Terraform fork OpenTF renamed and relocated as OpenTofu

Open wide!

OpenTF – the fork of HashiCorp's Terraform infrastructure management project – is no more. The software has been renamed OpenTofu and placed under the oversight of The Linux Foundation.

Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation, is set to make the announcement during his keynote at the Open Source Summit Europe in Bilbao, Spain on Wednesday.

"The launch of OpenTofu signifies a collective commitment to fostering truly open collaboration and innovation in the realm of infrastructure as code," declared Zemlin in a statement provided to The Register ahead of the launch. "OpenTofu's dedication to open source principles underscores our shared vision of providing accessible, reliable tools that empower the tech community."

OpenTF started as an open source rebellion against the relicensing of Terraform, which dropped the Mozilla Public License v2.0 (MPLv2) for a competition-limiting Business Source License v1.1 last month. This rebranding from OpenTF aims to establish OpenTofu as an open, reliable, functioning alternative to the now license-constrained Terraform. OpenTofu continues under an MPLv2 license.

The name OpenTofu was adopted out of concern for, as you might have already guessed, trademark litigation.

"Obviously, it is super-important for OpenTofu, on the legal side, to be a bulletproof project, so that enterprises can use the product without having any sort of fear that there's any trademark infringement or other IP issues," said Sebastian Stadil, co-founder and CEO of DevOps automation biz Scalr and one of the organizers of the fork, in an interview with The Register.

"HashiCorp has been super aggressive in sending cease and desist out to a bunch of folks. And so we just thought that TF was a little bit too close to Terraform."

OpenTofu arrives with the support of numerous companies – including Harness, Gruntwork, Spacelift, env0, Scalr, Digger, Terrateam, Massdriver, and Terramate, among others.

With formal pledges of support from more than 140 organizations and more than 600 individuals, and a commitment of more than 18 full-time developers over the next five years, the goal is to emphasize that the software can be relied upon.

Stadil said the Linux Foundation has experience with governance frameworks for open source projects, and that helps ensure they operate successfully – even if there are a lot of contributors with different interests. He explained that there will be five members of the Technical Steering Committee who will oversee decisions for the project. These positions will be elected,al though it hasn't been decided yet whether terms will run 12 or 24 months.

The Linux Foundation, according to Stadil, is also expected to help with security governance – to deal with the possibility that a contributor might add malicious code to a pull request in order to subvert the software.

"They provide a good framework to make sure that the code that gets accepted to the product is sufficiently reviewed and reviewed by trustworthy people," he explained.

Among those voicing support for OpenTofu is German insurance biz Allianz. "In our organization, open source technologies underpin various mission-critical solutions and have yielded significant business benefits," said Mike Sutton, CIO of Allianz, in a prepared statement. "Our recent move to adopt OpenTofu for Infrastructure as Code aligns with this strategy." ®

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