NixOS Foundation Event Sponsorship Policy

Dear community,

First, we want to acknowledge the feedback from the community. We recognize that many of you invested countless hours in the project and deeply care about its state and direction. After countless hours of deliberation, both from the community and internally, we have come to the following conclusions, which we believe are a good balance between respecting various community values and keeping the relationship with companies strong.
While we generally support the principle of non-discrimination, we recognize that it makes sense to associate NixOS and NixCon as brands with a subset of companies that are generally noncontroversial and align with the values of FOSS overall. It is also important that the mechanism would allow companies working with us to be confident in the positive outcome for them.
Since we cannot make these determinations alone, we wanted to implement a policy designed to poll more opinions from the ecosystem. Community members started this policy, and a consensus was formed last Sunday. Yesterday, the foundation members and observers came together to put the finishing touches on it.

The authoritative text of this policy can be found here: foundation/policies/ at bb7af14ae242ab87c8312bb4122b2a3cd184462d · NixOS/foundation · GitHub
This text was formally approved during the board meeting on 2024-04-09 by all the board members and observers. To set expectations: we intend to leave this document as is and only revisit it after we gather real-world feedback from the next event.

We want to extend our heartfelt apologies for the division caused by the recent sponsorship policy discussions and the substantial time it has taken to reach a resolution. We recognize the frustration this situation has caused and take full responsibility for any inconvenience.
In particular, we deeply regret that our preliminary decision made in early 2024 fell short. We now understand that we underestimated the depth of feelings within the community regarding this issue. This oversight led to a prolonged period of uncertainty and further discord, and for that, we are truly sorry.
Moreover, we apologize for the extended duration it took to finalize the policy. We acknowledge that this process has required a significant investment of your valuable time, and we regret any disruption this may have caused to your daily lives and commitments.
As the board, we have learned from these missteps and are committed to tirelessly work towards rebuilding trust within our community. Moving forward, we will prioritize transparency, inclusivity, and responsiveness in our decision-making processes.

If you have any remaining or future concerns, please reach out to the board and board observers so we can consider your input. We hope that we can now turn this page and move on to other topics. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

With that said, have a great week everyone, and happy Nixing :slight_smile:


If you want to talk to us privately, you can email My DMs and I believe most of the team’s are also open.


Congratulations on reaching this milestone!

I haven’t followed the discussions, so I’m not sure how this is to be interpreted:

This committee is designed to offer fair representation of the community as a whole, including the various minorities that compose it.

When you say minorities, what do you actually mean? Are these minorities under an intersectional lens, or something else? And how is this designed to offer fair representation? What safeguard and mechanisms do you have in place to increase minority participation?

I’m asking because last time a new board member was added, the board lauded itself for increasing it’s diversity… and by diversity they meant adding another white male with a different viewpoint.


i really can’t say i’m impressed with the outcome here. the community was extremely clear in demanding decisive action to keep both Anduril and any other military-industrial complex sponsors away from NixOS. this “policy” does absolutely nothing to ensure this going forward.

frankly the selection of members for the committee is pathetic. it only consists of people who are already heavily invested in NixOS the organizational body, and i don’t see how it is in any way representative of the community at large.

additionally, the “rules” for sponsors may as well not exist. they are so obvious that they don’t actually preclude any potential sponsors (except maybe adult-themed or LGBTQ+ sponsors depending on how you interpret it? i don’t think anyone was asking for that, and i consider it simply harmful)

the only thing the community asked for was to eliminate the possibility of accepting new sponsorships from the military-industrial complex, and this policy absolutely fails in every way to do that. if this policy is enacted, i can envision Anduril’s sponsorship being happily accepted once again under these provisions, but now you’ll be able to say you “officially discussed” its inclusion with a “representative sample” of our community.


The policy is a very long winded way of saying “moderation team + NixCon PLs can together veto a sponsor”, which in effect meets my requirements. It’s just very unfortunate that it’s so obfuscated and it’s not clear to me who the obfuscation is trying to cater for.


This is simply not the case, and there is a very long thread on discourse to show that. Unless you simply don’t consider anyone of a differing viewpoint as “part of the community”, which I would say is a fairly radical position, and not really worthy of accommodation.


my apologies if i missed important dissent, i was not able to keep up entirely with where discussions were taking place as it was very scattered.

that said, i don’t see why the responsibility of choosing sponsors should be closed off to a select group of people. the foundation’s governing board already failed to meet our expectations, why will the same thing not happen with this set of people? in my opinion, having these conversations open and public will make it much more clear where we stand as a community and alleviate concerns about voices not being heard.


If I recall properly, we wanted to find a proxy that could sample the community’s voice without involving everybody and being super expensive. The process is designed to find a subset of sponsors that is generally non-controversial, in all areas. We have many different voices in the community.

I am personally confident that this will lead to desired outcomes. If Anduril becomes a sponsor again, then all I can offer is my resignation from the project. Seriously.

I’m sure we can do better, and there is more work to do to restore the trust in the foundation. @cafkafk if you want to work with me to improve representations of your group, reach out to me and tell me how we can make it happen.

If you have any more questions or uncertainties, please reach out in DM first, so it doesn’t re-open yet another public debate.


I second this.

This is a “dude trust me” policy, so let’s stand fully behind it being sufficient with ourselves.


Likewise, I’m committed to rejecting this sponsorship, and should we fail again, I’ll actively participate in establishing a new project focused on understanding and respecting our community’s sensibilities.

I invite the individuals from the team mentioned in our policy, who may hold seats on the selection committee, to join us in this pledge to listen attentively to our community’s needs.


Agreed, all parts of the community should have representation. Hopefully this policy lives up to that mission statement.


In these discussions there a few positions that are getting confused:

  • “I care about the Foundation being pro-X”
  • “i care about the Foundation being anti-X”
  • “i care about the Foundation being neutral-X”

It is tempting to get inflamed about pro/anti, but the nuance of and representation of advocating a neutral stance is easy to forget about. It will be easy to hear the viewpoint of the extremes because they will be loud and take a strong stance. The way toward long-term collaboration is not to have pro + anti try to vest for control, but to convince more people to be neutral. Otherwise you will drive away not just what you intended (the opposing extreme), but the neutral as well.


As a member of the NixCon PL team, I pledge that if I am appointed to the sponsorship committee, I’ll reject any future sponsorship from Anduril and will - as a more general rule - conservatively reject any sponsorship that I feel might create a big fracture in the community, regardless of my personal opinion on that sponsor.


i do want to say, for whatever it’s worth, that i’m not so much interested in preventing fracturing in the community as i am in taking a clear individual stance. Anduril wasn’t a bad sponsor because it caused a rift in the community, it’s a bad sponsor because it’s part of the systems that continue to oppress and inflict suffering on people. the rift in the community was a reasonable response to that. simply avoiding rifts will not lead to desirable outcomes on its own.


As a member of the moderation team, you have the same pledge from me—that if appointed, I will reject any sponsorship from that company I’d rather not give any more free marketing to than they’ve already gotten out of all of this.

To @ashkitten’s point: it’s right and proper for you to make that value judgment, and part of my role is to represent and advocate for the safety of people whose values differ from mine, which means that I see it as important to consider second-order values like not fracturing the community in addition to my first-order values. Prior to all of this going down last year, I would have found That Company’s sponsorship distasteful, and I would have signed the open letter asking the Foundation not to accept weapons manufacturers as sponsors, but I would not have had the conviction I have today that standing firm against this outcome is the right thing to do. Keeping an eye on the impact on the community at large is an important check against my own blind spots. So I cosign Julien’s sentiment—I will conservatively reject any sponsorship I believe would have a similar impact irrespective of the strength of my first-order values.


I feel incredibly sorry for any person affected by this and know for a fact that this was not just a inconvenience to many members of our community. And every post I saw or message I received of a person (thinking about) stepping away from the project made me immeasurably sad and gave me countless of sleepless nights.

For me technology is a tool to empower people and move society forward. And I care about the people who do the work in the first place and want to stand up for everyone who can’t.

I signed the Open Letter against MIC Sponsorships very early and as member of the C3VOC already refused to Stream/Record MIC content last NixCon EU. So if I have to vote, I’ll obviously reject any Anduril sponsorship.

I already publicly stated in the past that I see only a few ways moving forward. And if the NixOS Foundation fails to own up to it’s mistakes or repeats them, then I’ll gladly help establishing a new project.

With this in mind, now that we have a sensible event sponsorship policy: There is a lot of things lying ahead of us a few things I find important and will try to work on include but are not limited to:

  • Improving the Foundations transparency where ever possible
  • Actively helping to increase our diversity (and just to clarify, when I’m talking about diversity I’m talking about humans, not companies)
  • Optimizing decision making processes so we can act on situations in a more sensible time frame.

I’ll always try to keep open ears and to listen, if anyone feels the need to get some words out. You can dm me on matrix


That is a perfectly reasonable, and even loudable stance for an individual to take, right or wrong. However, it would be an insane stance for a Foundation member to uphold as it’s a direct conflict of interest and potentially even an existential threat to the community they are bound to serve.

This is sort of self-evident by the fact that these points keep getting continually overlooked in all the discussions I’ve seen so far.

This is more or less what I’ve been arguing for a long time as well. I would even ease up a bit and say that all that is really required is for people to behave neutrally in so far as the project is concerned, they don’t actually have to be neutral. This is really inevitable, like it or not, just based on the dynamics of open-source.

What else are you gonna do if someone you don’t agree with solves a problem you need the solution to? Plagarize? Run around in circles trying to create your own novel solution? There really isn’t any other defensible way to do things, long term, and it was essentially the de facto way the open-source community handled itself from conception, up til now.

I haven’t seen a single convincing argument, in years of watching this go down in multiple places, as to why that should change. If anything, I am seeing a lot of reasons why it shouldn’t.


What precisely would the neutral stance be if not “accept unless there are objections”?


I am amazed to see, that after all of this, people still have the illusion that “neutrality” is an option here, despite it spectacularly failing (and also being discussed a lot).

We could just have taken a position, “don’t get sponsored by anybody who makes too many community members mad”, explicitly mention military just to be sure, write down four lines on who resolves the edge cases, and been done with it in less than a week.

But instead, every meaningful decision was avoided or blocked by people who wanted to be “neutral”, which brought us into this situation, was the reason it took us over a month to reach a compromise which still doesn’t explicitly mention the obvious, and wasted literally thousands of human hours as well as lots of energy and good will.

And I am immensely bitter about this.