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Contributions from the community are essential in keeping Hibernate (any Open Source project really) strong and successful.


All original contributions to Hibernate are licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), version 2.1 or later, or, if another license is specified as governing the file or directory being modified, such other license. The LGPL text is included verbatim in the lgpl.txt file in the root directory of the ORM repository.

All contributions are subject to the Developer Certificate of Origin (DCO).
The DCO text is also included verbatim in the dco.txt file in the root directory of the ORM repository.


While we try to keep requirements for contributing to a minimum, there are a few guidelines we ask that you mind.

For code contributions, these guidelines include:

  • respect the project code style - find templates for IntelliJ IDEA or Eclipse
  • have a corresponding JIRA issue and the key for this JIRA issue should be used in the commit message
  • have a set of appropriate tests. For bug reports, the tests reproduce the initial reported bug and illustrate that the solution actually fixes the bug. For features/enhancements, the tests illustrate the feature working as intended. In both cases the tests are incorporated into the project to protect against regressions
  • if applicable, documentation is updated to reflect the introduced changes
  • the code compiles and the tests pass (./gradlew clean build)

For documentation contributions, mainly just respect the project code style, especially in regards to use of tabs - as mentioned above, code style templates are available for both IntelliJ IDEA and Eclipse IDEs. Ideally these contributions would also have a corresponding JIRA issue, although this is less necessary for documentation contributions.

Getting Started

If you are just getting started with Git, GitHub and/or contributing to Hibernate via GitHub there are a few pre-requisite steps to follow:

Create the working (topic) branch

Create a topic branch on which you will work. The convention is to incorporate the JIRA issue key in the name of this branch, although this is more of a mnemonic strategy than a hard-and-fast rule - but doing so helps:

  • remember what each branch is for
  • isolate the work from other contributions you may be working on

If there is not already a JIRA issue covering the work you want to do, create one.

Assuming you will be working from the main branch and working on the JIRA HHH-123 : git checkout -b HHH-123 main


Do your thing!


  • make commits of logical units
  • be sure to use the JIRA issue key in the commit message. This is how JIRA will pick up the related commits and display them on the JIRA issue
  • make sure you have added the necessary tests for your changes
  • run all the tests to assure nothing else was accidentally broken
  • make sure your source does not violate the checkstyles

Prior to committing, if you want to pull in the latest upstream changes (highly appreciated btw), please use rebasing rather than merging. Merging creates "merge commits" that really muck up the project timeline.


  • push your changes to the topic branch in your fork of the repository
  • initiate a pull request
  • update the JIRA issue by providing the PR link in the Pull Request column on the right

It is important that this topic branch on your fork:

  • be isolated to just the work on this one JIRA issue, or multiple issues if they are related and also fixed/implemented by this work. The main point is to not push commits for more than one PR to a single branch - GitHub PRs are linked to a branch rather than specific commits
  • remain until the PR is closed. Once the underlying branch is deleted the corresponding PR will be closed, if not already, and the changes will be lost


(1) Gradle eclipse plugin is no longer supported, so the recommended way to import the project in your IDE is with the proper IDE tools/plugins. Don't try to run ./gradlew clean eclipse --refresh-dependencies from the command line as you'll get an error because eclipse no longer exists