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Docker sunsets Free Team subscriptions, roiling open source projects

Docker users with a legacy subscription to the Free Team organization have been told they have one month to move to a paid tier or risk losing access to their data, a move that could break build automations for many open source projects.

Many Docker users with Free Team accounts report receiving an email from Docker stating that they will soon no longer be able to use the service and must upgrade to a paid subscription tier ($300/year) or risk losing access to data. .

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Docker Team subscriptions provide developer groups with an organizational unit for developers associated with a given set of Docker repositories. The free version of this offering has been widely used by open source projects. Deleting it means losing the data associated with those computers, including the Docker images.

Docker email, according to multiple reports such as Alex Ellis from OpenFAAS, states: “Free Teams organizations are a legacy subscription tier that no longer exists. This tier included many of the same features, fees, and functionality as a paid Docker Team subscription. …If you own a legacy Free Team org, access to paid features, including private repositories, will be discontinued on April 14, 2023… Please upgrade your subscription by April 14, 2023 to continue access to your org “.

According to the rest of the email, data from accounts that are not updated will be retained for 30 days “after which it will be subject to deletion.”

Many of those complaining about this change via a GitHub issue manage open source projects with potentially broken build dependencies, such as the Mamba project. Some, like Livebook, are already planning to move all Docker containers to the GitHub Container Registry, but will have to migrate their older images manually. The Kubernetes Kind project is also evaluating options, all of which potentially break workflows that should be rebuilt.

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A possible alternative path for affected projects is the Docker Sponsored Open Source Program (DSOS), where maintainers of open source projects can receive free team subscriptions.

Docker states: “We will defer suspending or deleting any organization while the DSOS application is reviewed, and we will give organizations at least 30 days before suspending the organization if the application is ultimately rejected. Any organization suspended or removed will not release the namespace, so it will not be possible to occupy previous namespaces.”

But applicants report that Docker has a high volume of applications, and the DSOS program has restrictions that may make it difficult for some projects to be accepted; eg they must not “have a path to commercialization”. Some applicants, such as Neil Hanlon of the Rocky Linux project and Rockert Scheck of the rpki-client project, have yet to hear back from Docker despite applying for the program long before the Free Team announcement.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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