Linkerd's Commitment to Open Governance

William Morgan

William Morgan
October 3, 2019 • 3 min read

Wide open

Given the recent declaration by Google that it will not donate KNative or Istio to a neutral foundation, it seemed like an appropriate time to describe Linkerd’s approach to the subject of open governance.

Our approach is this:

The Linkerd maintainers are 100% committed to open governance and to being hosted by a neutral foundation. We believe that a diverse and active set of maintainers is fundamental to the long-term health of an open source project. And we want YOU to join us.

If you’ve been following Linkerd for a while, this should come as no surprise. This is all stuff we’ve said before. But in this post, I wanted to add a little more personal context.

I wear two hats when it comes to Linkerd. I am one of the maintainers of the project. I am also the CEO of Buoyant. Buoyant created Linkerd, and submitted it to the CNCF way back in the dark ages of 2017 (when the CNCF only had 4 projects!). Buoyant continues to be the primary sponsor of the project, and to date, the majority of code in Linkerd comes from folks who have been paid by Buoyant for their time and energy. In fact, I take great pride in the fact that Buoyant has been able to find great people in the Linkerd community, like Alejandro, Ivan, Zahari, Sean, Carl, and many more, and give them the ability to make a living by continuing these contributions.

I sleep soundly at night because the two roles are never in conflict. Nothing about Buoyant’s business model requires us to maintain control over Linkerd. This is by design. Both Oliver and I were open source contributors to infrastructure projects long before Buoyant was created (Exhibit 1, Exhibit 2), and the thought of a commercial “Linkerd Enterprise Edition” or “Linkerd Plus”, and the dynamics it would place on the project, was never appealing to us. Linkerd is and must always be a fully functional, completely unencumbered open source project.

So, that’s all to say: please come join us in Linkerd. We have 150+ contributors across the world, and while line-by-line the majority of contributions are sponsored by Buoyant, that’s an artifact of how Buoyant operates, not a statement of control. (We donated it to the CNCF for a reason!) As I said on Twitter:

We want your input, your help, and your guidance. Let’s keep building this amazing project together.

Ready to try Linkerd?

Ready to try Linkerd? You can try the latest stable release by running:

curl | sh

Linkerd is a community project and is hosted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. If you have feature requests, questions, or comments, we’d love to have you join our rapidly-growing community! Linkerd is hosted on GitHub, and we have a thriving community on Slack, Twitter, and the mailing lists. Come and join the fun!

Image credit: Archana Jarajapu

Have you adopted Linkerd? Let us know and we’ll send you some sweet swag!