This is how the Serval Project develops its technology.

Source code

As explained below under licensing, The Serval Project reserves the right to re-license all source code. To this end, the copyright in all source code source code must be either owned by Serval Project Incorporated or licensed to the public under non-restrictive terms. Contributors can assign their copyright to Serval Project Incorporated by signing and returning one of the Contributor Assignment Agreements. Alternatively, contributors must comment their contributions with license terms acceptable to The Serval Project. The set of acceptable licenses includes, but is not limited to:


All technical documentation contributors must EITHER sign one of the Contributor Assignment Agreements OR license their technical documentation contributions to the public under the CC BY 4.0 license (see Technical Documentation for more information).

Contributor Assignment Agreements

The following agreements, if signed by a contributor and returned to The Serval Project, transfer the copyright from the contributor to Serval Project Incorporated, a not-for-profit incorporated association:

  • Individual (PDF) - for contributions made by individuals in their own capacity
  • Entity (PDF) - for contributions by companies, governments, and other organisations

The texts of these agreements were produced by the HARMONY project.


The Serval Project is committed to publicly licensing all of its software under GPL2 or GPL3. However, the project's overriding goal is to bring telephony to those in need, and The Serval Project reserves the right to adopt other licenses as necessary to achieve this goal. A salient example is support for Apple iPhone devices: the Apple App Store does not accept the GPL, so the iOS version would be dual-licensed under terms acceptable to Apple.

Software development

Classes of developer

Specific components

How to develop specific software components.

Tools and resources