Open Source Project Hosting

The fastest growing, most vibrant open source projects have their home at The Linux Foundation. We also host projects that are smaller or more focused in scope, but driven by eager communities.

There are a few different ways to host a project with The Linux Foundation, and they’re all guided by each community’s requirements and goals. Some communities choose to raise funding, but many do not. Several projects have dedicated staff, while others are driven by individual contributions of time and energy. Many projects have thousands of developers, whereas others start with a few and want to attract more. Most generate open source code, but projects that provide infrastructure support for open source communities, standards, or specifications also choose The Linux Foundation as their home.

Our team works with each project to craft governance based on specific needs. For existing projects, The Linux Foundation team will keep as much of the project’s governance as is advisable and then add to it based on best practices.

TYPES OF PROJECTS

Community Projects

These projects take advantage of the governance structure and back-end resources that The Linux Foundation provides to all hosted projects. Examples of these projects include: SPDX, FOSSology, CHAOSS, LinuxBoot, and OpenBMC.

Community Projects + Funding

These projects benefit from community-raised funding to provide resources and infrastructure like enhanced code repositories, continuous integration systems, testing resources, conformance program resources, and developer events. Membership or funding support for these projects is never required to contribute to the technical project. Examples of these projects include: Let’s Encrypt, Node.js, OpenAPI Initiative, Open Container Initiative, Open Mainframe, Xen Project, and Zephyr.

Umbrella Community + Funding

These projects support several technical projects under the same funding structure and are focused on a technology area. This allows the community to pursue a strategic vision across a spectrum of opportunities while balancing demands on resources. Examples of these projects include: Automotive Grade LinuxCloud Native Computing FoundationHyperledgerLF Deep Learning Foundation, and LF Networking.

How to Start a Project at The Linux Foundation

There are a few ways to start open source projects with The Linux Foundation. In every case, people want to work with us because we help open source projects grow and become sustainable.

  • We collaborate with members and open source communities to start new open source and open standards projects. Our team helps guide these project through startup all the way to full operation.
  • The Linux Foundation also works with communities that want to move existing open source projects to The Linux Foundation to become hosted projects. Often they want to take advantage of cross-project synergies in sectors like cloud and containers or networking.
  • We support organizations looking to open source code that had been closed source. The Linux Foundation’s connections with tens of thousands of developers and other technology professionals allows us to help jumpstart communities around these projects.

All of these communities choose The Linux Foundation to benefit from our experience in governance structures, collaboration, intellectual property management, and securing support and services for projects. Talk with us about how we can help launch your project or move existing work to The Linux Foundation and open source.

Before launching projects, we work closely with interested organizations and/or existing communities to help you work through these questions as you evaluate project formation and hosting options.

What is the Vision, Mission and Scope?

  • Does it solve a problem for an ecosystem of developers, users, solution providers, or others?
  • What is the universe of potential companies, other open source projects, or individual developers who may want to get involved?

What Code Does the Community Want to Open Source?

  • Is the code commented and ready for others to start working on it?
  • Do you have all the rights you need to contribute the code under an open source license?
  • Have you included open source license information within each source code file in line with best practices?
  • Has all proprietary code or information like username/passcode encrypted files been removed?
  • Analyze your code’s dependencies. What software is required to run your code, and how is that software licensed? Do these dependencies limit or inform as to which open source licenses the project can use? Do these dependencies point to potential security or operational concerns?

What Assets Can You Make Available to the Open Source Community?

  • Will the project’s name be transferred to The Linux Foundation or will the community select a new one?
  • Will web domains and websites be contributed to the new project?
  • Do you need to create training or code walkthrough material to help others get engaged in the project at launch?

Inquire About Hosting Your Project With The Linux Foundation

The first step in helping projects of every size, is working with their communities to put in place neutral, open governance; then we make resources and expertise available to support and engage ecosystems that will carry them forward. The Linux Foundation’s ability to do each of these things makes us an ideal choice for open source project communities.

Minimum Requirements For Projects

Linux Foundation projects meet the following requirements:

  1. They use a license approved by the Open Source Initiative.
  2. They allow The Linux Foundation to own community assets, like a domain or trademark, on behalf of the project community.
  3. At least one Linux Foundation member sponsors each project.
  4. They have open, neutral governance. Anyone who follows the project’s contributions terms and supports the “do-ocracy” form of governance can participate. Membership is never required to participate in a Linux Foundation project technical community.