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Movable Type Open Source 4.1 is Here!

By Byrne Reese
Posted January 28, 2008, in News.

Last week Movable Type passed one of the biggest milestones in its history: the first stable version of Movable Type Open Source was officially released. Technically, Movable Type has been available under a GPL license since December. But for so many of you who were waiting in the sidelines for an officially blessed, officially tested stable version of the product, we are happy to say that it is finally available for download.

Since our original announcement, we've been paying close attention to your questions about MTOS. So instead of summarizing all of the new features that have been introduced in MTOS again, I thought I would take a moment to revisit some of those questions. This should also help explain the motivations behind the MTOS project and how it relates to the other Movable Type products available from

Why MTOS? What do you hope to achieve with this distribution?

As stated on the project's hompage, the mission behind MTOS is:

  • To produce a powerful and easy to use open source blogging platform that can scale to meet anyone's needs.
  • To serve as a role model in the adoption and application of open Internet web standards.
  • To allow the community to collaborate more effectively on developing software for the Movable Type platform.
  • To provide a staging ground for exciting and innovative new Internet technologies and standards.
  • To nourish groups and individuals wishing to build on top of the platform, whether it is to fix a bug, develop a feature or build a business.
  • To make it easier for others to start blogging by creating additional distribution channels.

From a philosophical standpoint, it's even easier to explain the motivations behind MTOS: We want to make it as easy as possible for as many people as possible to express themselves freely on the web.

What are all the different versions of Movable Type that are available, and how is MTOS related to or different from them?

  • MTOS (Movable Type Open Source) is a distribution of MT available under the GPL (v2). This version is free in every sense of the word. Users can download it for free, redistribute it for free, make changes for free, and so on and so forth - provided of course that they apply by the limitation set forth by the GPL.

  • Movable Type for Personal Use is a distribution of Movable Type that is 100% identical to MTOS from a code perspective, however it is only available under a proprietary (closed source) license. This, by definition, is what makes Movable Type dual licensed. Oh yeah, and by the way: it also happens to be free - meaning it costs nothing to use and download. If you use the Personal edition, you can also choose to purchase installation services or support.

  • Movable Type for Commercial Use is a distribution of Movable Type that includes the commercially-licensed equivalent of the core open source product and includes the Movable Type Professional Pack that contains features exclusive to our paid customers. We bundle Movable Type and the Professional Pack together in a single download to make it easier for customers to install by requiring only to download and install one thing, as opposed to two.

If MTOS and Movable Type for Personal Use are "identical", then why offer them under different licenses?

The answer is actually pretty simple: first, when embarking on this whole licensing change we spoke with our customers first, many of whom expressed a preference to keep using the same kind of MT license that they always had. Since it doesn't cost us at Six Apart anything, and it makes our customers happy, that sounded like a good deal; We'll continue making the personal use license available. And by making sure that the customers we support are on a known, tested, stable build of the product, we can be much more efficient with our support. It also helps us be more effective in identifying the feature requests and bug reports we use to

But stay tuned, in the future we may choose to expand upon our support services, based on the feedback and requests we hear from the community.

Can I use MTOS for commercial purposes?

This is surprisingly, one of the most commonly asked questions we have received from our users - no doubt because we have historically licensed Movable Type to our users for use only in specific contexts (e.g. our Educational Licenses, our Non-profit Licenses, and our Commercial Licenses).

In so choosing the GPL for MTOS Six Apart gave its users the right to use Movable Type Open Source for any purpose whatsoever, without any need to pay Six Apart anything. Ever. Period. Its yours to do with what you please. Really, we are not kidding.

However, software licensed under the GPL is not without strings. For the vast majority of users, the restrictions the GPL imposes upon them are not wholly relevant. That being said: if you are a developer of Movable Type software, if you wish to bundle Movable Type with software you have created, or if you wish to make Movable Type available for download or otherwise redistribute it, then you are highly encouraged to familiarize yourself with the terms of the GPL v2.

What does the GPL allow me to do?* and *where can I go if I have questions about the GPL?

The best resource for anyone seeking answers about any license is the author of that license. For the GPL, that happens to be the Free Software Foundation. We recommend the official GPL FAQ as the place to check to see if you question has already been answered.

We hope the above answers have proven useful to you. If you have additional questions just leave them in the comments and we'll be happy to help get you answers.


10 Comments on January 31, 2008, 11:59 a.m. Reply

I’m having a site designed using MT and was hoping you could address some issues raised by the article on SEOMOZ, a leading SEO blog, here is the link

In the article he talks about 12 basic SEO issues that frequently plague content management systems (both pre-built and custom-made). I was hoping for some thought on MT in the comment but most people knew little of the NEW movable type. I thought your views on these issues could bring more light into the NEW MT.

  1. Title Tag Customization & Rules
  2. Static, Keyword-Rich URLs
  3. Meta Tag Customization
  4. Enabling Custom HTML Tags
  5. Internal Anchor Text Flexibility
  6. Intelligent Categorization Structure
  7. Pagination Controls
  8. 301-Redirect Functionality
  9. XML/RSS Pinging
  10. Image-Handling & Alt Tags
  11. CSS Exceptions
  12. Static Caching Options



isabela on June 28, 2012, 5:54 a.m. Reply

The release of MTOS is great and exciting news! I’m also glad that you solved the commercial use matter.


Isolde on August 5, 2012, 11:21 a.m. Reply

I just found MT and I can not understand something. Am I able to use MT for free or it is a paid CMS?


hartley on September 4, 2012, 4:53 a.m. Reply

You can do both. You can use the free version, but the paid one is far more cooler than the non paid version.

Mike Hannigan

Mike Hannigan on September 6, 2012, 10:18 p.m. Reply

MT is not just powerful and easy to use open source blogging platform, but it is the best powerful and easy to use open source blogging platform available now.

Jeremy Gordon

Jeremy Gordon on October 3, 2012, 2:44 a.m. Reply

Is MTOS for commercial use still free of charge?

Amanda Robson

Amanda Robson on October 18, 2012, 3:17 a.m. Reply

A note to the first comment. The most known problem with all the different CMS is the duplicate content. When you have pagination for example. You have the content one time in the publication and another time of the paginated page. I don’t know how Moveable Type has solved the problem, but Wordpress hasn’t.

Deer antler velvet

Deer antler velvet on November 5, 2012, 5:32 p.m. Reply

The new features that have been introduced in MTOS was great,thank for your develop.


Jade on November 12, 2012, 11:58 p.m. Reply

I know Moveable Type could respond to many of users needs, but could Moveable Type respond to my needs? Any help will be appreciate. I am searching for a platform for social bookmarking site. Nether Drupal, Hotaru nor Pligg are what I need. The first two are no longer supported and the last one is too heavy for the hosting. Can you help me? Is it possible to use Moveable Type for my needs?


jessiccarobertt on December 12, 2012, 10:14 p.m. Reply

Thanks for your free Movable Type Open Source 4.1. I am really impressed with your tips.

Byrne Reese

Byrne Reese was previously the Product Manager of Movable Type at Six Apart, where he had also held positions as the Manager of Platform Technology and Product Manager for TypePad. Byrne is a huge supporter of the Movable Type user and developer community. He dedicates much of his time to promoting and educating people about Movable Type as well as building the tools and plugins for Movable Type that are showcased on Majordojo. He contributes regularly to open source; and he is an advocate for open protocols and standards like Atom and OpenID.