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Portainer teamJuly 10, 20242 min read

Changes to our 5 Nodes Free license agreement at renewal

We have recently made an update to the renewal license agreement for our legacy 5 Nodes Free offer in order to clarify the usage scenarios we accept for the product. This change to the license agreement will apply from the time of license renewal.

Key points

  • All existing 5 Nodes Free users will be able to continue using their current 5 Nodes Free license until their expiry date.
  • At the expiry date of your current license, our 5 Nodes Free license will be available for non-commercial use only.
  • At expiry, non-commercial 5 Nodes Free license holders (home users, hobbyists, and students) who need more than 3 nodes will have the ability to apply for a new 5 Nodes Free license under the updated renewal license agreement. 
  • Current 5 Nodes Free home or business users who need 3 nodes or less will be able to switch to our 3 Nodes Free program when their current 5 Node Free license expires.
  • For business users who need more than 3 nodes at the expiry date of their current 5 Nodes Free license, we offer a range of pricing to suit different needs and we'd be happy to work with you to find something suitable. 

Why are we making this change?

There are two key reasons for this decision: 

  • The high admin load on our staff to run and manage the 5 Nodes Free program. 
  • The fact that Portainer is not free to develop. We need to pay our team, after all, and that money needs to come from somewhere. The best way for us to find that money is to ask for those users that find the product valuable, and are willing and able to pay, to support future development to do so.
For businesses, our offerings start at $99/month for 5 nodes. For non-commercial use such as home and hobbyist use, our Home & Student license is $149/yr for up to 15 nodes (we had feedback that you'd like a monthly payment option and we will investigate if this is possible).
We understand that paying for Portainer is not an option for all users, and for those users we believe the 3 Nodes Free and Community Edition offerings are suitable in most cases.

Important points to note

The Community Edition of Portainer is not going anywhere. We started life as an open source product and we will continue to provide the Community Edition going forward for no cost. The Business Edition of Portainer enables us fund the development of Community Edition and helps to keep it free.
We have no plans to remove our current 3 Nodes Free tier of Business Edition. This tier replaced our 5 Nodes Free tier for new users more than a year ago and provides you Business Edition for 3 nodes for free.
We have no plans to remove access to the 5 Nodes Free licenses for non-commercial users. For home users, when your current 5 nodes free license expires, we will provide a way for you to renew this license. It's our preference that business users switch to a paid license but we're happy to work with businesses who are experiencing financial hardship at this time. 


Thank you all for the feedback provided thus far. If you have additional feedback, you can email us at (abusive emails will be ignored and deleted). We consider all of the feedback we receive, positive and negative, and it is incredibly valuable when it comes to identifying ways that we can improve and expand. 

Portainer team

Portainer Team


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