Knative Repository Guidelines

This document outlines a structure for creating and associating code repositories with the Knative project. It also describes how and when repositories are removed.

Core Repositories

Core repositories are considered core components of Knative. They are utilities, tools, applications, or libraries that form or support the foundation of the project.

Core repositories are all those located under the organization.

Core Repository Requirements

  • Repository must live under
  • Must adopt the Knative Code of Conduct.
  • All code projects must use the Apache License version 2.0.
  • Documentation repositories must use Creative Commons License version 4.0.
  • All OWNERS must be members of the Knative community.
  • Repository creation must be approved by the Technical Oversight Committee.

Requirements for Repository Donation

The Technical Oversight Committee may allow repositories to be donated to the Knative project. In addition to meeting the core repository requirements, donated repositories must:

  • Adopt the Google CLA bot.
  • All contributors to the donated repository must have signed the Google CLA.
  • All code must adopt the standard Knative header, attributing copyright as follows: "Copyright <year> The Knative Authors".
  • Additions of the standard Knative header to code created by the contributors can occur post-transfer, but should ideally occur shortly thereafter.
  • An AUTHORS file should be created in the repo root, if one does not already exist, that includes the original authors of the code. See knative/serving AUTHORS for reference.
    • Note that copyright notices should only be modified or removed by the people or organizations named in the notice.

Removing Repositories

As important as it is to add new repositories, it is equally important to prune repositories when necessary. See Grounds for removal.

It is important to the success of Knative that all Knative repositories stay active, healthy, and aligned with the scope and mission of project.

Grounds for removal

Core repositories may be removed from the project if they are deemed inactive. Inactive repositories are those that meet any of the following criteria:

  • There are no longer any active maintainers for the project, and no replacements can be found.
  • All PRs and issues have gone un-addressed for longer than six months.
  • There have been no new commits or other changes in more than a year.
  • The contents have been folded into another actively maintained project.

Procedure for removal

When a repository has been deemed eligible for removal, we take the following steps:

  • A proposal to remove the repository is brought to the attention of the Technical Oversight Committee through a GitHub issue posted in the community repo.
    • Feedback is encouraged during a Technical Oversight Committee meeting before any action is taken.
  • Once the TOC has approved of the removal, if the repo is not moving to another actively maintained project:
    • The repo description is edited to start with the phrase “[EOL]”
    • All open issues and PRs are closed
    • All external collaborates are removed
    • All webhooks, apps, integrations, or services are removed
    • GitHub pages are disabled
    • The repo is marked as archived using GitHub’s archive feature
    • The removal is announced on the knative-dev mailing list
    • Documentation is removed / updated as appropriate from the knative/docs website

This procedure maintains the complete record of issues, PRs, and other contributions. It leaves the repository read-only and makes it clear that the repository is retired and no longer maintained.

Additional / Experimental Repositories

It is beneficial for Knative working groups to be able to own code outside the core knative organization, which is kept intentionally small and has a high bar for entry. The knative-sandbox GitHub organization was created for this purpose. Repositories in knative-sandbox are intended to give working groups more latitude to experiment with new ideas and to self-organize and manage contributions which may be important to the project but which do not need the level of governance of the core project.

Note that knative-sandbox is not an incubation area for projects entering the knative github org; in most cases, projects in the sandbox will remain there for the entire duration. knative-sandbox also provides a location for implementations of core interfaces which do not themselves need to be part of every knative installation, such as networking or eventing integrations. In the event that a working group wants a project in sandbox to be considered for transfer to the knative org, the request will be considered on a case-by-case basis by joint decision of the Steering Committee and the Technical Oversight Committee.

Mechanics of working-group owned repositories in knative-sandbox


Note: prior art here from the Kubernetes community.

Working groups are allowed to request repositories that meet the following requirements. The Steering Committee and TOC will maintain the process and perform the repository creation steps to ensure that the following requirements have been met:

  • Vendor dependencies must be clearly called out, and participation must be open to the community.

    • If the repository is for integration with a specific technology vendor, affiliation with that vendor must not be required for participation.

    • Non-integration repositories should aim to avoid dependencies on vendor-specific technology by publishing abstract interfaces which can be implemented by multiple vendors. Those implementations are not required to live in separate repositories.

  • Must adopt the Knative CLA.

  • Must adopt the Knative code of conduct.

  • Must adopt the Apache 2.0 license.

  • Must be sponsored by a specific working group, which should be designated in the for the repo. In addition, at least one WG lead must be in the root-level OWNERS file.

  • Copyright assigned to The Knative Authors.

  • Document clear release and install processes.

  • Clearly document the stability and API guarantees (both in the top-level and by using appropriate API versioning for Kubernetes apigroups).

    • The TOC will maintain a template which will be used during the creation of new repositories. Existing repositiories are encouraged to update their READMEs from time to time as the format changes.
  • Kubernetes APIs must be homed in a valid group with a DNS prefix approved by the Steering Committee.

    • APIs under should:

      1. Be under a subdomain managed by the owning Working Group (e.g., not The TOC is considered the authority for assigning subdomains to working groups.

      2. Coordinate with the Working Group in API naming to avoid collisions or confusing naming. This also includes API review by the responsible Working Group to ensure consistency and alignment with duck-type field naming.

Working groups must designate the repositories they own (by prefix or in the of the repo, at a minimum).

Repositories owned by working groups are encouraged to embrace the project value of pluggability.


The following are not required to create a working-group-owned repository:

  • Steering or Trademark approval (see “the fine print”)
  • TOC approval
    • TOC may request certain naming patterns (e.g. kn-plugin for client WG)
  • Solving an unique problem (exploring different approaches to problems outside the core is actively encouraged!)

The fine print

Steering and Trademark reserve the right to require that repos be removed or transferred out of the knative-sandbox organization and API groups to be renamed. This is intended to simplify the process in the common case, while giving Steering or Trademark the ability to step in and rectify problems that may arise.


Working groups are responsible for the upkeep of their repositories and are expected to keep a high quality bar. Inactive or non-conforming repositories should be archived, deleted, or moved out of the knative-sandbox organization, following the general Procedure for Removal for repositories.

Contents of this page are adopted from the Kubernetes repository guidelines, which is licensed under Apache License 2.0.

Except as otherwise noted, the content of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License, and code samples are licensed under the Apache 2.0 License.