Can I sell the software which are developed with MonoDevelop without distribution of my source code and with commercial license?

Generally, Does the license of language and IDE affect the license of application developed using them? for example: Qt, MonoDevelop, ...

2 Answers 2


MonoDevlop is licensed by a mixture of LGPLv2 and X11/MIT code, therefore you can use it to develop any kind of software you want.

Your examples of MonoDevlop and Qt target two completely different realms:

  1. Tools, such as MonoDevelop: While the license of a software tool such as an IDE doesn't usually affect the license of your work per se, if the license has restrictions on usage, it absolutely can have a broad influence on what software you can create with it, though it's a bit murky. If you have a 'non-commercial' version of an IDE, you could conceivably make closed-source freeware where you don't share the source, but you don't sell it either. In the case of free software licenses such as the GPL or MIT, etc, which have no restrictions on use, then the licenses have no bearing whatsoever on what you use the tools to create*.
  2. Libraries: Using libraries makes your software a derivative work of them, so they have absolute influence over what kind of license you pick, it must be compatible with the library or you may not use it. A good example is the GPL. To use a GPL library, your software must be GPL. (Which, doesn't necessarily restrict selling it commercially, but if sold, your customers can sell it themselves, too). To use Qt in a commercial program, you must dynamically link against it in order to abide by the LGPL, or fork over the cash for a commercial license of it.

*With some exceptions that you are pretty much guaranteed not to run into unless you are making a compiler.

  • You said: if the license has restrictions on usage, it absolutely can have ... please give me some examples.
    – user441978
    Apr 29, 2015 at 5:09
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    For example, the gratis versions of Microsoft Visual Studio have a license that forbids creating commercial software with them. (The thinking is: if you use Microsoft tools to make money, then you can afford to buy those tools.) The pre-release versions of Microsoft Studio have a license that forbids creating production software with them. (The thinking is: if a bug in the IDE causes your production software to fail, that reflects badly on Microsoft.) There is a gratis version of IntelliJ IDEA for Open Source developers whose license says that you can only write Open Source Software with it. Apr 29, 2015 at 8:53

The license of the IDE that was used to develop software generally does not have any impact on the licensing of the software that you wrote. The IDE is a tool, not a library. The IDE does not get distributed with your software in the end, unlike a library.

However, if you wanted to distribute a modified version of MonoDevelop, you would need to adhere to the license. In MonoDevelop's case, it is dual licensed with LGPL and MIT.

Libraries like Qt, however, do have an impact. Libraries are an integral part of your program and you need to adhere to its licensing.

  • So it means if I use Qt, I should publish my application with LGPL and dynamic-linked libraries? I'm new with Qt, is it possible to develop application using Qt without using any LGPL libraries? or the whole of Qt is mentioned as library?
    – user441978
    Apr 29, 2015 at 4:40
  • @user441978: You can only avoid the LGPL when using Qt if you buy a commercial Qt license. The LGPL only has limited effect on the license you can use for your application (when linked dynamically, your application can be closed source) Apr 29, 2015 at 6:40
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    Actually, the license of the IDE can have an impact on the license of the software. For example, the "IntelliJ IDEA Free Open Source License" only allows you to use the IDE for working on Open Source projects. If you want to work on proprietary code, you have to buy one of the other licenses. Apr 29, 2015 at 8:58

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