Contributing to Redox
Thank you for your interest in contributing to Redox! This document will outline the basics of where to start if you wish to contribute to the project. There are many ways to help us out and and we appreciate all of them. We look forward to your contribution!
- GitLab Issues
- Pull Requests
- Code Contributions
- Low-Hanging Fruit - Easy Targets for Newbies
- Creating a Pull Request
- Best Practices/Guidelines
- Testing Practices
- Style Guidelines
- Other Ways to Contribute
- Graphic Design
The quickest and most open way to communicate with the Redox team is on our chat server. Currently, you can only get an invite by sending an email request to email@example.com, which might take a little while, since it's not automated. Simply say you'd like to join the chat. We're working on an better way to do this, but this is the best way right now.
A bit more formal way of communication with fellow Redox devs, but a little less quick and convenient like the chat. Submit an issue when you run into problems compiling, testing, or just would like to discuss a certain topic, be it features, code style, code inconsistencies, minor changes and fixes, etc.
It's fine to just submit a small pull request without first making an issue or asking in the chat, unless it's a significant change that will require a lot of planning and reviewing. Also see Creating a Pull Request and Git Style Guidelines.
We have a discourse forum at discourse.redox-os.org. This is the best way to discuss more general topics that aren't about specific things that need to be addressed one way or another. You can sign up like any other website.
News and updates for Redox are posted at redox-os.org/news. It's more one-way than the other things on this list, but it should provide a good summary of what's been going on with the project lately. It's usually updated weekly, but with some exceptions. A mailing list may be included eventually, but it's not set up right now.
If you're not fluent in Rust:
- Writing documentation
- Using/testing Redox, filing issues for bugs and needed features
- Web development (Redox website, separate repo)
- Writing unit tests (may require minimal knowledge of rust)
If you are fluent in Rust, but not OS Development:
- Apps development
- Shell (Ion) development
- Package management (pkgutils) development
- Other high-level code tasks
If you are fluent in Rust, and have experience with OS Dev:
- Familiarize yourself with the repository and codebase
- Grep for
PRETTYFYMEand fix the code you find.
- Improve and optimize code, especially in the kernel
1. Fork the repository
2. Clone the original repository to your local PC using one of the following commands based on the protocol you are using:
git clone https://github.com/redox-os/redox.git --origin upstream --recursive
git clone firstname.lastname@example.org:redox-os/redox.git --origin upstream --recursive
- Then rebase:
git rebase upstream masterIf you use HTTPS, you will have to log in each time when pushing to your fork. (Recommended: learn about git SSH support, it logs in automatically using SSH keys)
3. Add your fork with
git remote add origin https://github.com/your-username/redox.git
git remote add origin email@example.com:your-username/redox.git
4. Alternatively, if you already have a fork and copy of the repo, you can simply check to make sure you're up-to-date
- Pull the upstream:
git pull upstream --rebase
- Update the submodules:
git submodule update --recursive --init
5. Create a separate branch (recommended if you're making multiple changes simultaneously) (
git checkout -b my-branch)
6. Make changes
7. Commit (
git add <item(s) you changed>; git commit) and write your commit message
8. Optionally run rustfmt on the files you changed and commit again if it did anything (check with
git diff first)
9. Test your changes by cleaning (
make clean; git clean -Xfd) and building with
make qemu (you might have to use
make qemu kvm=no) or
(see Best Practices and Guidelines)
10. Pull from upstream (
git pull upstream --rebase) (Note: Make sure to include
--rebase, as it will apply your changes on top of the changes you just pulled, allowing for a much cleaner merge)
11. Repeat step 9 to make sure the rebase still builds and starts
12. Push to your fork (
git push origin <branch>),
<branch> being the branch you created earlier
13. Create a pull request
14. If your changes are minor, you can just describe them in a paragraph or less. If they're major, please fill out the provided form.
- Remember to do a
git rebase -i upstream/masterbefore you send your patch!
- Make sure your code is readable, commented, and well-documented.
- Don't hesitate to ask for help, comments or suggestions!
- Before implementing something, discuss it! Open an issue, or ask in the chat.
On the more technical side:
- Test, test, and test!
- Follow the style conventions (See rust style guidelines)
std::mem::swapwhen you can.
libredoxshould be 1-to-1 with the official
- Prefer passing references to the data over owned data. (Don't take
&str. Don't take
- Use generics, traits, and other abstractions Rust provides.
- Avoid using lossy conversions (for example: don't do
my_u32 as u16 == my_u16, prefer
my_u32 == my_u16 as u32).
- Prefer in place (
boxkeyword) when doing heap allocations.
- Prefer platform independently sized integer over pointer sized integer (
usize, for example).
- Follow the usual idioms of programming, such as "composition over inheritance", "let your program be divided in smaller pieces", and "resource acquisition is initialization".
unsafeis unnecessary, don't use it. Longer safe code is better than shorter unsafe code!
- Be sure to mark parts that need work with
PRETTYFYME. Always elaborate on these messages, too. Nothing is more annoying than seeing a
TODOand not knowing how to actually fix it.
- Use the compiler hint attributes, such as
#[cold], etc. when it makes sense to do so.
- Check the chat, the website, and the Rust subreddit frequently.
- When trying to access a slice, always use the
common::GetSlicetrait and the
.get_slice()method to get a slice without causing the kernel to panic. The problem with slicing in regular Rust, e.g.
foo[a..b], is that if someone tries to access with a range that is out of bounds of an array/string/slice, it will cause a panic at runtime, as a safety measure. Same thing when accessing an element. Always use
foo[n]and try to cover for the possibility of
Option::None. Doing the regular way may work fine for applications, but never in the kernel. No possible panics should ever exist in kernel space, because then the whole OS would just stop working.
It's always better to test boot (
make virtualbox) every time you make a change, because it is important to see how the OS boots and works after it compiles. Even though Rust is a safety-oriented language, something as unstable and low-level as an in-dev operating system will almost certainly have problems in many cases and may completely break on even the slightest critical change. Also, make sure you check how the unmodified version runs on your machine before making any changes. Else, you won't have anything to compare to, and it will generally just lead to confusion. TLDR: Rebuild and test boot often.
To run the ZFS tests:
Create the zfs.img only once. If one has not been created, run
make filesystem/apps/zfs/zfs.imgbefore booting into Redox.
open zfs.imgto open the created ZFS image.
file /home/LICENSE.mdtwice to ensure ARC isn't broken.
Since Rust is a relatively small and new language compared to others like C, there's really only one standard. Just follow the official Rust standards for formatting, and maybe run
rustfmt on your changes, until we setup the CI system to do it automatically.
- You should have a fork of the repository on GitHub and a local copy on your computer. The local copy should have two remotes;
upstreamshould be set to the main repository and
originshould be your fork.
- When you start to make changes, you will want to create a separate branch, and keep the
masterbranch of your fork identical to the main repository, so that you can compare your changes with the main branch and test out a more stable build if you need to.
- Usually, when syncing your local copy with the master branch, you'll want to rebase instead of merge. This is because it will create duplicate commits that don't actually do anything when merged into the master branch. You can do this in one command with
git pull upstream --rebase. This will pull from the upstream, then roll back to the current state of the upstream, and "replay" your changes on top of it. Make sure you commit before doing this, though. Git won't be able to rebase if you don't.
- Prefer to omit the
git commit. This opens your editor and should help get you in the habit of writing longer commit messages.
- Commit messages should describe their changes in present tense, e.g. "
Add stuff to file.ext" instead of "
added stuff to file.ext". This makes sense as sometimes when you revert back, then run through commits one-by-one, you want to see what a commit will do, instead of just what the person did when they made the commit. It's also just being consistent.
- Try to remove useless duplicate/merge commits from PRs as these don't do anything except clutter up history and make it harder to read.
If you're not big on coding, but you still want to help keep the project going, you can still contribute/support in a variety of ways! We'll try to find a way to use anything you have to offer.
If you're a good designer, whether it's 2D graphics, 3D graphics, interfaces, web design, you can help. We need logos, UI design, UI skins, app icons, desktop backgrounds, etc. More information to come on this in the future, for now just join the chat and ask about graphic design.
Our BDFL, jackpot51, has a Patreon campaign! All money received will go towards Redox OS development. If you donate, you will be listed in the Redox credits as one of the people that made Redox OS possible. You'll also get other rewards the more you donate. However, please don't donate if you can't afford it.