Text Blame History Raw

Welcome to libgit2!

We're making it easy to do interesting things with git, and we'd love to have your help.


By contributing to libgit2, you agree to release your contribution under the terms of the license. Except for the examples directory, all code is released under the GPL v2 with linking exception.

The examples code is governed by the CC0 Public Domain Dedication, so that you may copy from them into your own application.

Discussion & Chat

We hang out in the #libgit2) channel on irc.freenode.net.

Also, feel free to open an Issue to start a discussion about any concerns you have. We like to use Issues for that so there is an easily accessible permanent record of the conversation.

Libgit2 Versions

The master branch is the main branch where development happens. Releases are tagged (e.g. v0.21.0 ) and when a critical bug fix needs to be backported, it will be done on a <tag>-maint maintenance branch.

Reporting Bugs

First, know which version of libgit2 your problem is in and include it in your bug report. This can either be a tag (e.g. v0.17.0) or a commit SHA (e.g. 01be7863). Using git describe is a great way to tell us what version you're working with.

If you're not running against the latest master branch version, please compile and test against that to avoid re-reporting an issue that's already been fixed.

It's incredibly helpful to be able to reproduce the problem. Please include a list of steps, a bit of code, and/or a zipped repository (if possible). Note that some of the libgit2 developers are employees of GitHub, so if your repository is private, find us on IRC and we'll figure out a way to help you.

Pull Requests

Our work flow is a typical GitHub flow, where contributors fork the libgit2 repository, make their changes on branch, and submit a Pull Request (a.k.a. "PR"). Pull requests should usually be targeted at the master branch.

Life will be a lot easier for you (and us) if you follow this pattern (i.e. fork, named branch, submit PR). If you use your fork's master branch directly, things can get messy.

Please include a nice description of your changes when you submit your PR; if we have to read the whole diff to figure out why you're contributing in the first place, you're less likely to get feedback and have your change merged in.

If you are starting to work on a particular area, feel free to submit a PR that highlights your work in progress (and note in the PR title that it's not ready to merge). These early PRs are welcome and will help in getting visibility for your fix, allow others to comment early on the changes and also let others know that you are currently working on something.

Before wrapping up a PR, you should be sure to:

  • Write tests to cover any functional changes
  • Update documentation for any changed public APIs
  • Add to the CHANGELOG.md file describing any major changes

Unit Tests

We believe that our unit tests allow us to keep the quality of libgit2 high: any new changes must not cause unit test failures, and new changes should include unit tests that cover the bug fixes or new features. For bug fixes, we prefer unit tests that illustrate the failure before the change, but pass with your changes.

In addition to new tests, please ensure that your changes do not cause any other test failures. Running the entire test suite is helpful before you submit a pull request. When you build libgit2, the test suite will also be built. You can run most of the tests by simply running the resultant libgit2_clar binary. If you want to run a specific unit test, you can name it with the -s option. For example:

libgit2_clar -sstatus::worktree::long_filenames

Or you can run an entire class of tests. For example, to run all the worktree status tests:

libgit2_clar -sstatus::worktree

The default test run is fairly exhaustive, but it will exclude some unit tests by default: in particular, those that talk to network servers and the tests that manipulate the filesystem in onerous ways (and may need to have special privileges to run). To run the network tests:

libgit2_clar -ionline

In addition, various tests may be enabled by environment variables, like the ones that write exceptionally large repositories or manipulate the filesystem structure in unexpected ways. These tests may be dangerous to run on a normal machine and may harm your filesystem. It's not recommended that you run these; instead, the continuous integration servers will run these (in a sandbox).

Porting Code From Other Open-Source Projects

libgit2 is licensed under the terms of the GPL v2 with a linking exception. Any code brought in must be compatible with those terms.

The most common case is porting code from core Git. Git is a pure GPL project, which means that in order to port code to this project, we need the explicit permission of the author. Check the git.git-authors file for authors who have already consented.

Other licenses have other requirements; check the license of the library you're porting code from to see what you need to do. As a general rule, MIT and BSD (3-clause) licenses are typically no problem. Apache 2.0 license typically doesn't work due to GPL incompatibility.

If your pull request uses code from core Git, another project, or code from a forum / Stack Overflow, then please flag this in your PR and make sure you've given proper credit to the original author in the code snippet.

Style Guide

The public API of libgit2 is ANSI C (a.k.a. C89) compatible. Internally, libgit2 is written using a portable subset of C99 - in order to compile with GCC, Clang, MSVC, etc., we keep local variable declarations at the tops of blocks only and avoid // style comments. Additionally, libgit2 follows some extra conventions for function and type naming, code formatting, and testing.

We like to keep the source code consistent and easy to read. Maintaining this takes some discipline, but it's been more than worth it. Take a look at the conventions file.

Starter Projects

See our projects list.