Tekton Graduation

From founding project to graduated, a brief history of Tekton

We’re very happy to announce that Tekton has reached graduated status within the Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF). The CDF Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) conducted public voting to decide on the graduation status for Tekton, and the result was unanimously positive. The Tekton community is very proud of the results of the vote and will continue working to make Tekton better and safer for its users.

In this blog post I will explore a bit of the history of Tekton, its “road to graduation” and what this milestone means for the project.

Early Days

The Tekton project has its roots in Knative, where it was initially called “Knative Build” and later “Knative Pipeline”. The project was spun off in August 2018, when it got it’s current name and a new home on GitHub as “tektoncd/pipeline”. Here’s one of the project’s very first commits:

commit 49d2316d71e8c315e0a8fd76008bc2920f56b3c3
Author: Christie Wilson <bobcatfish@gmail.com>
Date:   Fri Aug 31 17:15:35 2018 -0700

Add pipeline strawman example

@dlorenc @ImJasonH @tejal29 @aaron-prindle and I have been working on a
strawman proposal for adding a Pipeline CRD and also for possibly
envolving the Build CRD into a slightly more generic Task CRD.

This PR demonstrates some paper prototype examples of what it could look
like to define pipelines using the CRDs described in the README.

A few months later, in March 2019, Tekton was donated to the newly formed Continuos Delivery Foundation (CDF).

Growing the community

Since then the project has thrived thanks to a rich community of contributors. One of earlier repositories to be created was the community one, where the project documented its governance, code of conduct and contributing guidelines.

At the end of 2019 Tekton the number of repositories had grown to eleven. A regular monthly release cadence was established - Pipeline had 9 releases and in March 2020 the beta version of the Tekton Pipeline API was released. During this time, we also implemented the project’s release automation using Tekton itself.

The “results” and “chains” project were started in spring 2020, and in August the Tekton Hub was officially launched.

The Tekton community kept growing thanks to Tekton adopters and end-users contributing features, ideas and issues.

Contributions and contributors to Tekton Projects over time. Source devstats.

Focus on security

One year later, it’s now 2021, Tekton had matured considerably, while remaining true to its nature of having a small footprint and giving users full flexibility in how they setup their CI/CD system through Tekton.

This very flexibility has enabled Tekton to become the base for the implementation of more opinionated services on top, ranging from open source projects, and cloud services as well as end-user platforms for DevOps services.

It was then prime time to focus more thoroughly on security! In July 2021 the Tekton Vulnerability Team was formed. Tekton pipelines release v0.29 was the first one to be signed through Tekton chains, with the provenance Rekor UUID included in the release notes.

End user adoption shows how Tekton, with the help of Tekton Chains, can help solve software supply chain security challenges.

In March 2022, thanks to the the sponsorship of the CDF, Tekton completed an independent security audit.

Later that year, Tekton achieved the OpenSSF Best Practices badges for its six core components.

Long Term Support

In October 2022 the Tekton community defined its policy for long term support (LTS):

The Tekton project maintains four release branches for each project, created one every three months, which results in a overall support window of approximately one year for each of these releases.

These releases are called LTS, and throughout the support period, patch releases may be created to resolve:

  • CVEs (under the advisement of the Tekton Vulnerability Team)
  • dependency issues (including base image updates)
  • critical core component issues

The community-wide policy can be extended by each project. Pipeline continuous with its monthly cadence, and it selects four releases a year for LTS.

Tekton Pipeline Releases and their support window.


The Graduated Stage for projects under the CD Foundation umbrella is when they have reached their growth goals and are now on a sustaining cycle of development, maintenance, and long-term support. Graduated Stage projects are used commonly in enterprise production environments and have large, well-established project communities.

More specifically, the Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) defines graduation as a set of requirements about project maturity, best practices, security stance and adoption.

Tekton is the second project to graduate from the CD Foundation, after Jenkins. All the details about the twelve graduation criteria be found in the graduation proposal.

What’s Next

Graduation is a great milestone for the project and a great responsibility too. The community will continue to work on improving Tekton, while keeping the project stable and secure.

We are working on several security features like trusted resources and trusted workloads, as well as releasing the v1 version of the API.


The graduation has been the result of the years long work of the Tekton community. Congratulations and thank you to all the Tekton contributors who made it possible!

Thank you for the the CDF for hosting the project and supporting it, especially through the security audit. Thank you to the TOC and its chair Oleg for their support and sponsorship as well as to the CDF team, Fatih, Jesse and Roxanne for their great work with marketing and organizing the press release.