Lightbend's Akka License Change and Akka.NET

Akka's License Change Does Not Impact Akka.NET

N.B. For the purpose of clarity: “Akka” refers to Lightbend’s Scala / Java library and “Akka.NET” refers to the .NET Foundation library maintained by Petabridge. I have been very careful in my writing to ensure there is a little confusion as possible in this post.

TL;DR; Akka.NET is Not Impacted

Imagine my surprise this week: out of the blue one of the core committers to Akka.NET forwards me a link to a Lightbend blog post entitled “Why We Are Changing the License for Akka.”

Lightbend logo

Lightbend’s license change for the original Akka library has no impact on Akka.NET. All of Akka.NET’s source is still Apache 2.0 and anything we’ve ported from the original Akka library was also done under Apache 2.0 as well.

Going forward, if any of our contributors are to port additional features from Akka those changes must be ported from the code on or prior to commit a646027 - that’s the 2.6.20 release of Akka and the final version released under Apache 2.0. There are a lot of features and bug fixes between Akka.NET v1.4 and Akka 2.6.20 that have yet to be ported.

Future Direction for Akka.NET

In my nearly 10 years of work on Akka.NET I’ve enjoyed learning from Lightbend’s hard-fought experience and bringing those lessons to the .NET community via our porting efforts. In the time since we’ve started this work we’ve amassed a massive user community; a healthy, independent business in the form of Petabridge; and we have accrued deep knowledge about distributed systems design, high performance code, API design, and what it takes to build a successful community of users and open source contributors.

We have not needed Akka for a long time - Akka.NET is a great product that stands on its own two feet. Lightbend’s Akka license change ultimately means nothing for our project and its future.

We’ve learned many hard lessons in the course of developing Akka.NET, using it ourselves, and supporting thousands of companies using it in production. We’ve incorporated our own experience and ideas into key Akka.NET fixtures that don’t exist on the JVM such as Akka.Hosting and Petabridge.Cmd.

We’re going to continue to support, build, expand, and develop our great open source products based on our users’ needs and requests. Akka.NET’s features, APIs, and experience have never been constrained to solely what’s available in the original Akka library - it’s always been aimed at delivering the best possible to end-users based on what performs well in industry.

Providing a great experience for .NET users is what we’ve always cared about and that will continue to be the case. Nothing has changed.

N.B. Akka.NET is already supported by a profitable business in Petabridge and please considering buying an Akka.NET support plan or a Phobos license to help keep it that way.

If you liked this post, you can share it with your followers or follow us on Twitter!
Written by Aaron Stannard on September 10, 2022



Observe and Monitor Your Akka.NET Applications with Phobos

Did you know that Phobos can automatically instrument your Akka.NET applications with OpenTelemetry?

Click here to learn more.