GPLv3 in automotive

Car makers prioritize safety and security of vehicle software. Car makers will not let users modify vehicle software because they carefully test and certify their software and any change can compromise safety. GPLv3 software explicitly states that users must be able to modify software, and installation information provided even if that includes private encryption keys. Car makers currently would rather prevent GPLv3 software from being introduced into their systems than allow users to modify vehicle software.

Fortunately, Yocto provides a means to screen licenses based on different parameters.

Screening GPLv3 licensed software in Yocto

  1. Add layer meta-gplv2

  2. Remove initramfs-live-install and initramfs-module-install from environment variable PACKAGE_INSTALL. (file: core-image-minimal-initramfs.bbappend)

    PACKAGE_INSTALL_remove = "initramfs-live-install initramfs-module-install"
  3. Remove grub-efi from WKS_FILE_DEPENDS_BOOTLOADERS for x86-64 arch. (file: image_types_wic.bbclass)

    WKS_FILE_DEPENDS_BOOTLOADERS_remove_x86-64 = "grub-efi"
  4. Remove parted from RDEPENDS_${PN}. (file:

    RDEPENDS_${PN}_remove = "parted"
  5. Select system-boot as the bootloader instead of default grub-efi. (file: systemd-boot.bbclass)

    EFI_PROVIDER = "systemd-boot"
  6. Blacklist GPLv3 license

       GPL-3.0 \
       LGPL-3.0 \
       AGPL-3.0 \
  7. Remove cairo

    PACKAGECONFIG_remove = "cairo"

Impact of removing GPLv3 licensed software

SWUpdate feature for Raspberry Pi currently requires partprobe, a GPLv3 tool, for re-partitioning. So as of now it will be non-functional with the removal of parted package.