Package Review Process

In order for a new package to be added to Fedora, the package must first undertake a formal review. The process is governed by the FESCo approved Package Review Policy.

Review Process

There are two roles in the review process, that of the contributor and that of the reviewer. This document presents both perspectives.

Exemptions

Certain packages are exempted from the review process as described in the Applicability section of Package Review Policy. If an exemption is warranted, the contributor can directly request a repository for the package. The request to create a repo should include the --exception flag instead of a bug number:

fedpkg request-repo --exception <package-name>

Contributor

A Contributor is defined as someone who wants to submit (and maintain) a new package in Fedora. To become a contributor, you must follow the detailed instructions to Joining the Package Maintainers.

As a Contributor, you should have already made a package which adheres to the Packaging Guidelines and does not contain any Forbidden Items.

When you’re happy with your spec file, you should then submit that SRPM to a package review. Currently, this is done by following these steps:

  • Put your spec file and SRPM somewhere on the Internet where it can be directly downloaded (just http(s), no registration pages or special download methods, please). If you have no place to put your spec and SRPM, use copr.

  • Fill out a request for review in bugzilla. Make absolutely certain to file this bug with an account tied to your FAS email address, otherwise your followup requests will be closed as invalid.

If nobody comments on your review request, you might want to mail to a mailing list (for example, devel) asking for a "review swap". This is an offer to do a review of someone else’s package in exchange for them reviewing your package. This is usually one-for-one, or can be some other private arrangement depending on the difficulty of the respective packages.
  • If you are not member of the packager group, you need a sponsor. Add FE-NEEDSPONSOR to the bugs being blocked by your review request. For more information read How to Get Sponsored into the Packager Group.

  • Wait for someone to review your package! At this point in the process, the fedora-review flag is blank, meaning that no reviewer is assigned.

  • There may be comments from people that are not formally reviewing the package, they may add NotReady to the Whiteboard field, indication that the review request is not yet ready, because of some issues they report. After you have addressed them, please post the URLs to the updated SPEC and SRPM file and clear the Whiteboard. It is expected that you will respond to commentary, including updating your submission to address it; if you do not, your ticket will be closed.

  • A reviewer takes on the task of reviewing your package. They will set the fedora-review flag to ?.

  • The reviewer will review your package. You should fix any blockers that the reviewer identifies. Once the reviewer is happy with the package, the fedora-review flag will be set to +, indicating that the package has passed review.

  • If you have not yet been sponsored, request sponsorship by raising an issue at packager-sponsors.

  • When your package passes the review you should use fedpkg to request a Git repository for it. Before you can request a Git repository for the package, you will need a pagure.io api token with Create a new ticket ACL added into ~/.config/rpkg/fedpkg.conf:

    [fedpkg.pagure]
    token = <generated-code>
  • Request a Git repository for the package. For example, if the package name is my-package and the bugzilla review ticket is 12345, :

    fedpkg request-repo my-package 12345

    Check that your review bug is valid. It must have the fedora-review set to +, and it must be assigned to your reviewer. Otherwise your repository request will be closed as invalid.

  • If you want to add your package to more Fedora releases and not just Rawhide, let’s say to Fedora 34, you can use the following command to request additional branches:

    fedpkg request-branch --repo f{MAJOROSVER}`

    You must wait for your repository to be created before filing your branch request, otherwise your branch request will be closed as invalid.

  • When fedora-scm-requests tickets for the requested repository and branches are closed, checkout the package:

    fedpkg clone
  • Now you can import your SRPM package. Do a final check of spec file tags, etc.

  • Request a Koji build by running fedpkg build. (You will need to set up Kerberos for Fedora project)

  • Repeat the process for other branches you may have requested above:

    • Checkout given branch: fedpkg switch-branch f34

    • Let Koji build the package for this branch: fedpkg build

  • Request updates for Fedora release branches, if necessary, using fedpkg update or another Bodhi interface as detailed in Bodhi.

  • If possible, add your package to Upstream Release Monitoring.

  • To be notified if your package stops building successfully when dependencies are updated in Fedora, you can enable Koschei.

  • You should make sure the review ticket is closed. You are welcome to close it once the package has been built on the requested branches. If you built for one of the Fedora release branches you can ask Bodhi to close the ticket for you when it completes the process. If you close the ticket yourself, use NEXTRELEASE as the resolution.

You do not need to go through the review process again for subsequent package changes, and should not reference the review ticket in subsequent updates you create in Bodhi.

Reviewer

The Reviewer is the person who chooses to review a package.

The Reviewer can be any Fedora account holder who is a member of the packager group. (If the Contributor is not yet sponsored, the review can still proceed to completion but they will need to find a sponsor at some point.)

  • Search Package Review Tracker for a review request that needs a reviewer: fedora-review flag is blank or the bug is assigned to nobody@fedoraproject.org.

  • If you notice some issues that need to be solved before you want to start a formal review, add these issues in a comment and set the Whiteboard of the bug to contain NotReady. This helps other possible reviewers to notice that the review request is not yet ready for further review action.

  • If you want to formally review the package, set the fedora-review flag to ? and assign the bug to yourself.

  • Review the package

  • Include the text of your review in a comment in the ticket. For easy readability, simply use a regular comment instead of an attachment.

  • Take one of the following actions:

    • ACCEPT - If the package is good, set the fedora-review flag to +.

    • FAIL, LEGAL - If the package is legally risky for whatever reason (known patent or copyright infringement, trademark concerns) close the bug as WONTFIX and leave an appropriate comment (i.e. we don’t ship mp3, so stop submitting it). Set the fedora-review flag to -, and have the review ticket block FE-Legal.

    • FAIL, OTHER - If the package is just way off or unsuitable for some other reason, and there is no simple fix, then close the bug as WONTFIX and leave an appropriate comment (i.e. we don’t package pornography for redistribution, sorry. Or, this isn’t a specfile, it’s a McDonald’s menu, sorry.) Set the fedora-review flag to -.

    • NEEDSWORK - Anything that isn’t explicitly failed should be left open while the submitter and reviewer work together to fix any potential issues. Mark the bug as NEEDINFO while waiting for the reviewer to respond to improvement requests. This makes it easier for reviewers to find open reviews which require their input.

  • Once a package is flagged as fedora-review + (or -), the Reviewer’s job is done although they may be called upon to assist the Contributor with the import/build/update process and to ensure that the Contributor closes the ticket when the process is complete.

Definitions for fedora-review flag Settings

fedora-review

(BLANK)

Package Needs Review

fedora-review

?

Package Under Review

fedora-review

-

Package Failed Review, dropped for legal or other issues.

fedora-review

+

Package Approved

Special blocker tickets

There are a few tickets which can be placed in the "Blocks" field to indicate specific ticket statuses:

FE-NEEDSPONSOR

The submitter requires a sponsor; the review can be done by anyone, but a sponsor will need to come and sponsor the submitter.

FE-DEADREVIEW

The review has been closed out because the submitter has left; users looking for packages to submit may find some possibilities in these dead tickets.

FE-Legal

The package is currently awaiting review by the legal team.

The Whiteboard

To save time for reviewers, the New, reviewable Fedora package review tickets page will hide certain tickets which are not reviewable. The Whiteboard field can be used to mark a ticket with various additional bits of status which will cause it to be hidden or displayed differently.

NotReady

The package is not yet ready for review. It is possible to open a review ticket, mark it as NotReady, and continue to work on it until it’s ready to be seen by a reviewer.

BuildFails

The package fails to build.

AwaitingSubmitter

The package review is stalled and cannot proceed without input from the submitter.

Trivial

The package is trivial to review. See below.

The Trivial status is intended to indicate packages which, as an aid to new reviewers, are especially uncomplicated and easy to review. A ticket should not be marked as being trivial unless:

  • The package is known to build and a link to a scratch build is included.

  • The ticket explains any rpmlint output which is present.

  • The spec contains nothing which is unnecessary in modern Fedora (such as BuildRoot:, a %clean section or %defattr).

  • The spec is free from excessive or complicated macro usage.

  • The spec uses only the least complicated scriptlets which are taken directly from the Scriptlets page.

  • The package contains no daemons.

  • The package is not especially security sensitive.

  • The code has undergone a thorough inspection for licensing issues. Anomalies which would be found by licensecheck should be explained.

In short, this should be reserved only for those tickets which should be easily approachable by someone doing their first package review.

Tracking of Package Requests

The Package Review Tracker provides various review-related reports and a simple way to search for reviews by package name or reporter name or others.