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Firstly - thank you for becoming a new member of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF)!  Your participation is critical to achieving our shared goal of transforming the networking industry. To help you be as effective as possible, we've created this handbook to give you all of the tools and information you need to get started. Here is a table of contents for this page:

Table of Contents


Each membership level comes with a number of specific benefits.  A good place to start with getting involved in the community is to get a good understanding of what benefits you have access to and how to make use of those benefits.  The benefits chart on ONF Membership page provides a high-level overview of membership benefits and more details are provided below.

Developer Assist Benefits

ONF members are eligible to receive various Developer Assist Benefits.  These benefits are provided by a community-based team to developers who are using and customizing ONF platforms and solutions.

Marketing Benefits

ONF Logo

ONF members are eligible to receive these Marketing Benefits.

If you are eligible to use the ONF or any of its project logos, you may download the logo files here, available in multiple formats. Please review the ONF Logo Usage Guidelines and FAQ for appropriate usage. 

Plugging in to the Community

This section provides guidance on where to go to get involved in the community discussions and activities.

Announcing You to the Community

We are excited that you have joined the community and we want to share that news with existing community members.  To introduce you to the ONF community, we will announce you as a new member in our newsletter

There is no need to wait for a formal announcement before you show up and talk to other community members, though.  Please feel free to join the discussion on any of the community channels (more details on those below).  Share information about who you are and what you are interested in, offer thoughts and ideas on existing conversations, and take part in the activities taking place in the community. 

Community Channels

Community discussions happen in a number of places and it can feel overwhelming at first to figure out where to go and how to keep track of it all.  You don't need to subscribe to or monitor every one of these channels – focus on the ones that are related to the project(s) you are working on - important information will often be shared across most or all of these channels.

  • Newsletter: We offer a regular email newsletter that provides a nice digest of recent community news.  This is the best place to start and stay updated on all things ONF.  Occasionally we will utilize the Newsletter for member-only announcements, such as Reference Design review periods, TST elections and other member-only content, so please use your member company email address when subscribing so you will receive those updates.
  • Project-specific community mailing lists and Slack channels: We use Google Groups/mailing lists and Slack as the main channels of communication between our community members. 
  • Social media: We mainly use LinkedIn and Twitter for social media.  Feel free to follow us and help us amplify the message about the work you and the rest of the community are doing: 
  • Meetings: Many important discussions and decisions are made in meetings so you are encouraged to attend meetings that are relevant to your interests.  We use a variety of video and audio conferencing systems for meetings (Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, etc).  The meetings are usually announced in the relevant project mailing lists.
    • For ONOS and CORD, we maintain ONOS community calendar and CORD community calendar for a full list of meetings – details about how to dial-in will be available on the calendar entries. 
    • Technical Steering Team (TST) meetings: The TST meetings are a good place to go for technical discussions about CORD and ONOS (note that there are other meetings that focus on technical topics but the TST meetings provide a good overview of the projects).  Find out more about the... 
  • Events: There are multiple opportunities throughout the year when community members meet in person at events – some of these are organized by ONF (such as ONF Connect, ONOS Build and CORD Build), some are organized by ONF Ambassadors, and some are organized by others and we are taking part by speaking and/or doing demos there.  Find out more about upcoming events on our Events page.  If you are interested in helping us organize and participate in more events, please consider joining our Ambassador program.

Community Tools

In addition to the communication tools mentioned above, there are several other tools that are used by the community to collaborate together – such as wikis, issue trackers, code repositories, etc.  These tools are open and accessible to everyone and you're welcome to sign up for an account and start using them.


Much of the work in the community is organized into Brigades.  This is a concept borrowed from the successful Code for America project and it provides a structure for groups to collaborate effectively in an open source community.  We've created a growing number of brigades that are focused around priorities for the ONF projects and we encourage you to learn more about the active brigades and get involved in the ones that are relevant to your goals and interests.  Each project's wiki pages list the information about various brigades.

Contributor Guides

Another good resource that provides more details about how to get started with ONF is the Contributor Guides on the project wikis (pick these from the Quick Navigation to your right).  These provide good introductory technical information about the code and tools that the projects use and initial contribution opportunities that will help get you familiar with our projects and processes.

Tips on Being Effective in an Open Community 

If you've never been involved in an open source community before, you may not be sure about what to do or how to interact – there are definitely differences in working effectively in a highly distributed global online community than with working effectively in an office where all of your co-workers are in the same location.  There are many resources that offer advice about this and we recommend you read those (for example, check out A Citizen’s Guide to Open Source Communities and How to Contribute to Open Source).

There is one thing though that we think is most important to consider when getting involved – you are strongly encouraged to step up and start contributing to something that you're interested in.  Don't wait for an invitation.  It may not always be obvious, but there is always room for you and you are welcome to show up and start participating.  This video of an 'un-panel' session is a good example of that – there is always a chair open and waiting for someone who wants to join this discussion and there is nothing stopping someone from walking up, sitting down, and joining the conversation.

Legal Considerations

Before you can start contributing to any ONF project, you need to sign ONF Contributor License Agreement (CLA).  Please find more information at the CLA Information page and sign the CLA in the CLA Manager.

Some of the ONF Projects are licensed to ONF Members only, please find more information at the Member-Only License Information page.

Sharing Your Impact

As you get more involved and are working on interesting projects, we want to learn about what you're doing so we can share that out with the rest of the community and with people looking for interesting news about the future of networking.  We won't be able to tell people about what you're doing unless you let us know about the cool stuff you're working on.  Here are some suggestions for how to let us know about the impact you're having.

Using Community Tools and Channels

You are encouraged to make use of the community tools and channels.  There are all sorts of ways to leverage these: use the mailing lists to share what you're doing, submit patches to the repository, edit the wiki with information about your project, go to release planning meetings to talk about your upcoming contributions, etc.  Be as transparent as you can and that will pay off – not only will we learn about what you're doing and help promote your work, but you can connect with other people in the community interested in your work who may be interested in contributing to your efforts.

Community Highlight Blog

When you reach a milestone on the work you are doing, let us know and we can put together a Community Highlight blog post to tell your story.  From our experience, these highlight posts are some of the most viewed content we put together since people are interested to learn how organizations are making use of ONF projects and technologies.  Here's a recent example.

Brigade Members List

If you are involved in a brigade, make sure that your name is on that brigade's wiki page.  We make use of that information in many ways: we pull brigade member information when putting community voting lists together, when determining who to support with travel sponsorship and when looking to see who is doing interesting work that we want to promote.  For example, both ZTE and Inspur earned collaborator status due to their activity in the P4 brigade and we learned about it through the information they posted on the brigade's wiki page.

Points of Validation Page

To see how ONOS is being used around the globe, go here

For news on how CORD is being utilized, check out this page

Community Showcases

We provide space in the program of our major annual event, ONF Connect, for community members to present information about their work and to demo their projects.  ONF Connect has been replaced with the virtual ONF Spotlight Series for 2020 in response to the COVID19 pandemic. We encourage you to not only attend these events but to actively participate in them as well.

Maintaining Collaborator Recognition

The Collaborator status requires that an organization remain actively involved and contributing to at least one of the ONF Projects (CORD, ONOS, SEBA, VOLTHA, COMAC, OMEC, P4, Stratum or any other ONF project). We understand that there are times when an organization won't be active (for instance, there are many universities as Collaborators and during the summer there may be not much going on while students are away) and there is no requirement to always be active in the community.  If there is a sustained period of inactivity that exceeds two or more major releases, then we will make a decision about de-listing. 

Loss of collaboration-level recognition will result in the company having their logo removed from the project member page. Organizations can regain their collaborator-level status by re-engaging in the project.

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