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Software for Open Networking in the Cloud - SONiC



The goal of governance for the project is to maintain and emphasize a technical meritocracy of contributors. Those who contribute the most and the best technical solutions, have the most influence in the direction of the project.
An element of benevolent dictatorship exists per component and at an overall project level to keep the project successful and resolve conflict.


The project consists of many repositories that will change over time as the project evolves. Each repository is expected to be self governing with a maintainer leading it.

A key repository in the project is sonic-build. build-repo is the authoritative list of all the necessary source code repositories needed to create the official distribution of the project.

Roles and responsibilities

  • Contributors are people who have submitted work to the project. Work includes all kinds of tasking, including things like code, tests, code reviews, documentation, infrastructure and proposals.
  • Maintainers have permission to accept pull requests and merge them into the master branch of a given repository.
    Each repository contains a MAINTAINERS file listing the maintainers. There must be one or more named maintainers per repository.
  • The Project Leader is responsible for the success of the project and resolving conflict between the maintainers and keep the project. Today the project leader is appointed by Microsoft. A new Project Leader is expected to be appointed by the Open Compute Project when it is accepted.

Conflict Resolution

Each repository is expected to resolve conflicts for itself and between dependent repositories. If a resolution cannot be found in a reasonable time, the issue will be escalated to the Project Leader who will help the teams find a solution to move the project forward.

Example of conflict resolution

Let's say the link aggregation repositor(ies) (LACP) merge a change that is incompatible with the other parts of the project. At a minimum, the build-repo maintainer will detect this and continue to build with the older release of the LACP repo(s). The community discusses the changes.

Updates to the project emerge requiring a change in LACP. The community has not achieved consensus on the earlier LACP change and moving on to a new build is now blocked. The project leader will step in to arbitrate and reach a decision that will unblock the build and with the greatest technical merit.