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In October, last year MongoDB announced that it’s switching to Server Side Public License (SSPL). Since then, Redhat dropped support for MongoDB in January from its Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora. Now, Homebrew, a popular package manager for macOS has removed MongoDB from the Homebrew core formulas since MongoDB was migrated to a non open-source license.

Yesterday, FX Coudert, a Homebrew member announced this news on Twitter.

In a post on GitHub, Coudert clearly mentions that MangoDB’s migration to ‘non open-source license’ is the reason behind this resolution. Since, SSPL is not OSI-approved, it cannot be included in homebrew-core. Also, mongodb and [email protected] do not build from source on any of the 3 macOS versions, so they are also removed along with mongodb 3, 3.2, and 3.4. He adds that it would make little sense to keep older, unmaintained versions. Coudert also added that the percona-server-mongodb which also comes under the SSPL is removed from the Homebrew core formulas.


Upstream continues to maintain the custom Homebrew “official” tap for the latest versions of MongoDB.

Earlier, Homebrew project leader, MikeMcQuaid had commented on Github that MongoDB was their 45th most popular formula and should not be removed as it will break things for many people. Coudert countered this by replying that since MongoDB is not open source anymore, it does not belong in Homebrew core. He added, that since upstream is providing a tap with their official version, users can have the latest (instead of our old unmaintained version). “We will have to remove it at some point, because it will bit rot and break. It’s just a question of whether we do that now, or keep users with the old version for a bit longer,” he specified.

MongoDB’s past controversies due to SSPL

In January this year, MongoDB received its first major blow when Red Hat dropped MongoDB over concerns related to its SSPL. Tom Callaway, the University outreach Team lead at Red Hat had said that SSPL is “intentionally crafted to be aggressively discriminatory towards a specific class of users. To consider the SSPL to be “Free” or “Open Source” causes that shadow to be cast across all other licenses in the FOSS ecosystem, even though none of them carry that risk.”

Subsequently, in February, Red Hat Satellite also decided to drop MongoDB and support PostgreSQL backend only. The Red Hat development team stated that PostgreSQL is a better solution in terms of the types of data and usage that Satellite requires.

In March, following all these changes, MongoDB withdrew the SSPL from the Open Source Initiative’s approval process. It was finally decided that SSPL will only require commercial users to open source their modified code, which means that any other user can still modify and use MongoDB code for free.

Check this space for new announcements and updates regarding Homebrew and MongoDB.

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