The Linux Foundation Networking umbrella consists of multiple projects. This document describes the lifecycle of those LFN projects.
Each LFN project governs itself. LFN projects may consist of multiple subprojects with their own lifecycles. This document's scope is limited to top-level LFN projects.
LFN projects have a lifecycle that is characterized by Project State that is defined by their project maturity.
|Project State||State Summary|
|Candidate||Projects looking to integrate with the LFN umbrella of projects may be inducted at any lifecycle state, provided it meets The Linux Foundation's proven best practices for success.|
|Sandbox||The Sandbox stage is designed to provide a lightweight entry process for new projects that align with the LFN mission and meet the It is ideal for early-stage projects that require time to explore their community, governance, and technical roadmap. Project proposals should meet the|
|Incubation||The project meets all the conditions for the Sandbox stage, and in addition: The Incubation stage is for projects that have demonstrated progress toward open source best practices, including contributor diversity and open governance, and have a documented release process. Projects in this stage should be actively working on integration with other LFN projects, participating in cross-LFN initiatives, and/or contributing to extending or strengthening the LFN scope.|
|The project meets all the conditions for the Incubation stage, and in addition: The Graduated TAC Project stage is for projects that have met the demonstrated project diversity, adherence to open source best practices, active participation in LFN, and have a documented release process and a history of following it. Projects in this stage have a voting representative on the TAC.|
|Archived||A project can be Archived if it has received no significant commits within the previous 12 months or if the Project's TSC requests archiving. An Archival Review will be initiated to determine if the project meets the criteria for archiving.|
You can find more information about The Linux Foundation's Open Source Best Practices
The Linux Foundation advocates several best practices for running a successful open source community. These practices promote a healthy, inclusive, and productive environment for collaboration and innovation. Here are some key best practices:
Open Governance: Establish a transparent, inclusive, and meritocratic governance structure that encourages community participation and decision-making.
Clear Contribution Process: Define a clear and accessible process for contributing to the project, including documentation, coding standards, and communication channels.
Code of Conduct: Adopt a Code of Conduct that sets expectations for respectful and inclusive behavior and provides a process for reporting and addressing violations.
Open Communication: Foster open and transparent communication through public mailing lists, chat platforms, video conferences, and regular meetings to keep the community informed and engaged.
Documentation: Provide comprehensive documentation, including setup guides, user guides, developer guides, and API references, to help new and existing contributors understand the project and contribute effectively.
Mentorship and Onboarding: Offer mentorship programs, training resources, and onboarding guides to help newcomers get started and feel welcome in the community.
Recognition and Retention: Acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of community members to encourage their continued participation and growth.
- Regular Releases and Roadmaps: Plan regular software releases, maintain a public roadmap, and incorporate community feedback to guide the project's direction and priorities.
Licensing and Intellectual Property: Use standard open source licenses and ensure a clear intellectual property policy to protect contributors and users.
Security and Vulnerability Management: Implement security best practices, such as secure development processes, vulnerability reporting, and regular security audits, to protect the project and its users.
Collaborate with Other Projects and Ecosystems: Foster relationships and collaborations with other open source projects, organizations, and ecosystems to share knowledge, resources, and promote interoperability.
More details about The Linux Foundation's Best Practices may be found here: https://www.linuxfoundation.org/resources/open-source-guides
Project Benefits by Lifecycle Stage
Each stage of the LFN project lifecycle comes with various benefits and access to resources. The availability of these benefits is dependent on the project's lifecycle stage, and the adoption of services is optional. LFX tooling is available for all projects, regardless of their current stage. New projects joining the LFN are not required to start at a lower lifecycle stage if they already meet the requirements for a higher stage.
Some tools and services that are available to all lifecycle states:
- Staff assistance in the development of project governance, diversity, and community growth
- LFX tools, including project management, code security, and community analytics
- LFX is a suite of tools built by the Linux Foundation to facilitate every aspect of open source development. The toolkit operationalizes the organization’s proven methodology for transforming projects into category leaders, providing direct support to projects and empowering open source developers to write better, more secure code and grow sustainable ecosystems.
- With 11 tools currently available and more on the roadmap for early next year, the LFX Platform is one of the most comprehensive platforms built specifically for the open technology ecosystem.
- Please note that while LFX tooling is available to all projects, the specific features and capabilities of the LFX Tools may vary based on the project's lifecycle stage and requirements.
- Available tools include...
Insights gives you complete visibility into project performance and ecosystem trends. Understand your contributor community and make informed decisions with our analytics and reporting tools.
Security gives you more visibility into your project's security by automatically monitoring thousands of open source repositories for possible vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
- GitHub Onboarding
- Managing Vulnerabilities
- Manage False Positives
- Manage Inclusive Naming
Individual Dashboard is your self-service hub for all of your open source activity. Build your personal profile, manage credentials and contact details, update your affiliations, and track your community participation all in one place.
EasyCLA streamlines the management and execution of Contributor License Agreements (CLAs) so you can stay compliant with project policies.
Mentorship makes it easier than ever to pair promising open source talent with experienced mentors. Invest in building a stronger and more diverse community of qualified developers and engineers.
Crowdfunding makes it possible for open source projects to raise money from individuals and organizations who believe in what they're building. Projects receive 100% of donations and manage their own funds.
Member Enrollment makes it easier than ever for people to join your project. Onboard new members faster with streamlined data entry and contract execution.
Landscape is an open sourced tool that lets you build a visual map of your ecosystem. Organize your contributors and related projects to better analyze how everyone fits into your project development.
Community Events lets you easily host and manage events for your project community. Whether planning a virtual conference or working with local meetup organizers, our robust platform has you covered.
Training Portal provides individuals and corporate learners centralized access to The Linux Foundation’s extensive list of courses and certifications, developed and taught by expert instructors.
Project Control Center (Beta) provides seamless operations support across governance, IT, and product management needs so you can focus on getting the work done.
More details about LFX Tools
Networking opportunities with LFN projects and the broader open-source community
Guidance and mentorship from TAC and other LFN projects
- Release Management Support Services (RMSS)
- Inclusion in LFN marketing materials and events
- Opportunities for cross-project collaboration and integration
- General LF IT Support
- General Tooling
- Access to Zoom, 1Password, Slack
- (Optional) LFN Projects may have initiative funds that can receive additional money from companies that are used for the sole benefit of that Project. i.e., Dedicated Funding from Special Interests.
- Newly initiated projects within the LFN may retain pre-existing special interest funding.
- Established projects are permitted to seek or accumulate independent funding from special interest sources.
|- LFN committee engagement||✔|
Technical Advisory Council (TAC
|Project Specific requests for the upcoming year||✔||✔||Incubation and TAC Projects will be able to submit requests in for Project Specific line items for the upcoming budget year. Requests should focus on Project Specific needs (typically IT tooling) versus cross-Project categories (e.g. Digital Marketing)|
|Graduated Project Discretionary Budgets||✔||TAC Projects each provided a line item of $10,000 for discretionary spending outside of the standard budget request process (and outside of items already approved for the current budget). This can include items such as a Community Awards program, Project specific digital marketing, Prizes for Hackathons, and Additional funding for TSC F2F meetings)|
|LFX Services||✔||✔||✔||LFX Tools are available for all projects|
|EdX Courses||✔||As requested, TAC Projects provided a budget to develop EdX Courses (example https://www.edx.org/course/business-considerations-for-edge-computing). Projects will need to identify the member/s to develop the content and work alongside the LF Training Team|
|Project Certifications||✔||Project level knowledge and skills demonstration|
|Release Management Support Service|
|Training||✔||✔||✔||All projects may participate in Release Management training|
|Assistance with developing a release process and initial release schedule||✔||✔||✔||Advise community release managers on developing a release process and creating the initial release schedule|
|Assistance with release process trouble shooting of specific issues||✔||✔||✔||Advise community release managers on resolving specific release process issues|
|Assistance with post-release retrospective and release process improvement||✔||✔||✔||Advise community release managers on conducting a post-release retrospective with their community and using that feedback to improve the release process|
|Listing on LFN Website (Projects drop-down)||✔||✔||✔||TAC Sandbox acceptance triggers addition to the LFN project list|
|Events (Hard Dollars spent)||✔||✔||✔||Unfunded LF Projects will have lowest priority for trade show / event demo showcases in LFN booth space. Outreach Committee shall prioritize booth demos based on 1st) TAC Project Demos, 2nd) Incubation Project Demos, 3rd) Cross-Project Collaborative Demos, 4th (space/timeslot availability pending) Sandbox Project Demos. The Voting Members of the Outreach Committee have voting authority over the Event Schedule each year. Kiosks in any LFN/LF pavilions subject to Linux Foundation sponsorship parameters/requirements.|
|Release Marketing & Communications||✔||✔||✔|
Sandbox Projects: major release
|Webinars||✔||✔||Projects invited to participate in LFN Webinar Series (Incubation: max of 1 per year, TAC Projects: max of 2 per year)|
|Design and Aesthetics||✔||✔||When new projects join LFN, they may choose to have a logo designed by the LF in house creative services team. This service is available to new projects, or established projects who wish to refresh/update their logo|
|Project Website||✔||✔||✔||✔||When an established project joins LFN, the LF can provide website hosting, or can migrate the project's website to the LF project CMS that includes management, security updates, etc. For new projects, in addition to hosting and management, the LF can design an introductory brochure-style website or use Hugo + github + Netlify as a free alternative.|
Maintaining/updating of stand-alone websites are the responsibility of the Project(s) (with minimal Linux Foundation support). Any costs associated with stand-alone websites (hosting, 3rd party, other) are subject to budget approval process, and any potential funding only available to Incubation and TAC Projects.
|Communications||Policy: Incubation and TAC projects receive LFN staff support. Everyone else is encouraged to use self-managed channels.|
|Press Releases||✔||✔||For Incubation and TAC Project Major Releases, LF PR will build/execute a PR Release Plan to include Analyst calls/distribution (working closely with Marketing representatives from the Project). Earlier stage Major Releases may be combined with other news items (e.g., new Members).|
|Blog||✔||✔||✔||LF PR teams will proactively reach out to Incubation and TAC Projects for Blog entries.|
|Direct Email||✔||✔||✔||✔||Quarterly LFN produced newsletter, member report|
|✔||✔||LF PR teams social tools flag Tweets across all Projects under the LFN umbrella. Individual projects have self-managed twitter accounts. MAC as coordination point and best practices.|
|✔||✔||Individual projects have self-managed LinkedIn accounts. MAC as coordination point and best practices.|
|YouTube||✔||✔||LF YouTube for broad open source topics|
|GitHub||✔||✔||✔||✔||Available to all projects|
|Standalone Jenkins/Gerrit||✔||✔||Legacy system - gitlab target|
|Docker Hub||✔||✔||Minimal cost to add additional Projects|
|GitHub Wiki||✔||✔||✔||✔||github-based wiki or github MD for unfunded (freely available to all)|
|Confluence Wiki subspace||✔||✔||✔||A wiki space on an existing instance for sandbox and incubation under wiki.lfnetworking.org - optional instance for TAC|
|Dedicated Wiki||✔||Dedicated Confluence instance (optional)|
** Atlassian services will no longer be available after 2024 and an alternative tool will be available
|support.linuxfoundation.com||✔||✔||✔||✔||Standard LF IT support channel for all projects|
|LF Release Engineering||*||✔||LF Release Engineering support budgeted to support ( * Incubation on occasion) TAC projects actively|
|Defect Tracking (Unfunded)||✔||github issues and gitlab equivalent|
|Defect Tracking (Sandbox/Incubation/TAC)||✔||✔||✔||Use a GitHub Issues or a project under https://jira.lfnetworking.org/ - use the "component" property for subprojects|
|Defect Tracking: (Graduated)||✔||Optional dedicated JIRA instance|
|ReadTheDocs||✔||✔||✔||Give all LFN projects a uniform toolchain - $600/yr per project|
|General Tooling||✔||✔||✔||✔||Access to Zoom (shared bridges for young projects/dedicated for TAC), 1Password, Slack|
|LFX support||✔||✔||✔||✔||All LFX services are currently available to all projects. Costing and allocations may follow in the future.|
|Onboarding assistance and ad hoc requests||✔||✔||✔||PM assistance is limited to helping the project get on-boarded at the various level - NO ON-GOING PM support|
|General Program Management Support||✔||✔||Limited basis for Incubation projects|
|Presentation(s) for the Community||✔||TAC projects only|
|1x1 strategy calls with project leadership||✔||✔||Once a quarter|
|Project health reviews (TAC)||✔||✔||✔||Up to once a quarter|
|Project formation docs||✔||✔||On-boarding docs|
|Ad Hoc legal issues||✔||✔||✔||✔||As determined by PM|
|Developer Certificate of Origin (DCO) system that integrates with GitHub.||✔||✔||✔||✔||This applies to EasyCLA as well|
|Project Trademark hosting||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|License scans of the code base||✔||✔||✔||✔||Scheduled with LF legal plus per release scanning|
- Any open source project that develops technology related to computer networking is welcome to seek induction into the LFN umbrella project.
- The LFN goal is to create the best set networking software projects that address the industry needs. Incoming projects may offer functionality that was not covered before by existing projects and/or provide a new approach in areas that are covered by projects that already exist in LFN.
- Incoming projects may continue to exist as standalone projects for as long as they see fit, or decide to seek merger with existing LFN projects, assuming the will to merge is mutual in both the incumbent and new projects.
- Creating integrations with existing LFN projects is encouraged but not mandated. The LFN provides opportunities for such integrations in the form of super-blueprints, developer forums, and others. Their participation is left to the discretion of the individual project communities.
Project State Transitions
|none||Sandbox||LFN Entry Review Periodic Health Review||LFN Entry Review|
|Sandbox||Incubation||Incubation Review||Incubation Review|
|Incubation||Graduated||TAC Admission Review||Graduated Admission Rvw|
|Graduated||Incubation||Incubation Reversal Review|
|none||LFN Exit Review||LFN Exit Review|
An open source project may request a review from the Technical Advisory Council at any time. Project Reviews are held for a variety of reasons. For each review, the project must instantiate the Project Data Template. If the project has already submitted a template for a past review, they can update it (taking into account any changes to the base template) for the new review.
Additionally, a project must publicly announce its intention to undergo a review at least two weeks prior to the date of the review. The announcement must include a link to the instantiated Project Data Template for review. The public may comment on the document. The project must engage with comments, answer questions and address feedback.
Reviews must be conducted in a manner that allows a global community to participate. For example, at a time that is amenable to as many stakeholders as possible and using tooling that is generally accessible.
LFN Entry Review
The LFN Board and TAC both evaluate proposals for new projects to be admitted into the LFN. Projects can be inducted at any level of maturity, provided they meet the necessary requirements. The TAC conducts the review first, followed by the Board.
Information and Criteria for TAC LFN Entry Review
To apply for an LFN Entry Review, projects must provide an up-to-date Project Data Template, and inbound code must pass an "intake scan" as defined by LF Legal. The review focuses on the project's accessible governance, which must minimally specify project roles, release processes, decision-making bodies, dispute resolution mechanisms, and more. The review also checks whether the project scope is within the scope of the LFN.
Criteria for LFN Entry Review
Mandatory criteria for successful completion of the LFN Entry Review is documented governance that is clear, complete, and easily and obviously accessible (such as a link from the project's main page). That governance must minimally specify:
- Project Roles.
- Prior to induction as a Sandbox project, ALL new projects participate in a release management discussion to set the expectations for release process maturity in order to graduate to higher maturity levels.
- Incubation and Graduated projects will be required to have a documented release process and a history of following it.
- How people come to fill project roles
- How people are removed from project roles
- Who currently fills all project roles
- How disputes are definitively resolved (usually by majority vote)
- How governance evolves over time
- What is the top-level technical decision-making body for the project, analogous to a TSC, to which the TAC should look for interfaces?
- Available Seed code (if any)
Additionally, the review will confirm that the incoming project scope is within the scope of the LFN and a recommended lifecycle entry state.
Outcome for LFN Entry Review
As an outcome of the TAC's LFN Entry Review, the TAC will provide the following feedback to the LFN Governing Board for use as input to the LFN Board's LFN Entry Review:
- Summary of findings
- Recommendation to accept the project into LFN or not.
Board LFN Entry Review
It is up to the Board to define its own criteria and process of the Board's LFN Entry Review. Such review may include legal, trademark, and license reviews. The TAC strongly recommends the Board make its LFN Entry Review criteria and process public and accept design input from the public.
Budget Guidance: The TAC recommends that the governing board allocate no or limited funding to Sandbox projects and that those projects cannot use cross-project funding buckets. Sandbox projects should still be able to take advantage of LFN membership that does not require additional funding, such as logo inclusion in marketing materials or attendance at LFN events.
Projects inducted in the Sandbox state will have their community reviewed on a periodic basis by the TAC. The goal of the health review is to assist the projects in their participation in LFN and ensure the project's community remains healthy. The reviews will be based on the content available from LFX tools to minimize the burden on the project's community.
Similar to the LFN Entry Review, proposals for projects moving to the Incubation state will be reviewed by the TAC and the Board. TAC Incubation Reviews should happen periodically, with the goal of ensuring that the project remains healthy. The reviews will be based on the content available from LFX tools to minimize the burden on the project's community.
Criteria for Incubation Review
Mandatory criteria for successful completion of the Incubation review is the documented demonstrable progress since induction toward open source best practices. This would include but is not limited to contributor diversity and open governance, and the release process.
As an additional (non-mandatory) guideline, the project should show demonstrable progress in marketplace adoption. This may be measured by instances of the project in production or the project being embedded in other open source projects.
As part of Incubation Reviews, the TAC should identify how the project fits with other LFN projects, including any overlap or harmonization potential.
Outcome for Incubation Review
As an outcome of the TAC's Incubation Review, the TAC will provide the following feedback to the LFN Governing Board for use as input to the LFN Board's Incubation Review:
- Summary of findings
- Recommendation to accept the project into the Incubation stage or not.
Board Incubation Review
It is up to the Board to define its own criteria and process for the Board's Incubation Review. The TAC strongly recommends the Board make its Incubation Review criteria and process public and accept design input from the public. The reviews will be based on the content available from LFX tools to minimize the burden on the project's community.
Budget Guidance: The TAC recommends to the board that any new Incubation project not erode existing TAC project budgets.
Annual Health Review
The TAC should review all projects on an annual basis. The goal of the annual health review is to assist the projects in their participation in LFN, ensure the project's community remains healthy, and, where appropriate, assist the project in transitioning the lifecycle stage of the Project.
Graduated Project Review
Projects advancing to the Graduated Project state undergo a review process by both the TAC and the Board. This review is triggered by a TAC Request from a Project and allows the TAC to decide whether the Project should have TAC representation.
Criteria for Graduated Project Review
Mandatory criteria for successful completion of the Graduated Project Reviews are maintenance of the criteria for LFN Entry, a demonstration of adequate project diversity, a clearly defined release process, a history of following it, and documented information on how to participate in the community. The project should also show demonstrable progress in integrating security design principles and security testing into their SDLC.
The project should also show demonstrable progress in collaboration with other LFN projects, participating in cross-LFN initiatives and/or contributing to extending or strengthening the total scope of the LFN.
As an additional (non-mandatory) guideline, the project should show continued progress in marketplace adoption.
Outcome for Graduated Project Review
As an outcome of the Review, the TAC will provide the following feedback to the LFN Governing Board for use as input to the LFN Board's Review:
- Summary of findings
- Recommendation to accept the project into the Graduated Project stage or not.
Board Graduated Project Review
It is up to the Board to define its own criteria and process of the Board's Review. The TAC strongly recommends the Board make its TAC Review criteria and process public and accept design input from the public.
Budget Guidance: The TAC recommends to the board that any new TAC project receives funding through the existing board and TAC process for determining budget priorities.
A project, whether in the Graduated or Incubation state, may be reverted to a previous lifecycle state if the TAC, by majority vote, determines that the project no longer fulfills the criteria for its current status. Additionally, if the Project's Technical Steering Committee (TSC), by majority vote, requests to move the project back to a lower lifecycle state. Before initiating a Reversion to a different lifecycle state, the TAC must make a sincere effort to reach out to the Project's TSC to discuss the project's future.
Criteria for Reversal Reviews
The mandatory criteria for moving a TAC project to a lower lifecycle state are one of:
- A direct request from the Project to be moved to a different lifecycle state
- Clear signs of reduced project activity resulting in the project no longer meeting the criteria for its current status, such as project diversity, adherence to open source best practices, or overall LFN participation. This should also include evidence of the TAC's sincere effort to engage the Project's TSC in a constructive discussion.
Outcome for Reversal Review
The TAC will notify the Board immediately of any decision to move a project back to lower lifecycle states.
A Project may be Archived if it has received no significant commits within the previous 12 months or by a majority vote of the Project's TSC to request the project be Archived. Prior to TAC initiation of an Archival Review of a Project, a good faith effort must be made to contact the Project's TSC and initiate a dialog about the future of the Project.
Criteria for Archival Review
Mandatory criteria for Archiving a project are one of:
- A clear request from the Project to be archived.
- Clear evidence that the project has received no significant commits within the previous 12 months and a demonstration of a good faith effort by the TAC to contact the Project's TSC and come to a positive resolution.
Outcome for Archival Review
The TAC will notify the Board immediately of any decision to Archive a project.
A Project may be revived by following the same steps as an Entry Review.
LFN Exit Review
A Project may request to leave the LFN by a majority vote of its TSC.
Should a project request to leave the LFN, it is the obligation of the TAC to forward that request to the Board immediately upon notification.
The Board may cause a project to exit LFN at its discretion.
Recommendations to Candidate Project
The TAC will provide the following feedback to the candidate projects for all reviews.
- If TAC recommends that the candidate project lifecycle state transition be approved, the TAC will provide recommendations for improving the project.
- If TAC recommends that the candidate project lifecycle state transition not be approved, the TAC will give feedback about which criteria the project did not adequately meet and what changes to the candidate project would be required to change the TAC's recommendation.
Disposition of Existing Projects
As of , OpenDaylight, Anuket, FD.io, and ONAP are in state Graduated (TAC). Tungsten Fabric is in state Incubation. EMCO, XGVela, L3AF and ODIM are in a state of Sandbox.
Amendment of Technical Governance
This Technical Governance may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the TAC subject to approval by the LFN Board.