Skip to content
Switch branches/tags
Go to file
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time

Contributing to Jenkins

This page provides information about contributing code to the Jenkins core codebase.

There's a lot more to the Jenkins project than just code. For more information on the ways that you can contribute to the Jenkins project, see Participate.

Getting started

  1. Fork the repository on GitHub
  2. Clone the forked repository to your machine
  3. Install the necessary development tools. In order to develop Jenkins, you need the following:
  • Java Development Kit (JDK) 8 or 11. In the Jenkins project we usually use OpenJDK or AdoptOpenJDK, but you can use other JDKs as well.
    • For JDK 11 there might be some compatibility issues in developer tools, please see this page for more info. If you find a new issue, please report it with a java11-devtools-compatibility label in our issue tracker.
  • Maven 3.5.4 or above. You can download Maven here.
  • Any IDE which supports importing Maven projects.
  • Install NodeJS. Note: only needed to work on the frontend assets found in the war module.
    • Frontend tasks are run using yarn. Run npm install -g yarn to install it.
  1. Set up your development environment as described in Preparing for Plugin Development

If you want to contribute to Jenkins, or just learn about the project, you can start by fixing some easier issues. In the Jenkins issue tracker we mark such issues as newbie-friendly. You can find them by using this query (check the link) for newbie friendly issues.

Building and Debugging

The Jenkins core build flow is built around Maven. You can read a description of the building and debugging process here.

If you want simply to build the jenkins.war file as fast as possible without tests, run:

mvn -am -pl war,bom -DskipTests -Dspotbugs.skip -Dspotless.check.skip clean install

The WAR file will be created in war/target/jenkins.war. After that, you can start Jenkins using Java CLI (guide). If you want to debug the WAR file without using Maven plugins, You can run the executable with Remote Debug Flags and then attach IDE Debugger to it.

To launch a development instance, after the above command, run:

mvn -pl war jetty:run

(Beware that maven-plugin builds will not work in this mode, due to class loading conflicts.)

Building frontend assets

To work on the war module frontend assets, two processes are needed at the same time:

On one terminal, start a development server that will not process frontend assets:

mvn -pl war jetty:run -Dskip.yarn

On another terminal, move to the war folder and start a webpack dev server:

cd war; yarn start

Testing changes

Jenkins core includes unit and functional tests as a part of the repository.

Functional tests (test module) take a while to run, even on server-grade machines. Most of the tests will be launched by the continuous integration instance, so there is no strict need to run full test suites before proposing a pull request.

There are 3 profiles for tests:

  • light-test - runs only unit tests, no functional tests
  • smoke-test - runs unit tests + a number of functional tests
  • all-tests - runs all tests, with re-run (default)

In addition to the included tests, you can also find extra integration and UI tests in the Acceptance Test Harness (ATH) repository. If you propose complex UI changes, you should create new ATH tests for them.

JavaScript unit tests

In case there's only need to run the JS tests:

cd war; yarn test

Proposing Changes

The Jenkins project source code repositories are hosted at GitHub. All proposed changes are submitted, and code reviewed, using the GitHub Pull Request process.

To submit a pull request:

  1. Commit your changes and push them to your fork on GitHub. It is a good practice is to create branches instead of pushing to master.
  2. In the GitHub Web UI, click the New Pull Request button.
  3. Select jenkinsci as base fork and master as base, then click Create Pull Request.
  • We integrate all changes into the master branch towards the Weekly releases.
  • After that, the changes may be backported to the current LTS baseline by the LTS Team. Read more about the backporting process.
  1. Fill in the Pull Request description according to the proposed template.
  2. Click Create Pull Request.
  3. Wait for CI results/reviews, process the feedback.
  • If you do not get feedback after 3 days, feel free to ping @jenkinsci/core-pr-reviewers in the comments.
  • Usually we merge pull requests after 2 approvals from reviewers, no requested changes, and having waited some more time to give others an opportunity to provide their feedback. See this page for more information about our review process.

Once your Pull Request is ready to be merged, the repository maintainers will integrate it, prepare changelogs, and ensure it gets released in one of upcoming Weekly releases. There is no additional action required from pull request authors at this point.

IntelliJ suggestion

In case you are using IntelliJ, please adjust the default setting in respect to whitespace fixes on save. The setting can be found in Settings -> Editor -> General -> On Save -> Remove trailing spaces on: Modified lines This will help minimize the diff, which makes reviewing PRs easier.

We also do not recommend * imports in the production code. Please disable them in Settings > Editor > Codestyle > Java by setting Class count to use import with '*' and Names count to use import with '*'_ to a high value, e.g. 100.


The Jenkins core is licensed under MIT license, with a few exceptions in bundled classes. We consider all contributions as MIT unless it's explicitly stated otherwise. MIT-incompatible code contributions will be rejected. Contributions under MIT-compatible licenses may also be rejected if they are not ultimately necessary.

We Do NOT require pull request submitters to sign the contributor agreement as long as the code is licensed under MIT, and merged by one of the contributors with the signed agreement.

We still encourage people to sign the contributor agreement if they intend to submit more than a few pull requests. Signing is also a mandatory prerequisite for getting merge/push permissions to core repositories and for joining teams like the Jenkins Security Team.

Continuous Integration

The Jenkins project has a Continuous Integration server... powered by Jenkins, of course. It is located at

The Jenkins project uses Jenkins Pipeline to run builds. The code for the core build flow is stored in the Jenkinsfile in the repository root. If you want to update that build flow (e.g. "add more checks"), just submit a pull request.