nginx Core Developer Announces New Fork
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Friday, 23 February 2024

One of the core developers of nginx has said he is no longer working on the development of the popular and widely used nginx web server, and is instead working on a new fork. Maxim Dounin released a statement saying he has quit because he feels nginx is no longer a free and open source project.

Nginx is open source web server software that also offers reverse proxying, caching and load balancing. It is currently the world's most popular web server, used by around a third of worldwide web servers, more than Apache HTTP server.

freenginx

Nginx Inc. was acquired by F5 in 2019. Dounin is among the earliest coders on the project, and until now has been one of the most active. F5 closed its Moscow office in 2022 following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, terminating Dounin's employment there.  Since then Dounin continued to work on the project in a voluntary capacity.

Dounin's statement says:

"For almost two years I was working on improving nginx and making it better for everyone, for free. 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."

Dounin states that this is quite understandable, acknowledging that F5 owns the project, and can do anything with it, including  marketing-motivated actions and ignoring the developers' position and the community.

He continues:

"I no longer able to control which changes are made in nginx within F5, and no longer see nginx as a free and open source project developed and maintained for the public good. As such, starting from today, I will no longer participate in nginx development as run by F5."

Instead, Dounin is starting an alternative project, which is going to be run by developers, and not corporate entities. Freenginx.org has the goal is to keep nginx development free from arbitrary corporate actions, and has already released the first version of the new fork. Dounin says he'll welcome help and contributions, and hopes the move will be beneficial for everyone. 

freenginx

More Information

Statement From Maxim Dounin

Freenginx Website

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