Will Rancher remain Free?

Hi Folks,
I have been working with softwares licensed under GPLs s and similiar since the 90’s and as time goes by Big Techs take a hold on them. And examples abound and Rencher or any other software asset is not off the hook. But my worry is today. As it is not clear for me, unless I am mistaken, I just wonder if today a big and state company (Governements) can make use of Rencher, deploy it along several servers without paying a single penny legally. If so, what is the meaning of SUSE Rancher Government Solutions ? In short, can Rencher be used in any State Company without payment?

Apache licensed code should be fine for any government to use, unless the government has weird regulations somewhere/somehow? Apache license is pretty permissive, so it doesn’t tend to stop much in the way of business or government use.

Rancher is now owned by SUSE, a German company. I know there’s a US affiliate, Rancher Federal, which will provide US-based support for US gov. It wouldn’t surprise me if they had some other affiliates in other large countries for similar on-shored support services. Governments and large companies very much do like to have paid support services for critical functionality, so it’d make sense for those to exist anywhere the market is big & open enough for them.

(Neither Shannon nor I actually work at Rancher/SUSE anymore, but) nothing has continued to (not) change here going on 8 years now.

There is still only one packaged version of Rancher; customers still run the same images anyone can otherwise download and use for free.

SUSE does not know or care if you’re in your basement, a fortune 500 company, or a government organization. They sell support services for people that want that.

All the code is still Apache licensed and you can still do anything you want with it (within the bounds of that very standard OSS license).

All of this applies to all the other Rancher projects that didn’t exist at the time this thread was created … Longhorn, RKE, k3s, Harvester, etc. (May not apply to every possible corner of the entirety of the SUSE org that bought us, I dunno.)

There is still no possible mechanism for any organization to enforce a guarantee that any of this stays that way. Forking the last version before such a change is still the remedy if that were to happen.