Drone

Licensing and Subscription FAQ

This document attempts to answer frequently asked questions about the product license and enterprise subscription. The best way to understand the license is to read the LICENSE file in the root of the git repository. The LICENSE file is the source of truth.

Is Drone Open Source?
Yes, the Drone Open Source Edition is licensed under the Apache License. The Drone Enterprise Edition is Source Available and is licensed under the Drone Enterprise license.

Is Drone Enterprise Edition Free?
Yes, the official docker image provides free access to all Drone Enterprise features, for up to 5,000 builds. This includes both commercial and non-commercial use.

Can I Remove the Build Limit?
Yes, you can remove the 5,000 build limit by purchasing a commercial license. Or if you qualify for free use you can build the Enterprise Edition from source and remove all limits by compiling with the nolimit build tag. Or you can downgrade to the Open Source Edition.

go install -tags nolimit github.com/drone/drone/cmd/drone-server

How Do I Qualify for Free, Unlimited Use?
You can use the Drone Enterprise Edition for free, without annual build limits or restrictions, if you or your company have less than $5 million US dollars in annual gross revenue and less than $5 million aggregate debt and equity financing. This includes commercial and non-commercial use.

Is Drone Enterprise Free for Individuals?
Yes.

Is Drone Enterprise Free for Gogs?
Yes. We recognize the overwhelming majority of Gogs users are hobbyist and open source programmers and we therefore grant unlimited free access to Drone Enterprise when Gogs is the primary source control management system.

Is Drone Enterprise Free for Gitea?
Yes. We recognize the overwhelming majority of Gitea users are hobbyist and open source programmers and we therefore grant unlimited free access to Drone Enterprise when Gitea is the primary source control management system.

Is Drone Enterprise Free for Startups?
Yes, if the startup has under $5 million US dollars in annual gross revenue and less than $5 million aggregate debt and equity financing, or if total annual build volume is less than 5,000 builds per year. This includes commercial and non-commercial use.

Is Drone Enterprise Free for Companies?
Yes, if the company has under $5 million US dollars in annual gross revenue and less than $5 million aggregate debt and equity financing, or if total annual build volume is less than 5,000 builds per year. This includes commercial and non-commercial use.

Is Drone Enterprise Free for Non-Profits?
Yes.

Is Drone Enterprise Free for Educational Use?
Yes.

Is Drone Enterprise Free for Government Use?
Yes, if the annual build volume is less than 5,000 builds per year.

What is the difference between Enterprise and Open Source Edition?
The Open Source Edition lacks certain features that are reserved for the Enterprise Edition. The primary difference is the Open Source Edition is installed on a single machine. As your usage and workloads grow you will need to scale vertically, by increasing the size of your machine. The Enterprise Edition allows you to scale horizontally, spreading your workloads across multiple machines, using agents, Kubernetes or Nomad. You can see a full comparison matrix here.

Where do I download the Open Source Edition?
You can build the open source edition from source using the oss build tag. There is no official distribution of the open source edition available for download.

Where do I download the Enterprise Edition?
You can download the Enterprise Edition from Dockerhub by following the official installation instructions described in the Drone documentation.

How do I get a Trial License for the Enterprise Edition?
No Trial License is required. The Enterprise Edition is free for up to 5,000 builds per year. You can therefore download and try the Enterprise Edition by following the standard installation instructions described in the documentation.

How do I purchase a License for the Enterprise Edition?
Please contact us.

What happens if I exceed the Free Limit?
The Drone Enterprise Edition is free for up to 5,000 builds per year. If you qualify for unlimited free use you can build from source with limits removed (see Can I Remove the Build Limit ). Otherwise you need to purchase a commercial license or downgrade to the Open Source Edition.

Why Do I see a message that my License is Expired?
If you see a YOUR SERVER LICENSE IS EXPIRED in the user interface this means you are running Drone Enterprise and have exceeded the free use limits. If you qualify for free use you can build from source with limits removed (see Can I Remove the Build Limit). Otherwise you need to purchase a license or downgrade to the Open Source Edition.

Why does Drone charge an Enterprise License fee?
Maintaining a large open source project and supporting a large open userbase requires significant financial investment, even though we typically think of open source as free. This includes the cost of full time developers, designers, writers, support personnel and more. The typical annual cost to maintain a large open source project can range from hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to tens of millions of dollars a year.

For Drone, the Enterprise Edition subsidizes these costs. We expect successful companies making hundreds of millions or billions of dollars to purchase a license in support of both the project and maintainers. We look at this purchase as an investment. You are investing in the future of Drone, to ensure the tools you are using today still exist tomorrow.

Finally, I want to point out that we try to give Drone Enterprise away for free to as many developers as possible. Please consider that Drone Enterprise is free for virtually 100% of individuals, 100% of non-profit organizations and educational institutions, and 95% of startups and small businesses worldwide.

Additional Questions?
Please direct additional questions to the relevant department of your company that handles license compliance and software procurement.

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