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Contributing to Hugo

We welcome contributions to Hugo of any kind including documentation, themes, organization, tutorials, blog posts, bug reports, issues, feature requests, feature implementations, pull requests, answering questions on the forum, helping to manage issues, etc.

The Hugo community and maintainers are very active and helpful, and the project benefits greatly from this activity. We created a step by step guide if you're unfamiliar with GitHub or contributing to open source projects in general.

Note that this repository only contains the actual source code of Hugo. For only documentation-related pull requests / issues please refer to the hugoDocs repository.

Changes to the codebase and related documentation, e.g. for a new feature, should still use a single pull request.

Table of Contents

Asking Support Questions

We have an active discussion forum where users and developers can ask questions. Please don't use the GitHub issue tracker to ask questions.

Reporting Issues

If you believe you have found a defect in Hugo or its documentation, use the GitHub issue tracker to report the problem to the Hugo maintainers. If you're not sure if it's a bug or not, start by asking in the discussion forum. When reporting the issue, please provide the version of Hugo in use (hugo version) and your operating system.

Code Contribution

Hugo has become a fully featured static site generator, so any new functionality must:

  • be useful to many.
  • fit naturally into what Hugo does best.
  • strive not to break existing sites.
  • close or update an open Hugo issue

If it is of some complexity, the contributor is expected to maintain and support the new future (answer questions on the forum, fix any bugs etc.).

It is recommended to open up a discussion on the Hugo Forum to get feedback on your idea before you begin. If you are submitting a complex feature, create a small design proposal on the Hugo issue tracker before you start.

Bug fixes are, of course, always welcome.

Submitting Patches

The Hugo project welcomes all contributors and contributions regardless of skill or experience level. If you are interested in helping with the project, we will help you with your contribution.

Code Contribution Guidelines

Because we want to create the best possible product for our users and the best contribution experience for our developers, we have a set of guidelines which ensure that all contributions are acceptable. The guidelines are not intended as a filter or barrier to participation. If you are unfamiliar with the contribution process, the Hugo team will help you and teach you how to bring your contribution in accordance with the guidelines.

To make the contribution process as seamless as possible, we ask for the following:

  • Go ahead and fork the project and make your changes. We encourage pull requests to allow for review and discussion of code changes.
  • When you’re ready to create a pull request, be sure to:
    • Sign the CLA.
    • Have test cases for the new code. If you have questions about how to do this, please ask in your pull request.
    • Run go fmt.
    • Add documentation if you are adding new features or changing functionality. The docs site lives in /docs.
    • Squash your commits into a single commit. git rebase -i. It’s okay to force update your pull request with git push -f.
    • Ensure that mage check succeeds. Travis CI (Linux and macOS) and AppVeyor (Windows) will fail the build if mage check fails.
    • Follow the Git Commit Message Guidelines below.

Git Commit Message Guidelines

This blog article is a good resource for learning how to write good commit messages, the most important part being that each commit message should have a title/subject in imperative mood starting with a capital letter and no trailing period: "Return error on wrong use of the Paginator", NOT "returning some error."

Also, if your commit references one or more GitHub issues, always end your commit message body with See #1234 or Fixes #1234. Replace 1234 with the GitHub issue ID. The last example will close the issue when the commit is merged into master.

Sometimes it makes sense to prefix the commit message with the package name (or docs folder) all lowercased ending with a colon. That is fine, but the rest of the rules above apply. So it is "tpl: Add emojify template func", not "tpl: add emojify template func.", and "docs: Document emoji", not "doc: document emoji."

Please use a short and descriptive branch name, e.g. NOT "patch-1". It's very common but creates a naming conflict each time when a submission is pulled for a review.

An example:

tpl: Add custom index function

Add a custom index template function that deviates from the stdlib simply by not
returning an "index out of range" error if an array, slice or string index is
out of range.  Instead, we just return nil values.  This should help make the
new default function more useful for Hugo users.

Fixes #1949

Fetching the Sources From GitHub

Since Hugo 0.48, Hugo uses the Go Modules support built into Go 1.11 to build. The easiest is is to clone Hugo in a directory outside of GOPATH, as in the following example:

mkdir $HOME/src
cd $HOME/src
git clone
cd hugo
go install

For some convenient build and test targets, you also will want to install Mage:

go get

Now, to make a change to Hugos's source:

  1. Create a new branch for your changes (the branch name is arbitrary):

    git checkout -b iss1234
  2. After making your changes, commit them to your new branch:

    git commit -a -v
  3. Fork Hugo in GitHub.

  4. Add your fork as a new remote (the remote name, "fork" in this example, is arbitrary):

    git remote add fork git://
  5. Push the changes to your new remote:

    git push --set-upstream fork iss1234
  6. You're now ready to submit a PR based upon the new branch in your forked repository.

Building Hugo with Your Changes

Hugo uses mage to sync vendor dependencies, build Hugo, run the test suite and other things. You must run mage from the Hugo directory.

cd $HOME/go/src/

To build Hugo:

mage hugo

To install hugo in $HOME/go/bin:

mage install

To run the tests:

mage hugoRace
mage -v check

To list all available commands along with descriptions:

mage -l

Note: From Hugo 0.43 we have added a build tag, extended that adds SCSS support. This needs a C compiler installed to build. You can enable this when building by:

HUGO_BUILD_TAGS=extended mage install

Updating the Hugo Sources

If you want to stay in sync with the Hugo repository, you can easily pull down the source changes, but you'll need to keep the vendored packages up-to-date as well.

git pull
mage vendor