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By joining and/or participating in the Gentoo community, you are agreeing to always adhere to the rules listed below. Acceptance of these terms does not require explicit acknowledgement: any use of the Gentoo community spaces automatically implies full endorsement of the Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct governs all of Gentoo's public communication fora, laying out basic guidelines for participation, as well as what action can be taken should any rules be broken.

Gentoo prides itself on being a community-driven distribution that acts with the best interest of the community at heart. Rules such as set out here are useful for a community of this size to keep us all moving forward together productively.

Questions about this document and its contents can be directed to the council at

How to behave in the Gentoo community

Acting well towards others is the most important thing to observe for the health of our community:

  • Be courteous - respect everyone's right to their opinions and accept that they deserve at least politeness in discussions.
  • Respectfully disagree with or challenge other members when confronted with a difference of opinion - the operative word here is respectfully.
  • 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. Keep in mind that while something may seem perfectly obvious to you, others may see it differently.
  • If you screw up, take responsibility for your actions.

To make the best use of everyone's limited time, and to avoid unnecessary confusion and any possibility of this leading to conflict, a few basic courtesies should be followed:

  • Give accurate information in the spirit of being helpful.
  • Use concise and clear language - the Gentoo community includes people from all over the world, with varying English skills and available time.
  • Use 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.

What we do not allow

Gentoo developers and contributors have come together with a common purpose: to collectively advance the Gentoo project. In order to move towards this goal efficiently and peacefully, some things are not allowed - do not engage in:

  • Flaming or trolling - members will be deemed to be trolling for comments intended to provoke an angry response from others, or flaming for comments that are deliberately hostile or insulting.
  • Posting/participating only to incite drama or negativity rather than to helpfully share useful information.
  • Being judgmental, mean-spirited or insulting - it is possible to challenge someone respectfully, without being judgmental.
  • Repeatedly purveying misinformation, particularly after warnings have been given.

Not respecting these points can result in disciplinary action, as laid out in the next section.

What happens if the rules are broken

Conflicts can undoubtedly arise, and people are usually encouraged to start by trying to work through issues on their own. If things can't be amicably resolved, assistance can be requested from the Community Relations project.

If you perceive a serious breach of the Code of Conduct guidelines, it can help to inform the Community Relations members. 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

Any disciplinary action will be up to the discretion of the members of the Community Relations project. Deciding to suspend or ban someone isn't a decision to be taken lightly, but sometimes it has to happen.

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.

Things to keep in mind

If you are in any way unsure whether or not something is acceptable to post/comment/etc.: assume it isn't, and reconsider whether you really 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.

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

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.