Community-led development "The Apache Way"
Apache software is always available for download free of charge from the ASF and our Apache projects.
As a non-profit corporation whose mission is to provide open source software for the public good at no cost, the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) ensures that all Apache projects provide both source and (when available) binary releases free of charge on our official Apache project download pages. Our corporate bylaws explicitly state that Apache projects create "open-source" software for distribution to the public at no charge.
Apache projects will never charge a fee for downloading or using their software.
Yes. Over 300 Apache projects and podlings provide software products that may be downloaded and used at no cost, including everything from the world-famous Apache HTTP Server, to Apache Hadoop, to Apache Lucene, to Apache OpenOffice, and many, many more.
Yes. Apache projects always release source code under the Apache License, a pragmatic and permissive license that provides broad freedoms for users of our software. You can use the software for just about anything, whether you use the product itself, or modify the source code to change functionality or to create new software products. The primary restriction in the license is protecting Apache trademarks: you generally may not use Apache trademarks or brands for your own software; that use is reserved to the ASF and Apache projects.
These definitions ensure that the Apache license provides certain key freedoms to users of Apache software in terms of what you as a user may do with or use Apache source code or software
The Apache License does not prohibit other organizations from selling Apache software. They may provide a useful service for certain users, for example by distributing software on a CD-ROM or a USB data stick. However, in most cases it's just as simple (and always free) to download the Apache software directly from the appropriate Apache project.
In most cases, you can simply remember that Apache source code is always available free of charge directly from the appropriate Apache project. If you see a non-Apache.org website that is confusingly similar to the Apache brand, or leads consumers to believe that it is an official Apache website, check the Apache Trademark Policy for our contact details and let us know about the site.
Note that many other organizations sell their own branded software products that may include or be integrated with Apache software; our license permits this type of use. Similarly, many other organizations sell consulting, training, or other services or hosting related to Apache software. As long as these organizations aren't confusing users into believing the services or products are coming from Apache, they're generally okay.
The ASF provides a list of all Apache projects and most Apache software products available. The best way to learn more about an Apache project is to ask questions on the project's own email list. Email lists at Apache are also free for anyone to use; we archive them publicly so you can search them for message threads of interest.