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3.8 KiB

How to contribute

Note: contributing implies licensing those contributions under the terms of COPYING, which is an MIT-like license.

Opening issues

Submitting changes

  • Format the commit messages in the following way:

    (pkg-name | nixos/<module>): (from -> to | init at version | refactor | etc)
    (Motivation for change. Additional information.)

    For consistency, there should not be a period at the end of the commit message's summary line (the first line of the commit message).


    • nginx: init at 2.0.1

    • firefox: 54.0.1 -> 55.0

    • nixos/hydra: add bazBaz option

      Dual baz behavior is needed to do foo.

    • nixos/nginx: refactor config generation

      The old config generation system used impure shell scripts and could break in specific circumstances (see #1234).

  • meta.description should:

    • Be capitalized.
    • Not start with the package name.
    • Not have a period at the end.
  • meta.license must be set and fit the upstream license.

    • If there is no upstream license, meta.license should default to lib.licenses.unfree.
  • meta.maintainers must be set.

See the nixpkgs manual for more details on standard meta-attributes and on how to submit changes to nixpkgs.

Writing good commit messages

In addition to writing properly formatted commit messages, it's important to include relevant information so other developers can later understand why a change was made. While this information usually can be found by digging code, mailing list/Discourse archives, pull request discussions or upstream changes, it may require a lot of work.

For package version upgrades and such a one-line commit message is usually sufficient.

Backporting changes

Follow these steps to backport a change into a release branch in compliance with the commit policy.

  1. Take note of the commits in which the change was introduced into master branch.
  2. Check out the target release branch, e.g. release-20.09. Do not use a channel branch like nixos-20.09 or nixpkgs-20.09.
  3. Create a branch for your change, e.g. git checkout -b backport.
  4. When the reason to backport is not obvious from the original commit message, use git cherry-pick -xe <original commit> and add a reason. Otherwise use git cherry-pick -x <original commit>. That's fine for minor version updates that only include security and bug fixes, commits that fixes an otherwise broken package or similar. Please also ensure the commits exists on the master branch; in the case of squashed or rebased merges, the commit hash will change and the new commits can be found in the merge message at the bottom of the master pull request.
  5. Push to GitHub and open a backport pull request. Make sure to select the release branch (e.g. release-20.09) as the target branch of the pull request, and link to the pull request in which the original change was comitted to master. The pull request title should be the commit title with the release version as prefix, e.g. [20.09].
  6. When the backport pull request is merged and you have the necessary privileges you can also replace the label 9.needs: port to stable with 8.has: port to stable on the original pull request. This way maintainers can keep track of missing backports easier.

Reviewing contributions

See the nixpkgs manual for more details on how to Review contributions.