Harald Welte

Harald Welte

Harald Welte
Born 1979 (age 35–36)
Residence Berlin, Germany
Nationality German
Occupation Programmer
Website http://laforge.gnumonks.org/weblog/

Harald Welte (born 1979) is a programmer resident in Berlin, Germany. Within the free software community, Welte is well known as a hacker of the Linux kernel and for his activities in enforcing the GNU General Public License (GPL), the license that governs the use of much of free software.

Welte is also involved in a number of free software projects, such as Openmoko, (a version of Linux for completely open, low-cost, high-volume phones) and the netfilter/iptables project (the core firewall mechanism in Linux-based firewall computers and routing devices). He is an active member of the Chaos Computer Club.

Linux kernel development

Until 2007, Welte was the chairman of the core team responsible for the netfilter/iptables project.[1] He is also credited with writing the UUCP over SSL how-to, and contributions to User-mode Linux and international encryption kernel projects, among others.

GPL enforcement

Welte has become prominent for his work with [2] to track down and prosecute violators of the GPL, which had been untested in court until then.


Welte was Lead System Architect for Matchbox window manager. The OpenEmbedded build framework and ipkg package management system are used to create and maintain software packages.

However in 2007, Welte announced his withdrawal from Openmoko, citing internal friction and demotivation. He continues to contribute as a volunteer to the project.[4]

Awards in 2008

On 19 March 2008, the

On 22 July 2008, Welte received the Defender of Rights Open Source Award, presented to him by [6][7]


On 25 July 2008, VIA Technologies appointed Harald Welte as its open source liaison. According to VIA, in his role as open source liaison Welte will be responsible for helping refine VIA’s open source strategy and optimise its support for Linux.

Welte will also “assist VIA to develop drivers that are in line with the standards and best practices of Linux kernel development, enhance the quality and public availability of VIA documentation, and improve interaction with the open source development community”.[8]


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External links

  • Harald Welte's blog
  • Interview at the 3rd international GPLv3 conference, June 22, 2006
  • Audio and video of a panel discussion including Welte, June 23, 2006
  • Interview in LWN.net, June 12, 2006
  • Interview at under-linux.org
  • Personal interview with Harald Welte about Openmoko (German-speaking)
  • Interview with Harald Welte about gpl-violations.org (German), June 22, 2004
  • Podcast at CIO.com
  • Audio podcast: Harald Welte on gpl-violations.org and GSM security