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// This file is part of the Doxygen Developer Manual
/** @page patchguide Patch Guidelines
\attention You can't send patches to the mailing list anymore at all. Nowadays
you are expected to send patches to the OpenOCD Gerrit GIT server for a
\attention If you already have a Gerrit account and want to try a
different sign in method, please first sign in as usually, press your
name in the upper-right corner, go to @a Settings, select @a
Identities pane, press <em>Link Another Identity</em> button. In case
you already have duplicated accounts, ask administrators for manual
\attention If you're behind a corporate wall with http only access to the
world, you can still use these instructions!
@section gerrit Submitting patches to the OpenOCD Gerrit server
OpenOCD is to some extent a "self service" open source project, so to
contribute, you must follow the standard procedures to have the best
possible chance to get your changes accepted.
The procedure to create a patch is essentially:
- make the changes
- create a commit
- send the changes to the Gerrit server for review
- correct the patch and re-send it according to review feedback
Your patch (or commit) should be a "good patch": focus it on a single
issue, and make it easily reviewable. Don't make
it so large that it's hard to review; split large
patches into smaller ones (this will also help
to track down bugs later). All patches should
be "clean", which includes preserving the existing
coding style and updating documentation as needed. When adding a new
command, the corresponding documentation should be added to
@c doc/openocd.texi in the same commit. OpenOCD runs on both Little
Endian and Big Endian hosts so the code can't count on specific byte
ordering (in other words, must be endian-clean).
There are several additional methods of improving the quality of your
- Runtime testing with Valgrind Memcheck
This helps to spot memory leaks, undefined behaviour due to
uninitialized data or wrong indexing, memory corruption, etc.
- Clang Static Analyzer
Using this tool uncovers many different kinds of bugs in C code,
with problematic execution paths fully explained. It is a part of
standard Clang installation.
To generate a report, run this in the OpenOCD source directory:
mkdir build-scanbuild; cd build-scanbuild
scan-build ../configure
scan-build make CFLAGS="-std=gnu99 -I. -I../../jimtcl"
- Runtime testing with sanitizers
Both GCC and LLVM/Clang include advanced instrumentation options to
detect undefined behaviour and many kinds of memory
errors. Available with @c -fsanitize=* command arguments.
Example usage:
mkdir build-sanitizers; cd build-sanitizers
../configure CC=clang CFLAGS="-fno-omit-frame-pointer \
-fsanitize=address -fsanitize=undefined -ggdb3"
export ASAN_OPTIONS=detect_stack_use_after_return=1
src/openocd -s ../tcl -f /path/to/openocd.cfg
Please consider performing these additional checks where appropriate
(especially Clang Static Analyzer for big portions of new code) and
mention the results (e.g. "Valgrind-clean, no new Clang analyzer
warnings") in the commit message.
Say in the commit message if it's a bugfix (describe the bug) or a new
feature. Don't expect patches to merge immediately
for the next release. Be ready to rework patches
in response to feedback.
Add yourself to the GPL copyright for non-trivial changes.
@section stepbystep Step by step procedure
-# Create a Gerrit account at:
- On subsequent sign ins, use the full URL prefaced with 'http://'
For example:
-# Add a username to your profile.
After creating the Gerrit account and signing in, you will need to
add a username to your profile. To do this, go to 'Settings', and
add a username of your choice.
Your username will be required in step 3 and substituted wherever
the string 'USERNAME' is found.
-# Create an SSH public key following the directions on github: . You can skip step 3
(adding key to Github account) and 4 (testing) - these are useful only if
you actually use Github or want to test whether the new key works fine.
-# Add this new SSH key to your Gerrit account:
go to 'Settings' > 'SSH Public Keys', paste the contents of
~/.ssh/ into the text field (if it's not visible click on
'Add Key ...' button) and confirm by clicking 'Add' button.
-# Clone the git repository, rather than just download the source:
git clone git:// openocd
or if you have problems with the "git:" protocol, use
the slower http protocol:
git clone openocd
-# Set up Gerrit with your local repository. All this does it
to instruct git locally how to send off the changes.
-# Add a new remote to git using Gerrit username:
git remote add review ssh://
git config HEAD:refs/for/master
Or with http only:
git remote add review
git config HEAD:refs/for/master
The http password is configured from your gerrit settings -
\note If you want to simplify http access you can also add your http password to the url as follows:
git remote add review
\note All contributions should be pushed to @c refs/for/master on the
Gerrit server, even if you plan to use several local branches for different
topics. It is possible because @c for/master is not a traditional Git
-# You will need to install this hook, we will look into a better solution:
scp -p -P 29418 .git/hooks/
Or with http only:
mv commit-msg .git/hooks
chmod +x .git/hooks/commit-msg
\note A script exists to simplify the two items above. Execute:
tools/ <username>
With @<username@> being your Gerrit username.
-# Set up git with your name and email:
git config --global "John Smith"
git config --global ""
-# Work on your patches. Split the work into
multiple small patches that can be reviewed and
applied separately and safely to the OpenOCD
while(!done) {
work - edit files using your favorite editor.
run "git commit -s -a" to commit all changes.
run tools/ to verify your patch style is ok.
\note use "git add ." before commit to add new files.
Commit message template, notice the short first line.
The field '<c>specify touched area</c>'
should identify the main part or subsystem the patch touches.
specify touched area: short comment
<blank line>
Longer comments over several lines, explaining (where applicable) the
reason for the patch and the general idea the solution is based on,
any major design decisions, etc...
<blank line>
Signed-off-by: ...
flash/nor/atsame5: add SAME59 support
Add new device ID
flash/nor: flash driver for XYZ123
Add new flash driver for internal flash of ...
target/cortex_m: fix segmentation fault in cmd 'soft_reset_halt'
soft_reset_halt command failed reproducibly under following conditions: ...
Test for NULL pointer and return error ...
Reported-by: John Reporter <>
Fixes: 123456789abc ("target: the commit where the problem started")
doc: fix typos
See "git log" for more examples.
-# Next you need to make sure that your patches
are on top of the latest stuff on the server and
that there are no conflicts:
git pull --rebase origin master
-# Send the patches to the Gerrit server for review:
git push review
-# Forgot something, want to add more? Just make the changes and do:
git commit --amend
git push review
Further reading:
@section timeline When can I expect my contribution to be committed?
The code review is intended to take as long as a week or two to allow
maintainers and contributors who work on OpenOCD only in their spare
time opportunity to perform a review and raise objections.
With Gerrit much of the urgency of getting things committed has been
removed as the work in progress is safely stored in Gerrit and
available if someone needs to build on your work before it is
submitted to the official repository.
Another factor that contributes to the desire for longer cool-off
times (the time a patch lies around without any further changes or
comments), it means that the chances of quality regression on the
master branch will be much reduced.
If a contributor pushes a patch, it is considered good form if another
contributor actually approves and submits that patch.
It should be noted that a negative review in Gerrit ("-1" or "-2") may (but does
not have to) be disregarded if all conditions listed below are met:
- the concerns raised in the review have been addressed (or explained),
- reviewer does not re-examine the change in a month,
- reviewer does not answer e-mails for another month.
@section browsing Browsing Patches
All OpenOCD patches can be reviewed <a href="">here</a>.
@section reviewing Reviewing Patches
From the main <a href=",n,z">Review
page</a> select the patch you want to review and click on that patch. On the
appearing page select the download method (top right). Apply the
patch. After building and testing you can leave a note with the "Reply"
button and mark the patch with -1, 0 and +1.
/** @file
This file contains the @ref patchguide page.