Open Source Patching

Common rules

For all patches to open source projects:

  • If patching a project on GitHub, you must register your GitHub ID at go/github first.

  • If project authors are listed in a LICENSE, COPYING, AUTHORS or similar file, please add Google LLC. if it’s not already there. If Google Inc. is already listed then there is no need to change it to Google LLC. This step only applies if the project authors are listed somewhere.

  • Please associate your commit with your email unless you have a history of contributing to the repo under a different email before your employment at Google. How to associate your commit with a email.

Please recall that Google will claim copyright and other ownership rights over your patches.


Patches that don’t require any review!

You may submit your patch for any of the following repos without using the form at the bottom of this page. No review required! You must still follow the common rules.

  • Any project which is a public repo on GitHub, and is under the Apache 2, MIT, BSD, LGPL*, GPL*, MPL, EPL, ISC, CC-BY, CC-BY-SA, OFL, MS-PL, or Boost Software License licenses, and does not not require you to sign anything not found on the pre-approved CLA list below.

  • Any repo for which you’ve already been given blanket approval from OSPO or used the approval form once.

  • Any Google-maintained open source project like Chromium, Android, Go, etc.

Forbidden patches

You can’t patch projects with any of the following licenses:

  • No License
  • AGPL
  • cc0
  • CC BY-NC-* (this restricts Google access to that code)

See go/whatisalicense for more information on licenses.

You can’t sync .vimrc and other dot files between your Google workstation or Google laptop and GitHub. Too much internal info has been leaked this way. You may only import dot files into Google. To set up a personal Git repository for your Google dot files, see go/gob-user.

The following patches are not allowed without SVP approval. Please obtain SVP approval by email and forward it to emailremoved@. You may also email emailremoved@ with any questions.

List of patch types removed.

Use the form for all other patches, but only once per repo.

IMPORTANT: You must go through this process (and submit the form if necessary) before sharing a patch externally (i.e. pushing it to GitHub or another non-Google repository or emailing it outside the company.)

You only need to go through this process once per repository. But remember that the common rules apply to all patches.


IMPORTANT: You can’t sign Contributor License Agreements (CLAs) for any companies or projects not listed below. If you want to sign an unlisted CLA, email it to emailremoved@ for review.

Google already has CLAs on file with:

List of on-file CLAs removed.

You may sign the Pre-Approved Individual CLAs listed below:

List of OK to sign individual CLAs removed.

Google requires CLAs for our own projects, but Googlers should never need to sign them. If you are being prompted to sign it, see go/cla#googlers to make sure you are recognized as a Googler.

Things which aren’t patches

Snippets and gists less than 100 lines of code

In addition to patches to existing open source projects, you can also use the form below for small single-file, self-contained gists or code snippets not on Stack Overflow. These do not require human review, so you can check the instant approval box. However, if your snippet or gist is more than 100 lines of code or spans more than a single file, please follow go/releasing.

All gists and snippets not on Stack Overflow must have the following header at the top regardless of size. You may move the header around on the page post-patch if necessary, and you only need to place it once for multiple snippets on the same page or slide:

Copyright 2018 Google LLC.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.

Administering open source repositories

If you are an administrator of an open source repository, you may continue to do administrative work such as accept pull requests, respond to comments, open and close issues, and other admin work without using this form.

Stack Overflow

You can answer questions on Stack Overflow without using this form.

Forking on GitHub

You can fork a repository on GitHub to youruser/reponame, but need to go through the process on this page once before pushing any changes to it.

Submit your patch

Include the first 150 lines of the patch. This can be generated using git format-patch -n HEAD~1 --stdout | head -n 150 or a similar command, and should include the author line containing your email.

Embedded form removed. It asks for a pointer to the code, the license, and the first 150 lines of the patch.

Except as otherwise noted, the content of this page is licensed under CC-BY-4.0 license. Third-party product names and logos may be the trademarks of their respective owners.