GPL License

""GPL" stands for "General Public License". The most widespread such license is the GNU General Public License:, or GNU GPL for short. This can be further shortened to "GPL", when it is understood that the GNU GPL is the one intended."


Joomla! & the GPL

The Joomla Project is a GPL community, which means not just that a particular Free and Open Source license is used for Joomla software, but also that we believe in the mission and values behind that license. These include collaboration, community, and freedom. The GPL license embodies these values. Joomla! is licensed under GPL version 2 or later.


The JED & the GPL

The JED is important for many reasons. It makes it easier for users to find extensions, and it helps support the development of a vibrant and healthy commercial and non-commercial development community around Joomla. However, it may also be unintentionally undermining our support of the GPL by including extensions and other applications that run counter to it. The JED is also guided by the mission and values of the The Joomla! Project, which has determined that the JED should be a community resource that fully embodies the project's values, especially freedom as embodied by the GPL license.

  • Since March 31, 2009 the Joomla! Extensions Directory (JED) hasn't accepted non GPL listings.
  • Since July 1, 2009 only GPL extensions have been listed.
  • These changes were designed to strengthen the project's commitment to its core mission, vision and values as articulated in September 2008.


GPL License Requirements

Extensions must be licensed as GPL in order to be listed. Additional restrictions may not be placed on top of the GPL. Please note that the GPL does allow developers to charge for their products.


Extensions Pack - General Requirements

The JED needs to be able to monitor files and make it easier for users to understand the terms under which they purchase/download extensions. This is why, to be listed at JED, you need to comply with additional terms that will improve directory maintenance and trust form directory users. This terms include:

  1. Published under a GPL license - See: Versions of the license
  2. Include GPL notices on XML and PHP files
  3. Provide a copy of the GPL license within your package - the file doesn't need to be installed with the extension, only included with the package as a text file
  4. Copyright notice in all files as required by GPL license
  5. Encrypted or encoded extensions, whether or not they are GPL licensed, will also be excluded

GPL Compliance Requirements

To list your file in JED under a GPL license, you must include proper notices for the license chosen. This includes making modifcations to the XML file, PHP files and the TXT file.

XML File

A <license> tag in your extension's XML file and state it is licensed under the GPL. For example:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<install type="module" version="1.5.0">
        <name>Extension name goes here</name>
        <creationDate>20 April 2010</creationDate>
        <author>Author name goes here</author>
        <copyright>Copyright holder name goes here</copyright>
        <authorEmail>This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.</authorEmail>
        <description>DESCRIPTION GOES HERE</description>

For GPL you can use other versions of the license, but GNU/GPLv3 is preferable.

PHP Files

The file headers of an extension should contain a copyright notice and a notice that the file and extension is distributed under the terms of the GPL, as in this comment block:

 * @package Module XYZ for Joomla! 1.5
 * @version $Id: mod_XYZ.php 599 2010-03-20 23:26:33Z you $
 * @author YOUR NAME HERE
 * @copyright (C) 2010- YOUR NAME HERE
 * @license GNU/GPLv3

Note: Additional information about the extension, author, copyright and version date are considered good practices.


TXT File

Provide a copy of the GPL license within your package

  • GNU GPL v2 text

Note: this file doesn't need to be installed with the extension, just included with the package as a text file.


Special Cases

Independent Libraries

  • Single-packed libraries can be licensed under a GPL compatible license listed by the Free Software Foundation - see LGPLv3 -
  • You must include a TXT file for license information

Libraries Packed with Extensions

  • Stand-alone libraries can be licensed under a GPL compatible license listed by the Free Software Foundation - see LGPLv3 -
  • You must include a TXT file for license info and a statement in the extension XML file license tag

Other File Types

  • Stand-alone file (like images, compiled flash files) that are packed with extensions, can be licensed under other licenses
  • You must include a TXT file for license info and a statement in the extension XML file license tag


Forked Extensions

We support the original project/developer whenever possible to maintain the integrity of the listings and also support developers who are building and innovating using the Joomla platform.

Forked projects must represent a significant code improvement, either in features or security and structure in order to be listed. See the Forked Extension requirements.



How does the JED support developers?

The Joomla team is strongly committed to supporting both commercial and non-commercial Joomla developers. We have implemented some policy changes to enhance our support for developers. Therefore we will not link to collections of GPL extensions that are not submitted by the original developer.


Does this mean there will be no more commercial extensions in the JED?

No! Commercial extensions with the GNU GPL license and that are not encrypted are welcomed and encouraged in the JED.


Who will be able to submit extensions?

Only the original developer! We think that the best place to get an extension is from the original developer of that extension.


What if I think my extension doesn't violate the Joomla license?

This is a policy in favor of software freedom and the mission, vision and values of the Joomla! Project, not one about technical issues in licensing.


Can I use a GPL compatible license?

No. The JED will only list extensions licensed using the GNU GPL.


Can I use libraries in my GPL extension that are GPL compatible?



Additional Reading

To know more about licensing your software:

Before submitting an extension to JED, please read the following: