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PyCharm Community Edition and Professional Edition Explained: Licenses and More

LAST UPDATE: July 2022

We often get questions about the differences between PyCharm Pro and PyCharm Community. In this post we will try to address the most common ones.

PyCharm

PyCharm is an integrated development environment (IDE) that helps professional Python developers be more productive, be more confident, and write better code. It comes in two versions, PyCharm Pro and PyCharm Community, and supports the full Python workflow out of the box in the latter, including web frameworks, frontend technologies, databases, and scientific tooling.

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PyCharm Community Edition

The community edition of PyCharm is free and built on open source. It has full support for Python, including code insight, debugging capabilities, testing, and more. You’re free to use it whenever, and wherever, you like, including at work. 

Its source code is part of the IntelliJ platform and can be found on GitHub where you can also fork and modify it as you wish.

What can I use PyCharm Community for?

Let’s go to the LICENSE.txt in the root of the GitHub repo. JetBrains’ open source projects are generally licensed under the Apache 2.0 License. This means that you can use it anywhere you’d like to, and modify it freely. There are some restrictions, though. Let’s look into them below.

Can I use PyCharm Community at work?

Yes, you can. You are allowed to use PyCharm Community for commercial use.

Can I use PyCharm Community at my university?

Yes, you can. However, you may be interested in learning about our free all-product pack licenses for students and teachers.

Can I fork PyCharm?

Yes, you can. The Apache 2.0 license doesn’t just permit using this code, but it also allows modification. However, before you release YourNamePyCharm, be aware that the JetBrains and the PyCharm trademarks are restricted. So if you do want to fork PyCharm, you will need to take out our branding. Furthermore, in your derived version, you will need to credit us. So you could make YourNameIDE, with a notice that it’s based on software made by JetBrains.

What can’t I use PyCharm Community for?

There are some restrictions that apply when you fork PyCharm. The Apache 2.0 license requires:

  • You need to attribute us. So if you fork PyCharm, you’re not allowed to remove all notices that JetBrains made it.
  • You need to include a full copy of the Apache 2 license.
  • You need to include the NOTICES file.

We’re not lawyers, so please be aware that this is not legal advice.

PyCharm Pro Edition

As mentioned above, the pr edition of PyCharm has built-in support for multiple technologies to make you more productive within several Python workflows. This is a commercial product, and you need a subscription to use it after the 30-day free trial period.

So why should I use PyCharm Pro?

You should use PyCharm Pro if you need any of the following technologies and workflows:

  • Remote Python Interpreters: Run and debug your code on WSL, virtual machines, Docker containers, or remote machines (SSH).
  • Python Web Development: Get code insight, testing, and debugging capabilities for python and framework-specific files and templates through the built-in integration with popular Python web frameworks that include Django, Flask, and FastAPI.
  • Databases management: DataGrip powers PyCharm’s databases support. Connect to your database (SQL and NoSQL) and get schema-aware code completion for your SQL queries, explore your database tables, build SQL queries in a dedicated editor, and much more, all without leaving PyCharm.
  • Data Science: Data Science workflows are powered by DataSpell and include built-in Jupyter support, debug capabilities inside Jupyter cells, interactive DataFrame viewer, basic support for R via a plugin, and more.
  • Front-end: Work on the full stack of your web application with the WebStorm powered JavaScript support that includes code insight, debugging capabilities, and more for HTML, CSS, TypeScript, JavaScript, and popular frameworks such as React, Angular, and Vue.
  • Remote Development: SSH into remote machines to go fully remote and have PyCharm running in the server along with your code. This is powered by JetBrains Gateway.
  • Collaborative Development: Collaborate with peers, students, and others through video, voice, simultaneous editing, and more. Powered by Code With Me, PyCharm Pro licenses are entitled to unlimited session length, up to 50 guests per session, and an unlimited number of sessions.

As you can see, besides extra Python-related technologies, PyCharm Pro bundles the core functionalities of other JetBrains services and IDEs, covering the full workflow for professional Python developers. 

In this comparison matrix you can find a more direct comparison between the two PyCharm editions.

Alright, so what about Individual vs Commercial subscriptions?

Many people get confused when we tell them that they are allowed to use a personal license at work. We believe though, that it’s important that developers can use the tools that are right for the job, and therefore we offer low price options to individual developers.

The difference between personal and commercial licenses isn’t about who uses the software; it is about who owns the software.

  • The personal license is yours: you pay, and you own it. You can use it at work, and if you change jobs you can use it at your next job.
  • The commercial license is your employer’s: they pay, and they get to keep it if you leave. However, if you buy it and get reimbursed by your employer, you still need a commercial license: if the employer pays, it needs to be a commercial license.

Can I use my license on multiple machines?

Individual licenses: yes. Commercial licenses: yes, as long as your user name (login) is the same on all the machines that you’re running it on.

Can I still use PyCharm Pro after my subscription expires?

If you’ve had a subscription for at least one year: yes. You have a perpetual fallback license for the version that was released one year before your subscription expired, and all its minor updates. See here for details.

Can I get PyCharm Professional Edition for free?

Maybe.

  • Are you a student or teacher? Apply for a free student license.
  • Are you a core contributor or committer for an open source project, no matter the size? As long as you don’t make money from your project, you can likely get a free license to work on your project. Apply for an open source license.
  • Would you like to have PyCharm on computers in your classrooms? Whether you’re an accredited institute or a commercial provider, we provide free classroom licenses here.
  • Do you run a Python user group, and would you like some licenses you can use as prizes in competitions or something similar? Apply for user group support here.

We also offer discounts for startups, recent graduates, and users of commercial competitor products. Find out more about all special offers on our website.

Do you still have a question?

If you have a specific sales question, contact our sales team to learn more about licenses, prices, discounts, etc. If you have any other question, let us know in the comments below, or reach out to us on Twitter.

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