Can I use the RedHat devtoolset to build non-GPL-ed software? Do I have to mind any caveats?

From my understanding, the devtoolset knows the limitations of the standard libraries shipped with older RedHat-Distributions. It links those missing parts of glibc and libstdc++ statically into otherwise dynamically linked code. Namely, the RedHat documentation states: "Some newer library features are statically linked into applications built with Red Hat Developer Toolset to support execution on multiple versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux."

In case of glibc (LGPL) this would be problematic, because static linking would require to make at least the object files of the proprietary software available.

A senior developer thus claims, using the devtoolset would/might put our code under GPL and thus we have to stick with CentOS 5 and gcc 4.1 (for many years to come).

  • 1
    Has said senior developer read and understood the licenses for the development tools included as part of the Development Toolset?
    – Blrfl
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 12:21
  • Nah. He just expressed his concerns to the management. And now it is up to me to prove it is save. So I'll try to understand the license for that toolset.
    – Sascha
    Commented May 24, 2015 at 21:10

1 Answer 1


It seems, one can use the devtoolset to build non-GPL-ed software. Because no plain-GPL or LGPL-libraries are linked statically.

At last I found an official presentation that specifies what exactly is linked dynamically:

  • All of C Library (glibc - libm, libc, etc)
  • All of OpenMP (libgomp)
  • Most of libstdc++
  • Most of libgcc

Based on this presentation, one can assume:

  • The LGPL-ed libraries like glibc are not linked statically.
  • The GPL-ed libgomp, libstdc++ and libgcc are linked (partially) statically.
  • But for those GPL-ed license, the GCC Runtime Library Exception applies.

I'd still preferred making such decisions based on parts of the official documentations, rather than a presentation slide.

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