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Harbor Governance

This document defines the project governance for Harbor.


Harbor, a Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) project, is committed to building an open, inclusive, productive and self-governing open source community focused on building a high-quality cloud native registry. The community is governed by this document with the goal of defining how community should work together to achieve this goal.

Code Repositories

The following code repositories are governed by Harbor community and maintained under the goharbor namespace.

  • harbor: Main Harbor codebase.
  • harbor-helm: Helm chart for easy deployment of Harbor
  • community: Used to store community-related material–e.g., proposals, presentation slides, governance documents, community meeting minutes, etc.

Community Roles

  • Users: Members that engage with the Harbor community via any medium (Slack, WeChat, GitHub, mailing lists, etc.).
  • Contributors: Regular contributions to projects (documentation, code reviews, responding to issues, participation in proposal discussions, contributing code, etc.).
  • Maintainers: The Harbor project leaders. They are responsible for the overall health and direction of the project; final reviewers of PRs and responsible for releases. Some Maintainers are responsible for one or more components within a project, acting as technical leads for that component. Maintainers are expected to contribute code and documentation, review PRs including ensuring quality of code, triage issues, proactively fix bugs, and perform maintenance tasks for these components.


New maintainers must be nominated by an existing maintainer(via PR) and must be elected by a supermajority of existing maintainers. Likewise, maintainers can be removed by a supermajority of the existing maintainers or can resign by notifying one of the maintainers.


A supermajority is defined as two-thirds of members in the group. A supermajority of Maintainers is required for certain decisions as outlined above. Voting on decisions can happen on the mailing list, GitHub, Slack, email, or via a voting service, when appropriate. Maintainers can either vote "agree, yes, +1", "disagree, no, -1", or "abstain". A vote passes when supermajority is met. An abstain vote equals not voting at all.

Decision Making

Ideally, all project decisions are resolved by consensus. If impossible, any maintainer may call a vote. Unless otherwise specified in this document, any vote will be decided by a supermajority of maintainers.

Votes by maintainers belonging to the same company will count as one vote; e.g., 4 maintainers employed by fictional company Harboretum will only have one combined vote. If voting members from a given company do not agree, the company's vote is determined by a supermajority of voters from that company. If no supermajority is achieved, the company is considered to have abstained.

Proposal Process

One of the most important aspects in any open source community is the concept of proposals. Large changes to the codebase and / or new features should be preceded by a proposal in our community repo. This process allows for all members of the community to weigh in on the concept (including the technical details), share their comments and ideas, and offer to help. It also ensures that members are not duplicating work or inadvertently stepping on toes by making large conflicting changes.

The project roadmap is defined by accepted proposals.

Proposals should cover the high-level objectives, use cases, and technical recommendations on how to implement. In general, the community member(s) interested in implementing the proposal should be either deeply engaged in the proposal process or be an author of the proposal.

The proposal should be documented as a separated markdown file pushed to the root of the proposals folder in the community repository via PR. The name of the file should follow the name pattern <short meaningful words joined by '-'>, e.g:

Use the Proposal Template as a starting point.

Proposal Lifecycle

The proposal PR can be marked with different status labels to represent the status of the proposal:

  • New: Proposal is just created.
  • Reviewing: Proposal is under review and discussion.
  • Accepted: Proposal is reviewed and accepted (either by consensus or vote).
  • Rejected: Proposal is reviewed and rejected (either by consensus or vote).

Lazy Consensus

To maintain velocity in a project as busy as Harbor, the concept of Lazy Consensus is practiced. Ideas and / or proposals should be shared by maintainers via GitHub with the appropriate maintainer groups (e.g., @goharbor/all-maintainers) tagged. Out of respect for other contributors, major changes should also be accompanied by a ping on Slack or a note on the Harbor dev mailing list as appropriate. Author(s) of proposal, Pull Requests, issues, etc. will give a time period of no less than five (5) working days for comment and remain cognizant of popular observed world holidays.

Other maintainers may chime in and request additional time for review, but should remain cognizant of blocking progress and abstain from delaying progress unless absolutely needed. The expectation is that blocking progress is accompanied by a guarantee to review and respond to the relevant action(s) (proposals, PRs, issues, etc.) in short order.

Lazy Consensus is practiced for all projects in the goharbor org, including the main project repository, community-driven sub-projects, and the community repo that includes proposals and governing documents.

Lazy consensus does not apply to the process of:

  • Removal of maintainers from Harbor

Updating Governance

All substantive changes in Governance require a supermajority agreement by all maintainers.