Db2 Community Edition is the free edition of the Db2 for Linux / Unix  / Windows database. Unlike Microsoft and Oracle express offerings, Db2 Community Edition does allow for a large size (100GB) database and can use up to 16GB of memory. There are NO other restrictions. The install image for Db2 is the same for all licenses available by IBM. You are allowed to do anything you like with Db2 Community Edition (e.g. run it in production) See here for more information by Jon Lind, Principal Offering Manager Db2 at IBM.

Here are the three free databases from IBM, Microsoft and Oracle and their (size) limitations:

  • IBM Db2 Community Edition 11.5, RAM: 16GB, CPU: 4 sockets or 4 cores, Database size: 100GB! No further restrictions or disabled features!
  • Oracle 18c Express, RAM: 2GB, CPU: 2 sockets or 2 cores, 3 Pluggable Databases, Database size: max 12 GB (see here for a list of restrictions / disabled features)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2017 Express, RAM: 1.4 GB, CPU: 1 socket or 4 cores, Database size: max 10 GB (See here for a list of restrictions / disabled features)

Db2 can be easily managed from the command line or with the IBM tools, IBM Data Studio (more developer oriented) or Data Server Manager (more DBA oriented). Both are free tools! They are a separate download. Want more cool Db2 things from IBM? There is also an official Docker image and you can try Db2 also for free in the cloud (just follow the link in the comparison).

Of course you cannot call IBM support if you run Db2 Community Edition. But there there are many places where you can get free community support! My favorites are:

Looking for DBA support or training? Just contact us ;-)

Please note that above was true on October 8, 2019 – Always verify the vendor’s website for their latest offerings or change in limitations.

p.s. Looking for Db2 Express-C Edition? That product does no longer exist and is replaced by Db2 Community Edition!

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