The BSD-2-Clause License, also known as the “Simplified BSD License” or “FreeBSD License,” is a permissive open-source license widely used in the software development community. It is one of the three main BSD licenses, alongside the BSD-3-Clause and BSD-4-Clause licenses. The BSD-2-Clause License is known for its simplicity and flexibility, making it a popular choice for both developers and users.

Key Provisions of the BSD-2-Clause License:

  1. Permission to Use, Modify, and Distribute:
    The BSD-2-Clause License grants users the freedom to use, modify, and distribute the software under the terms of the license. Users are not required to seek permission from the original author to use or modify the code, making it highly developer-friendly.
  2. Redistribution Requirements:
    When redistributing the software or its modified versions, users must include the original copyright notice, license terms, and disclaimer. This attribution requirement ensures that the original authors receive credit for their work and that users are aware of the licensing terms.
  3. No Endorsement or Warranty:
    The BSD-2-Clause License includes a disclaimer stating that the software is provided “as is” without any warranty or guarantees. This means that the original authors are not liable for any damages or issues arising from the use of the software.
  4. Non-Endorsement Clause:
    The license specifies that the use of the author’s name or organization’s name for promoting or endorsing a product derived from the software is not allowed without prior written permission. This clause protects the original authors from any association with modified versions that they have not endorsed or contributed to.

Advantages of the BSD-2-Clause License:

  1. Permissive and Simple:
    The BSD-2-Clause License is straightforward and easy to understand, with only two main clauses. This simplicity makes it an attractive choice for developers who want to encourage broad usage and collaboration without imposing complex licensing requirements.
  2. Compatibility:
    The BSD-2-Clause License is compatible with other open-source licenses, including the GNU General Public License (GPL). Developers can include BSD-licensed code in projects with different licenses, facilitating code sharing and collaboration across different software ecosystems.
  3. Business-Friendly:
    The permissiveness of the BSD-2-Clause License makes it suitable for commercial and proprietary use. Companies can incorporate BSD-licensed code into their proprietary software without being required to release their code under an open-source license.
  4. Contributing to the Open-Source Community:
    By choosing the BSD-2-Clause License, developers contribute to the open-source community by allowing others to freely use and build upon their code. This fosters innovation and collaboration within the software development community.

Examples of Projects Using the BSD-2-Clause License:

The BSD-2-Clause License is widely used in various open-source projects, especially those associated with BSD-based operating systems like FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD. Many networking and security-related software, as well as utilities and libraries, adopt this license due to its compatibility and simplicity.


The BSD-2-Clause License is a permissive and straightforward open-source license that allows users to use, modify, and distribute software freely. Its compatibility with other licenses, business-friendly provisions, and contribution to the open-source community make it a popular choice for developers. When using BSD-2-Clause-licensed code, it is essential to comply with the redistribution requirements and give appropriate attribution to the original authors to maintain the open-source spirit of collaboration and transparency.

If you’re interested in exploring a comprehensive list of various open-source licenses and their details, feel free to check out our guide to “Open Source Licenses : A Guide To Software Licensing“. Happy licensing!


  1. “The 2-Clause BSD License.” Open Source Initiative.
  2. “FreeBSD License.” GNU Project – Free Software Foundation.
  3. “FreeBSD Handbook – Licenses for Third-Party Software.” FreeBSD Documentation.

Please note that the information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not legal advice. For specific legal questions related to the BSD-2-Clause License or any other licensing matters, it is recommended to consult with a qualified legal professional.

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