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The Mentors' Guide is the go-to place for information about getting a podling up and running from an Infrastructure point of view.

This document is for any Incubating Project member, but especially Mentors, who have to ensure that some things get done. For a general description of the role of a mentor on an incubating project see the Roles and Responsibilitiesdocument.

This guide describes established practices. It is informational, not normative. Policy is in the Incubation Policy document.


After the Incubator PMC (IPMC) has accepted a podling, one of the mentors sets it up: adds the podling metadata, creates the initial podling status page, and either creates other resources (such as email lists, Git or Subversion code repository, bug tracker, and wiki) or requests that the others involved with the IPMC or the Infrastructure team create them.

Add to the Incubation Summary file

Add the podling to the podling summary file in the "incubator" SVN at content/podlings.xml (copy and modify the entry for another podling that has status="current"). See the instructions.

Do this step as soon as possible after Acceptance. Other setup procedures use this metadata.

Add a 'reporting' tag (after 'description') with the attribute 'monthly="true"' and the appropriate "group" attribute, based on the month in which the podling entered incubation (1 for January, April, July, October; 2 for February, May, August, November; or 3 for March, June, September, December). The text content of the 'reporting' tag must contain the initial list of reporting months, starting with the month after the podling entered incubation. Below is an example of the final XML snippet:

    <podling name="PodlingName" status="current" resource="podlingname" sponsor="Sponsor" startdate="YYYY-MM-DD">
        <description>A description of the podling, for the status page and reports</description>
        <reporting group="1|2|3" monthly="true">First,Second,Third</reporting>
        <champion availid="userid">Champion Name</champion>
            <mentor username="userid">Mentor One</mentor>
            <mentor username="userid">Mentor Two</mentor>
            <mentor username="userid">Mentor Three</mentor>

An example reporting block:

<reporting group="3" monthly="true">June, July, August</reporting>

Once the first three reports are complete, the monthly attribute should be removed and the list of months removed as well.

The first report might be very short. However it is better that the Incubator PMC can help to guide through the early setup stages. For more details see the PPMC Guide.

Initialize the Podling Status Page

A mentor needs to create the web page to track the project’s status. A mentor will also need to update it until others in the project’s PPMC can update it.

The status page is the Incubator’s record of the progress the project makes. The mentor or the PPMC MUST keep it up to date during incubation. Some of the information for the page is available from the podling proposal. As the startup process continues and the project creates resources, the PPMC SHOULD update the web page.

The template contains lists of actions which you need to perform to start up a podling. Delete all actions which do not apply to the podling you are initializing.

The status page is a useful aid to workflow. Volunteers can use it to sign up to various tasks and monitor their progress. Once the mailing lists are set up and prospective committers subscribe, use the dev@ list for task discussion.


You need to request resources in a particular order, based on paperwork processed. Do not request source repositories before SGAs are filed, for instance, if the source code is not already Apache licensed or Category A licensed.

The proposal should include a list of required resources. All resources require active set-up. The Infra team creates some after an appropriate request; IPMC members (typically mentors) can set others up.

Infra has a guide, Infra and the Incubator, to help you understand the flow of resource requests, and to guide you in requesting resources.

The first resources you need to create are LDAP and DNS. Request them from Infra via Apache Infra Jira → Create Task.

Once these items are available, create the mailing lists. Other resources typically post information to these lists.

Request Email Lists

Apache email lists require volunteer moderators. New moderators can be added later but at least one volunteer is required before you can set up the email lists. Moderation is a reasonably easy task, though moderators may want to set up spam filtering. We recommend that each podling have at least three moderators to spread the load.

The proposal should contain the rest of the information that you need to request the email lists. Incubator is the responsible top level project. So the domain MUST be For example:

  • dev@${podling}

  • commits@${podling}

  • private@${podling}

For initial community building it is usually appropriate to only have a "dev" list, to keep the discussions focussed. Later add a "user" list when community size and activity require it. A podling that is already established and using an existing user interaction channel may want to keep those resources around until they feel they have transitioned to the ASF successfully. Discuss this on your existing development lists.


If you are using SVN, commits under${podling} will be emailed to commits@${podling} Any deviation will require the IPMC to create a special configuration in the asf-mailer.conf file.

Email list creation is a task for the Infrastructure team. Infra offers a tool, the Incubator Email List Request Form, that simplifies the creation of email lists. A notification will be sent to private@incubator when the lists have been created.

Remember to update the project status file with email list details. Prospective committers and mentors will need to subscribe. Email them once the status file has been updated. Inform any existing mailing lists or forums previously used by the project.

Once the commits list is active, the project MUST review the /incubator/${podling} tree, since any commits made prior to the list’s creation will have generated no email trail.

Mail Archives

Archives at for the public email lists will be set up as part of the mailing list creation process. Mentors do not need to do anything. The archives will be visible as soon as posts have been made (and moderated) to these lists.

You can also leverage for email list archives. There is a login link, in the top right corner, which allows you to respond to threads from within the web application.

Many project email lists are archived externally (for example, at The Mail Archive and MARC). Independent archives help increase project visibility and preserve an independent historical record. We do not create these subscriptions automatically. If the project wants one, subscribe manually.

You must also create subscriptions to news-to-mailing-list bridges (for example, Nabble) manually. Subscribing helps accessibility and visibility, but Nabble news users may not be aware that they are posting to an email list.

Email List Administration

Apache uses ezmlm. See the manual and committer mail FAQ for more details.

Email List Transition

Independent email lists and groups are perfectly acceptable, but development-related discussions and decisions should happen on the official email lists at Apache. If a project has existing email lists, forums or groups, the community needs to consider their future and plan for the transition to the official Apache email lists.

It may be useful to move development first to the official lists, followed gradually by the user resources.

Note that subscribers of external email lists will not be automatically subscribed to the new Incubator project email lists. Instead, post a note to the old external email list asking participants to subscribe to the new list. If possible, add a footer to the old email list with some instructions.

Self Service Requests

You can request most of the resources you will need via Self Service. This includes seeting up Git repositories, email lists, a project presence on Jira and project space on the Confluence Wiki. If you do not have access to Self Serve, use Jira instead.

Jira Issue Tracking

To request access to Jira, visit

Other Issue Trackers

Request an issue tracker on the Infra Jira.

Remember to post an email announcing that the issue tracker is available.

Git Migrations

To request a Git migration, file a New Git Repository Infra ticket, requesting to migrate from an existing organization to the Apache organization.

Gitbox Requests

To request Gitbox repositories for a new podling, first file a GitBox Integration Infra ticket. Once your podling has been added, you can use link: to manage your Gitbox repositories and user information.

Podling Bootstrap

Following podling creation, you need to bootstrap it. Here are some of the tasks:

Mentors MUST be on the IPMC

Mentors MUST be on the IPMC. Verify this prior to beginning incubation. Any prospective Mentors who are not yet on the IPMC should ask to be added (by election). Email the application to


This process may take a few days.

CLA and CCLA Submission

Prospective committers need to submit a Contributor License Agreement (CLA). This process can take a while, so we recommend that committers start to submit these as soon as the podling is accepted.