Project:Council/Code of conduct

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This document describes Gentoo's Code of Conduct for public communication fora, as well as the action taken should it be broken.


Joining and participation agreement

Gentoo prides itself on being a community driven distribution that acts with the best interest of the community at heart. Rules and regulations that keep us all moving in a forward direction are a reality for a community of this size.

This document describes Gentoo's Code of Conduct for public communication mediums, who shall enforce said Code of Conduct, the action taken should the Code of Conduct be broken, as well as the method for appeals. Questions about this document and its contents can be directed to the council at

By joining and/or participating in the Gentoo community, you are stating that you accept and agree to adhere to the rules listed below, even if you do not explicitly state so.

Behavior and consequences

Acceptable behavior

Things that should be seen:

  • Be courteous. Though respect is earned, it must start somewhere. Respect someone's right to their own opinion and acknowledge that they do deserve a measure of politeness in your response.
  • Give accurate information in the spirit of being helpful.
  • Respectfully disagree with or challenge other members. The operative word here is respectfully.
  • Using the correct forum for your post. Bug reports and idle chatter do not belong on the gentoo-dev mailing list; discussion about a wide-ranging change to the tree probably does not belong on Bugzilla. Different fora will also have different standards of behavior – a joke that is perfectly acceptable on IRC will be taken differently when made on a mailing list.
  • Use concise and clear language. The Gentoo community includes people from all over the world, with varying English skills and available time.
  • Admit the possibility of fault and respect different point of views. No one is perfect – you will get things wrong occasionally. Don't be afraid to admit this. Similarly, while something may seem perfectly obvious to you, others may see it differently.
  • If you screw up, take responsibility for your actions.

Unacceptable behavior

Gentoo developers have come together with a common purpose, to further the project. Conflicts will undoubtedly arise, and though you are encouraged to work through issues on your own, assistance is available as requested and as needed.

Deciding to suspend or ban someone isn't a decision to be taken lightly, but sometimes it has to happen. Below is a list of things that could result in disciplinary action.

  • Flaming and trolling. What is trolling? You are deemed to be trolling if you make comments intended to provoke an angry response from others. What is flaming? Flaming is the act of sending or posting messages that are deliberately hostile and insulting.
  • Posting/participating only to incite drama or negativity rather than to tactfully share information.
  • Being judgmental, mean-spirited or insulting. It is possible to respectfully challenge someone in a way that empowers without being judgmental.
  • Constantly purveying misinformation despite repeated warnings.


Disciplinary action will be up to the discretion of the members of the Community Relations project.

If you perceive a breach of the Code of Conduct guidelines, let the appropriate people know. Though they will also be watching many of the public mediums for any problems, they can not be expected to catch everything. Community Relations can be contacted by e-mail via

Community Relations members may attempt to resolve the problem by talking to involved parties, potentially issuing warnings if appropriate. If the problem repeats itself, there are various options open, including temporary or permanent suspension of a person's ability to post to mailing lists, removal of Bugzilla access, or in more severe cases suspension of developer privileges. Details on current guidelines can be found on the Community Relations project page.

If disciplinary measures are taken and the affected person wishes to appeal, appeals should be addressed to the Gentoo Council via email at To prevent conflicts of interest, Council members are expected not to participate in appeals proceedings if they have been active in the respective Community Relations Code of Conduct case.


If you are unsure whether or not something is OK to post/comment/etc, assume it isn't, and reconsider whether you need to post it. Remember that posts made to mailing lists are archived for perpetuity, and read by far more people than will be actively involved in any one thread. A comment made in anger can have far-reaching consequences that you might not have thought about at the time.

Remember, the moment you participate in a public discussion on Gentoo medium, you have made yourself a representative of the Gentoo community. We hope that you will not take this responsibility lightly, and will prove to be a positive force in it.

This page is based on a document formerly found on our main website
The following people contributed to the original document: Christel Dahlskjaer, Joshua Saddler, Marien Zwart, Bryan Østergaard, Chris Gianelloni, Roy Marples, Mike Frysinger, Stephen Bennett, Mike Doty, Robin H. Johnson, Seemant Kulleen, Danny van Dyk, Jim Ramsay, Christina Fullam, Donnie Berkholz, Victor Ostorga, Sven Vermeulen
They are listed here because wiki history does not allow for any external attribution. If you edit the wiki article, please do not add yourself here; your contributions are recorded on each article's associated history page.