back to article How HashiCorp's license shakeup seeded a new open source rebel

HashiCorp might be less than impressed with the rise of the Terraform fork, OpenTofu, but where Hashi sees challenges, the maintainers of the open source project see opportunities. OpenTofu sprang into existence following HashiCorp's 2023 decision to adopt the Business Source License, thus taking its popular Terraform …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "... you can do what you like with it, so long as that doesn't compete with HashiCorp"

    ... unless you forked the source code version before they changed the licence, in which case the restriction does not apply to the earlier fork.

  2. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge

    "And so when they changed the license to BSL, we were surprised they were taking that approach."

    Because none of you are MBAs. Neither are most of us. Not possible to comprehend, never mind think, like the alien pod people for us.

  3. oliversalmon

    The Hyperscalers are forcing this

    This is exactly the same move that Redis and Mongo have taken. It's purely down to the hyperscalers charging people for the use of open source software and not giving anything back to the open source communities they are abusing.

    1. notiggy

      Re: The Hyperscalers are forcing this

      That's not even close to true. No hyperscalers use terraform, much less try to sell it competing against Hashi. Most of them don't even support it. They all have competing tools that they would much rather people use to lock them in. Maybe a case could be made for Vault/etc, but even then, hyperscalers already had secrets solved before vault was useable by mere mortals. Hashicorp's license change is nothing like MongoDB/Redis. I'm not going to guess what all was behind the decision, but the end result is most open source devs don't want to contribute to non-open-source projects, so a fork of some sort was inevitable.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: The Hyperscalers are forcing this

      Of course. Who can forget evil AWS taking all of Terraform to -- sorry, what, they use Cloud Formation instead and want people to use that, grudgingly accepting Terraform? I meant it's evil Microsoft with their -- they have one too? Well, where's my evil company I can point at and say that everything is your fault? The people who ignore all of open source in the search for money? I think the best candidate in this situation is... Hashicorp. They're the ones that took the work of contributors, without paying them, and incorporated it in a version that they sell for money, then blocked those contributors from using their own code* if they competed with Hashicorp, as determined by Hashicorp's lawyers.

      * Unless they forked before the license change, which effectively means using OpenTofu because they don't want to maintain a ton of forks.

      1. spireite Silver badge

        Re: The Hyperscalers are forcing this

        Microsft Bicep.... it's god awful IMO

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: The Hyperscalers are forcing this

          There's a reason I have mostly used Terraform or the fork. I've used ARM for Azure and Cloud Formation for AWS, and neither was great and both were pretty useless on any other system. Terraform is also kind of painful* and I don't much like it, but learning it can at least be useful in multiple types of deployments.

          * Terraform is a functional language without being able to write functions. It supports complex data types, including nesting, but the code to untangle it ends up getting very large and ungainly if you ever find that you need them. Some of its competitors don't even support those types at all. IaC doesn't have the best tools.

  4. heyrick Silver badge

    HashiCorp sounds like the antagonist in a dystopian sci-fi movie. HashiCorp, OmniCorp...

    1. remainer_01

      Hashi Lebwohl from the Gap Cycle is a real piece of work

  5. man_iii
    Thumb Up

    Opentofu features

    I saw recently the ability to do things like removed resource or excluded resource state file. Very nice.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Opentofu features

      Amazing how opentofu released this functionality so soon after Hashicotp did; so soon they only had time to change the license in the header files..IP theft anyone?

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