How to contribute to syzkaller


If you want to contribute to the project, feel free to send a pull request.

Before sending a pull request you need to sign Google CLA (if you don't a bot will ask you to do that) and add yourself to AUTHORS/CONTRIBUTORS files (in case this is your first pull request to syzkaller).

Some guildelines to follow:

  • Commit messages should follow the following template:
dir/path: one-line description
<empty line>
Extended multi-line description that includes
the problem you are solving and how it is solved.

dir/path is a relative path to the main dir this commit changes (look at examples in the commit history).
Please pay attention to punctuation. In particular:

  • one-line description does not start with a Capital letter.
  • there is no dot at the end of one-line description.
  • Extended multi-line description is full English sentenses with Capital letters and dots.


  • If you commit fixes an issue, please include Fixes #NNN line into commit message (where NNN is issue number). This will auto-close the issue. If you need to mention an issue without closing it, add Update #NNN.
  • The pull request text is mostly irrelevant.
  • Run make presubmit and ensure that it passes before sending a PR. It may require some additional packages to be installed (try sudo make install_prerequisites).
  • All generated files (*.const, *.go, *.h) are checked-in with the *.txt changes in the same commit. Namely, make generate must not produce any diff in the tree.
  • Rebase your pull request onto the master branch before submitting.
  • If you're asked to add some fixes to your pull requested, please squash the new commits with the old ones.

What to work on

Extending/improving system call descriptions is always a good idea.

Unassigned issues from the bug tracker are worth doing, but some of them might be complicated.

If you want to work on something non-trivial, please briefly describe it on the mailing list first, so that there is agreement on high level approach and no duplication of work between contributors.


syzkaller is written in Go, and a Go 1.11 or Go 1.12 toolchain is required for build. The toolchain can be installed with:

go get
go1.12 download
# Default download path is here.
~/sdk/go1.12/bin/go version
export GOROOT=$HOME/sdk/go1.12
export PATH=$HOME/sdk/go1.12/bin:$PATH

Then get and build syzkaller:

go get -u -d
cd $HOME?/go/src/

Note: older versions of Go toolchain formatted code in a slightly different way. So if you are seeing unrelated code formatting diffs after running make generate or make format, you may be using Go 1.10 or older. In such case update to Go 1.11+.

How to create a pull request

  • First, you need an own git fork of syzkaller repository. Nagivate to and press Fork button in the top-right corner of the page. This will create repository.
  • Checkout main syzkaller repository if you have not already. To work with go command the checkout must be under $GOPATH. The simplest way to do it is to run go get, this will checkout the repository in $GOPATH/src/
  • Then add your repository as an additional origin:
cd $GOPATH/src/
git remote add my-origin
git fetch my-origin
git checkout -b my-branch my-origin/master

This adds git origin my-origin with your repository and checks out new branch my-branch based on master branch.

  • Change/add files as necessary.
  • Commit changes locally. For this you need to run git add for all changed files, e.g. git add sys/linux/sys.txt. You can run git status to see what files were changed/created. When all files are added (git status shows no files in Changes not staged for commit section and no relevant files in Untracked files section), run git commit and enter commit description in your editor.
  • Run tests locally (make install_prerequisites followed by make presubmit).
  • Push the commit to your fork on github with git push my-origin my-branch.
  • Nagivate to and you should see green Compare & pull request button, press it. Then press Create pull request. Now your pull request should show up on pull requests page.
  • If you don't see Create pull request button for any reason, you can create pull request manually. For that nagivate to pull requests page, press New pull request, then compare across forks and choose google/syzkaller/master as base and YOUR_GITHUB_USERNAME/syzkaller/my-branch as compare and press Create pull request.
  • If you decided to rebase commits in my-branch (e.g. to rebase them onto updated master) after you created a pull-request, you will need to do a force push: git push -f my-origin my-branch.