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Version: 23.1

Redpanda Licensing

You can deploy Redpanda in a self-hosted environment (Redpanda platform) or as a fully-managed cloud service (Redpanda Cloud). For more information about Redpanda Cloud deployments, see Dedicated Cloud vs BYOC.

To self-host Redpanda platform, select either the Community Edition or the Enterprise Edition:

  • Redpanda Community Edition is free and source-available at the Redpanda GitHub repository.
  • Redpanda Enterprise Edition requires a license key and includes additional features.

Redpanda Community Edition

Redpanda Community Edition is licensed with the Redpanda Business Source License (BSL). These core features are free and source-available.

  • Users cannot provide Redpanda as a commercial streaming or queuing service to others.
  • The BSL code converts to Apache 2.0 licensing four years after each code merge.

Redpanda Enterprise Edition

Redpanda Enterprise Edition is licensed with the Redpanda Community License (RCL). It includes the free features licensed under the Redpanda BSL, as well as the following features:

Enterprise features require a license key. You can evaluate enterprise features with a free 30-day trial. Contact Redpanda Sales to request a trial license, to extend your trial period, or to purchase an Enterprise Edition license. If you access a Redpanda Enterprise feature without a valid license, you get the following message:

Looks like you’ve enabled a Redpanda Enterprise feature without a valid license. Please enter an active Redpanda license key (e.g. rpk cluster license set <key>). If you don’t have one, please request a new/trial license at

Apply a license key to Redpanda

A license key unlocks Redpanda Enterprise Edition features.

To apply the license key to your cluster, run:

rpk cluster license set

Either provide a path to a file containing the license, or provide the license string inline. For example, assuming you use the default admin host/port of, run:

rpk cluster license set --path <path-to-license-file> --api-urls


rpk cluster license set <license-string>

If neither the path nor the license string are provided, rpk looks for the license in /etc/redpanda/redpanda.license.

Check the status of a license

To check the status of your current license, run:

rpk cluster license info --api-urls

Redpanda sends warning messages in the cluster logs if you enable enterprise features without a valid license key.

Apply a license key to Redpanda Console

To use an Enterprise feature with Redpanda Console, you must provide Redpanda Console with its own copy of your license key. You have two options for providing the license:

  1. Specify the path to the license key file either in the redpanda.licenseFilepath property of the /etc/redpanda/redpanda-console-config.yaml file, or in the REDPANDA_LICENSE_FILEPATH environment variable.
  2. Specify the license key file contents directly either in the redpanda.license property of the YAML file, or in the REDPANDA_LICENSEenvironment variable.

Redpanda Console checks the license key status on startup and warns you 30 days before the license expires. You can view the license key's expiration date in the startup logs. If the license key expires at runtime, Redpanda Console shuts down. If the license has already expired at startup, Redpanda Console prints an error message and exits.

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