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Project:Infrastructure/Retire Process

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This guide describes how to retire a developer properly from all of our services.


Our developers use several different services that we need to ensure get taken care of when they retire.

This process officially starts when Developer Relations CCes on the retirement bug and tells us to retire the developer. Robin Johnsonis the present infra retirement processor, but this document is intended to allow other infra staff with suitable access to retire as needed.

You should have access to the following services in case something goes wrong.

Server Function Access level
woodpecker root
flycatcher root
duck shell access AND in LDAP gentooAccess attribute
pigeon root
yellow* Bugzilla admin
gannet or godwit Forums admin
kookaburra Blogs super admin
hornbill Access to gitolite-admin and planet-gentoo git repos

Manual Retiring Procedures

Retire from

The first step is to remove a developer from our shell box. Infrastructure has created a shell script that should take care of all the tasks. Login as root to and run the following:

CodeRemoval from

# /root/scripts/retire-dev username

This script will do the following:

  • Remove the user from all local groups
  • Remove the user from all mail aliases
  • If they have a mail forward, copy it to the retired-devs alias directory
  • If they don't have a mail forward, create a mbox that their mail will go to for 30 days in case they need something.
  • Move their home directory to /home/RETIRED/username
  • Index the contents of their home directory with permission details
  • Change the ownership of their homedir to root
  • Tar up their homedir
  • Remove the homedir while leaving the tarball of homedir

Here's what it will look like:

CodeRetiring a user on

# /root/scripts/retire-dev username
Stop all processing belonging to username
Removing username from groups (exp_x86,bsd) via gpasswd
Removing username from aliases
  Removing from /var/mail/alias/misc/net-irc
  Removing from /var/mail/alias/misc/net-mail
Forward not found, redirecting mail to /home/RETIRED/mail-backup/username.saved
Moving home directory from /home/username to /home/RETIRED/username
Indexing old content of /home/RETIRED/username
Changing ownership to root on /home/RETIRED/username/*
Tar'ing up /home/RETIRED/username
Removing /home/RETIRED/username

 ** Remember to run these commands on ldap1: **
  perl_ldap -b user -E gentooAccess username
  perl_ldap -b user -M gentooStatus retired username

Since our shell box uses LDAP, actual user deletion will happen on the LDAP server. We cannot just lock the user in LDAP, as OpenSSH may still consult the authorized_keys file, hence the retiring of the home directory as well.

Retire from

Retiring a developer from the CVS server works the same way as the shell retirement process (stopping proceses, and removing from groups). The only difference is that the script only moves the developer's home directory to the RETIRED folder. Log into and run the following:

CodeRemoval from

# /root/scripts/retire-dev username
Moving homedir from /home/username to /home/RETIRED/username
Changing ownership to root on /home/RETIRED/username/

Retire in LDAP

In order to remove the user totally from our system, you need to login to our primary LDAP server ( You cannot retire a developer from any other box. ramerethcreated a script that does the following:

  • Removes any attribute with gentooAccess
  • Sets the developer's gentooStatus to retired
  • Setting the gentooRetire attribute.

This script lives in /usr/local/sbin/retire-dev-ldap.

CodeRetire developer in LDAP

 $ /usr/local/sbin/retire-dev-ldap username
Enter LDAP Password:
replace gentooStatus:
delete gentooAccess:
modifying entry "uid=username,ou=devs,dc=gentoo,dc=org"

WARNING, extra gentooAccess detected:

Special cases: other machine access

Now you need to check every other Gentoo machine that the developer previously had local-account access to, such as any other * boxes, or the various arch team machines like * You need to disable any local accounts that still exist. If the box is connected to LDAP, cleaning up the home directory is nice, but not required.

Infra: do we have a nice retirement script for this? This would of course require that we track who has access to which machines better. ;-)

Retire from mailing lists

Retiring developers are responsible for re-subscribing to any lists that they are still interested in.

Now we need to remove the developer from all our mailing lists so that we don't have to deal with extra mail and the bounce to timeout. The following script on our mailserver will comb through the lists and remove the email address from that list properly. It will check for regular subscribers, digest subscribers and nomail subscribers.

CodeUnsubscribe the email address from all mailing lists

# /usr/local/sbin/
Removing from gentoo-core
Removing from gentoo-dev
Removing from gentoo-gwn

Retire Bugzilla account

Retiring developers must open a new Bugzilla account with their user email address if they wish to continue using Bugzilla. If they are interested in mail to the old account, they should explicitly configure watches for every address and alias that they are interested in.The reasoning behind this is threefold: allow future searches to find work by a given developer after he has retired, without having to know what his email address was renamed to; protect old private bugs; preserve the assignee information on old closed bugs.

Now we need to retire and disable their Bugzilla account. Please SSH to , sudo up, and run: ./ $USERNAME . This automated script performs the following tasks:

  • Add the disabled text to say: "Retired on 12-08-2005 as per retirement bug #12345." Retiring developers are responsible for creating a new bugzilla account, and configuring watches for all bugzilla accounts that they are interested in.
  • Append (RETIRED) to the real name field
  • Remove them from any Bugzilla groups they may have been added to

Update forums account

Contact any forums administrator, or CC their Bugzilla account ( on the bug.

Retire from Planet/Universe and Blogs

CC their bugzilla account ( on the retirement bug. They will remove the planet/universe configs which are in g.o.g.o/proj/planet-gentoo git repo, and reset the password for blogs. Final step is to disable comments from all posts, for which they will ping infra on IRC to run the following command:

CodeDisabling comments on all posts

UPDATE wp_ID_posts SET comment_status='closed', ping_status='closed' WHERE comment_status='open' OR ping_status='open';
# ID can be found under wp admin panel -> Super Admin -> Sites
Needs more automation

Update overlays (gitolite groups and email)

Final step is to move the user from devs to exdevs group in gitolite.conf, and update his email address in keydir/ CC overlays bugzilla account ( in the retirement bug to take care of it.


We would like to thank the following authors and editors for their contributions to this guide:

  • Robin H. Johnson
  • Lance Albertson
  • Theo Chatzimichos
  • Joshua Saddler