...the task you want to accomplish

  • I want to build web and mobile applications.
  • I don't want to maintain my own servers.

...your requirements for that task

  • They must use reusable components. So I've settled on ReactJs.
  • They must have a backend.
  • I want a backend as a service so I don't have to maintain my own servers and infrastructure.
  • I want to avoid vendor lock.

...what you already know about software available for this purpose

  • Firebase. Can be expensive. And in this case, unreliable.
  • I'm looking for alternatives to Firebase. Preferably one that is open source to best avoid vendor lock.
  • Some possibilities I've seen include Horizon, Backendless, Digital Ocean, Linode and Spring Boot

Are there any open source alternatives to Firebase that can supply a backend as a service?

  • 1
    I'm not a dev – but I very much appreciate your question because of another argument agains Firebase: it's feeding the kraken (privacy issue). Wish you the best luck – and please ping me when you found something, so I can spread the word and convince other devs to switch!
    – Izzy
    Oct 2, 2018 at 23:47
  • I'm a very happy long term self-supporting Linode customer. I know they offer server management services as well, so I'd recommend them w/o reservation. As for your back end, well, I do back end programming so I've never had that issue...
    – ivanivan
    Oct 3, 2018 at 23:33

2 Answers 2


I've started to collect some alternatives here, as this is a re-occuring issue at F-Droid (which does not permit Firebase or other proprietary components).

  • Gotify is an open-source push notification server (you can explore its Swagger API doc)
  • Server Sent Events (SSE) are used by some apps like Tutanota
  • XMPP is used by several apps (of course including XMPP apps)
  • Telegram and Signal use websockets in their FOSS environment
  • MQTT is also used in some cases
  • OpenPush is an upcoming candidate (unfortunately not yet production-ready)

As I already wrote in my comment 2 years ago, I'm not a developer myself, so I cannot really say which is suitable for what and to which degree – but hopefully this gets you started.


this StackOverflow post may also provide some additional options, such as:

One option that I felt was not mentioned in that post and deserves consideration is http://hood.ie/. I found it in a medium post listing some open source firebase alternatives and it seemed like (and indeed was) the easier option to set up compared to https://appwrite.io/, which i also tried.

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