It is allowed to use nextcloud commercially?

Greetings everyone,

I’m reaching out with a question because I’ve been exploring related topics and haven’t found a clear answer to my query.

Currently, I’m operating my own Nextcloud (NC) server at home for self-hosting files within my family circle. However, I’m considering expanding this endeavor to provide storage hosting services to a broader audience, including acquaintances and potentially a wider network through modest advertising efforts.

My primary concern is whether there are any licensing restrictions or fees associated with scaling up this project and charging users for utilizing the cloud storage services I’d offer. I intend to utilize the free version of NC without professional assistance.

Any insights or guidance on navigating this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

The short answer: Yes, it’s fine.

(With the standard disclaimer of IANAL, but the license Nextcloud uses is well studied and not proprietary so you can do your own additional research).

Nextcloud is licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL).

The main thing is that since it’s AGPL, if you offer a service based on Nextcloud and make customizations, you need to make that code available.

Your favorite search engine will have more than you probably could ever want to know on the topic if you search for “AGPL”. :slight_smile:

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A small restriction. However, Nextcloud GmbH does not provide some services free of charge for a certain number of users (500+ users for one instance). So make sure that you do not install instances that contain more than 500 users.

Fair use policy

You can see this restriction e.g. at services like (+500 users) → Example Login
“This community release of Nextcloud is unsupported and push notifications are limited”"

The restriction is ok but the message at the login page is simply disproportionate. But it is free software. You can also write the text somewhere else or deactivate push notifactions for your thousands users on your own (link). Not tested. With Microsoft 365, I have never seen this type of message on the start page when subcomponents were not integrated. This type of message simply does not belong on the login page.

Yes the Nextccloud is “unsupported”. But only from Nextcloud GmbH and not from you. (closed issue)

I would like to reiterate that it is ok for Nextcloud to prevent the use of push notifications for 500 or more people, as these services and other infrastructures cost money. But of course, if you have far more users, you can also set up your own client apps and your own structures for push notifications. The software itself is AGPL and you can do whatever you want with it.

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It is open source, so you can in theory remove it. But I share your concerns, there is the wording, the version itself might still be supported (in contrast to old versions which no fixes are published any more), it’s just you didn’t buy support (but you might have your own support team).

For me that was also the strong point compare to owncloud or seafile, that the community version has the same functions like the commercial version, that is just if you want and need additional support. And that it is not a company that defines what is personal/private use.

For the Nextcloud company, they prefer to have more such companies subscribing to their services to support the development of Nextcloud. Or if it is not Nextcloud itself, that such companies e.g. provide some of their resources to maintain an app or something like that.

Yes, i had already discussed this topic several times. I’m not bothered by Nextcloud GmbH’s approach either. I would just like to point out to the thread starter the problem with 500 users or more, which is perfectly ok. But what really bothers me is the text and the position. It is not necessary for this message to appear so prominently before every login. In addition, as you write, it gives some users the impression that the Nextcloud version has expired. It’s a good thing that Microsoft 365 doesn’t point out possible license restrictions like E3/E5 so aggressively. It’s probably also better for business and for the user’s blood pressure. :coffee:

Maybe someone from Tab.Digital or other Nextcloud hosters is reading along. But the message really puts me off as a user. This is bad for the Nextcloud hosters and ultimately also for the Nextcloud project.

Why on the login page and not in user settings? Why not this text:
“This community release is not licensed from Nextcloud GmbH and push notifications are limited.”

Why is there no other important information on the login page, such as the country in which the Nextcloud is hosted? This could be very important with regard to GRPR. Compliance

They have other issues driving the blood pressure of governments (

Try to put a pull request on github :wink:

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I would assume the problem only occurs with their Free plan, and with their lower-end Nextcloud One plans, and probably not if you use a Private Cloud plan or a Dedicated Server, unless maybe if you add more than 500 users to such an instnce :wink:

I think it’s supposed to be a bit annoying, isn’t it? :wink:

The rest is up to Tab.Digital. I think they could clearly market the Free option as a trial plan, and to avoid the message on their lower-end shared instances, they could simply not put more than 500 users on a single instance. Also, the server location, terms of service and other legal shenanigans could easily be linked to from the login page using the Theming app.

It’s on their website: It seems you can select a server location when placing an order for one of their paid plans. Default locations are The Netherlands for the Nextcloud One and Private Cloud plans, and Germany for their Dedicated Server plans.

@tflidd I had written an issue. Unfortunately, nobody saw the need to change anything. Change wrong info - This community release of Nextcloud is unsupported and push notifications are limited. · Issue #37322 · nextcloud/server · GitHub

@bb77 Yes but there is no information about the server location on the login page to the Nextcloud itself.