk.

What I would like is some definitive clarification as to what license PlatformIO is released under now and what the future intent really is? If it is moving from open source to commercial then what is the most recent version that is open source that can be forked from and does anyone have any plans fork if that is what is needed?

To be clear it is not about money but authority. The companies I work with have a shit load of money but I have zero authority to spend any of it, and I have zero authority to install non-open source software.

PlatformIO is fully free and open source. See PlatformIO Plus Goes Open Source, Improving Embedded Development Community Worldwide 🚀

Have you thought of creating two versions of PlatfomIO IDE, a full free for non-commercial use version and a free for all version without PlatfomIO Plus features?

You have not lost any time. PIO Core is free and could be integrated with different IDEs. Other companies use it for free, if it helps their business they support us via donation. See a tweet a few days ago:


That will lead to the same problem which was caused with PIO Core. Multiple things were done for free and people don’t understand it. Who will maintain all this software?

If a business relies on some software, it wants to be sure that this software will be alive through some period. This approach guarantees stability for both sides. Free software without foundation and any other support - I don’t see future in it.

If you enjoy PlatformIO, we would be thankful if your company support us.

Ok, firstly with respect to “we would be thankful if your company support us” I would point out they are only my companies in as much as I am an employee, I do not own or run them and have no power to offer financial support. We can offer support in the sense of error reports and bug fixes.

Secondly you talk of “guarantees stability for both sides” but my experience, 40+ years, tells me there is zero guarantee of stability with closed source software, you are completely at the mercy of the licensor and I have seen that go bad too many times. Only open source software offers the stability to develop with. To have a good future you need a good community around it and popular open source projects have no problems with that.

Your comment about using a different IDE misses the point. If I am going to muck around with that path I might as well push ahead the traditional wiki page how two for setting up Eclipse with an Arm GCC toolchain.

Right now as I see it my options are drop PlatfromIO in favor of a traditional solution or fork PlatformIO at the last point it was GPL. I have been looking at your GitHub repositories and everything I see there is GPL V2, can you please advise what if anything there you consider is not GPL and that I can not fork?

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I agree with you, all our projects are open-source, including PlatformIO IDE 2.0.

[quote=“ukoda, post:5, topic:1447”]
Right now as I see it my options are drop PlatfromIO in favor of a traditional solution[/quote]

You can use PlatformIO IDE 1.0 without any restrictions anytime (even after PIO IDE 2.0 release):

apm install platformio-ide@1.7.2