How to submit patches

Revision as of 09:35, 29 January 2020 by Xemul (talk | contribs) (Mail patches)
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Set up working environment

Although criu could be run as non-root (see Security), development is better to be done as root. For example, some tests require root. So, it would be a good idea to set up some recent Linux distro on a virtual machine.

Get the source code

The CRIU sources are tracked by Git. Official CRIU repo is at

The repository may contain multiple branches. Development happens in the criu-dev branch.

To clone CRIU repo and switch to the proper branch, run:

        git clone criu
        cd criu
        git checkout criu-dev


First, you need to install compile-time dependencies. Check Installation#Dependencies for more info.

To compile CRIU, run:


This should create the ./criu/criu executable.

Edit the source code

If you use ctags, you can generate the ctags file by running

       make tags

When you change the source code, please keep in mind the following code conventions:

Other conventions can be learned from the source code itself. In short, make sure your new code looks similar to what is already there.

Test your changes

CRIU comes with an extensive test suite. To check whether your changes introduce any regressions, run

        make test

The command runs ZDTM Test Suite. Check for any error messages produced by it.

In case you'd rather have someone else run the tests, you can use travis-ci for your own github fork of CRIU. It will check the compilation for various supported platforms, as well as run most of the tests from the suite. See for more details.

Make a patch

To create a patch, run

   git format-patch --signoff origin/criu-dev

You might need to read GIT documentation on how to prepare patches for mail submission. Take a look at and/or for details. It should not be hard at all.

We recommend to post patches using git send-email

 git send-email --cover-letter --no-chain-reply-to --annotate \
                --confirm=always criu-dev

Note that the git send-email subcommand may not be in the main git package and using it may require installation of a separate package, for example the "git-email" package in Fedora and Debian.

If this is your first time using git send-email, you might need to configure it to point it to your SMTP server with something like:

   git config --global sendemail.smtpServer

If you get tired of typing all the time, you can configure that to be automatically handled as well:

   git config

If a developer is sending another version of the patch (e.g. to address review comments), they are advised to note differences to previous versions after the --- line in the patch so that it helps reviewers but doesn't become part of git history. Moreover, such patch needs to be prefixed correctly with --subject-prefix=PATCHv2 appended to git send-email (substitute v2 with the correct version if needed though).

Sign your work

To improve tracking of who did what, we ask you to sign off the patches that are to be emailed.

The sign-off is a simple line at the end of the explanation for the patch, which certifies that you wrote it or otherwise have the right to pass it on as an open-source patch. The rules are pretty simple: if you can certify the below:

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.

then you just add a line saying

       Signed-off-by: Random J Developer <random at>

using your real name (please, no pseudonyms or anonymous contributions if it possible).

Hint: you can use git commit -s to add Signed-off-by line to your commit message. To append such line to a commit you already made, use git commit --amend -s.

Example patch message

From: Random J Developer <random at>
Subject: [PATCH] Short patch description

Long patch description (could be skipped if patch
is trivial enough)

Signed-off-by: Random J Developer <random at>
Patch body here

Mail patches

The patches should be sent to CRIU development mailing list, criu AT Note that you need to be subscribed first in order to post. The list web interface is available at; you can also use standard mailman aliases to work with it.

Please make sure the email client you're using doesn't screw your patch (line wrapping and so on).

Note.svg Note: When sending a patch set that consists of more than one patch, please, push your changes in your local repo and provide the URL of the branch in the cover-letter

Wait for response

Be patient. Most CRIU developers are pretty busy people so if there is no immediate response on your patch — don't be surprised, sometimes a patch may fly around a week before it gets reviewed.

Continuous integration

Main article: Continuous integration

CRIU tests are run for each series sent to the mailing list. If you get a message from our patchwork that patches failed to pass the tests, you have to investigate what is wrong.

We also recommend you to enable Travis CI for your repo to check patches in your git branch, before sending them to the mailing list.