Contributing Fixes

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The project is open for external contributions … and we welcome them!

While we are only accepting bug fixes for the moment we will be opening it up more broadly soon. We are taking it step by step.

When you start working on this project you will be a “project contributor”, which does not give you the right to commit code directly, but you will be able to upload patches for review. The patches will be submitted for you after approval.

After 10-20 non-trivial patches you can apply for commit rights. We will start the external contributions at a small scale, so please ask for access only when you have found a bug and have implemented a fix for it.

How to Create a Patch

These instructions assume you already have followed the getting started guide and can build the WebRTC code. The work flow is:

  1. Make sure you accept and fill out the contributor agreement

  2. Edit the code and collect your changes in a change list (CL)

  3. If you’ve never submitted code before, you must add your (or your organization’s in the case the contributor agreement is signed by your organization) name and contact info to the AUTHORS file

  4. Upload the CL for review and add suitable reviewers.

  5. After getting feedback, modify and upload new version of your CL (repeat as needed).

  6. Commit your change, or ask a reviewer to do it for you if you don’t have access right.

Please help us:

  • Remember to keep your change lists small and focused.

  • Never fix more than one bug in each CL.

  • New features will probably require dividing your work into multiple CLs. (No new features just yet!)

Writing or Modifying GN Targets

We provide the following GN Templates to ensure that all our targets are built with the same configuration:

  • rtc_test which replaces test
  • rtc_source_set which replaces source_set
  • rtc_executable which replaces executable
  • rtc_static_library which replaces static_library
  • rtc_shared_library which replaces shared_library

All templates include both common_config and common_inherited_config by default, and use the optimize_max compiler configuration in Windows instead of the default.

The rtc_executable template also includes //build/config/sanitizers:deps to allow compilation with sanitizers.


Your commit will be subject to a number of automated tests that is run on several platforms by our continuous integration system. Ask your developer contact for what tests to run. When your patch is committed, the developer will get back to you with the continuous build result.

Code Style

We follow the Chromium style guides, with the exception that Java follows the Google Java Style Guide. However, it is usually a good idea to maintain consistency with nearby code, so when making changes to old, non-compliant code it may be better to maintain its non-compliant style—or to lead with a CL that makes the whole chunk of non-compliant code comply with the style guide.

To format the code in a CL, you can use git cl format. To manually run the C++ lint checker, use

Contributor Agreement

To contribute code, you will need to fill in one of the following required contributor agreements

Also, please re-read our project’s license and patent grant.

Detailed Instructions

Creating your CL

To create a CL after you’ve done some edits (in a local Git branch):

git cl upload

This will open a text editor showing all local commit messages, allowing you to modify it before it becomes the CL description. Save and close the file to proceed with the upload to the WebRTC code review server.

Referencing bugs

In your CL description you should always try to reference a bug using the BUG= field. After the equals sign you should add a prefix followed by the bug number in the issue tracker of your bug:

Getting your CL Reviewed

The upload command will output a URL that you can use to directly access your CL, add reviewers etc.

Add the reviewers that should review your change, including at least one of the directory owners for each directory you modify. See the OWNERS files in the source tree and read more about OWNERS files if needed.

A CL must be approved by a directory owner to be able to commit. To send out a mail with the CL to everybody included you need to press Publish+Mail Comments.

During the commenting process you need do Publish+Mail Comments again to make the comments visible, so you can first comment all files and send it out once. Reviewers are not notified when you upload a patch; you must again mail them.

Running Tryjobs

As a committer, you should run tryjobs before committing to ensure you don’t break the tree:

To run a try job on your CL, run:

git cl try

The results will be presented in the code review web UI. You can also click the “CQ dry run” link. Both these alternatives will trigger the default trybots that are configured in infra/config/cq.cfg. To run tryjobs on a smaller set of bots; use the -b (–bot) flag:

git cl try -b mac -b mac_rel -m tryserver.webrtc

You can see the available trybot names by clicking the “Choose trybots” link in Rietveld (scroll down to tryserver.webrtc).

Tryjobs on Chromium trybots

It is also possible to send patches from a standalone WebRTC checkout to the Chromium trybots. This makes it possible to catch breakages in the waterfall before submit, i.e. detect errors that otherwise would not be revealed until WebRTC is rolled in Chromium’s DEPS file!

To use this feature:

  1. Create a Rietveld CL as usual.

  2. Schedule the tryjobs using any of the following approaches:

    Rietveld UI: Click the “Choose trybots” link or add a line like this to your CL’s description:


    Adjust it to your needs but make sure to follow the format convention: semicolon between try servers and comma-separated bot names. Then send it to CQ (or CQ dry run).

    Command line:

    git cl try -m tryserver.chromium.{linux,mac,win,android} -b <bot>

    To see available trybots, click the “Choose trybots” link in Rietveld.

  3. The trybot results will be posted back to the Reitveld UI for the CL.

Example preset selection of bots (notice this may quickly become outdated):

git cl try -m -b win_chromium_rel_ng
git cl try -m -b android_compile_dbg -b linux_android_rel_ng
git cl try -m tryserver.chromium.linux -b linux_chromium_rel_ng
git cl try -m tryserver.chromium.mac -b mac_chromium_rel_ng -b ios-device
Note about which tests are run

Our bots in the waterfall runs special video and audio quality tests + webcam tests that are not run on Chromium trybots. This is useful to know since there may still be a breakage at those bots even if your CL passes the Chromium trybots.

Note about the “without patch” feature of Chromium trybots

Chromium trybots have a feature where they deapply the patch upon a compile or test failure. Doing this, it will restore the revision of src/third_party/webrtc to HEAD revision (i.e. not the DEPS-pinned revision). This makes it possible that a test still fails without the patch in case there’s currently an error for the HEAD revision of WebRTC when built inside Chromium.

Committing your CL

After the review process is done and you get LGTM (Looks Good To Me) from all reviewers you can go ahead and submit your change, assuming you’re an approved committer. If you’re not a committer, you’ll need to ask one of the reviewers to submit the CL for you using the Commit Queue (CQ).

See the “Committing Code” section at the Development page for details on how to commit the CL.