Centriole maturation is essential for ciliogenesis, but which proteins and how they regulate ciliary assembly is unclear. In this issue, Kumar et al. (2021. J. Cell Biol. https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.202011133 ) shed light on this process by identifying a ciliopathy complex at the distal mother centriole that restrains centriole length and supports the formation of distal appendages.