Stellarium for non-desktop platforms (iPhone, iPad, Android, etc.)

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  • Bogdan Marinov

    Bogdan Marinov - 2013-04-30

    Before asking questions and providing feedback, please have in mind that this is the Feedback Forum of the original, desktop version of Stellarium, and that we don't develop or provide support for the versions for mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.)

    Stellarium is free/open-source software licensed under the GNU General Public License, which means that everyone has the right to adapt the code to a particular platform, as long as the proper attribution is given and it is technically possible. (In theory. In practice, the Therms of Service of specific software distribution systems can conflict with the GNU GPL.)

    This is a short list of known Stellarium forks for mobile devices:

    • Stellarium Mobile (for Android, originally for Maemo/Nokia N900) is developed by Noctua Software, a small company held by the brother of Stellarium's original developer Fabien Chéreau. Unfortunately, Fabien hasn't been active in the desktop project for quite some time.

    Again, we do not provide support for these projects! If you have any feedback or requests, contact their maintainers!

  • Anonymous - 2013-09-18

    Hi, if I made a stellarium adaption with some extra features, would I need permission for that?

    Would I be allowed to charge for it or would it need to be free?

    I'd really appreciate some feedback on this - the GNU license seems to be clear that you are allowed to sell adapted programs as long as you keep the source code available for free but recent DMCA violation call on Stellarium App has left me confused.



    • Alexander Wolf

      Alexander Wolf - 2013-09-18

      No, you don't need permissions, but you should publish source code of all modifications of the Stellarium. Exception: you wrote plugin for Stellarium - code of this plugin can be closed.

      And yes, you can sell binary packages with modifications.

      Last edit: Alexander Wolf 2013-09-18
      • Anonymous - 2013-09-24

        I think you still need to change the name if you want to sell it.
        Anyway, IMHO it is not fair to sell an app that is 99,99% FLOSS project + 0,01% added feature, unless you also give 99,99% of the profits back to the original FLOSS project.

      • Anonymous - 2013-11-13

        Does one need to change the name of a Stellarium adaption as suggested in another post?

        Can plugins be closed or do they need to be posted with the original license?

        There are a number of mobile adaptions of Stellarium around - are these done by the original team?

        I'd appreciate some more feedback on this issue.

        Thanks a lot!

      • Timothy Reaves

        Timothy Reaves - 2013-12-02

        Alex is very wrong in his response; no one is ever allowed to sell Stellarium. Stellarium uses the open source version of the Qt license. This license not only prohibits selling the application, it does not allow developers to ever switch from the non-commercial license to the commercial.

        No one, under any circumstances, can sell any version of Stellarium.

    • Anonymous - 2013-09-24

      Would your extra features increase the value of "stellarium" by 5%, 50% or 200%? In other words, how close to the original featureset would your app be?

      IMHO, if somebody grabs FLOSS code worth X years of work and Y thousands lines of code, and then adds features whose size is not significant compared to the original code, it would not be ethical to charge for such "small" modifications. You see what I mean?

      Furthermore, for a given user base, every fork like that takes users away from the original project (and thus potential donors for donation-supported FLOSS projects).
      Regarding that last remark, I do agree that it could happen that a fork is so good that it takes over the original project in market share. However, for that to happen the forked project would need to be so good that its code base would be significantly different.

  • Anonymous - 2013-09-19

    Correction: As explicitly pointed out in the Stellarium developers documentation, any plug-in should use the same license as Stellarium:

    • Alexander Wolf

      Alexander Wolf - 2013-11-13

      This is correct for static plugins.

  • Bogdan Marinov

    Bogdan Marinov - 2013-12-01

    No, it's not limited to static plug-ins, Alex. All Stellarium plug-ins, static or dynamic, necessarily inherit the StelModule class, and may use other Stellarium classes. Therefore, all of them need to use Stellarium's license.

    (I was the anonymous poster above.)

  • Anonymous - 2013-12-06

    I was looking at the stellarium mobile app for use on an iPad air; it seems like it would look really nice. The regular app doesn't work very well on my old MacBook Pro; limited to 10.7, so probably out-of-date graphics driver. I created a bug a while ago, but given the obsolete system I am using, I don't know if it is reasonable to fix.

    Anyway, The mobile version seems to be "official" given the first post in this thread. It currently cost $1.99. The later post by Timothy Reaves contradicts this, saying that no one can sell stellarium.

    It seems to me that the Mobil version could become more popular than the desktop version, given the abilities of smart phones to determine where they are and which direction they are pointing. This seems like it may be worthwhile to support the mobile version in the future.

    For my immediate decision (purchase or not), does any of the money for the mobile version make it back to the main project? It looks like they do have source code available, but I have not played with Xcode in a while.

  • Anonymous - 2013-12-19

    I actually have a free iPhone version 1.5
    showing (c)2010 by Froenchenko Leonid
    I wanted to update but another co. Name
    Is asking for $1.99. I don't mind paying once,
    But to the right people please.

  • Anonymous - 2014-07-21

    Noctua is charging for installation, by the way. Legal?

  • Anonymous - 2014-08-16

    Thanks for the info!

    I have a notebook with Window 7 and the desk top version detected my notebook system is too ... pfff ... let's say little. It is a little bit disappointing, I was really looking forward to knowing to where to look at and enjoy ¡La Lluvia de Estrellas! of these days. Anyway, great idea to check the system before open the programme.

    All the best, María

  • Anonymous - 2014-09-22

    so does this mean there is not a version for the Surface Tablet?

  • Anonymous - 2014-10-18

    Someone seems to offer the Stellarium program on the Apple store and asking money for it? 17,99 euros

  • Anonymous - 2015-04-14

    Please note a common point of confusion with the GPL license: one is allowed to "sell" GPL software. But one must still extend the freedoms inherent in the GPL to the recipient: this means that they must receive the source (or an offer to receive it) -- and full knowledge that they are allowed themselves to study, modify, and distribute what they receive. If they do make further distribution, they may do so at no cost. Full source, by the way, must also include the scripts and other tooling necessary to build the software.

    This brings us to an issue: the Stellarium-Mobile source distributed by Noctua makes no documentation whatsoever of how to build the APK which they distribute. Perhaps this is more obviously familiar to one familiar in the art of Android development, but I suspect not. Their lack of documentation of the build system shows that they are pushing an extremely minimal and mechanical compliance with the GPL.

    Are there any others who have successfully managed to compile the Noctua GPL release of their Stellarium Mobile source? If so, please share your scripts. And I urge the copyright holders of the Stellarium source to make contact with the Noctua users and to strongly encourage full compliance with the GPL through documentation of the build process.

    • Anonymous - 2015-04-15

      So if anyone manages to compile the Noctua source code, they could also rerelease it with the build instructions they created. In fact if they made even a comment change in the code and gave it to anyone, they would have to include the build instructions they'd used to publish the change, in order to adhere to the GPL.
      So where Noctua post their source code?

  • Anonymous - 2015-04-16


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    Anonymous - 2015-08-14

    Does the Noctua Android version have telescope control? Thanks.

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    Anonymous - 2015-10-11

    Noctua are a bunch of leeches. Cheap opportunists. Stellarium is free and it should remain that way.

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      Anonymous - 2015-10-12

      You'd better follow development history before making such statements.

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    Anonymous - 2015-10-11

    Does the iOS Version have Telescope control like the old Stellarium-XL ? If not, where iis the Source of the XL Version ?

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      Anonymous - 2015-10-14

      If you want telescope control, try the iOS app SkyPortal by Celestron, It's powered by Skysafari. And it's free.

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