Packager sponsor policy
Getting sponsored into the `packager` group allows anyone interested to become a Fedora maintainer. Maintainers get commit access to package sources, ability to build packages, and the ability to review new packages for inclusion in the distribution. This applies to packages where they become either primary or co-maintainers.
Sponsoring is required to ensure that packagers have someone that they can go to with questions. Sponsorship is *not* automatic and requires finding a willing sponsor.
Note that membership in the `packager` group, and thus sponsorship, is not required to contribute to Fedora packaging. Anybody can open a pull request to any package, which the package maintainers can then review and merge. It is recommended to start working with pull requests in this way, rather than immediately seeking sponsorship. See xref:package-maintainers::Package_Maintenance_Guide.adoc#using_fedpkg_anonymously[Package Maintenance Guide: Using fedpkg anonymously] for description of this method.
Packager Sponsors are maintainers that have a good record of maintaining packages, doing reviews, and assisting others with the processes and procedures of Fedora. Sponsors act as mentors for new contributors, help them to find areas to contribute, assist them with processes and procedures, and provide them when they need general guidance. Sponsors may also be called on by FESCo to talk to a contributor that doesn't seem to be living up to their xref:Package_maintainer_responsibilities.adoc[Package maintainer responsibilities].
Requesting sponsorship
There are several ways to get sponsored into the `packager` group.
Submitting a package
Sponsorship can be requested when a xref:Package_review_policy.adoc[review request] is submitted for a new package, or for a retired package that requires a new review. Such request is submitted by making the review request Bugzilla ticket block the https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=FE-NEEDSPONSOR[FE-NEEDSPONSOR] tracking bug. Although `FE-NEEDSPONSOR` is set on the package's review request, it is the person that needs to be sponsored, not the package.
Becoming a co-maintainer
Another way to enter the `packager` group is by co-maintaining a package that is already in Fedora. The current owner of that package will allow the applicant to co-maintain the package and will act as their mentor.
If the package owner is a sponsor, they can sponsor the applicant themselves. If they are not a sponsor, they can get another existing sponsor to do so. This can be done either by contacting a sponsor personally, or by opening a ticket in the https://pagure.io/packager-sponsors/[packager sponsors pagure instance]. The ticket should state that they are a package owner and that they would like the applicant to co-maintain their package. They agree to be responsible for mentoring the applicant as described in section xref:responsibilities[Package Sponsor Responsibilities].
Adopting an orphaned or freshly retired package
If the applicant wants to start maintaining a package that has been orphaned, or retired recently enough so that, according to xref:Policy_for_orphan_and_retired_packages.adoc[Policy for Orphan and Retired Packages], it does not yet require a new review, they can open a ticket in the https://pagure.io/packager-sponsors/[packager sponsors pagure instance], stating that they want to maintain that package and need a sponsor.
Before submitting the sponsorship request, the applicant should inspect the package and check if it has any open Bugzilla issues. The request should only be submitted if the applicant is sure that they can get the package into good shape. They should open a pull request to fix any discovered issues and link to them in their sponsorship request. Sponsors can then give feedback on these pull requests and evaluate the applicant's knowledge at the same time.
Sponsorship requirements
Applicants should be sponsored only if the sponsor is reasonably certain that the applicant is, with mentoring from the sponsor, able to fulfill the xref:Package_maintainer_responsibilities.adoc[Package Maintainer Responsibilities].
In the co-maintainership path, it is the primary maintainer who decides if the applicant is suitable. The sponsor only needs to trust that the primary maintainer will give the required support.
The following sections describe some actions that may be taken by the applicant to show their packaging skills.
The applicant should include all relevant information in their application.