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feature start-date author related-issues
Robin Gloster <>, Simon Lackerbauer <>


Each RFC Steering Committee (RFCSC) unanimously elects the succeeding one at their first meeting in December from an open list of nominees.


The RFC Steering Committee has been established by RFC 36. Future work for that RFC included a definition of how members to the Committee are to be chosen or removed. This RFC provides mechanisms for beginning and ending Steering Committee membership. The purpose of this is to ensure that the committee:

  • continues to consist of well-informed and motivated members;
  • continues to represent the evolving community;
  • remains active and keeps the RFC process running.

Detailed design

The RFC Steering Committee shall always have five members. If membership drops below five members (for example by resignation of a member as detailed below), a new member shall be elected without delay after a nomination period of at least two weeks (see below for nomination and selection process). If the number of members of the RFCSC drops below 4 people, it cannot proceed with shepherd team selections until new members have been selected.

Ending membership

Membership in the Steering Committee can end by any of the following four mechanisms:

  1. At the end of an election period.
  2. Resignation
  3. Unanimous vote by all other members after having missed two or more regular meetings without giving an appropriate excuse.
  4. Unanimous vote by all other members due to conduct unbecoming of a member.

A member can resign from the RFC Steering Committee at any time and for any reason. A member planning to resign should inform the rest of the RFC Steering Committee of their intention at their earliest convenience.

Becoming a member

The members chosen through the original implementation as specified in RFC 36 are regular members as specified in this RFC. They will stay on as members until replaced by new members as outlined below.

If a seat has to be filled earlier than at the yearly vote, the new member will only serve for the rest of the term.

Each year at the first meeting of the RFCSC in December (starting 2019, approximately a year after establishment in RFC 36) they unanimously decide on the succeeding committee members. If unanimous agreement cannot be reached, the RFCSC votes on each nominee, ranking them by votes in favour of the candidate and further holds run-off votes if there is a tie for the fifth & sixth spot. Nominations are open to anyone, and one can either nominate themself or any other person who accepts the nomination. Members of the previous RFCSC explicitly can stand again, but should reflect on their free time and commitment to their role. The nomination period starts at the beginning of November, a minimum of four weeks before election, and is announced on all relevant communication channels (as of April 2019,, IRC #nixos and #nixos-dev, and NixOS Weekly). The new RFCSC takes over in the first week of January.

Additionally to RFC 36 a new restriction formally comes into effect. In order to avoid conflict of interest there is an upper cap of appointing 2 members working for a single employer.


The RFCSC basically elects their own successors, but this minimises the complexity of having to hold elections, including defining who is eligible to vote and how to hold them.


  • Do nothing: then the current members of the RFC Steering Committee as defined in RFC 36 could stay on the Committee indefinitely or at least until that part of RFC 36 is overridden by a newly accepted RFC.
  • Rigorously defining a voting procedure (though possible, but probably too complex)

Unresolved questions

As of now, none.

Future work

As this process is to be implemented over a fairly long time frame (a year for each iteration), this framework might have to be revised at a later date, incorporating any experience made over these years.

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