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Subject[PATCH v2] docs: Clarify the usage and sign-off requirements for Co-developed-by
The documentation for Co-developed-by is a bit light on details, e.g. it
doesn't explicitly state that:

- Multiple Co-developed-by tags are perfectly acceptable
- Co-developed-by and Signed-off-by must be paired together
- SOB ordering should still follow standard sign-off procedure

Lack of explicit direciton has resulted in developers taking a variety
of approaches, often lacking any intent whatsoever, e.g. scattering SOBs
willy-nilly, collecting them all at the end or the beginning, etc...

Tweak the wording to make it clear that multiple co-authors are allowed,
and document the expectation that standard sign-off procedures are to
be followed. Provide examples to (hopefully) eliminate any ambiguity.

Cc: Thomas Gleixner <>
Cc: Jani Nikula <>
Cc: Jorge Ramirez-Ortiz <>
Cc: Jonathan Cameron <>
Cc: Joe Perches <>
Cc: Greg Kroah-Hartman <>
Cc: Niklas Cassel <>
Cc: Jonathan Corbet <>
Signed-off-by: Sean Christopherson <>

v2: Rewrite the blurb to state standard sign-off procedure should be
followed as opposed to dictating the original author's SOB be last.

Documentation/process/submitting-patches.rst | 24 +++++++++++++++++---
1 file changed, 21 insertions(+), 3 deletions(-)

diff --git a/Documentation/process/submitting-patches.rst b/Documentation/process/submitting-patches.rst
index be7d1829c3af..a7a9da68a384 100644
--- a/Documentation/process/submitting-patches.rst
+++ b/Documentation/process/submitting-patches.rst
@@ -545,10 +545,28 @@ person it names - but it should indicate that this person was copied on the
patch. This tag documents that potentially interested parties
have been included in the discussion.

-A Co-developed-by: states that the patch was also created by another developer
+A Co-developed-by: states that the patch was co-created by other developer(s)
along with the original author. This is useful at times when multiple people
-work on a single patch. Note, this person also needs to have a Signed-off-by:
-line in the patch as well.
+work on a single patch. Every Co-developed-by: must be immediately followed by
+a Signed-off-by: of the co-author. Standard sign-off procedure applies, i.e.
+the ordering of Co-developed-by:/Signed-off-by: pairs should reflect the
+chronological history of the patch insofar as possible. Notably, the last
+Signed-off-by: must always be that of the developer submitting the patch,
+regardless of whether they are the original author or a co-author.
+Example of a patch with multiple co-authors, submitted by the original author::
+ Co-developed-by: First Co-Author <>
+ Signed-off-by: First Co-Author <>
+ Co-developed-by: Second Co-Author <>
+ Signed-off-by: Second Co-Author <>
+ Signed-off-by: Original Author <>
+Example of a patch submitted by a co-author::
+ Signed-off-by: Original Author <>
+ Co-developed-by: Submitting Co-Author <>
+ Signed-off-by: Submitting Co-Author <>

13) Using Reported-by:, Tested-by:, Reviewed-by:, Suggested-by: and Fixes:
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