Communities where we contribute

Who we partner with in open source

Not all open source is equal. With nearly two decades spent investing in open source, we’ve learned how to spot what projects and communities are worth investing in — and how to invest effectively and securely.

Check out our open source timeline   See our participation in specific communities

IBM partners with most of the major open source communities that drive today’s businesses. In communities like Linux, Java, Hyperledger, Kubernetes, CNCF, Node.js and more, our developers are collaborators and committers, insisting on open governance, contributing code, helping with licensing, and pushing the technology forward.

How we choose where to invest

In our two decades of contributing to open source, we’ve learned that the communities with open governance and an inclusive philosophy will attract the largest ecosystems and markets. So, before we engage with an open source project or community, we make sure it adheres to these five attributes that make a successful project:

  • Responsible licensing: We need to understand the open source license that is associated with the technology.
  • Accessible commit process: We look to ensure that there is a clearly defined process for making contributions that welcome outside contributors.
  • Diverse ecosystem: We confirm that there are multiple vendors and ISVs that are delivering offerings based on the technology.
  • Participative community: There needs to be a clear process for contributors to grow their technical eminence in a community that is welcoming, inclusive and respectful.
  • Open governance: We evaluate the governance model to determine whether it is truly open.

Key projects and community involvement

We have invested close to $1 billion and thousands of open source development, marketing, and evangelism resources to open source projects. We initiated many of these projects and work to help them achieve success.

Check out some of our key partnerships. Learn how we’ve invested in these projects and communities and what we think about their future.


In 2007, IBM collaborated with other key industry leaders to establish the Linux Foundation. We continue to be a leader in the Linux community by investing hundreds of engineering resources in the Linux kernel and in many of the now more than 80 collaborative projects under the foundation.


In 2015, we worked with the Linux Foundation to create Hyperledger—a blockchain platform for enterprises. We contributed 44 thousand lines of code and establishde the first of the Hyperledger projects, Hyperledger Fabric, under open governance.

Watch the video.


IBM is a Platinum member of the Node.js Foundation. We support the community and single unified code base and are one of the leading contributors to the Node.js community. We were also a founding member of the OpenJS Foundation that brings together the Node.js and JavaScript Foundations.

Read the blog post.


In 2001, IBM worked with others to create the Eclipse Foundation to create a safe place to collaborate and innovate under open governance. Today, there are over 360 projects at Eclipse with equivalent diversity of domain.


We were an early contributor to Java and, more recently, we open sourced J9 runtime, a high-performance, low-memory footprint JVM optimized for the cloud, as well as the Liberty runtime for Java EE and MicroProfile applications.

Learn about our history in Java.


IBM is currently one of the top contributors to Docker and the Open Container Initiative. We continue to support portable containers across platforms through the containerd, Libcontainer, and other projects.

Cloud Native

In July 2015, IBM joined other tech companies to launch the Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) whose purpose was to create an open governance model for Google’s Kubernetes project. IBM continues to increase its investment in Kubernetes, etcd, and containerd.

Learn about our investment in CNCF.


IBM and Google joined forces with Lyft to collaborate on a merger of IBM’s Amalgam8, Lyft’s Envoy, and Google’s Service Control. The result is the Istio project, a first-class abstraction for routing and policy management for cloud native microservices.


Kubernetes is experiencing explosive growth in both code and community. We are involved in several key development activities within Kubernetes- the service catalog, contributor experience, networking & Istio, ContainerD integration, storage and performance.