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Matt Welch docs: minor spelling corrections. 8d3ee18 Jul 19, 2019
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First of all, thank you! We value your time and interest in making Talos a successful open source project.

What can I do to help?

There are a number of ways you can help! We are in need of both technical and non-technical contributions. Even just mentioning the project to a friend, colleague, or anyone else for that matter, would be a huge help. We need writers, bloggers, engineers, graphics designers — you name it, we need it.


Let's talk about some of the guidelines we have when making a contribution to Talos.

Git Commits

You probably noticed we use a funny way of writing commit messages. Indeed we do, but its based on a specification called Conventional Commits. Don't worry, it won't be too much of hassle. We have a small tool that you can use to remind you of our policy.

go get
cat <<EOF | tee .git/hooks/commit-msg

conform enforce --commit-msg-file \$1
chmod +x .git/hooks/commit-msg

In addition, all commits should be signed by the committer using git commit -s which should produce a commit message with Signed-off-by: Your Name <your@email>. It is not necessary to cryptographically sign commits with GPG.

Pull Requests

To avoid multiples CI runs, please ensure that you are running a full build before submitting your PR, and branches should be squashed to a single commit.


To start developing for Talos you will need at least GNU Make and Golang v1.11.

From there you can bootstrap the rest of the toolchain and install Golang dependencies with the following commands:

GO111MODULE=on go get
make ci

Make Targets

In the Makefile there are a variety of targets, the most common are:

  • kernel creates the vmlinuz Linux kernel executable.
  • initamfs creates the initramfs.xz initial RAMdisk filesystem.
  • image-vanilla creates the image.raw file that can be used as a image volume for VMs.
  • osctl-linux-amd64 and osctl-darwin-amd64 make the osctl CLI tool for Linux & OSX respectively.
  • rootfs creates an archive of the root filesystem preloaded with all the components needed to launch Talos & Kubernetes.


Talos uses Moby buildkit for concurrent and cache-efficient builds. By default, a buildkit service is started locally, but if you want to offload the builds to another server, you can start a buildkit service with the following command:

docker run --detach --privileged --restart always --publish 1234:1234 moby/buildkit --addr tcp://

Then using the BUILDKIT_HOST environment variable before running any make target, E.G.

BUILDKIT_HOST=tcp:// make initramfs
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