Dear maintainer. Thank you for investing the time and energy to help make runc as useful as possible. Maintaining a project is difficult, sometimes unrewarding work. Sure, you will get to contribute cool features to the project. But most of your time will be spent reviewing, cleaning up, documenting, answering questions, justifying design decisions - while everyone has all the fun! But remember - the quality of the maintainers work is what distinguishes the good projects from the great. So please be proud of your work, even the unglamourous parts, and encourage a culture of appreciation and respect for every aspect of improving the project - not just the hot new features.

This document is a manual for maintainers old and new. It explains what is expected of maintainers, how they should work, and what tools are available to them.

This is a living document - if you see something out of date or missing, speak up!

What are a maintainer's responsibility?

It is every maintainer's responsibility to:

    1. Expose a clear roadmap for improving their component.
    1. Deliver prompt feedback and decisions on pull requests.
    1. Be available to anyone with questions, bug reports, criticism etc. on their component. This includes IRC, GitHub requests and the mailing list.
    1. Make sure their component respects the philosophy, design and roadmap of the project.

How are decisions made?

Short answer: with pull requests to the runc repository.

runc is an open-source project with an open design philosophy. This means that the repository is the source of truth for EVERY aspect of the project, including its philosophy, design, roadmap and APIs. If it‘s part of the project, it’s in the repo. It‘s in the repo, it’s part of the project.

As a result, all decisions can be expressed as changes to the repository. An implementation change is a change to the source code. An API change is a change to the API specification. A philosophy change is a change to the philosophy manifesto. And so on.

All decisions affecting runc, big and small, follow the same 3 steps:

  • Step 1: Open a pull request. Anyone can do this.

  • Step 2: Discuss the pull request. Anyone can do this.

  • Step 3: Accept (LGTM) or refuse a pull request. The relevant maintainers do this (see below “Who decides what?”)

Who decides what?

All decisions are pull requests, and the relevant maintainers make decisions by accepting or refusing the pull request. Review and acceptance by anyone is denoted by adding a comment in the pull request: LGTM. However, only currently listed MAINTAINERS are counted towards the required two LGTMs.

runc follows the timeless, highly efficient and totally unfair system known as Benevolent dictator for life, with Michael Crosby in the role of BDFL. This means that all decisions are made by default by Michael. Since making every decision himself would be highly un-scalable, in practice decisions are spread across multiple maintainers.

The relevant maintainers for a pull request can be worked out in two steps:

  • Step 1: Determine the subdirectories affected by the pull request. This might be netlink/ and security/, or any other part of the repo.

  • Step 2: Find the MAINTAINERS file which affects this directory. If the directory itself does not have a MAINTAINERS file, work your way up the repo hierarchy until you find one.

I‘m a maintainer, and I’m going on holiday

Please let your co-maintainers and other contributors know by raising a pull request that comments out your MAINTAINERS file entry using a #.

I'm a maintainer, should I make pull requests too?

Yes. Nobody should ever push to master directly. All changes should be made through a pull request.

Who assigns maintainers?

Michael has final LGTM approval for all pull requests to MAINTAINERS files.

How is this process changed?

Just like everything else: by making a pull request :)