Intended audience


Submitting code to SWH#

We use gitlab (Community Edition) as the coding/collaboration forge.

For a new contributor#

You will need an account in SWH gitlab for contributing code or documentation. Please follow the steps below to setup your account.

  • Signup to create a gitlab account.

  • Account approve and land is manual and could take a while. Once approved, you will get a notification.

  • If you are not already, familiarize with git and gitlab.

  • Setup ssh keys to communicate with SWH Gitlab.

  • Sign the Software Heritage Contributor License Agreement. Please contact us to know more about this.

Development workflow#

We use a fork based workflow and merge requests for code contributions. In order to submit a feature or for any edits in the code, please adhere to the steps below:

  • Create a fork of the project you wish to contribute to in your personal namespace.

  • Clone your forked repository and start working. It is strongly recommended to work on a feature branch.

  • Make commits following the SWH best practices.

  • Push your branch to your forked repository.

  • Create a merge request against the SWH repository.

  • Make sure the merge request passes the CI build.

  • Address the review comments, if any, and wait for an approval.

  • Once approved, a team member will merge your changes to the master branch.

Quick start script#

note: If you haven’t done already, setup the swh-environment before this. Refer to the getting started for details.

A script using python-gitlab is available to partially automate the above workflow. Using this script is recommended as it simplifies the complexities associated with the build pipelines and multiple remotes. You can use the script by following the steps below:

Create an access token with api and write repository scopes here. The script will use this token to create a fork in your namespace and to add jenkins as a user with developer permissions. Create or update the config file ~/.python-gitlab.cfg and add the following content.

url =
private_token = <your generated token>
api_version = 4

In the following command line excerpts, we will use swh-objstorage as example. Please, replace that with the repository you wish to work with.

Run the script by

$ cd swh-environment
$ bin/update   # Used to update all the repos under the environment to their latest version
$ bin/fork-gitlab-repo -g swh swh-objstorage
$ bin/fork-gitlab-repo -g swh .  # To contribute to swh-environment itself (eg. add a repository)

This will create a new fork of the SWH repository in your namespace and add a jenkins user to perform automatic builds. You can view the forked project in your personal projects here. Switch to your local copy that is now ready for code contributions. You can find an extra remote named ‘forked’. This points to your forked repository and that can be used to push your changes.

$ cd swh-objstorage
$ git remote -v
forked<username>/swh-objstorage.git (fetch)
forked<username>/swh-objstorage.git (push)
origin (fetch)
origin (push)

SSH key for pushes#

In your forge User Settings page (on the top right, click on your avatar, then click Preferences), you have access to the SSH Keys section. You then have the option to upload a SSH public key, which will authenticate your pushes from git.

For more convenience (but not mandatory), you can also configure your ssh/git to use that key pair, for instance by editing the ~/.ssh/config file:

# .ssh/config entry for
User git IdentityFile ~/.ssh/swh_gitlab_key
IdentitiesOnly yes
PreferredAuthentications publickey

Finally, you should configure git to push over ssh when pushing to, by running the following command:

git config --global

This lets git know that it should use as a base url when pushing repositories cloned from over https.

If you plan to sign git revisions or tags, you may also want to upload your GPG key as well.