How to contribute

We definitely welcome patches and contribution to grpc! Here is some guideline and information about how to do so.

Getting started

Legal requirements

In order to protect both you and ourselves, you will need to sign the Contributor License Agreement.

Technical requirements

You will need several tools to work with this repository. In addition to all of the packages described in the INSTALL file, you will also need python, and the mako template renderer. To install the latter, using pip, one should simply be able to do pip install mako.

In order to run all of the tests we provide, you will need valgrind and clang. More specifically, under debian, you will need the package libc++-dev to properly run all the tests.

Compiling and running grpc C++ tests depend on protobuf 3.0.0, gtest and gflags. Although gflags is provided in third_party, you will need to manually install that dependency on your system to run these tests. Under a Debian or Ubuntu system, you can install the gtests and gflags packages using apt-get:

 $ [sudo] apt-get install libgflags-dev libgtest-dev

If you are planning to work on any of the languages other than C and C++, you will also need their appropriate development environments.

If you want to work under Windows, we recommend the use of Visual Studio 2013. The Community or Express editions are free and suitable for developing with grpc. Note however that our test environment and tools are available for Unix environments only at the moment.

Testing your changes

We provide a tool to help run the suite of tests in various environments. In order to run most of the available tests, one would need to run:


If you want to run tests for any of the languages {c, c++, csharp, node, objc, php, python, ruby}, do this:

./tools/run_tests/ -l <lang>

To know about the list of available commands, do this:

./tools/run_tests/ -h

Adding or removing source code

Each language uses its own build system to work. Currently, the root's Makefile and the Visual Studio project files are building only the C and C++ source code. In order to ease the maintenance of these files, we have a template system. Please do not contribute manual changes to any of the generated files. Instead, modify the template files, or the build.yaml file, and re-generate the project files using the following command:


You'll find more information about this in the templates folder.