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We'd love you to contribute back to EasyBuild, and here's how you can do it: the branch - hack - pull request cycle.


Contributions can be made under the MIT or BSD licenses (in the three-clause and two-clause forms, though not the original four-clause form).

Or alteratively the contributor must agree with following contributor agreement:

Contributor Agreement.

In this case the contributor must agree that Ghent University shall have the irrevocable and perpetual right to make and distribute copies of any Contribution, as well as to create and distribute collective works and derivative works of any Contribution, under the Initial License or under any other open source license. (as defined by The Open Source Initiative (OSI) Contributor shall identify each Contribution by placing the following notice in its source code adjacent to Contributor's valid copyright notice: "Licensed to Ghent University under a Contributor Agreement." The currently acceptable license is GPLv2 or any other GPLv2 compatible license.

Ghent University understands and agrees that Contributor retains copyright in its Contributions. Nothing in this Contributor Agreement shall be interpreted to prohibit Contributor from licensing its Contributions under different terms from the Initial License or this Contributor Agreement.


Fork easybuild-easyblocks

First, you'll need to fork easybuild-easyblocks on GitHub.

If you do not have a (free) GitHub account yet, you'll need to get one.

You should also register an SSH public key, so you can easily clone, push to and pull from your repository.

Clone your easybuild-easyblocks repository

Clone your fork of the easybuild-easyblocks repository to your favorite workstation.

git clone\_GITHUB\_LOGIN/easybuild-easyblocks.git

Pull in the develop branch

Pull the develop branch from the main easybuild-easyblocks repository:

cd easybuild
git remote add github_easybuilders
git branch develop
git checkout develop
git pull github_easybuilders develop

Keep develop up-to-date

The develop branch hosts the latest bleeding-edge version of easybuild-easyblocks, and is merged into master regularly (after thorough testing).

Make sure you update it every time you create a feature branch (see below):

git checkout develop
git pull github_easybuilders develop


Pick a branch name

Please try and follow these guidelines when picking a branch name:

  • use the number of the issue as a prefix for your branch name, e.g. 86_ for issue #86
  • append a short but descriptive branch name, in which words are joined by underscores, e.g. 86_encoding_scheme

Create branch

Create a feature branch for your work, and check it out

git checkout develop
git branch <BRANCH_NAME>
git checkout <BRANCH_NAME>

Make sure to always base your features branches on develop, not on master!


After creating the branch, implement your contributions: new features, new easyblocks for non-supported software, enhancements or updates to existing easyblocks, bug fixes, or rewriting the whole thing in Fortran, whatever you like.

Make sure you commit your work, and try to do it in bite-size chunks, so the commit log remains clear.

For example:

git add easybuild/easyblocks/l/
git commit -m "support for Linux From Scratch"

If you are working on several things at the same time, try and keep things isolated in seperate branches, to keep it manageable (both for you, and for reviewing your contributions, see below).

Pull request

When you've finished the implementation of a particular contribution, here's how to get it into the main easybuild-easyblocks repository (also see

Push your branch

Push your branch to your easybuild-easyblocks repository on GitHub:

git push origin <BRANCH_NAME>

Issue a pull request

Issue a pull request for your branch into the main easybuild-easyblocks repository, as follows:

  • go to, and make sure the branch you just pushed is selected (not master, but <BRANCH_NAME>)

  • issue a pull request (see button at the top of the page) for your branch to the develop branch of the main easybuild-easyblocks repository; note: don't issue a pull request to the master branch, as it will be simply closed by the EasyBuild team

  • make sure to reference the corresponding issue number in the pull request, using the notation # followed by a number, e.g. #83

Issue pull request for existing ticket (from command line)

If you're contributing code to an existing issue you can also convert the issue to a pull request by running

GITHUBUSER=your_username && PASSWD=your_password && BRANCH=branch_name && ISSUE=issue_number && \
curl --user "$GITHUBUSER:$PASSWD" --request POST \
--data "{\"issue\": \"$ISSUE\", \"head\": \"$GITHUBUSER:$BRANCH\", \"base\": \"develop\"}" \

This is currently only supported by github from the command line and not via the web interface. You might also want to look into hub for more command line features.

Review process

A member of the EasyBuild team will then review your pull request, paying attention to what you're contributing, how you implemented it and code style.

Most likely, some remarks will be made on your pull request. Note that this is nothing personal, we're just trying to keep the EasyBuild codebase as high quality as possible. Even when an EasyBuild team member makes changes, the same public review process is followed.

Try and act on the remarks made, either by commiting additional changes to your branch, or by replying to the remarks to clarify your work.


Once your pull request has been reviewed and remarks have been processed, your contribution will be merged into the develop branch of the main easybuild-easyblocks repository.

On frequent occasions, the develop branch is merged into the master branch and a new version is tagged, and your contribution truly becomes part of EasyBuild.