Git can have a bit of a steep learning curve, stick with it as it is worth learning the basics2 at least.

If you want to help develop LibreNMS and haven't really used Git before then this quick primer will help you get started.

Some assumptions:

  • Work is being done on a Linux box.
  • LibreNMS is to be installed in /opt/librenms
  • You have git installed.
  • You have a GitHub Account.
  • You are using ssh to connect to GitHub (If not, replace git@github.com:/yourusername/librenms.git with https://github.com/yourusername/librenms.git.

Replace yourusername with your GitHub username.

Fork LibreNMS repo

You do this directly within GitHub, click the 'Fork' button near the top right.

If you are associated with multiple organisations within GitHub then you might need to select which account you want to push the fork to.

Prepare your git environment

These are the defaults that are recommended.

git config branch.autosetupmerge true
git config --global user.name "John Doe"
git config --global user.email johndoe@example.com

Clone the repo

Ok so now that you have forked the repo, you now need to clone it to your local install where you can then make the changes you need and submit them back.

cd /opt/
git clone git@github.com:/yourusername/librenms.git

Add Upstream repo

To be able to pull in changes from the master LibreNMS repo you need to have it setup on your system.

git remote add upstream https://github.com/librenms/librenms.git

Now you have two configured remotes:

  • origin: This is your repository, you can push and pull changes here.
  • upstream: This is the main LibreNMS repository and you can only pull changes.

Workflow guide

As you become more familiar you may find a better workflow that fits your needs, until then this should be a safe workflow for you to follow.

Before you start work on a new branch / feature. Make sure you are up to date.

cd /opt/librenms
git checkout master
git pull upstream master
git push origin master

Now, create a new branch to do you work on. It's important that you do this as you are then able to work on more than one feature at a time and submit them as pull requests individually. If you did all your work in the master branch then it gets a bit messy!

Ideally you want to create your new branch name based of the issue number. So firstly create an issue on GitHub so that others are aware of the work going on. If the issue number you created is 123 then use issue-123 as the branch name.

git checkout -b issue-123

Now, code away. Make the changes you need, test, change and test again :) When you are ready to submit the updates as a pull request then commit away.

git add path/to/new/files/or/folders
git commit -a -m 'Added feature to do X, Y and Z'
git checkout master
git pull upstream master
git push origin master
git checkout issue-123
git pull origin master
git push origin issue-123

If after do this you get some merge conflicts then you need to resolve these before carrying on.

Now you will be ready to submit a pull request from within GitHub. To do this, go to your GitHub page for the LibreNMS repo. Now select the branch you have just been working on (issue-123) from the drop down to the left and then click 'Pull Request'. Fill in the details to describe the work you have done and click 'Create pull request'.

Thanks for your first pull request :) Now, that might have been a simple update, if things get a bit more complicated then you will need to break down your pull request into separate commits (still a single pull request). This is usually done when:

  • You want to add / update MIBS. Do this in a separate commit including the link to where you got them from.
  • You are adding say 3 related features in one go, try and break them down into 3 separate commits.
  • Icons for new OS support need to be added as a separate commit including a link to where you got the logo from.

Ok, that should get you started on the contributing path. If you have any other questions then stop by our IRC Channel on Freenode ##librenms.