5. Contributing Code to DPDK
This document outlines the guidelines for submitting code to DPDK.
The DPDK development process is modelled (loosely) on the Linux Kernel development model so it is worth reading the Linux kernel guide on submitting patches: How to Get Your Change Into the Linux Kernel. The rationale for many of the DPDK guidelines is explained in greater detail in the kernel guidelines.
5.1. The DPDK Development Process
The DPDK development process has the following features:
- The code is hosted in a public git repository.
- There is a mailing list where developers submit patches.
- There are maintainers for hierarchical components.
- Patches are reviewed publicly on the mailing list.
- Successfully reviewed patches are merged to the repository.
- Patches should be sent to the target repository or sub-tree, see below.
- All sub-repositories are merged into main repository for
-rc2versions of the release.
- After the
-rc2release all patches should target the main repository.
The development process requires some familiarity with the
git version control system.
Refer to the Pro Git Book for further information.
5.2. Maintainers and Sub-trees
The DPDK maintenance hierarchy is divided into a main repository
dpdk and sub-repositories
There are maintainers for the trees and for components within the tree.
Trees and maintainers are listed in the
MAINTAINERS file. For example:
Crypto Drivers -------------- M: Some Name <email@example.com> B: Another Name <firstname.lastname@example.org> T: git://dpdk.org/next/dpdk-next-crypto Intel AES-NI GCM PMD M: Some One <email@example.com> F: drivers/crypto/aesni_gcm/ F: doc/guides/cryptodevs/aesni_gcm.rst
Mis a tree or component maintainer.
Bis a tree backup maintainer.
Tis a repository tree.
Fis a maintained file or directory.
Additional details are given in the
The role of the component maintainers is to:
- Review patches for the component or delegate the review. The review should be done, ideally, within 1 week of submission to the mailing list.
- Add an
acked-byto patches, or patchsets, that are ready for committing to a tree.
Component maintainers can be added or removed by submitting a patch to the
Maintainers should have demonstrated a reasonable level of contributions or reviews to the component area.
The maintainer should be confirmed by an
ack from an established contributor.
There can be more than one component maintainer if desired.
The role of the tree maintainers is to:
- Maintain the overall quality of their tree. This can entail additional review, compilation checks or other tests deemed necessary by the maintainer.
- Commit patches that have been reviewed by component maintainers and/or other contributors. The tree maintainer should determine if patches have been reviewed sufficiently.
- Ensure that patches are reviewed in a timely manner.
- Prepare the tree for integration.
- Ensure that there is a designated back-up maintainer and coordinate a handover for periods where the tree maintainer can’t perform their role.
Tree maintainers can be added or removed by submitting a patch to the
The proposer should justify the need for a new sub-tree and should have demonstrated a sufficient level of contributions in the area or to a similar area.
The maintainer should be confirmed by an
ack from an existing tree maintainer.
Disagreements on trees or maintainers can be brought to the Technical Board.
The backup maintainer for the master tree should be selected from the existing sub-tree maintainers from the project. The backup maintainer for a sub-tree should be selected from among the component maintainers within that sub-tree.
5.3. Getting the Source Code
The source code can be cloned using either of the following:
git clone git://dpdk.org/dpdk git clone http://dpdk.org/git/dpdk
git clone git://dpdk.org/next/dpdk-next-* git clone http://dpdk.org/git/next/dpdk-next-*
5.4. Make your Changes
Make your planned changes in the cloned
dpdk repo. Here are some guidelines and requirements:
- Follow the DPDK Coding Style guidelines.
- If you add new files or directories you should add your name to the
- New external functions should be added to the local
version.mapfile. See the Guidelines for ABI policy and versioning. New external functions should also be added in alphabetical order.
- Important changes will require an addition to the release notes in
doc/guides/rel_notes/. See the Release Notes section of the Documentation Guidelines for details.
- Test the compilation works with different targets, compilers and options, see Checking Compilation.
- Don’t break compilation between commits with forward dependencies in a patchset.
Each commit should compile on its own to allow for
git bisectand continuous integration testing.
- Add tests to the the
app/testunit test framework where possible.
- Add documentation, if relevant, in the form of Doxygen comments or a User Guide in RST format. See the Documentation Guidelines.
Once the changes have been made you should commit them to your local repo.
For small changes, that do not require specific explanations, it is better to keep things together in the same patch. Larger changes that require different explanations should be separated into logical patches in a patchset. A good way of thinking about whether a patch should be split is to consider whether the change could be applied without dependencies as a backport.
As a guide to how patches should be structured run
git log on similar files.
5.5. Commit Messages: Subject Line
The first, summary, line of the git commit message becomes the subject line of the patch email. Here are some guidelines for the summary line:
The summary line must capture the area and the impact of the change.
The summary line should be around 50 characters.
The summary line should be lowercase apart from acronyms.
It should be prefixed with the component name (use git log to check existing components). For example:
ixgbe: fix offload config option name config: increase max queues per port
Use the imperative of the verb (like instructions to the code base).
Don’t add a period/full stop to the subject line or you will end up two in the patch name:
The actual email subject line should be prefixed by
[PATCH] and the version, if greater than v1,
The is generally added by
git send-email or
git format-patch, see below.
If you are submitting an RFC draft of a feature you can use
[RFC] instead of
An RFC patch doesn’t have to be complete.
It is intended as a way of getting early feedback.
5.6. Commit Messages: Body
Here are some guidelines for the body of a commit message:
The body of the message should describe the issue being fixed or the feature being added. It is important to provide enough information to allow a reviewer to understand the purpose of the patch.
When the change is obvious the body can be blank, apart from the signoff.
The commit message must end with a
Signed-off-by:line which is added using:
git commit --signoff # or -s
The purpose of the signoff is explained in the Developer’s Certificate of Origin section of the Linux kernel guidelines.
All developers must ensure that they have read and understood the Developer’s Certificate of Origin section of the documentation prior to applying the signoff and submitting a patch.
The signoff must be a real name and not an alias or nickname. More than one signoff is allowed.
The text of the commit message should be wrapped at 72 characters.
When fixing a regression, it is a good idea to reference the id of the commit which introduced the bug. You can generate the required text using the following git alias:
git config alias.fixline "log -1 --abbrev=12 --format='Fixes: %h (\"%s\")'"
Fixes:line can then be added to the commit message:
doc: fix vhost sample parameter Update the docs to reflect removed dev-index. Fixes: 17b8320a3e11 ("vhost: remove index parameter") Signed-off-by: Alex Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When fixing an error or warning it is useful to add the error message and instructions on how to reproduce it.
Use correct capitalization, punctuation and spelling.
In addition to the
Signed-off-by: name the commit messages can also have one or more of the following:
Reported-by:The reporter of the issue.
Tested-by:The tester of the change.
Reviewed-by:The reviewer of the change.
Suggested-by:The person who suggested the change.
Acked-by:When a previous version of the patch was acked and the ack is still relevant.
5.7. Creating Patches
It is possible to send patches directly from git but for new contributors it is recommended to generate the
git format-patch and then when everything looks okay, and the patches have been checked, to
send them with
Here are some examples of using
git format-patch to generate patches:
# Generate a patch from the last commit. git format-patch -1 # Generate a patch from the last 3 commits. git format-patch -3 # Generate the patches in a directory. git format-patch -3 -o ~/patch/ # Add a cover letter to explain a patchset. git format-patch -3 -o ~/patch/ --cover-letter # Add a prefix with a version number. git format-patch -3 -o ~/patch/ -v 2
Cover letters are useful for explaining a patchset and help to generate a logical threading to the patches.
Smaller notes can be put inline in the patch after the
--- separator, for example:
Subject: [PATCH] fm10k/base: add FM10420 device ids Add the device ID for Boulder Rapids and Atwood Channel to enable drivers to support those devices. Signed-off-by: Alex Smith <email@example.com> --- ADD NOTES HERE. drivers/net/fm10k/base/fm10k_api.c | 6 ++++++ drivers/net/fm10k/base/fm10k_type.h | 6 ++++++ 2 files changed, 12 insertions(+) ...
Version 2 and later of a patchset should also include a short log of the changes so the reviewer knows what has changed. This can be added to the cover letter or the annotations. For example:
--- v3: * Fixed issued with version.map. v2: * Added i40e support. * Renamed ethdev functions from rte_eth_ieee15888_*() to rte_eth_timesync_*() since 802.1AS can be supported through the same interfaces.
5.8. Checking the Patches
Patches should be checked for formatting and syntax issues using the
checkpatches.sh script in the
directory of the DPDK repo.
This uses the Linux kernel development tool
checkpatch.pl which can be obtained by cloning, and periodically,
updating the Linux kernel sources.
The path to the original Linux script must be set in the environment variable
This, and any other configuration variables required by the development tools, are loaded from the following
files, in order of preference:
.develconfig ~/.config/dpdk/devel.config /etc/dpdk/devel.config.
Once the environment variable the script can be run as follows:
The script usage is:
checkpatches.sh [-h] [-q] [-v] [patch1 [patch2] ...]]"
-h: help, usage.
-q: quiet. Don’t output anything for files without issues.
patchX: path to one or more patches.
Then the git logs should be checked using the
The script usage is:
Where the range is a
git log option.
5.9. Checking Compilation
Compilation of patches and changes should be tested using the the
test-build.sh script in the
directory of the DPDK repo:
The script usage is:
test-build.sh [-h] [-jX] [-s] [config1 [config2] ...]]
-h: help, usage.
-jX: use X parallel jobs in “make”.
-s: short test with only first config and without examples/doc.
config: default config name plus config switches delimited with a
Examples of configs are:
x86_64-native-linuxapp-gcc x86_64-native-linuxapp-gcc+next+shared x86_64-native-linuxapp-clang+shared
The builds can be modifies via the following environmental variables:
These can be set from the command line or in the config files shown above in the Checking the Patches.
The recommended configurations and options to test compilation prior to submitting patches are:
x86_64-native-linuxapp-gcc+shared+next x86_64-native-linuxapp-clang+shared i686-native-linuxapp-gcc export DPDK_DEP_ZLIB=y export DPDK_DEP_PCAP=y export DPDK_DEP_SSL=y
5.10. Sending Patches
Patches should be sent to the mailing list using
You can configure an external SMTP with something like the following:
[sendemail] smtpuser = firstname.lastname@example.org smtpserver = smtp.domain.com smtpserverport = 465 smtpencryption = ssl
See the Git send-email documentation for more details.
The patches should be sent to
If the patches are a change to existing files then you should send them TO the maintainer(s) and CC
The appropriate maintainer can be found in the
git send-email --to email@example.com --cc firstname.lastname@example.org 000*.patch
New additions can be sent without a maintainer:
git send-email --to email@example.com 000*.patch
You can test the emails by sending it to yourself or with the
If the patch is in relation to a previous email thread you can add it to the same thread using the Message ID:
git send-email --to firstname.lastname@example.org --in-reply-to <email@example.com> 000*.patch
The Message ID can be found in the raw text of emails or at the top of each Patchwork patch,
Shallow threading (
--thread --no-chain-reply-to) is preferred for a patch series.
Once submitted your patches will appear on the mailing list and in Patchwork.
Experienced committers may send patches directly with
git send-email without the
git format-patch step.
confirm = always are recommended for checking patches before sending.
5.11. The Review Process
The more work you put into the previous steps the easier it will be to get a patch accepted.
The general cycle for patch review and acceptance is:
Submit the patch.
Check the automatic test reports in the coming hours.
Wait for review comments. While you are waiting review some other patches.
Fix the review comments and submit a
git format-patch -3 -v 2
Update Patchwork to mark your previous patches as “Superseded”.
If the patch is deemed suitable for merging by the relevant maintainer(s) or other developers they will
ackthe patch with an email that includes something like:
Acked-by: Alex Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Note: When acking patches please remove as much of the text of the patch email as possible. It is generally best to delete everything after the
Having the patch
Tested-by:will also help the patch to be accepted.
If the patch isn’t deemed suitable based on being out of scope or conflicting with existing functionality it may receive a
nack. In this case you will need to make a more convincing technical argument in favor of your patches.
In addition a patch will not be accepted if it doesn’t address comments from a previous version with fixes or valid arguments.
Acked patches will be merged in the current or next merge window.