How to make money with Lino

Lino is free software, but most people nowadays understand the difference between free beer and free speech. Here is how you can make money with Lino.

Volunteer contributors

As a volunteer contributor you can save money by getting quality expert support for free. Lino helps you to enter the business of software development with just your own time as your only investment. Try to do that with some commercial framework! That's because we (the Lino Software Foundation) have a fundamental motivation for helping you with getting started your business because building a sustainable open community is an important part of our mission.

Volunteer contributors contact us because they want to

We provide all our support service to volunteer contributors for free forever, you just need to ask. But on the other hand we provide this service only as much as our human resources allow. You have no warranty of always getting a quick answer.

Professional application developers

As an independent developer you write and then maintain your own Lino application for a customer, and they pay you for that service. You may optionally make more money by also hosting one or several production sites of your application. You may even choose to keep your own work proprietary and sell licenses for it, because Lino is under a liberal free software license and does not require derived work to be free as well.

As an inhouse developer (i.e. you write a Lino application for your employer) you simply replace "customer" by "employer".

Business partnerships

When you start earning enough money, we may decide to enter into a more binding collaboration with a Service Level Agreement. But nothing will force you to pay us money us because both source code and documentation is freely available. Anyway we are not yet there. Let's first imagine some ways of how you can make your own money with Lino.

For example as a combined hosting provider and end-user support provider.

The first part of what you are going to sell : hosting service, system maintenance. The second part of what you are going to sell : end-user support and training.

Phase 1 (acquiring knowledge and sales)

  • You learn a few existing Lino applications : what they can do, how to use them. We give you free support. We keep our demo servers up to date.

  • You find a potential customer, i.e. a company who might want one of these applications. That's basically your job (though we might give you advice).

Phase 2 (your first production site)

  • You order a VPS at a data center and learn how to configure a Lino server. You must learn about Linux system administration, how to monitor a server and keep it running, how to make backups.

    For each of your future customers you will have one VPS. You must also register at least one domain name.

    We give you support for this. We can recommend proven data centers:

  • Optionally you can leave Phase 2 to us in the beginning. You would do "only" sales, support and analysis. But we would need some kind of Service Level Agreement then.

Phase 3 (training, support, analysis)

  • You give training and support to your customer so that they can use their Lino site.

  • Your customer will have change requests. You report them to us, we make code changes in the public version for free, you test them and then pull the new version to your customer's site and care for data migration.