What are the legalities behind selling computers with pfsense installed on them?



  • Because we are in an area where there are very few high speed internet options, often the best option is Satellite (even though thats not the best option if you'd had other options). So, we have satellite. My dad is thinking about doing hughes installs as those pay fairly well and we should be able to do a lot of them around here.

    So, while he's entertaining that thought… I'm thinking that because satellite has problems with bandwidth and also with speed sometimes, people would be much happier with their system if they had a squid proxy server going on it. And even more happy if they had a router that had squid on it. And the absolute best thing I know of is pfsense!

    So, if I were to put together computers (probably with mostly older/used hardware) that ran pfsense... can I legally sell them? I think pfsense is under the GPL but I don't know if that means I can sell it or not. Don't get me wrong, I have no intentions whatsoever of putting a price tag on "free" software. I think that the pfsense developers have been working hard to provide something that would otherwise cost a decent amount of money and I think thats great!

    I'd really just be charging people the money that it would cost for the hardware, and my time in finding the hardware, putting it together, installing pfsense, and configuring it for their network. So, I don't know if I can do that or not... but if I could, that would be great. And, if I could I would also tell people that they are using free software that is community supported and while they are not obligated to "buy" it, if they are happy with it then maybe they should consider giving a donation.

    And thats another question... does pfsense have a paypal account where people can donate money to the project?

    Thanks a lot!
    ~Shawn


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate



  • I just read that right before you posted the link. ;)

    So, I'm wondering…

    As I understand it, it looks as if I'm not allowed to use the name "pfsense" in any kind of marketing for my firewall/routers that I'd be selling. So, does this mean that I'm not allowed to say "Pfsense Routers For Sale," or that I'm not allowed to say "Custom built firewall/routers for sale w/ pfsense software?" Or what if I said something like this:

    Custom Built Router/Firewall For Sale

    -4 Ethernet ports
    -802.11g wireless
    -4GB RAM
    -2Ghz CPU
    -Pfsense 1.2.3

    That does not use the name "pfsense" as something to get sales... but it does let people know that they are buying something with pfsense on it. Personally, I feel that it would be better if that I was not too constrained as I would rather tell people openly that the computers have pfsense installed on it. I would explain to them that it is community supported software that they do not have to buy. However, I would encourage them to give  a donation of they are pleased with it.

    Another thing is that it looks like I'm not allowed to modify pfsense in any way before selling it. Does this mean I'm not allowed to reconfigure the kernel (or something of the like), or that I'm not not allowed to alter pfsense settings to better fit satellite internet, and to install squid... and a few other applications? Because if at all possible, I would like to be able to offer wireless cards, and squid, and other things too... all only for my cost to put it together and the price of the hardware. And, of course, I'd be glad to contribute to the project in any way I can.





  • @GruensFroeschli:

    This might help you too:
    http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,21068.0.html

    So, I think I will just start getting parts and start building pfsense boxes and just sell them as routers/firewalls w/ caching capabilities. Somehow I got to get a hold of older computers… and in quantity. But I think thats doable. I'm thinking I should call some colleges around here.

    Thanks a lot,
    ~Shawn


  • Banned

    Shawn…. It is moving towards small boxes and not old powerguzzling hardware.....;)

    Either small boxes or 1U appliances build into new home networks. Many people today have NAS and other things stashed in their basement, and surprisingly enough, many have small racks(at least here in Sweden/Scandinavia). Just for your info....


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