Using xs:code to monetize your open source projects is easier than you think.

how it works

In order to offer a paid version of your code, you create a private repository under your Github account, and keep your code there, together with the license you want to provide. Using xs:code’s Github app, you allow us read-only access to that private repository, which we clone to our servers, and keep behind a payment wall. Users who want to get access to that code, have to purchase a subscription, and can access it as long as their subscription is active.

Just look at your private repository as the code your are offering on xs:code.


While there are any number of ways you can use xs:code, there are 3 popular monetization paths to get your started. You can choose the path that best suits your needs, and you are only restricted with your creativity to come up with new ways to use xs:code’s monetization system.

Dual licensing

Dual licensing means you keep the exact same code on Github and on xs:code, but with a different license. For example, you keep a GPLv3 (A highly restrictive, copyleft license) version on Github, and an MIT (a highly permissive license) version on xs:code. This means your code is still freely accessible by the community to use and contribute, but companies that need an MIT license, need to buy a subscription. 

gpl mit


  • You continue working as usual, just change your license on Github to GPL.
  • The code remains completely open-source, for the benefit of the community.
  • You prevent companies from using it commercially without paying.


  • Changing your license might affect other repositories that use your code as a dependency
  • If a company is not willing to pay, they will either need to remove your code from their project, or open-source their entire project. 


With this popular model, you keep “lite” version on Github, and offer a subscription based “pro” version on xs:code. Your “Pro” version can have added features, better support or whatever you want to offer. Note that the version you offer on xs:code must be permissive licensed, using one of our approved licenses.


  • Highly flexible, as you can offer anything you like in the pro version (extra features, more support, paid hosting – your choice).
  • No licensing issues. You can keep your lite version with a permissive (such as MIT) license, keeping things simple even for users who don’t pay.


  • Your “pro” version becomes closed to the community, or non-paying users. This means that they cannot cannot access, or contribute code to that version, only to the “lite” version that is freely available on Github.

Dual licensing freemium

This approach mixes the two mentioned above. You keep a “lite” version on Github, along with a GPL licensed “pro” or “premium” version. By keeping the premium version with an MIT license only on xs:code, you guarantee that users who need an MIT license for the premium version buy a subscription.


  • All your code (both lite and premium versions) is kept open source
  • You can keep getting code contributions, even for your premium versions.


  • You need to keep track of 3 repositories.

Letting your users know

With any path you choose, we recommend you add a note to your project’s description and readme file to explain this change to your users, and send them to your xs:code page to buy a subscription to fit their needs.

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