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How to contribute

etcd is Apache 2.0 licensed and accepts contributions via GitHub pull requests. This document outlines the basics of contributing to etcd.

This is a rough outline of what a contributor's workflow looks like:

If you have any questions, please reach out using one of the methods listed in contact.

Learn more about etcd

Before making a change please look through the resources below to learn more about etcd and tools used for development.

Find something to work on

All the work in the etcd project is tracked in GitHub issue tracker. Issues should be properly labeled making it easy to find something for you.

Depending on your interest and experience you should check different labels:

  • If you are just starting, check issues labeled with good first issue.
  • When you feel more comfortable in your contributions, check out help wanted.
  • Advanced contributors can try to help with issues labeled priority/important covering the most relevant work at the time.

If any of the aforementioned labels don't have unassigned issues, please contact one of the maintainers asking to triage more issues.

Check for flaky tests

The project could always use some help to deflake tests. These are the currently open flaky test issues.

For more, because etcd uses Kubernetes' prow infrastructure to run CI jobs, the past test results can be viewed at testgrid.

Tests Status
periodics e2e-amd64 sig-etcd-periodics/ci-etcd-e2e-amd64
presubmit build sig-etcd-presubmits/pull-etcd-build
presubmit e2e-amd64 sig-etcd-presubmits/pull-etcd-e2e-amd64
presubmit unit-test sig-etcd-presubmits/pull-etcd-unit-test
presubmit verify sig-etcd-presubmits/pull-etcd-verify
postsubmit build sig-etcd-postsubmits/post-etcd-build

If you find any flaky tests on testgrid, please

  1. Check existing issues to see if an issue has already been opened for this test. If not, open an issue with the type/flake label.
  2. Try to reproduce the flaky test on your machine via stress, for example, to reproduce the failure of TestPeriodicSkipRevNotChange:
cd server/etcdserver/api/v3compactor
# compile the test
go test -v -c -count 1 -run "^TestPeriodicSkipRevNotChange$"
# run the compiled test file using stress
stress -p=8 ./v3compactor.test
  1. Fix it.

Set up development environment

The etcd project supports two options for development:

  1. Manually set up the local environment.
  2. Automatically set up devcontainer.

For both options, the only supported architecture is linux-amd64. Bug reports for other environments will generally be ignored. Supporting new environments requires the introduction of proper tests and maintainer support that is currently lacking in the etcd project.

If you would like etcd to support your preferred environment you can file an issue.

Option 1 - Manually set up the local environment

This is the original etcd development environment, is most supported, and is backward compatible for the development of older etcd versions.

Follow the steps below to set up the environment:

  • Clone the repository
  • Install Go by following installation. Please check the minimal go version in go.mod file.
  • Install build tools:
    • make: For Debian-based distributions you can run sudo apt-get install build-essential
    • protoc: You can download it for your os. Use version v3.20.3.
    • yamllint: For Debian-based distribution you can run sudo apt-get install yamllint
  • Verify that everything is installed by running make build

Note: make build runs with -v. Other build flags can be added through env GO_BUILD_FLAGS, if required. Eg.,

GO_BUILD_FLAGS="-buildmode=pie" make build

Option 2 - Automatically set up devcontainer

This is a more recently added environment that aims to make it faster for new contributors to get started with etcd. This option is supported for etcd versions 3.6 onwards.

This option can be used locally on a system running Visual Studio Code and Docker, or in a remote cloud-based Codespaces environment.

To get started, create a codespace for this repository by clicking this 👇

Open in GitHub Codespaces

A codespace will open in a web-based version of Visual Studio Code. The dev container is fully configured with the software needed for this project.

Note: Dev containers is an open spec which is supported by GitHub Codespaces and other tools.

Implement your change

etcd code should follow the coding style suggested by the Golang community. See the style doc for details.

Please ensure that your change passes static analysis (requires golangci-lint):

  • make verify to verify if all checks pass.
  • make verify-* to verify a single check, for example, make verify-bom to verify if bill-of-materials.json file is up-to-date.
  • make fix to fix all checks.
  • make fix-* to fix a single check, for example, make fix-bom to update bill-of-materials.json.

Please ensure that your change passes tests.

  • make test-unit to run unit tests.
  • make test-integration to run integration tests.
  • make test-e2e to run e2e tests.

All changes are expected to come with a unit test. All new features are expected to have either e2e or integration tests.

Commit your change

etcd follows a rough convention for commit messages:

  • First line:
    • Should start with the name of the package (for example etcdserver, etcdctl) followed by the : character.
    • Describe the what behind the change
  • Optionally, the author might provide the why behind the change in the main commit message body.
  • Last line should be Signed-off-by: firstname lastname <> (can be automatically generate by providing --signoff to git commit command).

Example of commit message:

etcdserver: add grpc interceptor to log info on incoming requests

To improve debuggability of etcd v3. Added a grpc interceptor to log
info on incoming requests to etcd server. The log output includes
remote client info, request content (with value field redacted), request
handling latency, response size, etc. Uses zap logger if available,
otherwise uses capnslog.

Signed-off-by: FirstName LastName <>

Create a pull request

Please follow the making a pull request guide.

If you are still working on the pull request, you can convert it to a draft by clicking Convert to draft link just below the list of reviewers.

Multiple small PRs are preferred over single large ones (>500 lines of code).

Please make sure there is an associated issue for each PR you submit. Create one if it doesn't exist yet, and close the issue once the PR gets merged and has been backported to previous stable releases, if necessary. If there are multiple PRs linked to the same issue, refrain from closing the issue until all PRs have been merged and, if needed, backported to previous stable releases.

Get your pull request reviewed

Before requesting review please ensure that all GitHub and Prow checks are successful. In some cases your pull request may have the label needs-ok-to-test. If so an etcd-io organisation member will leave a comment on your pull request with /ok-to-test to trigger all checks to be run.

It might happen that some unrelated tests on your PR are failing, due to their flakiness. In such cases please file an issue to deflake the problematic test and ask one of maintainers to rerun the tests.

If all checks were successful feel free to reach out for review from people that were involved in the original discussion or maintainers. Depending on the complexity of the PR it might require between 1 and 2 maintainers to approve your change before merging.

Thanks for contributing!