I love the passion the Fedora Project inspires in our community. That passion has been on display in the past week as the community has discussed the decision to move forward with GitLab as our git forge. I want to be very clear: we, the Fedora Council, dropped the ball on communication here. No one intended to be secretive or hide from the community, but we should have done better.

I also want to emphasize that we trust the Community Platform Engineering (CPE) team to make the right decision. Fedora’s dist-git is currently provided to us by CPE. The future of what they provide to the project is a decision they will make based on a transparent set of requirements agreed on by FESCo, Council, and interested community members. CPE team members are part of the Fedora community, and we know they share our passion for our project’s success. As the Council, we trust CPE to balance our requirements with the needs of CentOS and RHEL and come up with something that works for everyone and will be good for Fedora long-term. We’re also listening to the continuing conversation in the community. We are reiterating this in Council #292.

Many of you have expressed a strong desire for Fedora to be built with free software at all layers of the infrastructure. The Council shares that desire, but we recognize that there are cases where viable free software options are not available. In this particular case, we believe that we do have those options. And we recognize that many of our community members feel that our dist-git tooling goes to the heart of Fedora’s work as a project, making it particularly important symbolically. We also reiterated this in Council #292.

I have spoken to the CPE team management and they understand our position. To be clear, no decision has been made as to what version of GitLab will be used. But regardless of the general CPE decision, we are looking at the possibility of using GitLab CE for our dist-git specifically. For a general purpose git forge, we may use another version. In addition to pagure.io, many parts of the project are already using GitHub, centralized GitLab, or various other GitLab instances. We want CPE to focus on the tools that are special for Fedora instead of working on things that are commodity or generic.

As we said in our recently-adopted vision statement, The Fedora Project envisions a world where everyone benefits from free and open source software built by inclusive, welcoming, and open-minded communities.

— Matthew, on behalf of the Fedora Council