FreeNginx Emerges in Response to F5’s Management Decisions

Maxim Dounin, a core Nginx dev, steps away from F5-led Nginx to launch FreeNginx, inviting contributions to safeguard open-source values.

To ensure clarity, let’s begin with a brief explanation. Nginx, the world’s award-winning and most popular web server, was previously owned by Nginx Inc.

In March 2019, it was acquired by F5 Inc., an American technology company focusing on application security, for $670 million, making F5 the current owner of Nginx.

In an unexpected turn of events yesterday, Maxim Dounin, formerly associated with F5 and a key developer of the web server, announced:

Unfortunately, some new non-technical management at F5 recently decided that they know better how to run open source projects. In particular, they decided to interfere with security policy nginx uses for years, ignoring both the policy and developers’ position.

As such, starting from today, I will no longer participate in nginx development as run by F5. Instead, I’m starting an alternative project, which is going to be run by developers, and not corporate entities: FreeNginx.

Maxim Dounin

Dounin, who has been instrumental in developing Nginx, continued his involvement with the project as a volunteer after F5 closed its Moscow office in 2022. However, recent decisions made by F5’s non-technical management regarding the project’s security policy have prompted Dounin to step down and establish

According to him, F5’s actions contradict the agreement reached when he agreed to continue contributing to Nginx post-employment and undermine the project’s integrity as a community-driven initiative. aims to preserve the essence of Nginx as a free, open-source project insulated from corporate influences that could jeopardize its development and application.

Dounin’s initiative is a call to action for the open-source community, inviting developers and contributors to join in the effort to maintain and advance Nginx without corporate constraints.

The success of this new initiative remains to be seen; only time will provide the answer. To conclude, it’s important to note that this isn’t the first time Nginx developers have departed from F5 to launch their web server fork.

A notable instance is the Angie project, which emerged in October 2022 and has since released multiple stable versions. Furthermore, Igor Sysoev, the original creator of Nginx, officially stepped away from the project two years ago to dedicate more time to his personal life and explore other projects.

As always, we’ll keep a close eye on the development of the new project. Meanwhile, you are welcome to visit its official website for more information.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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