New Maintainer Checklist

Existing maintainers and project leadership uses this guide to invite and onboard new maintainers and project leaders. General Homebrew users might find it interesting but there’s nothing here users should have to know.


There’s someone who has been making consistently high-quality contributions to Homebrew and shown themselves able to make slightly more advanced contributions than just e.g. formula updates? Let’s invite them to be a maintainer!

First, send them the invitation email:

The Homebrew team and I really appreciate your help on issues, pull requests and
your contributions to Homebrew.

We would like to invite you to have commit access and be a Homebrew maintainer.
If you agree to be a maintainer, you should spend the majority of the time you
are working on Homebrew (in descending order of priority):

- reviewing pull requests (from users and other maintainers)
- triaging, debugging and fixing user-reported issues and applying
- opening PRs for widely used changes (e.g. version updates)

You should also be making contributions to Homebrew at least once per quarter.

You should watch or regularly check Homebrew/brew and/or Homebrew/homebrew-core
and/or Homebrew/homebrew-cask. Let us know which so we can grant you commit
access appropriately.

If you're no longer able to perform all of these tasks, please continue to
contribute to Homebrew, but we will ask you to step down as a maintainer.

A few requests:

- Please make pull requests for any changes in the Homebrew repositories (instead
  of committing directly) and don't merge them unless you get at least one approval
  and passing tests.
- Please review the Maintainer Guidelines at
- Please review the team-specific guides for whichever teams you will be a part of.
  Here are links to these guides:
    - Homebrew/brew:
    - Homebrew/homebrew-core:
    - Homebrew/homebrew-cask:
- Create branches in the main repository rather than on your fork to ease collaboration
  with other maintainers and allow security assumptions to be made based on GitHub access.
- If still in doubt please ask for help and we'll help you out.
- Please read:
    - the team-specific guides linked above and in the maintainer guidelines
    - anything else you haven't read on

How does that sound?

Thanks for all your work so far!

If they accept, follow a few steps to get them set up:

If there are problems, ask them to step down as a maintainer.

When they cease to be a maintainer for any reason, revoke their access to all of the above.

In the interests of loosely verifying maintainer identity and building camaraderie, if you find yourself in the same town (e.g living, visiting or at a conference) as another Homebrew maintainer you should make the effort to meet up. If you do so, you can expense your meal (within Homebrew’s reimbursable expense policies). This is a more relaxed version of similar policies used by other projects, e.g. the Debian system to meet in person to sign keys with legal ID verification.

Now sit back, relax and let the new maintainers handle more of our contributions.


If a maintainer or member is elected to the Homebrew’s Project Leadership Committee:

When they cease to be a PLC member, revoke or downgrade their access to all of the above.


If a maintainer is elected to the Homebrew’s Technical Steering Committee:

When they cease to be a TSC member, revoke or downgrade their access to all of the above.


The Project Leader, one other PLC member (ideally a maintainer) and one other TSC member should be made owners on GitHub and Slack:

When they cease to be am owner, revoke or downgrade their access to all of the above.


People who are either not eligible or willing to be Homebrew maintainers but have shown continued involvement in the Homebrew community may be admitted by a majority vote of the Project Leadership Committee to join the Homebrew GitHub organisation as members.

When admitted as members:

If they are interested in doing ops/infrastructure/system administration work:

If they are interested in doing security work:

See Homebrew Governance for when an individual’s membership expires.

Fork me on GitHub