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---
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title: "The CentOS SIGs"
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title_lead: |
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  The Special Interest Groups (SIGs), are the teams responsible for their
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  specific CentOS Project variants. Variants are specialized and focused rebuilds
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  of CentOS to meet the needs and requirements of their corresponding communities
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  and the technology associated with those communities.
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permalink: /:path/:basename/index.html
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layout: page
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toc: true
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---
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SIGs are usually self-forming around a technology by a small community of
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enthusiasts and interested parties. In addition to the existing CentOS SIGs, it
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is expected that additional SIGs, as approved by the CentOS Board, will be
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created.
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Each group will be responsible for its own variant in CentOS that is
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specifically targeted towards its community (e.g., The CentOS FooBar SIG
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creates a CentOS variant targeted to FooBar users and developers, the CentOS
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Hosting SIG builds a variant for web hosters, included in the CentOS
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distribution). The SIG is the deciding authority on what is required in their
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variant to satisfy the needs of their community, with the understanding that
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the Board has ultimate oversight as explained elsewhere. If required, the
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CentOS Board will help the individual SIGs to reach consensus on any issues or
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problems.
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SIGs are the only way for an entity to use and associate the CentOS brand with
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a variant. You can always use Git and the repo to fork and try-out ideas, but
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only those packages in git.centos.org and released and signed by CentOS can be
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called 'CentOS'.
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Another type of SIG is functional, focused on maintaining parts of the Project
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itself, such as infrastructure, documentation, and design. A unique SIG is the
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Core SIG that builds and maintains the core CentOS derivative of Red Hat
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Enterprise Linux. It is unique because it is the central, orchestrating
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platform that all other variants are built from.
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## CentOS Core SIG Responsibilities
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* Build the CentOS release.
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* _Sign_ the CentOS release.
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* Push official CentOS releases to the initial mirror.
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* Coordinate with upstream as required.
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* Accept changes into Git.
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  * Manage Git licensing and contribution policies.
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## Variant SIG Responsibilities
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* Create and maintain one or more variations with technology in CentOS on top of or modifications to the core base.
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* Foster a user community as a primary purpose of the variant.
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  * Keep the Project artifacts (the variant) relevant and useful to the user community.
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* Ensure the software brought in to support the variant is licensed and prepared properly for packaging and distribution as part of the CentOS Project.
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* Oversee inclusions of code related to the variant in to git.centos.org.
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* Conduct the business of the SIG following accepted open source practices around meritocracy and consensus decision making.
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## Functional SIG Responsibilities
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* Accountable for designing, building, and maintaining key Project component(s).
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* Make the functional area open for participation, with barriers to contribution as low as feasible and reasonable.
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* Foster a community of users and doers around the functional aspect, to share the responsibility, workload, and innovation.
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* Work within given legal constraints and requirements.
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## SIG Governance
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<figure class="figure">
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  SIG Governance
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</figure>
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The SIGs themselves also have a merit path toward autonomy and accountability
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for Project aspects. The determination of merit level is reflected in the
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amount of oversight required by the Board and the SIGs ability to self-sign and
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release software builds. As merit increases, Board oversight goes down, with a
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transition spot in the middle where the SIG naturally obtains more autonomy,
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usually toward the end of the "Early" phase.
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__Sandboxes__ are the entry point for all proposed SIGs. To enter, there must
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be a Champion from or approved by the Board and a proposal (which indicates the
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reason for the SIG, the expected audience, initial team, risks, etc.) For a SIG
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to be created, there must be at least 3 +1 votes from the Board (NOT including
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the Champion) and zero (nil) -1 votes. When approved, the Champion becomes the
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formal Mentor of the Sandbox SIG.
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Sandboxes cannot make formal releases, but can create releases that allow
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people, developers, etc. to use, test, and play with the build. Sandboxes are
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also closely monitored by the Board to ensure that they are attracting interest
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and developers and users are learning the ropes regarding SIG operation. All
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new committers, developers, SIG core team members, etc. must be approved by the
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Board.
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SIGs that have expressed a level of merit, as determined by the Board, will
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move to the __Early__ SIG stage (Sandboxes can request graduation to Early, if
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they like). These SIGs are allowed to create formal releases, but the release
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must be approved by the Board and signed by the Mentor. In all other matters,
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however, they are self-sufficient and no longer require Board approval, such as
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as in adding committers and so forth. Movement from Sandbox to Early is via 3
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+1 vote of the Board (Mentor not included) and zero (nil) -1 votes.
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The final stage is the __Mature__ SIG. Again, this graduation is based on the
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judgment and determination of the Board, but this movement must be a unanimous
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decision of the Board. The Mature SIG has full control over the SIG, pulling in
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its own sources to git.centos.org, its releases, its internal governance, and
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has the ability to self-sign releases. The Board members may vote in, or
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participate in any SIG decision at any time.
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In both the Sandbox and Early SIGs, the role of the Board is primarily to
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facilitate the movement of those SIGs towards the Mature level; it serves as an
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initial gateway with the goal of getting out of the way of the SIGs.
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Note that in all cases, maturity is a measure of the community itself, and not
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the codebase or the actual SIG variant release. A mature SIG could create a
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non-mature (e.g., Alpha or Beta release) distribution and, conversely, a
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Sandbox SIG could produce a very mature (robust and reliable) distro.
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## Community and SIGs
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SIGs represent the true power and value of the CentOS Project. As seen in the
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current CentOS Dojos, and in the CentOS community itself, the builds provide a
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safe, neutral, and communal central meeting place for major technology areas.
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This is the reason why SIGs should not be program/project specific (e.g., a
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MariaDB rebuild), but rather technology-area focused (e.g., the "Hoster's"
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rebuild). By creating a central point where all projects and communities can
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interact, using the OS as the common foundation, upstream projects will be able
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to reach and interface with a much larger audience.
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It is expected that SIGs may propose significant forking of the base CentOS
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core, such as introducing a new Python version or Linux kernel. It is the job
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of the Board and CentOS Core SIG to oversee and approve any forks that are
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pulled back into Git, including to ensure that these forks are supportable.
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This support is best done by an active and engaged variant SIG. The Board or
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CentOS Core SIG can pull a variant from release if they reasonably believe the
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variant SIG is unable to support the variant. Another option is reassigning an
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active variant from a dead SIG to a willing living SIG. The Board is
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specifically not limited in what it can do to protect the quality of the CentOS
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mark where it comes to the content and quality of a variant.
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## Creating a new SIG
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The process of creating a new SIG involves two major components:
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community building and the administrative side.
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Bring your SIG proposal first to the centos-devel mailing list to find
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other like-minded people who wish to start the SIG with you. Also look
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around outside of the CentOS project for people who may want to
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distribute projects on CentOS
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Once you have a core group that wants to make this happen, open a ticket
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on the [board issue tracker](https://git.centos.org/centos/board/issues)
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with your proposed SIG, and someone there will walk you through the
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process.
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For the current list of active SIGs, refer to
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[http://wiki.centos.org/SpecialInterestGroup](http://wiki.centos.org/SpecialInterestGroup)