Revision as of 01:13, 23 May 2020 by Abartlet (talk | contribs) (add patch fetching and autobuild instructions to Code Review)

How to contribute to Samba?

Like all OpenSource projects, Samba is reliant on volunteers. You don't need special skill to help this project. Everybody can help! :-)

There are several category groups you can work on, e.g.:

Submitting Patches

The preferred method for submitting patches to samba is via the official mirror on GitLab. For more information see Samba on GitLab.

Prepare your development environment

Check out a copy of Samba locally:

git clone

You should develop new Samba features and fix bugs first in the master branch.

Run the script for your operating system from bootstrap/generated-dists/.

First Merge Request

The Using Git for Samba Development page has details on how to prepare patches using git.

Obtain a account

Samba development is done on so you will need to Register a new user account. You can sign in with you GitHub account if you have one

Fork the Samba repo (just until we get to know you)

First fork the samba official mirror.

In the git checkout you made earlier, add a remote for your new gitlab fork (the URL will be in the GitLab UI under the blue Clone button):

$ git remote add gitlab-$USER$USER/samba.git

Change the 1hr default CI timeout

By default projects on have a 1 hour timeout set on pipelines. This must be changed in the project settings. We suggest using a timeout of 3 hours, which is still permitted on the free runners.

Otherwise, once you push your changes back, you will see errors like this:

ERROR: Job failed: execution took longer than 1h0m0s seconds
The script exceeded the maximum execution time set for the job

Prepare your patches

Samba has coding standards, please read README.Coding in your source checkout.

When preparing your patches please ensure you add Signed-off-by tags to your commits, and follow the Samba copyright policy.

A good commit message

Good commit messages are very important. Commits should always be separated in meaningful pieces. Please make sure that your commit messages include at least the following information:


s3:smbd: Add new funky shiny and groovy feature

The funky shiny and groovy feature has been added to
be able to do whatever you like. A typical usecase is the


Signed-off-by: Author <>

Push back to GitLab and make your first merge request

Push to your repo (rather than, which will be origin) with:

$ git push gitlab-$USER -f

After pushing back to your fork on you can submit a merge request. (The push will give a URL for you to click).

The merge request will be listed for review by Samba Team members who will post comments on your merge request.

Subsequent Merge Requests

After your first merge request has been approved, you will be granted access to the samba devel gitlab repo. Subsequent merge requests should be made from this repository, because more tests are run than are possible on the free runners attached to your personal repo.

Code of conduct

Use only to develop Samba. Don't overwrite the work of others. Prefix branches with your gitlab username, eg:


In return you get a full CI run using Samba Team provided resources. That in turn makes it easier for Samba Team members doing Code Review as your patches will work first time, and they can see proof of that.

If you describe your work in the branch name, this will make generating a merge request easier, as the branch name becomes the template title and allows ongoing distinct merge requests.

Step by step instructions

Add a git reference to the gitlab remote repository:

$ git remote add gitlab-ci

Name your branch for our shared repo:

$ git checkout -b $USER/foo

Push the current branch, overwriting any other changes there:

$ git push gitlab-ci -f

Pipelines, Successful tests and Debugging CI failures

Pushing branches to samba devel gitlab repo will initiate a full CI build test.

Code Review and using autobuild to merge into master

Once submitted, Samba Team members (in particular) will review your changes, and post comments to you either on your merge request. Broader discussions happen on the list, so please ensure you are subscribed to samba-technical also.

Patches from non-samba team members require a minimum of 2 reviews from samba team members prior to patches being merged.

Outside contributors are welcome to review patches also, this is a good way to learn more about Samba!

Merging patches from GitLab (for Samba Team members)

If the developer has created a merge request, then to merge, download the patch with (eg)

Add review tags and then 'git autobuild' locally. The merge button sadly doesn't work.

Then when the patch is in's git master close the merge request with a message like:

Merged into master as <git hash> for Samba <next version>.

See for example this closed merge request.

Mailing patches to samba-technical

While not ideal, submitting patches via the mailing list is possible and they may still be considered. To submit patches, use git format-patch and mail your patches to the samba-technical mailing list.

The preferred format for patch sets is a single-file bundle attached to the email you send to the list. Bundling can be automated by invoking git format-patch with the flag --stdout.

The disadvantages to this approach is that:

  • your patches risk being missed by an interested samba team member.
  • No instant feedback to you is possible regarding compilation errors and test failures
  • CI testing is still required, so a Samba developer will need to submit the patch to GitLab for you

Submitting a merge request is therefore preferred, because the latest version of your patches remain persistent and will not be forgotten.

git send-email

Using git send-email in the Samba project is not permitted. Doing so will cause, without manual work by the recipient, your patch to be credited to samba-technical@... not your own e-mail address.


Regardless of how you send us your patches, please ensure you have added Signed-off-by tags to your commits, and follow the Samba copyright policy

Whenever participating in the Samba community, please follow and respect the guidelines in How to do Samba: Nicely