Couchbase LIcense Understanding

| | August 5, 2015

Couchbase is an open source project, and the source code is protected by the Apache 2.0 license. This license allows developers to download, modify, use, deploy etc etc the code however they wish, including for commercial purposes (of course with the restrictions regarding including all license and attribution information, and redistribution/resale restrictions).

However, according to this – the use of Couchbase server is limited to a 2-node cluster in production. Full license agreement here –

Don’t these two things contradict each other? What if I download the source code, modify it, compile it and deploy it to my production environment. Am I still limited to 2-nodes, unless I pay for the yearly license and support contract?

Please understand that I am not looking for a way to circumvent any legal licensing restrictions, nor “steal” any software. This would be hypocritical considering I am a software developer myself. I am just looking for clarification on what my allowable rights are with these software licenses.

2 Responses to “Couchbase LIcense Understanding”

  1. Couchbase Community licensing has changed, and you can now run it on more than two nodes.


  2. Matt Ingenthron on November 30, -0001 @ 12:00 AM

    One license applies to the source code, the other license applies to the binaries distributed by Couchbase, Inc. Many Open Source licenses allow for distribution of binaries under other terms.

    Also, I should note that Couchbase also has a binary distribution of a Community Edition, which has different terms associated with it. Couchbase has a writeup on these two options.

    Have a look at this entry from the Open Source Initiative too. There are lots of good materials on that site.

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