Contributor Guide

  • Thank you for participating!
  • Please ensure that an issue exists before submitting your contribution as a pull request.
  • The issue should contain the motivation, modification and expected results (discussions usually happen there).
  • No pull request will be merged without an associated issue (release notes are generated from issues).
  • You should make sure to add your name (and organisation) to AUTHORS.
  • If you have questions, you can reach the core development team on our Slack channel, or send an email to our development mailing list
A contribution can be either be a patch, feature, or hotfix:
  • Patches include bugfixes and minor changes to the code and are included in patch releases usually made on a bi-weekly schedule.
  • Features include major developments or potentially disruptive changes and are included in feature releases made multiple times a year.
  • Hotfix are specific patch releases happening due to the necessity of important fixes.
Accordingly, the repository consists of three different branches:
  • the master branch includes the patch/minor development of the current major version.
  • the next branch includes the development for the next major version.
  • the hotfix branch includes the patch for hotfix releases.

Thus, on release day of a feature release both master and next are the same, afterwards they diverge until the next feature release. Pull requests for features are only made against the next branch. Pull requests for patches are made against the next and master branch, as these bugfixes need to be in both branches. Thus two pull requests are needed for patches, and the helper scripts do it automatically for you. Pull requests for hotfixes are made against the master, next, and hotfix branches.

Setting up the repository

Step 1: Fork the repository on Github.

Step 2: Clone the repository to your development machine and configure it:

$ git clone<YOUR_USER>/rucio/
$ cd rucio
$ git remote add upstream
# Optional to track changes on the next branch
$ git branch --track next


Step 1: Create an issue with the description of the contribution (motivation, modification and expected results). Every issue will get a unique issue number.

Step 2: Create a local branch that corresponds to the issue. There are utility scripts to help you with this:

$ ./tools/create-patch-branch <unique issue number> '<short_change_message>'
$ ./tools/create-feature-branch <unique issue number> '<short_change_message>'

Step 3: Commit your change. The commit command must include a specific message format:

git commit -m "<component>: <change_message> #<issue number>"

Valid component names are listed in the label list.

If you use the default commit message template, make sure you edit it.

If you add a github-recognised keyword then the associated issue can be closed automatically once the pull request is merged, e.g.:

<component>: <change_message> Fix #<issue number>

Step 4: Push the commit to your forked repository and create the pull request(s). There is a helper script to assist you:

$ ./tools/submit-pull-request

The helper script will propagate the commit message as the pull request title.

If you use different tools to create pull requests like the github interface or the git command-line wrapper hub, the following logic must be applied:

  • If the contribution is a patch, two pull requests must be created, one for the next branch and another for the master branch.
  • If the contribution is a new feature, one pull request must be created for the next branch.

The format of the pull request title must be:

<component>: <short_change_message> #<issue number>

If you add a github-recognised keyword then the associated issue can be closed automatically once the pull request is merged, e.g.:

<component>: <short_change_message> Fix #<issue number>

For example, with hub the git command-line wrapper the commands for a patch are:

$  git pull-request  -m  '<component>: <short_change_message> #<issue number>' -b master
$  git pull-request  -m  '<component>: <short_change_message> #<issue number>' -b next

and for a new feature:

$  git pull-request  -m  '<short_change_message> #<issue number>' -b next

Step 5: Watch the pull request for comments and reviews. For any pull requests update, please try to squash/amend your commits to avoid “in-between” commits.

Automatic Review

Every submitted pull request will automatically be run through automated review and testing with Travis.

Human Review

Anyone is welcome to review merge requests and make comments!

The Rucio development team can approve, request changes, or close pull requests. Merging of approved pull requests is done by the Rucio development lead.

Coding Style and testing

We use flake8 and pylint to sanitize our code. Please do the same before submitting a pull request.

Git Hooks

Some git hooks (pre-commit, prepare-commit-msg) can be installed by executing the script:

$ ./tools/