Charm naming guidelines

See also: Charm publication checklist

When you create your charm, an important decision is how to name it. Below are some recommendations.


Naming charms

Of course, there is a large number of existing charms already with all their variants on naming. Please check, if naming of existing Charms can be improved, it will help others to find your Charms. But more importantly, consider the following points for new charming efforts:

Required / Recommended Background Examples
Slug-oriented naming required: ASCII lowercase letters, numbers, and hyphens. Ensure URL-safeness,
finding charms easier.
:stop_sign: node_red
:white_check_mark: node-red
Do not abbreviate application names. Finding charms easier. :stop_sign: matterm
:white_check_mark: mattermost
Do not consider camelcase naming. Think of slugs, also not supported. :stop_sign: NodeRed
:white_check_mark: node-red
No charm or operator suffix It is about Charms
Exception: Bundles need to be distinguished from the Charm.
:stop_sign: ghost-operator
:white_check_mark: ghost
:stop_sign: grafana-charm
:white_check_mark: grafana
:white_check_mark: discourse
:white_check_mark: discourse-bundle
No organisation as prefix Hard to have it consistently across all charms,
Belongs to charmcraft.yaml
:stop_sign: apache-kafka
:white_check_mark: kafka
:stop_sign: oracle-mysql
:white_check_mark: mysql
No publisher name as prefix to the charm name. Hard to have it consistently across all charms,
Belongs to charmcraft.yaml
:stop_sign: mysql-charmers-mysql-server
:white_check_mark: mysql
:stop_sign: charmteam-kafka
:white_check_mark: kafka
Avoid the purpose, use the name of the application instead. Multiple charms for same purpose exist or will come. :stop_sign: general-cache
:white_check_mark: varnish (if the varnish OSS project represents the application)
Do not use non-production identifiers, for public. Not useful for the community of Charmhub users. :stop_sign: jenkins-test
:stop_sign: mysql-draft
:stop_sign: hadoop-internal
:stop_sign: kafka-demo
Single charms: Avoid mix of app name and purpose. Suffixes or prefixes shall be omitted and can be part of summary. :stop_sign: drupal-server
:white_check_mark: drupal
:white_check_mark: kubeflow-dashboard
:white_check_mark: kubeflow-pipeline
:white_check_mark: kubeflow-volumes
Multiple charms: Put the name before the function. Sorting. :stop_sign: pipeline-kubeflow
:white_check_mark: kubeflow-pipeline
Explain short names if used. Three letter acronyms: prone to be confused.
Exception: Use “-k8s” for kubernetes only charms In general, do not use a suffix for platforms. Only a) for “kubernetes only” charms and b) another non-k8s-charm is around, use the suffix "-k8s” to distinguish the k8s-charm from the other. For a charm covering a workload that makes only sense for k8s and nowhere else, avoid the suffix. :white_check_mark: graylog-k8s

Maintainer contact

Currently, the charmcraft.yaml supports the maintainer of the charm being listed :

A list of maintainers in the format "First Last <email>

The naming of the maintainer has three main goals:

  • Identify the right person to contact
  • Visibility (for merits) of the publisher(s) or author(s) of the Charm
  • Transparent responsibility for the published software. However, please note that the maintainer list does not necessarily denote the responsible party (copyright holder) of the published Charm implementation.

The maintainer field in charmcraft.yaml must be filled out, either with

  1. A maintaining individual contact

  2. Multiple maintaining individual contacts if that applies (preferred),

  3. The maintaining organisation if that applies.

  4. Do not use fantasy / virtual team names as feedback has shown it causes confusion.

Naming repositories

Charms shall have a publicly accessible (git) repository. Opposed to the charm listing on, a distinguishing element in the name of a repository helps to identify the right repository with the Charm implementation.

The distinguishing element is the suffix “-operator”, because that aligns also with the names of the other parts in the Juju world, such as the Charmed Operator Framework or the Charmed Operator SDK. So, in summary, we have the following steps:

  1. Name the repository like your charm (see naming rules above)

  2. Add a suffix to it: -operator (because: Charmed Operator SDK)

  3. Prefer suffix over prefix (:stop_sign: operator-mydatabaseserver)

  4. Plural form only if there are in fact multiple charm implementations in the repository, do not mimic an (adverbial) genitive.

It is understood that many repositories already exist with the suffix -charm along to the repositories with -operator. Repository renaming can be hard in some cases. The naming guide defines the preferred naming.

Of course, some organisations have their own naming conventions for their repositories which cannot be easily overruled.

Final Remarks

There are more considerations, let’s discuss them on discourse!

1 Like

Should we have another section, “naming charm libraries”, that recommends naming charm libraries that manage relations after the relation interface name? @0x12b @michele-mancioppi @jnsgruk

Examples: Popular charm library index

(I do not have permissions to edit this post)


hi, I agree, it will be useful and needed. Would you have some suggestion also in mind, such as suffixes for tool, relation, k8s, machine would make sense? I wondered also about the use of (python style) underscore versus dashes in lib names. (grafana-dashboard vs. karma_dashboard) which is technically (presumably) irrelevant but just looks odd and unintuitive.

I only have experience with sidecar charms, but I’d imagine that it would be easier to have a different class for different use cases in the same charm lib *.py file, given charm libs are limited to a single file. This way some code reuse would be easier.