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Katana License Lifts Windows-only Restriction

Over the past few months, a great deal of attention has been paid to the following clause used in most of the licenses associated with the NuGet packages that we and other teams at Microsoft ship.

“ a. Distribution Restrictions. You may not
distribute Distributable Code to run on a platform other than the Windows platform;
In the case of the ASP.NET-related projects, including project Katana, this license (and the associated restriction) does not apply to the source code, but rather to the compiled binaries that are distributed via NuGet (the Katana source code is released under the Apache 2.0 license). This means that even today, it is perfectly reasonable to build the source code yourself and run it on Mono on whatever platform you choose.
But why should you have to jump through those hoops just to satisfy a clause in the license?
As Microsoft teams continue to take more and more components out of the traditional box products and deliver them as NuGet packages, the frustration over this restriction has grown proportionally. And in the particular case of project Katana, where one of the key selling points is portability, and where we want other OSS frameworks to build on top of us, it quickly became clear that the restriction fundamentally did not align with one of the core goals of the project.
So we changed the license.
With the release of Katana 2.0, which will accompany Visual Studio 2013, the Windows-only restriction will be removed from the Katana binary license. It’s important to note here that at this point, the exception applies only to the Katana packages.
While it may appear to be a small step, we’re very excited as we believe it to be a significant one in the right direction!

About Howard Dierking

I like technology...a lot...
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  • Srihari Kothapalli

    Thank you Howard. This is very useful.

  • howarddierking

    that is a scenario I would *love* to see

  • http://friism.com/ friism

    Nice, I didn’t even realize this restriction existed. I guess Katana on Mono and Heroku is going to be OK eventually then: http://friism.com/running-owin-katana-apps-on-heroku

  • http://www.eduardopires.net.br/ Eduardo Pires

    Very good :)

    I’ll keep following this project and news.

    Thank you Howard.

  • howarddierking

    sure – SSL is a host consideration though, so it’s going to vary depending on which host you’re using. For example, IIS has its own way of registering/configuring certs whereas for self-host you’ll use netsh.

    The roadmap can be found at https://katanaproject.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=roadmap

  • http://www.eduardopires.net.br/ Eduardo Pires

    Thank you now it is clear for me.

    More doubts about Katana:

    Is it possible set a SSL certificate?
    There is a roadmap with the new features to be included in next versions?

  • howarddierking

    MVC has not yet been implemented as an OWIN middleware component. When it is, then it will be able to be run on a Katana (or any OWIN) host, which *can* include – but doesn’t require – IIS.

    Also, to be *very* clear – the updated license DOES NOT include any components other than the specific Katana components (e.g. it does not include MVC/Web Forms/etc.). If you have any questions about whether your component is covered by this, read the license exposed on the NuGet package.

  • bniemyjski


  • http://www.eduardopires.net.br/ Eduardo Pires

    Hello Howard! I would like to understand:

    The katana project supports ASP.Net MVC self-hosting?

    Thinking in ASP.Net entire family (except webforms), one day will possible don’t depend from IIS?

    Is it possible to run ASP.Net web sites with OWIN in other plataforms like Linux using Mono?