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

Before making large changes

  • Discuss your idea

There is nothing worse that spending time making a change only for it to be rejected immediately. Ensure ideas are discussed beforehand to avoid disappointment. Appropriate locations for discussion are the issue tracker on gitlab, or the pacman-dev mailing list. Transient discussion channels such as IRC are not appropriate.

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 <>

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.

Submitting your patch

  • Submit patches with a gitlab merge request

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

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.