Release Notes

The following document attempts to explain the differences a user is likely to encounter between the commercial releases of RabbitMQ sold historically by VMware and then Pivotal, and the open source release. It is our intent that the commercial release becomes the sole release, and is distributed with flexible licensing that allows either free use of the product under its open source licenses, or paid commercial use of the same software artifacts but with access to commercial support.


During the years that RabbitMQ was sponsored first by VMware (2010–2013) and subsequently by Pivotal (2013–present), the product has been distributed in multiple forms on multiple platforms.

Commercial versions of the RabbitMQ broker were distributed as:

  • RPMs for use on RedHat and CentOS
  • Debian packages for use on Ubuntu
  • An NSIS-based self installing EXE for Windows
  • A Generic Unix version distributed as a tar file and runnable under Mac OS X, Solaris and other Unix-derived platforms (though possibly with some effort)

Key Differences Between Past Commercial Versions and Open Source Releases

Key differences between the open source versions and the VMware/Pivotal commercial releases are found in:

  • What the distributed artifacts (RPMs, .deb’s, EXEs) are called
  • Where the software resides on a host system after installation
  • What users/groups are created on the host system to run the software

How to Migrate from Older Commercial Releases to Newer Open Source Releases

Customers migrating from a legacy commercial release to commercial use of future open source releases are advised to:

  1. Set aside or back up any data or configurations for your system you might have, e.g. exporting configuration from the RabbitMQ management UI.
  2. Drain your legacy commercial system so that any active messaging work being performed on it is completed.
  3. Uninstall the old commercial release using the usual package removal method for your distribution (e.g. removing RPMs with the ‘rpm’ command, removing the Debian install with the 'dpkg’ command, removing the Windows release using Add/Remove Programs in the Windows control panel, etc.).
  4. Install the new open source release for your platform using the appropriate package and method for your platform.

Specific Differences by Platform Between Commercial and Open Source Releases

The following sections enumerate differences between the open source and commercial releases on various platforms. The list is intended to be useful for finding one’s way around and install, knowing where configuration, logs, scripts and binaries reside, etc.

One intended benefit of the streamlining of our releases is that going forward open source documentation will be authoritative for both open source and commercial users and that discrepancies between the platforms will vanish. As a result, documentation found on the website, discussion forums and other public sources should be more consistent and less misleading as there will no longer be commercial deviations incompatible with such materials.

The JMS Topic Exchange

For some years a RabbitMQ plugin called rabbitmq_jms_topic_exchange was available only with commercial RabbitMQ releases. The plugin has now been open sourced and comes with all open source RabbitMQ releases. It has changed relatively little in recent users, so commercial users converting to a contemporary open source release should notice little difference.

Open Source Rabbit Install Locations

The page at covers the default locations for files, along with some related information, for open source RabbitMQ releases. Most of its content has been stable for years and it can generally be considered authoritative.

RPM differences

The commercial RPM has, post version 3.2.2, been called:

  • pivotal-rabbitmq-server-VERSION.el6.noarch.rpm
  • pivotal-rabbitmq-server-VERSION.el7.noarch.rpm

depending on whether one is using RHEL/CentOS 6 or 7 platform.

Commercial releases of RabbitMQ older than version 3.2.2 follow the naming convention:

  • vfabric-rabbitmq-server-VERSION.i686.rpm
  • vfabric-rabbitmq-server-VERSION.x86_64.rpm

The architecture specificity is due to the present of native code components that integrated with the VMware vSphere licensing services.

Commercial RabbitMQ RPM releases installed the broker to the /opt/pivotal directory. Open source releases install as per the documentation at

Commercial releases also create a Linux user named 'rabbitmq’ who belongs to the group 'pivotal’. On open source RPM distributions the rabbitmq user belongs to group rabbitmq.

Debian differences

A commercial Debian package was last offered for RabbitMQ 3.5.6. The package names for commercial Debian distributions have the format:


Commercial RabbitMQ Debian releases installed the broker to the /opt/pivotal directory. Open source releases install as per the documentation at

Commercial releases also create a Linux user named 'rabbitmq’ who belongs to the group 'pivotal’. On open source Debian distributions the rabbitmq user belongs to group rabbitmq.

Windows differences

The commercial distributions of RabbitMQ for Windows have filenames of the form:


Open source releases lack the 'pivotal-’ prefix.

Commercial releases of RabbitMQ on Windows use an NSIS-based self installing EXE distributable that is relatively easy to work with. Very old versions of the product use native components to interact with the VMware vSphere licensing server, similar to the situation for the Linux RPM distributions. Beyond that difference, the Windows guidance at generally holds true.

Generic Unix differences

Generic Unix distributions are packaged in compressed TAR files and have filenames of the form:


The generic Unix distribution is comparatively barebones and runs from wherever the user has unpacked and placed the TAR file as per the description at