RESF Elects Project Boards for Rocky Linux and Peridot

RESF Elects Project Boards for Rocky Linux and Peridot
March 13, 2023

We have another important announcement for anyone in the open source enterprise software community! The Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF) has announced the inaugural projects and project boards that will initiate the work of the Foundation. Rocky Linux and Peridot, the officially hosted projects, were named and their respective project boards were elected on January 16 at the first meeting of the newly elected RESF board.  

The Rocky Linux project carries four seats on the RESF board of directors. Taylor Goodwill, Neil Hanlon, Sherif Nagy and Christopher Stackpole will represent Rocky Linux with two-year seats (2023-2024) on the RESF board of directors, as elected by the Rocky Linux project board. The Rocky Linux project board comprises the following members:

  • Louis Abel is a system engineer who started his Linux journey in 2005. He has been in the Enterprise Linux world in both personal and professional capacities for almost a decade and a half, with interests ranging from automation and system hardening to security and identity management. Abel is a Rocky Linux co-founder, has been a part of almost all engineering initiatives across the project, and has been a co-lead of the release engineering team since the inception of the project.

  • Brian Clemens, based in Tokyo, is a co-founder of Rocky Linux and the RESF. He has been the distribution's project manager since its inception. Prior to his involvement with the project, Clemens served as a signals intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, and he currently works as a technical account manager at CIQ. Clemens has been passionate about free and open source software since installing Fedora Core 4 in 2005 and still regards Bluecurve with undeserved fondness. 

  • Mustafa Gezen is a software engineer at CIQ, working in Norway. He is pursuing an integrated masters degree in Medical Informatics at UiT Arctic University of Norway. Gezen has been part of the Rocky Linux release engineering team from the beginning and is a co-lead for that team. He has been leading the development of projects such as srpmproc, distrobuild, Peridot, and Apollo. 

  • Taylor Goodwill is a seasoned systems engineer, architect and manager, with over 25 years of experience working with Linux. He currently works for an SaaS company, where he designs and manages complex systems. Goodwill has been involved as a lead and a contributor with the Rocky Linux infrastructure team since its inception. 

  • Neil Hanlon is a seasoned Linux developer with over a decade of experience in the field. In addition to being a founding member of the RESF, Neil serves as the infrastructure team lead for Rocky Linux and a member of the release engineering team. Hanlon also plays an integral role in the development and maintenance of Peridot, a robust and scalable open source build system built at the RESF. Hanlon is passionate about contributing to open source projects such as OpenStack-Ansible and actively engages with the Linux and open source community as a Fedora packager. 

  • Gregory Kurtzer is a 20-plus-year veteran in Linux, open source, and high performance computing. He is well-known in the HPC space for designing scalable, secure, and easy-to-manage architectures for innovative performance-intensive computing while working for the U.S. Department of Energy with a joint appointment to the University of California, Berkeley. Kurtzer has created multiple successful companies and is presently the CEO and founder of CIQ. In open source, he has founded, co-founded, and been project lead of several large projects such as CentOS Linux, the Warewulf and Perceus cluster toolkits, the container system Singularity (now renamed to Apptainer), and most recently, the successor to CentOS, Rocky Linux.

  • Sherif Nagy has been involved with open source and GNU/Linux systems via EGLUG, the Egyptian GNU/Linux user group, since 2004, providing various kinds of volunteer support to the GNU/Linux and open source community in Egypt. Nagy believes in the power of open source and open knowledge sharing. He brings in excess of seventeen years' experience as a GNU/Linux user, having worked professionally since 2005 both as a GNU/Linux systems administrator and with other open source solutions. 

  • Wale Soyinka is a system administrator and open source evangelist. He has authored a collection of textbooks and other training materials covering Linux, networking, and Windows administration. Soyinka participates in numerous open source ventures, projects, and discussions.

  • Christopher "Stack" Stackpole is a self-described nerd who fell in love with Linux in the late 1990s then also fell in love with High Performance Computing. He has since merged the two for fun and profit for twenty years. As the Rocky Linux testing team lead, Stackpole’s goal is to ensure the community gets the best release possible as close to upstream as possible with as few issues as possible. This is done by doing whatever is needed to support the community members who contribute their time and resources to doing all the real work on the testing team.

The elections of the initial project boards were made in accordance with Article V of the RESF Foundation Bylaws. If you’d like to dive a little deeper, here are the minutes of the RESF Board of Directors Meeting from January 16, 2023, as well as information on the structure of the RESF Board of Directors.

The Peridot Project

Peridot is an open source, cloud-native build and release system tailored to building, releasing and maintaining Enterprise Linux distributions and forks. Peridot helps assure that new versions of Rocky Linux can be released within one week of new RHEL version releases. Moreover, anyone can use Peridot to reproduce Rocky Linux on their own, should they wish to do something independently of the Rocky Linux community or any upstream supporting organization. 

The Peridot project board of directors comprises Mustafa Gezen, Neil Hanlon, and Sherif Nagy. The Peridot project carries one seat on the RESF board of directors; Gezen will represent Peridot with a two-year seat (2023-2024) on the RESF board, as elected by the Peridot project board of directors.

RESF Welcomes Open Source Projects

Do you have an open source project that’s looking for a home? The RESF welcomes any open source projects that need a neutral ground to operate to make the RESF their home. No association with Rocky Linux is necessary to join the RESF. The projects don’t need to be Linux related, but they must be open source. If you’re interested in bringing your open source projects to RESF, please send an email to for more information.

A New Chapter in the Evolution of Rocky Linux

Peridot is the next generation of building Enterprise Linux distributions and represents a significant step forward in Rocky Linux’s ability to build, compose, and release a stable downstream distribution. The RESF board represents a new chapter in the evolution of Rocky Linux and their dream for open source, transparent development. RESF’s dedicated worldwide team of developers will deliver consistent, stable releases for years to come, and we’re excited to be part of that team effort.

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