Getting involved in maintaining FOSS applications used on Linux Distros


I am looking for advice on how to get involved in maintenance of FOSS applications used on Linux Distributions.

Shameless bump.

Still curious and want to get involved.

Nope... no ideas? I'd even maintain the ls command for GNU... I don't care. Please, any advise would be nice.

It depends what you mean by "maintain"..

  • If you mean packaging..
    • pick your favourite distro (or something) and join their mailing list, ask there for further assistance.
      To become the maintainer of a package usually the old maintainer has to step down first. Also, most distros won't allow just anyone to become maintainer. You have to prove that you are stable and committed.
  • If you mean you'd like to help the development effort
    1. pick the package you want to join
    2. go to their website
    3. join their mailing list
    4. download the code
    5. make some changes
    6. make a patch of the changes
    7. send the patch to the mailing list along with a description of what it does, and why it's relevant.

(some projects will require you to be mentored for a while. Ask on the mailing list)


Thanks for the response, I'm going to get on a few mailing lists!

Sure, no prob :)

Also, another way to go, if you don't know what project you want to join, is They catalogue "low hanging fruit" across many projects and programming languages, so you can pick tasks according to your skillset.

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