Supporting continuity and open collaboration

Submitting a Pull Request

Like many open source projects, MariaDB accepts contributions through pull requests on GitHub, so if you’d like to contribute, you must first create an account on GitHub. After you’ve created the account you can follow these steps:

Fork the project on GitHub

Clone the project locally

  • First you need to get the code on your machine.
    git clone
  • Go to your local repository directory and create a development branch for your fix.
    git branch fix-bug-server 10.3
    git checkout fix-bug-server

Write your patch

  • You may want to read up on compiling and testing the server.
  • Code your patch and make sure to test it.
  • Follow the guidelines for creating a test case and run the full test suite to make sure nothing is broken.
  • Commit the patch, including the test and result files.
  • Follow the guidelines for writing a good commit message.
  • Push the changes to your repository.
    git push

    When pushing a branch to the remote for the first time, git may complain about having no upstream branch. Just run the command that is suggested there, for example:

    git push --set-upstream origin fix-bug-server
  • Once the branch is in your repository on GitHub, you will get the benefit of your changes being tested using Travis on multiple configurations. It’s worth it to check results to see if there are any failures. See if any failures are possibly caused by your patch.

Go to GitHub to initiate the pull request

  • Open your repository page
  • Go to the Pull requests tab and click on New Pull Request.
  • Choose the MariaDB repository and main development branch on the base fork side.
  • Choose your branch on the other side.
  • Make sure the commits you want are in the list, then click on Create pull request.
  • Mention in the pull request comment under which license you are providing the code. See pull request licensing below for more details.

We guarantee that every pull request will get a reply. Reviews can take longer, based on the complexity of the patch or the workload of developers. Members from the community may chip in to provide comments, however it is the main reviewer who will have the final say if a patch is accepted or if it requires further improvement.

Pull request licensing

All code in MariaDB comes from one of the following sources:

  • MySQL
  • Code developed by people employed by the MariaDB Foundation.
  • Code developed by people employed by MariaDB Corporation.
  • Code shared with the MariaDB Foundation under the MCA.
  • Code with a known origin that is under a permissive license (BSD or public domain).

If you want to submit code to the MariaDB Foundation, you must provide a shared copyright to your work. To do this, MariaDB Foundation requires pull requests to be submitted either under BSD New 3 Clause License, or under the MariaDB Contributor Agreement. This enables us to be able to give back contributions to other projects such as MySQL and it would not be possible to do so otherwise.

Best practices for pull requests

Keep your fork in sync

  • Before submitting a pull request, it is necessary to make sure your fork is up to date. To sync with upstream, you need to track the upstream repository and rebase on top of it.
    git remote add upstream
  • Whenever you want to merge with upstream, first fetch any changes, then rebase. This works assuming you never do any work on 10.3 yourself.
    git fetch upstream
    git checkout 10.3 && git rebase upstream/10.3
  • After rebasing on upstream, it’s useful to push the changes to your github repository.
    git push origin 10.3

Rebase the bug-fix branch before submitting

  • After rebasing the main branch on upstream, you can rebase your bug-fix too.

    git checkout fix-bug-server && git rebase 10.3
  • Rebasing allows a linear history and prevents unnecessary merge commits. We prefer to avoid merge commits if possible and this is usually the case for bug fixes.

Make sure your commit messages and content follow the following guidelines

  • A title should be around 70-ish characters, without an ending “.” (full stop).
  • Leave one empty line after the title.
  • Explain what the commit fixes and why. The “how” part is covered in code. Go into implementation details only if the problem needs further context, although these details should be visible in code comments as well. Use your best judgement here.
  • Try to keep the same coding style as you see in the files you change.

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