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Pull Requests

Pull Requests are the primary mechanism we use to write software. GitHub has some great documentation on using the Pull Request feature.


In order to contribute to Bitwarden you will need to fork the relevant repository. For details on how to do this see this help article from GitHub. After forking the repository you will need to clone it locally.

# Example for the clients repository
git clone [email protected]:username/clients.git

It's also useful to add a upstream remote pointing to the official Bitwarden repository.

# Example for the clients repository, from the repository directory
git remote add upstream

This will allow you to pull in upstream changes easily by running.

# Example for the clients repository, from the repository directory
git fetch upstream


Each new feature or bug fix should be developed on a separate branch. Branches allow you to work on multiple features concurrently. In most cases you should branch from main. However, if you are working with other contributors we typically branch off a long-lived feature branch. Long-lived feature branches allow us to break up a single feature into multiple PRs, which can be reviewed individually but tested and released together.

As a community contributor you can use the following command to branch directly from the upstream main branch.

git checkout -b feature/example


We recommend grouping related changes together into a single commit. This can make it easier for reviewers to understand and assess the changes that are being proposed, while also giving the contributor checkpoints to revert to if something should go wrong.

We do not have a standard for how to structure commit messages (e.g. semantic commit messages). We encourage that commit messages should be within the 50-character limit so that git log can be used easily. If a commit message would take more than 50 characters it is best to break it up into smaller atomic changes for readability and malleability of the git history (reversion, cherry-picking, etc.).

More advanced contributors might find it useful to Rewrite History. This allows a contributor to revise their local history before pushing to the remote repository. A common use case is squashing multiple half-working commits.


Avoid force push once a PR has been reviewed.

Git operations that affect the existing git commits prevent GitHub from correctly identifying “new changes” to a PR forcing the reviewer to start over again.

Creating a pull request

The Bitwarden repositories have a Pull Request template which should be followed. This will ensure the PR review goes smoothly since it will provide context to the reviewer. Once a community PR has been created, it will be automatically be linked to an internal Jira ticket. The internal ticket is used for prioritization and tracking purposes.

Reviewing the pull request

Once a Community PR has been created a Bitwarden developer will perform a code review. While we try to this in a reasonable time frame, please understand that we have internal roadmaps and priorities that may delay this process.

How to perform a review

We've written up some guidelines for reviewing code, which we recommend reading before performing your first code review.