Inclusion Policy

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All applications in the repository must be Free, Libre and Open Source software – for example, released under a GPL or Apache license. Every effort is made to verify that this is actually the case, both by visual inspection of the source, and by building the application from the published source. If in doubt about a license, please refer to the GNU license list.

For software to be FLOSS, the software in its entirety must be so - including all libraries and dependencies used. Additionally, it must be buildable with only FLOSS tools.

Notably:

  • We cannot build apps using Google's proprietary "play-services". Please talk to upstream about an untainted build flavor (either using microg or removing non-free deps completely).
  • We cannot build apps using proprietary tracking/analytic dependencies like Crashlytics and Firebase. Please talk to upstream about an untainted build flavor (either using a FLOSS analytics software like ACRA or by removing non-free deps completely).
  • We cannot build apps using proprietary ad libraries. We have nothing against advertisments (see AntiFeatures), but they must be provided by a FLOSS compatible way.
  • We cannot build apps requiring non-free buildtools, including Oracle's JDK or some pre-release toolchains.

Additionally:

  • The source code for the application must be maintained in a publicly accessible Version Control System which we have support for (git, hg, svn, bzr), and the source code needs to be maintained in an up to date state.
  • The software should not download additional executable binary files (e.g. non-free addons, auto-updates, etc).
  • The software should use its own unique Android package ID. Where the application is a fork of another (even one not included in the F-Droid repository) it must have a new ID, different from the original.
  • Although not ideal, "non-functional" assets (e.g. artwork) may be acceptable under less permissive licenses than functional code - an example would be artwork assets that are licensed only for use with that particular game. In any case though, they must be included under some kind of license, and not be copyright violations.
  • Trademarks must not be infringed, and any other legal requirements must be adhered to.
  • F-Droid does not sign up for any API keys. Even if provided by a third party, we include them in both, binary and sourcecode releases.
  • Binary dependencies such as JAR files have to be replaced by source-built versions or used from a trusted repository (see manual).

Ideally:

  • Releases should be clearly tagged (or otherwise marked).

Some software, while being Free and Open Source, may engage in practices which are undesirable to some or all users. Where possible, we still include these applications in the repository, but they are flagged with the appropriate AntiFeatures. Even though such software can be included, when appropriately flagged, it is frequently the case that other "FLOSS" software with these features is actually not entirely free. For example, advertising and spying on user is often enabled via proprietary binary libraries which we cannot include.

For more information on adding applications to the F-Droid Repository, see the Inclusion How-To.