Check the following guidelines before contributing to the project.

Pull requests#

Changes to this project should be proposed as pull requests on GitHub at:

Proposed changes will then go through code review there and once approved, be merged in the main branch.

Commit structure#

Separate commits should be used for:

  • API extension (api: Add XYZ extension, contains doc/ and shared/version.api.go)

  • Documentation (doc: Update XYZ for files in doc/)

  • API structure (shared/api: Add XYZ for changes to shared/api/)

  • Go client package (client: Add XYZ for changes to client/)

  • CLI (lxc/<command>: Change XYZ for changes to lxc/)

  • Scripts (scripts: Update bash completion for XYZ for changes to scripts/)

  • LXD daemon (lxd/<package>: Add support for XYZ for changes to lxd/)

  • Tests (tests: Add test for XYZ for changes to tests/)

The same kind of pattern extends to the other tools in the LXD code tree and depending on complexity, things may be split into even smaller chunks.

When updating strings in the CLI tool (lxc/), you may need a commit to update the templates:

make i18n
git commit -a -s -m "i18n: Update translation templates" po/

When updating API (shared/api), you may need a commit to update the swagger YAML:

make update-api
git commit -s -m "doc/rest-api: Refresh swagger YAML" doc/rest-api.yaml

This structure makes it easier for contributions to be reviewed and also greatly simplifies the process of back-porting fixes to stable branches.

Developer Certificate of Origin#

To improve tracking of contributions to this project we use the DCO 1.1 and use a “sign-off” procedure for all changes going into the branch.

The sign-off is a simple line at the end of the explanation for the commit which certifies that you wrote it or otherwise have the right to pass it on as an open-source contribution.

Developer Certificate of Origin
Version 1.1

Copyright (C) 2004, 2006 The Linux Foundation and its contributors.
660 York Street, Suite 102,
San Francisco, CA 94110 USA

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this
license document, but changing it is not allowed.

Developer's Certificate of Origin 1.1

By making a contribution to this project, I certify that:

(a) The contribution was created in whole or in part by me and I
    have the right to submit it under the open source license
    indicated in the file; or

(b) The contribution is based upon previous work that, to the best
    of my knowledge, is covered under an appropriate open source
    license and I have the right under that license to submit that
    work with modifications, whether created in whole or in part
    by me, under the same open source license (unless I am
    permitted to submit under a different license), as indicated
    in the file; or

(c) The contribution was provided directly to me by some other
    person who certified (a), (b) or (c) and I have not modified

(d) I understand and agree that this project and the contribution
    are public and that a record of the contribution (including all
    personal information I submit with it, including my sign-off) is
    maintained indefinitely and may be redistributed consistent with
    this project or the open source license(s) involved.

An example of a valid sign-off line is:

Signed-off-by: Random J Developer <>

Use your real name and a valid e-mail address. Sorry, no pseudonyms or anonymous contributions are allowed.

We also require each commit be individually signed-off by their author, even when part of a larger set. You may find git commit -s useful.

Code of Conduct#

When contributing, you must adhere to the Code of Conduct, which is available at:

Getting Started Developing#

Follow the steps below to set up your development environment to get started working on new features for LXD.

Building Dependencies#

To build the dependencies, follow the instructions in Installing LXD from source.

Adding Your Fork Remote#

After building your dependencies, you can now add your GitHub fork as a remote:

git remote add myfork<your_username>/lxd.git
git remote update

Then switch to it:

git checkout myfork/master

Building LXD#

Finally, you should be able to make inside the repository and build your fork of the project.

At this point, you would most likely want to create a new branch for your changes on your fork:

git checkout -b [name_of_your_new_branch]
git push myfork [name_of_your_new_branch]

Important Notes for New LXD Contributors#

  • Persistent data is stored in the LXD_DIR directory which is generated by lxd init. The LXD_DIR defaults to /var/lib/lxd or /var/snap/lxd/common/lxd for snap users.

  • As you develop, you may want to change the LXD_DIR for your fork of LXD so as to avoid version conflicts.

  • Binaries compiled from your source will be generated in the $(go env GOPATH)/bin directory by default.

    • You will need to explicitly invoke these binaries (not the global lxd you may have installed) when testing your changes.

    • You may choose to create an alias in your ~/.bashrc to call these binaries with the appropriate flags more conveniently.

  • If you have a systemd service configured to run the LXD daemon from a previous installation of LXD, you may want to disable it to avoid version conflicts.