Kermit Software - Licensing
Kermit Software Is Open Source
For decades, Kermit software has had a license that permitted widespread
distribution and cooperative development, but with conditions that assured
that Columbia University would receive adequate revenue from the software to
fund the Kermit Project year to year. Now that the Kermit Project has been
canceled by the University, however, Kermit software has been converted to
Open Source. As of 20 July 2011:
- C-Kermit 9.0 for Unix and VMS has been
released with the Revised 3-Clause
- Embedded Kermit (E-Kermit) has been published with
Revised 3-Clause BSD license.
- Source code for Kermit 95 has been published
with the Revised 3-Clause BSD license, except for certain modules or
portions of modules which are the intellectual property of other companies.
Code that already has an Open Source license other than the Revised 3-Clause
BSD License will retain the license it already has.
The K95 source code is here.
- Kermit 95 itself will not be rereleased by
Columbia University as a binary installable application because it includes
strong encryption capability, which is controlled by USA export law, and
because it contains proprietary non-Columbia code. It will remain a
commercial product. Single copies will continue to be available from the
normal channels such as Amazon.com
while supplies last. Bulk Licenses may be purchased (without technical
support) from Columbia
Technology Ventures. To inquire about a bulk license, send email
and reference “Kermit” in the subject line. Since the source
code is published, the Open Source community (or anyone else) can take over
development, maintenance, and support and deal with the export issues and
issue releases if it wishes to.
- G-Kermit has always, and continues to have,
the GNU Public License.
- All other software in the Kermit archive to which Columbia University
holds the copyright should be considered to have the Revised 3-Clause BSD
License. It is not practical to change thousands of source files, and in
most cases it is not possible to make new builds of these old programs to
replace the binaries in our archives. This category includes, in
particular, MS-DOS Kermit, IBM
Mainframe Kermit, DECSTEM-20 Kermit, CP/M-80 Kermit, and CP/M-86 Kermit, as well as older
releases of C-Kermit for Data General AOS/VS, Stratus VOS, Plan 9, and other
- Software contributed to the Kermit archive from elsewhere continues to
have whatever copyright and license was affixed by the author. All of these
programs, however, were contributed so they be freely shared.
to view current status.
THIS SECTION IS HISTORICAL ONLY.
Kermit 95, for Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, and
XP, and for OS/2, is commercial software; it must be purchased and licensed.
- CLICK HERE for Kermit 95 pricing and
Most other Kermit software, including
has special terms that allow it to be obtained over the network for your own
use, or for use within your institution or company, without cost or license
but does not allow it to
be resold or otherwise provided to customers or clients of commercial
enterprises, or included with any product (including CD-ROM software
collections), without the written permission of Columbia University.
Exception: As of version 7.0, C-Kermit is automatically licensed for
inclusion with Open Source operating system distributions such as Linux,
OpenBSD, and FreeBSD:
For other forms redistribution, see our:
For further information, or send e-mail to
Kermit - Licensing / Columbia University / firstname.lastname@example.org / 1 Jan 2002
— 20 July 2011