How can I contribute?


Except where otherwise indicated in a given source file, all original contributions to Avocado are licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) or any later version.

By contributing you agree with: a) our code of conduct; b) that these contributions are your own (or approved by your employer), and c) you grant a full, complete, irrevocable copyright license to all users and developers of the Avocado project, present and future, pursuant to the license of the project.

Report a bug

If Avocado crashes on you, or if one of the Avocado “selftests” fail, congratulations, you may have just found a bug. And If you have precise steps to reproduce, awesome! You’re on your way to reporting a useful bug report.

Don’t be afraid to report bugs, even if you’re not sure if they’re valid. The most that can happen is that we find out together that this is a feature instead!

Avocado is using GitHub’s issue tracking system for collecting and discussing issues. If you have a possible candidate, do not hesitate, share with us by creating a new bug report.

Suggest enhancements

The same is valid when suggesting a new feature or enhancements: Don’t think twice, just submit the feature request using the same link. Our community will evaluate if the feature request is valid and when it might become a part of the Avocado Framework.

Contribute with code

Avocado uses GitHub and its pull request development model. You can find a primer on how to use GitHub pull requests here.

Every Pull Request you send will be automatically tested by the CI system and review will take place in the Pull Request as well.

Remember that we do have a small “Feature Freeze” period right before the release day (usually no longer than one week). It means that during this time, no new feature can be merged into the master branch.

Git workflow

  • Fork the repository in GitHub.

  • Clone from your fork:

    $ git clone<username>/avocado.git
  • Enter the directory:

    $ cd avocado
  • Create a remote, pointing to the upstream:

    $ git remote add upstream
  • Configure your name and e-mail in git:

    $ git config --global "Your Name"
    $ git config --global
  • Golden tip: never work on local branch master. Instead, create a new local branch and checkout to it:

    $ git checkout -b my_new_local_branch
  • Code and then commit your changes:

    $ git add
    $ git commit -s
    # or "git commit -as" to commit all changes

See also

Please, read our Commit Style Guide on Style Guides section manual.

  • Make sure your code is working (install your version of avocado, test your change, run make check to make sure you didn’t introduce any regressions).

  • Rebase your local branch on top of upstream master:

    $ git fetch
    $ git rebase upstream/master
    (resolve merge conflicts, if any)
  • Push your commit(s) to your fork:

    $ git push origin my_new_local_branch
  • Create the Pull Request on GitHub. Add the relevant information to the Pull Request description.

  • Check if your Pull Request passes the CI system. Your Pull Request will probably be ignored until it’s all green.

Now you’re waiting for feedback on GitHub Pull Request page. Once you get some, join the discussion, answer the questions, make clear if you’re going to change the code based on some review and, if not, why. Feel free to disagree with the reviewer, they probably have different use cases and opinions, which is expected. Try describing yours and suggest other solutions, if necessary.

Then, proceed to make the changes. This is a typical workflow:

  • Code, and amend the commit(s) and/or create new commits. If you have more than one commit in the PR, you will probably need to rebase interactively to amend the right commits. git cola or git citool can be handy here.

  • Rebase your local branch on top of upstream master:

    $ git fetch
    $ git rebase upstream/master
    (resolve merge conflicts, if any)
  • Push your changes:

    $ git push --force origin my_new_local_branch

Please communicate to the reviewers what the summary of changes are. Also, make use of GitHub’s features to ease the reviewers’ life, such as marking comments as “resolved”. Reviewers should make use of GitHub’s “compare” feature to more easily verify the changes since the last iteration.

After your PR gets merged, you can sync the master branch on your local repository propagate the sync to the master branch in your fork repository on GitHub:

$ git checkout master
$ git pull upstream master
$ git push

From time to time, you can remove old branches to avoid pollution:

# To list branches along with time reference:
$ git for-each-ref --sort='-authordate:iso8601' --format=' %(authordate:iso8601)%09%(refname)' refs/heads
# To remove branches from your fork repository:
$ git push origin :my_old_branch

Code Review

Every single Pull Request in Avocado has to be reviewed by at least one other developer. All members of the core team have permission to merge a Pull Request, but some conditions have to be fulfilled before merging the code:

  • Pull Request has to pass the CI tests.

  • One ‘Approved’ code review should be given.

  • No explicit disapproval should be present.

Pull Requests failing in CI will not be merged, and reviews won’t be given to them until all the problems are sorted out. In case of a weird failure, or false-negative (eg. due to too many commits in a single PR), please reach the developers by @name/email or other means.

While reviewing the code, one should:

  • Verify that the code is sound and clean.

  • Run the highest level of selftests per each new commit in the merge. The contrib/scripts/ contrib script should simplify this step.

  • Verify that code works to its purpose.

  • Make sure the commits organization is proper (i.e. code is well organized in atomic commits, there’s no extra/unwanted commits, …).

  • Provide an in-line feedback with explicit questions and/or requests of improvements.

  • Provide a general feedback in the review message, being explicit about what’s expected for the next Pull Request version, if that’s the case.

When the Pull Request is approved, the reviewer will merge the code or wait for someone with merge permission to merge it.


The contrib/scripts/ script is here to simplify the per-commit-check. You can simply prepare the merge and initiate AVOCADO_CHECK_LEVEL=99 contrib/scripts/ to run all checks per each commit between your branch and the same branch on the origin/master (you can specify different remote origin).

Use ./contrib/scripts/ -h to learn more about the options. We can recommend the following command:

$ ./contrib/scripts/ -i -v


Before first use you might need to create ~/.config/github_checker.ini and fill GitHub user/token entries (while on it you can also specify some defaults)

Share your tests

We encourage you or your company to create public Avocado tests repositories so the community can also benefit of your tests. We will be pleased to advertise your repository here in our documentation.

List of known community and third party maintained repositories:

  • Community maintained Avocado miscellaneous tests repository. There you will find, among others, performance tests like lmbench, stress, cpu tests like ebizzy and generic tests like ltp. Some of them were ported from Autotest Client Tests repository.


The process of contributing documentation is very similar to the process of contributing code. The only noteworthy difference is that instead of running make check to verify the soundness of the changes, you should build the documentation with a command such as:

$ make -C docs html

If there are any warnings or errors introduced by your changes, the documentation will fail to build, showing the cause, such as in:

Warning, treated as error:
$HOME/avocado/docs/source/guides/contributor/chapters/how.rst:239:Unknown directive type "foo".

.. foo:: bar
make: *** [Makefile:48: html] Error 2

A similar check is also performed by the CI, via