This document is here mainly to make the job of those who review patches easier and is more of a guideline and not a strict set of rules. However, please try to follow as much as you can.

Note Some of this is paraphrased from the kernel documentation’s "SubmittingPatches" file.

Getting the most recent source

Patches need to be submitted in GIT format and are best if they are against the latest version of the code. There are several helpful tutorials for getting started with GIT if you have not worked with it before.

The pacman code can be fetched using the following command:

git clone git://projects.archlinux.org/pacman.git

Creating your patch

  • Use git commit -s for creating a commit of your changes.

The -s allows you to credit yourself by adding a "Signed Off By" line to indicate who has "signed" the patch - who has approved it.

Signed-off-by: Aaron Griffin <aaron@archlinux.org>

Please use your real name and email address. Feel free to "scramble" the address if you’re afraid of spam.

  • Describe your patch.

It helps if you describe the overview and goals of the patch in the git commit log. This allows others to see what you intended so as to compare it to what was actually done, and allows better feedback.

  • Use git format-patch to create patches.

Your commit message will be shown above the patch by default when you will use git format-patch, including the signoff line. Sets of multiple patches that need extra explanation beyond the commit messages may include additional notes in a cover letter. Individual patches may include additional notes between the "---" following the commit message and the beginning of the diff.

Submitting your patch

  • Send the patch to the pacman-dev mailing list

The mailing list is the primary queue for review and acceptance. Here you will get feedback, and let the reviewers know the details of your patch.

  • No MIME, no links, no compression, no attachments. Just plain text.

Patches should be contained in the actual body of the email. There are many reasons for this. First, it makes them easier to read with any mail reader, it allows easier review "at a glance", and most importantly, it allows people to comment on exact lines of the patch in reply emails.

git send-email allows you to send Git-formatted patches in plain text easily and is the preferred method for submission to the mailing list. Mail clients, including Gmail’s web interface, have a tendency to break patches by wrapping lines and/or adjusting whitespace and should be avoided.

After you submit

  • Don’t get discouraged

Any feedback you get, positive or negative, has nothing to do with you. If a patch is rejected, try taking the suggestions into account and re-submitting. We welcome most submissions here, and some may take a bit longer to get looked over than others. If you think your patch got lost in the shuffle, send another email to the list in reply to the original asking if anyone has looked at it yet.

  • Respond to feedback

When you do get feedback, it usually merits a response, whether this be a resubmission of the patch with corrections or a follow-up email asking for clarifications. When neither of these occurs, don’t expect your patch to get further review. The all-volunteer staff don’t have time to fix up patches that aren’t their own. When resubmitting patches, update the subject line to reflect the version number ([PATCHv2]), and send it as a reply to the original thread.