Gentoo Social Contract
This social contract is intended to clearly describe the overall development
policies and standards of the Gentoo project development team. Parts of this
document have been derived from the Debian Social Contract. It
is generally very similar to it except that certain parts have been clarified
and augmented while other parts deemed redundant have been removed. Comments
are welcome. Please send them to our [email protected] mailing list.
What is Gentoo?
Gentoo in itself is a collection of free knowledge. Knowledge in this context
can be defined as documentation and metadata concerned with concepts or domains
relevant to operating systems and their components, as well as free software
contributed by various developers to the Gentoo Project.
Gentoo, the operating system, is derived from the base concept of
knowledge described above. A Gentoo operating system should satisfy the
self-hosting requirement. In other words, the operating system should be
able to build itself from scratch using the aforementioned tools and
metadata. If a product associated with an official Gentoo project does
not satisfy these requirements, the product does not qualify as a Gentoo
An official list of Gentoo projects is listed under the Gentoo
Metastructure. A Gentoo project does not need to produce a Gentoo
operating system in order to be officially recognized.
Gentoo is and will remain Free Software
We will release our contributions to Gentoo as free software, metadata or
documentation, under the GNU General Public License version 2 (or later, at
our discretion) or the Creative Commons - Attribution / Share Alike version 2
(or later, at our discretion). Any external contributions to Gentoo (in the form
of freely-distributable sources, binaries, metadata or documentation) may be
incorporated into Gentoo provided that we are legally entitled to do so.
However, Gentoo will never depend upon a piece of software or metadata
unless it conforms to the GNU General Public License, the GNU Lesser General
Public License, the Creative Commons - Attribution/Share Alike or some other
license approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI).
We are considering extending the above clause to require that all core
Gentoo components must conform to a license approved by the OSI
and Free Software Foundation (FSF).
We will give back to the Free Software Community
We will establish relationships with Free Software authors and collaborate with
them when possible. We will submit bug-fixes, improvements, user requests, etc.
to the "upstream" authors of software included in our system. We will also
clearly document our contributions to Gentoo as well as any
improvements or changes we make to external sources used by Gentoo (whether in
the form of patches, "sed tweaks" or some other form). We acknowledge that our
improvements and changes are much more meaningful to the larger Free Software
community if they are clearly documented and explained, since not everyone has
the time or ability to understand the literal changes contained in the patches
or tweaks themselves.
We will not hide problems
We will keep our bug report database
open for public view at all times; reports that users file online will
immediately become visible to others.
Exceptions are made when we receive security-related or developer relations
information with the request not to publicize before a certain deadline.