gVisor Governance


A project is the primary unit of collaboration. Each project has its own repository and contribution process.

All projects are covered by the Code of Conduct, and should include an up-to-date copy in the project repository or a link here.


Anyone can be a contributor to a project, provided they have signed relevant Contributor License Agreements (CLAs) and follow the project's contribution guidelines. Contributions will be reviewed by a maintainer, and must pass all applicable tests.

Reviews check for code quality and style, including documentation, and enforce other policies. Contributions may be rejected for reasons unrelated to the code in question. For example, a change may be too complex to maintain or duplicate existing functionality.

Note that contributions are not limited to code alone. Bugs, documentation, experience reports or public advocacy are all valuable ways to contribute to a project and build trust in the community.


Each project has one or more maintainers. Maintainers set technical direction, facilitate contributions and exercise overall stewardship.

Maintainers have write access to the project repository. Maintainers review and approve changes. They can also assign issues and add additional reviewers.

Note that some repositories may not allow direct commit access, which is reserved for administrators or automated processes. In this case, maintainers have approval rights, and a separate process exists for merging a change.

Maintainers are responsible for upholding the code of conduct in interactions via project communication channels. If comments or exchanges are in violation, they may remove them at their discretion.

Repositories requiring synchronization

For some projects initiated by Google, the infrastructure which synchronizes and merges internal and external changes requires that merges are performed by a Google employee. In such cases, Google will initiate a rotation to merge changes once they pass tests and are approved by a maintainer. This does not preclude non-Google contributors from becoming maintainers, in which case the maintainer holds approval rights and the merge is an automated process. In some cases, Google-internal tests may fail and have to be fixed: the Google employee will work with the submitter to achieve this.

Becoming a maintainer

The list of maintainers is defined by the list of people with commit access or approval authority on a repository, typically via a Gerrit group or a GitHub team.

Existing maintainers may elevate a contributor to maintainer status on evidence of previous contributions and established trust. This decision is based on lazy consensus from existing maintainers. While contributors may ask maintainers to make this decision, existing maintainers will also pro-actively identify contributors who have demonstrated a sustained track record of technical leadership and direct contributions.

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

From time-to-time, a SIG may be formed in order to solve larger, more complex problems across one or more projects. There are many avenues for collaboration outside a SIG, but a SIG can provide structure for collaboration on a single topic.

Each group will be established by a charter, and governed by the Code of Conduct. Some resources may be provided to the group, such as mailing lists or meeting space, and archives will be public.

Creating a new SIG

A SIG should have a clear purpose, multiple contributors and evidence of demand for the group. Each group will be established by a charter.

In order to establish a SIG, a change request should be sent to this repository that establishes the charter based on the template. The SIG will be approved by a maintainer of the community project.

If a SIG no longer has a useful purpose or has ceased operation, it may be archived by community maintainers. A SIG may also disband if it recognizes that it has reached the end of its useful life or fulfilled its mission.

Security disclosure

Projects may maintain security mailing lists for vulnerability reports and internal project audits may occasionally reveal security issues. Access to these lists and audits will be limited to project maintainers; individual maintainers should opt to participate in these lists based on need and expertise. Once maintainers become aware of a potential security issue, they will assess the scope and potential impact. If reported externally, maintainers will determine a reasonable embargo period with the reporter.

During the embargo period, the maintainers will prioritize a fix for the security issue. They may choose to disclose the issue to additional trusted contributors in order to facilitate a fix, subjecting them to the embargo, or notify affected users in order to give them an advanced opportunity to mitigate the issue. The inclusion of specific users in this disclosure is left to the discretion of the maintainers and contributors involved, and depends on the scale of known project use and exposure.

Once a fix is widely available or the embargo period ends, the maintainers will make technical details about the vulnerability and associated fixes available.

Mailing lists

There are four key mailing lists that span projects.

  • gvisor-users: general purpose user list.
  • gvisor-dev: general purpose development list.
  • gvisor-security: private security list. Access to this list is restricted to maintainers of the core gVisor project, subject to the security disclosure policy described above.
  • gvisor-syzkaller: private syzkaller bug tracking list. Access to this list is not limited to maintainers, but will be granted to those who can credibly contribute to fixes.