In a significant development for the open source community, the official fork of Terraform, a popular open source project by HashiCorp, has been renamed OpenTofu. The renaming was announced by the Linux Foundation, which will now host OpenTofu as an open source project under its umbrella. As part of this move, OpenTofu has also applied for membership in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), which would further cement its position.
OpenTofu, the official fork of Terraform, has been renamed and is joining the Linux Foundation as an open source project. This move comes in response to HashiCorp’s decision to change the license of Terraform, sparking community outrage and leading to the creation of OpenTofu. The project aims to provide a reliable and community-driven alternative that will remain open source under a neutral governance model.
OpenTofu: A Community-Driven Alternative
OpenTofu was born out of a response to HashiCorp’s decision to change the license of Terraform from an open source Mozilla Public License v2.0 (MPLv2) to a Business Source License v1.1. This move sparked outrage among the open source community, leading to the creation of OpenTofu as a community-driven and open alternative.
The name OpenTofu may seem lighthearted, but it reflects the purpose of the project. Yevgeniy (Jim) Brikman, a member of the OpenTofu founding team and co-founder of Gruntwork, emphasized their intention to keep things a bit humorous while maintaining a serious commitment to building an open fork.
A Fundamental Belief in Open Source
Brikman highlighted the belief held by all the founding members of OpenTofu, which includes companies like Harness Labs, Scalr, Env0, and Spacelift. They view core building blocks such as Terraform as essential components that must always remain open source. The decision to fork Terraform was driven by the unexpected change in license, which contradicted this fundamental belief.
Ensuring the Project Remains Open Source
By becoming part of the Linux Foundation and aiming for acceptance into the CNCF, OpenTofu is ensuring that the project will continue to be owned and supported by the community. Jyoti Bansal, co-founder and CEO of Harness, reaffirmed the commitment of the founding companies to the open source nature of Terraform. They wanted to do what was right for the community and provide an alternative that would remain open source.
HashiCorp, the creator of Terraform, implemented the change in license to protect a core part of its business. According to company co-founder Armon Dadgar, this move was made to counter vendors who take advantage of open source projects without providing material contributions back. Although there may be differing opinions on the license change, HashiCorp was acting in line with its business strategy.
Aiming for Industry Adoption
The success of OpenTofu will depend on its ability to attract larger companies. Brikman acknowledges that this will take time, but believes that as the project achieves milestones and gains traction in the community, bigger players like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft will take notice and join in. OpenTofu’s plan includes a public roadmap, an alpha release, and subsequent stable releases to grow adoption and gain industry support.