Change of ACCEPT_LICENSE default

Title: Change of ACCEPT_LICENSE default
Author: Ulrich Müller <>
Author: Thomas Deutschmann <>
Posted: 2019-05-23
Revision: 2
News-Item-Format: 2.0

The default set of accepted licenses has been changed [1,2] to:


This means that by default only free software and documentation
will be installable. The "FREE" license group is defined in the
profiles/license_groups file in the Gentoo repository. It contains
licenses that are explicitly approved by the Free Software Foundation,
the Open Source Initiative, or that follow the Free Software

The system wide default for the accepted licenses is controlled by
the ACCEPT_LICENSE variable in /etc/portage/make.conf, or it can be
specified on a per-package basis in /etc/portage/package.license.

For example, to allow the app-arch/unrar and sys-kernel/linux-firmware
packages to be installed, the following lines would have to be added
to /etc/portage/package.license:

   app-arch/unrar unRAR
   sys-kernel/linux-firmware @BINARY-REDISTRIBUTABLE

A migration tool app-portage/elicense is available. It scans installed
packages for licenses that are no longer accepted, and generates a list
in the same format as the package.license file. See elicense's README
for further details.

If you want to revert to the previous default, add the following line
to /etc/portage/make.conf:


This will permit all licenses, except End User License Agreements that
require reading and signing an acceptance agreement. Note that this
will also accept non-free software and documentation.

See GLEP 23 [3] as well as the make.conf(5) and portage(5) man pages
for the detailed syntax of the ACCEPT_LICENSE variable. Further
information about licenses can be found in the Gentoo Handbook [4]
and on the license groups wiki page [5].