IDF and ESPTOOL_PY Licence Clarification Request

NevynSelby
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:04 pm

IDF and ESPTOOL_PY Licence Clarification Request

Postby NevynSelby » Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:28 am

I am looking for clarification on the licence that is applicable to the ESP-IDF and the

So, the ESP-IDF states that the licence is Apache 2.0. The IDF includes the esptool_py which states that the tool is licenced under GNU (in the LICENCE file https://github.com/espressif/esp-idf/bl ... py/LICENSE).

The two seem to be at odds.

Background for this, it would be helpful to me if I could use part of the esptool_py which the Apache licence would allow but the GPL licence makes this ore difficult.

Regards,
Mark

ESP_igrr
Posts: 1574
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:37 am

Re: IDF and ESPTOOL_PY Licence Clarification Request

Postby ESP_igrr » Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:05 am

Hi Mark,

The original source code in ESP-IDF repository is licensed under Apache 2, with a few exceptions (notably examples)
Since esptool.py is included as as submodule, we don't assume that the license of the IDF repository transfers to it. Its GPL license is mentioned on the following page: https://docs.espressif.com/projects/esp ... RIGHT.html
As you say, normally including GPL code into an Apache licensed application would not be possible. However since esptool.py does not become part of the application produced with IDF, we assume that it doesn't affect licensing of the application. Much like the fact that GCC is GPL licensed doesn't affect the licensing of the application built with GCC. In near future we plan to remove esptool submodule and instead will install esptool using pip, to avoid any possible confusion.

Which part of esptool.py are you interested in using? If this part was developed by Espressif, it may be possible for us to release it under a permissive license.

NevynSelby
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:04 pm

Re: IDF and ESPTOOL_PY Licence Clarification Request

Postby NevynSelby » Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:04 am

We are looking at developing a method of programming the ESP32 from another microcontroller (STM32) using a C application which runs on the STM32. The basic flow would be:
  • C# app on PC / Mac / Linux reads a binary image and send down serial line to STM32
  • STM32 takes the image, validates it and then programs the ESP32 with the image
We have worked out from the serial comms documentation how to talk to the ESP32 and we can verify the chip ID etc.

The next step is to program the ESP32 from the STM32. The ESPTOOL has a binary image (ESP32 stub code) embedded in the Python script which the developer here now needs to send to the ESP32 to start the programming process.

We noted that the source code for the stub appears in the ESPTOOL repository. If we compiled this and used the resultant binary what would the licence be for use of the binary?

Regards,
Mark

ESP_igrr
Posts: 1574
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:37 am

Re: IDF and ESPTOOL_PY Licence Clarification Request

Postby ESP_igrr » Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:29 pm

Hi Mark,
The stub was initially developed by Cesanta and GPL licensed by them, so indeed we can't relicense that.

We are currently working on an embeddable C version of esptool, primarily to allow other host MCUs to flash an ESP chip. This is not quite ready for a public release (missing examples and such), but if it helps, I can share the early version with you. It doesn't utilize the stub (for the same reason you found) and therefore doesn't support compression, so upload times will be longer than those with esptool.py.

NevynSelby
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:04 pm

Re: IDF and ESPTOOL_PY Licence Clarification Request

Postby NevynSelby » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:00 am

Yes, I would appreciate seeing the early version of the flashing code. We'd be happy to provide feedback.

I will message you my contact details.

Thanks you for the offer,
Mark

NevynSelby
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:04 pm

Re: IDF and ESPTOOL_PY Licence Clarification Request

Postby NevynSelby » Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:58 am

ESP_igrr wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:29 pm
can share the early version with you. It doesn't utilize the stub (for the same reason you found) and therefore doesn't support compression, so upload times will be longer than those with esptool.py.
ESP_igrr,

Did you get my contact details? I think I have DM'd them to you.

Regards,
Mark

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