What is the Logseq open source policy?

Based on the active Discord discussion, there should probably be a forum thread clarifying some issues. My understanding is that @tienson and the other Logseq dev team members are planning on keeping the Logseq frontend open source and keeping the Logseq backend closed source. The reasons given were (1) belief that a closed source backend offers better security against hackers or malicious competitors and (2) desire to retain control over certain features as an avenue for a subscription financing model, with the expectation that Logseq will always provide some level of free functionality. Hopefully I stated those correctly and in a neutral way; please correct me if I am wrong.

My main question is: what exactly does it mean for end users for Logseq to have an open source backend and closed source frontend? Despite efforts on Discord, I am not clear on what frontend and backend mean exactly and what functionalities are involved. I believe that the communication between individual files and the database, which is what allows users to interact with and link files in the Roam-like UI, is open source, and the closed source part is about syncing files online?

Perhaps someone could speak to these specific example use cases:

  1. User wants to have a local installation of Logseq as a desktop app and backup local files using their own cloud service, such as Dropbox.
  2. User wants to set up and run a Logseq server that hosts files on their personal computer or server and be able to access those files with any browser.
  3. User wants to use Logseq and keep files synced with their personal GitHub repo.

Will users be able to do 1, 2, and 3 without using the closed source backend? What functions or setups, specifically, rely on the closed-source backend?

If Logseq loses all funding, what will happen to it? If the closed source part were to disappear for any reason, would the open source part allow users to still use it as they are using it today?

Thanks for helping us understand the implications here.

@Cobblepot Hey, thanks for the questions!
Currently, users can already do all the above 3 use cases except uploading pictures to the AWS s3 server, it needs some changes to the code.

But it doesn’t matter now, because our team has been discussing this since yesterday, and we all agree that we’ll open source the existing whole backend as soon as we’re sure that the backend service meets the security standards. We’ll invite the contributors and other security experts to our internal backend code, and we’ll release the backend code before July this year (no more than 6 months).

We want to build the trust and make logseq to be used by more users and groups, so thank you for everyone’s suggestion! We’ll announce it soon.


I’m very glad to know this is a guarantee from your team in the near future. Full open source is important to me and not having that would’ve kept me being being able to commit long term to LogSeq and recommend it to my colleagues/friends.


The existing backend code is open sourced on GitHub, it’s mostly for people who’d like to host the GitHub integration themselves.

Notice that we have no plan to open-source the future backend for both data safety and business considerations.

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