Contributing to Renku repositories

All our code base is available in the repositories in our GitHub organization. Apart from a few exceptions, we generally require any change to the master branch to go through a review process.

Merge changes

This is the standard flow:

  • Create a new branch, either on the target repository or on your fork, and open a pull request to merge the branch to master. If that addresses an issue, it’s good practice to prefix the name with the issue number.


    For a PR fixing issue 1234, you can use a branch name like 1234-fix-project-creation.

  • Verify that the tests pass and fix them if required. Remember to add new tests and adapt the existing ones whenever the changes to the code base justify it.

  • Ask for a review from one of the developers responsible for the repository. If possible, add to the reviewers also the person who opened the issue. Mind that some repositories automatically require review from specific groups of people when opening the PR.

  • Once approved, you can merge the PR. Try to stick with the following rules:

    • Follow the Conventional Commits specifications when writing a commit message.

    • Always mention the reference issue in the commit body (use fix #1234 or re #1234), unless the PR doesn’t explicitly fix any issue.

    • Include the PR number in the commit main message.


      For the PR 1235 fixing the issue 1234, you can write

      feat: add new parameter for initialization (#1235)
      fix #1234
    • Squash the PR commits when merging to master without creating an extra merge commit. If you prefer to keep more than one commit, you can rebase on your branch before merging.

Special cases

When dealing with one of our most important repositories ( renku renku-gateway renku-graph renku-notebooks renku-python renku-ui), it’s important that you run the acceptance tests and create a testing environment.

We use dedicated GitHub actions to automatize this process. This still requires something on your side since we don’t create such an environment for every PR.

The easiest way to deploy a test environment (including the changes from your PR) is to include the string-command /deploy anywhere in your PR description. That will trigger our CI.

You can specify a few extra bits after the command, like a tag/branch for other components (E.G. /deploy renku-ui=0.11.9) or the #notest string that prevents the acceptance tests from running when it’s not needed.


The acceptance tests take a long time to run. You can skip them whenever the change doesn’t affect the code (E.G. readme file, comments, etc.).

Please refer to the “check PR description” action for further information about the commands supported by the /deploy keyword.