Suppose I have some project of which I own the code. It has a library which is licensed under Apache 2.0 (but that shouldn't influence this). So I can choose if I want to release the code using GPL, Apache 2.0 (or similar) or make it a closed source project.

As there is quite some code, I want to build the documentation using doxygen, which is licensed under GPLv2.

Do I now have to publish under GPLv2 (or any equivalent license) if I choose to publish my code? The only thing related to doxygen is the .doxyfile to build the documentation.


This is different to Using output of GNU GPL software in commercial purposes as I am not asking if the resulting documentation is subject to GPL (which is clearly not the case).

What I am asking is: Does the process of me tayloring parts of my code (in this case the comments and said .doxyfile) for specific use with said GPL software force me to make my code (not the documentation) GPL as well? It seems wierd if it would, but GPL is a bit confusing to me.

  • If you compile your program with gcc or use a "free" os; does that mean you need to publish under GPL?
    – TZHX
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 12:16
  • @TZHX It depends. If I distribute the compiler or the free OS, use or modify any code contained in its source [...], then yes I need to publish under GPL. This means even if I link a library under GPL (but my code doesn't use that library) my code becomes GPL. On the other hand if I simply distribute the result produced with said compiler or OS I choose the license. I guess I am confused into which bracked this falls ... Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 12:23

1 Answer 1



This is your code, you can tailor it to whatever you want. As long as you do not include any parts of the doxygen software itself, you are not distributing any parts of doxygen, so the GPL does not apply.

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