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We, the maintainers, love pull requests from everyone, but often find we must say "no" despite how reasonable the proposal may seem.

For this reason, we ask that you open an issue to discuss proposed changes prior to submitting a pull request for the implementation. This helps us to provide direction as to implementation details, which branch to base your changes on, and so on.

  1. Open an issue to describe your proposed improvement or feature
  2. Install Go and fork the Sensu Go repository
  3. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  4. If applicable, add a entry describing your change.
  5. Commit your changes with a DCO Signed-off-by statement (git commit --signoff)
  6. Push your feature branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  7. Create a Pull Request as appropriate based on the issue discussion

Sensu is and always will be open source, and we continue to highly value community contribution. The packages we’re releasing for new versions are from our Enterprise repo; Sensu Go is the upstream for Sensu Enterprise (as they’d say in the Go community: Sensu Go is vendored into the Sensu Enterprise Go repo). We encourage you to download new versions, as the functionality will be identical to what you find in the public repo, and access to the enterprise-only features can be unlocked with a license key. Because these releases are in our Enterprise repo, there may be times that you don’t see the actual work being done on an issue you open, but that doesn’t mean we’re not working on it! Our team is committed to updating progress on open issues in the sensu-go repo, even if that work is being done in our Enterprise repo.


To make a good faith effort to ensure the criteria of the MIT License are met, Sensu Inc. requires the Developer Certificate of Origin (DCO) process to be followed.

The DCO is an attestation attached to every contribution made by every developer. In the commit message of the contribution, the developer simply adds a Signed-off-by statement and thereby agrees to the DCO, which you can find below or at

Developer's Certificate of Origin 1.1

By making a contribution to this project, I certify that:

(a) The contribution was created in whole or in part by me and I
    have the right to submit it under the open source license
    indicated in the file; or

(b) The contribution is based upon previous work that, to the best
    of my knowledge, is covered under an appropriate open source
    license and I have the right under that license to submit that
    work with modifications, whether created in whole or in part
    by me, under the same open source license (unless I am
    permitted to submit under a different license), as indicated
    in the file; or

(c) The contribution was provided directly to me by some other
    person who certified (a), (b) or (c) and I have not modified

(d) I understand and agree that this project and the contribution
    are public and that a record of the contribution (including all
    personal information I submit with it, including my sign-off) is
    maintained indefinitely and may be redistributed consistent with
    this project or the open source license(s) involved.

The following is an example DCO Signed-off-by statement.

 Author: Sean Porter <>

 Committer: Greg Poirier <>

   Let's name it WizardFormat.

   Calling it the Sensu Metric Format was a mistake.

   Signed-off-by: Sean Porter <>
   Signed-off-by: Grep Poirier <>

Git makes this easy with git commit --signoff!

The DCO text can either be manually added to your commit body, or you can add either -s or --signoff to your usual git commit commands. If you forget to add the sign-off you can also amend a previous commit with the sign-off by running git commit --amend -s. If you've pushed your changes to Github already you'll need to force push your branch after this with git push -f. -- Thanks Chef!


The Sensu Changelog is based on the Sensu Community Changelog guidelines.

All new changes go underneath the Unreleased heading at the top of the Changelog. Beyond that, here are some additional guidelines that should make it more clear where your change goes in the Changelog.


Any new functionality goes here. This may be a new field on a data type or a new data type altogether; a new API endpoint; or possibly a whole new feature. In general, these are sentences that start with the word "added."


  • begin field to silences that initiates silencing at a given timestamp
  • /healthz endpoint that reports health of the sensu-agent process


Changes to any existing component or functionality of the system that does not cause breaking changes to users or developers go here. Changed is distinguishable from Fixed in that it is an intentional change to existing functionality.


  • sensu-agent exits gracefully instead of crashing upon disconnect
  • Refactored the API to use reusable controller logic


Fixed bugs go here.


  • sensu-agent no longer ignores keepalive configuration
  • Don't delete auth tokens at startup


Deprecated should include any soon-to-be removed functionality. An entry here that is user facing will likely yield entries in Removed or Breaking eventually.


  • The /health API endpoint is being replaced by /healthz on the backend
  • The /stash API endpoint is being removed in a future release


Removed is for the removal of functionality that does not directly impact users, these entries most likely only impact developers of Sensu. If user facing functionality is removed, an entry should be added to the Breaking Changes section instead.


  • Removed references to encoding/json in favor of json-iter.
  • Removed unused Store interface for BlobStore.


Any fixes to address security exploits should be added to this section. If available, include an associated CVE entry.


  • Upgraded build to use Go 1.9.1 to address CVE-2017-15041
  • Fixed issue where users could view entities without permission

Breaking Changes

Whenever you have to make a change that will cause users to be unable to upgrade versions of Sensu without intervention by an operator, your change goes here. Try to avoid these. If they're required, we should have documented justification in a GitHub issue and preferably a proposal. We should also bump minor versions at this time.


  • Refactored how Checks are stored in Etcd, sensu-backend migrate is required to upgrade

Git Workflow

Our git workflow is largely inspired by GitHub Flow and Oneflow but adapted to our reality and our needs.

Here are the highlights:

  • There's only one eternal branch named main. All other branches are temporary.
  • Feature branches are where the day-to-day development work happens. They are based from main and pushed continuously back into it whenever possible so the pull requests are small and simple, while keeping main stable.
  • Release branches are branched off from main at the point all the necessary features are present. From then on, new work aimed for the next release is pushed to main as always, while any necessary changes for the release (updating the changelog, last minute bugfixes, updating dependencies etc.) are pushed to the release branch. Once the release is ready, we tag the top of the release branch. Finally, we merge the release branch into main.
  • Hotfixes are very similar to releases, except we branch off from a release tag. A hotfix is basically an immediate fix for something that's really getting in the way of our users.




We are using the version proto3 of the protocol buffers language. Here are some useful resources:

To learn more about protocol buffers

The proto3 language guide


Install the protobuf compiler since we don't use the one that golang uses.

brew install protobuf

Otherwise, see the for non-C++ users instructions here.

Quick Start

Once you make a change to any *.proto file within the types package, you will need to regenerate the associated *.pb.go file. To do so, simply run go generate on the package.


Sensu uses Go modules for managing its dependencies.

Note: Historically, sensu-go contained several modules. The main application, our api definitions and, and Presently is the only actively developed module in this repository, with the api definitions migrated to, and the types module deprecated.


Run test suites: