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Merge Policy


Note: This document is a Work In Progress and is subject to change. Definitions may be relocated to a seperate document in the future.

This policy is targeted for Maintainers for Lead Maintainers who have commit access to master branch. This document describes the tags needed for different merge types. See Definitions.

The types of code maintained fall into the following categories:

  • Kernel
  • U-Boot
  • Build scripts

Kernel and U-Boot maintainers are usually grouped by SoC Architecture.

Supported boards will have the most scrunity with code review.

U-Boot Patches

  • Standard contributors provide tested-by submitter (armbianmonitor -u with a fresh build).
  • SoC maintainer may submit a PR reviewed by of the lead SoC maintainer only.

legacy and current branches

  • DT changes reviewed by at least one person familiar with this SoC (lead maintainer or deputy), tested-by the contributor who sends it (armbianmonitor).
  • Trivial module activation doesn’t matter.

dev/edge branches

Constraints are at the discretion of the SoC mantainer. This builds are not expected to be stable.

Armbian Build Scripts

This pertains to code used to build system images, OS configuration, and supporting packages (basically anything not u-boot or kernel source).

lib scripts

  • Requires at least one Reviewed-by.


board promotion

Boards have different levels of commitment / support. EOL, CSC, WIP, Supported. To promote a board from WIP to Supported an Acked-by from a Lead Maintainer is required.

kernel config

  • Changes in legacy & current kernel config should provide at least tested-by with armbianmonitor -u.
  • Changes in edge are at the discretion of maintainer. No constraints.

kernel sources

Change kernel source repos, branches, versions can be very disruptive to stable builds. Sufficient communication should occur stable changes.

  • U-Boot and kernel version bump for legacy and current requires tested-by from Maintainers and/or testers on at least two different boards for the impacted platform.
  • Kernel sources switch (legacy current) needs a discussion on forum or github or IRC and documented in PR and Acked-by Lead Maintainer. These changes are risky and things can go terrible wrong here…
  • edge source changes are at the discretion of the Lead Maintainer.
  • Board family tweaks require at least reviewed-by.


  • minimum require Acked-by


Code Review Terms

click here for attribution to terms used below


Certifies that you wrote it or otherwise have the right to pass it on as a open-source patch.


If a person was not directly involved in the preparation or handling of a patch but wishes to signify and record their approval of it then they can arrange to have an Acked-by: line. Acked-by: does not necessarily indicate acknowledgement of the entire patch.


A Tested-by: tag indicates that the patch has been successfully tested (in some environment) by the person named. This tag informs maintainers that some testing has been performed, provides a means to locate testers for future patches, and ensures credit for the testers.


A Reviewed-by tag is a statement of opinion that the patch is an appropriate modification of the kernel without any remaining serious technical issues. Any interested reviewer (who has done the work) can offer a Reviewed-by tag for a patch.



An Individual designated to moderate, support and make decisions for a codebase or component. There can be multiple maintainers assigned to any given thing.

Lead Maintainer

A more experienced maintainer that will decide on high-impact and stategic changes and have final say in disputes. A lead maintainer may share or designiate responsibility to some or all components within their domain of responsibility.


System on-a-Chip.