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Version: v1.7

Code Contribution Guide

You will learn the following things in the code contribution guide:

Run KubeVela Locally

This guide helps you get started developing KubeVela.


  • Golang version 1.19+
Install Golang
  1. Install go1.19 from official site. Unpack the binary and place it somewhere, assume it's in the home path ~/go/, below is an example command, you should choose the right binary according to your system.
    tar xzf go1.20.2.linux-amd64.tar.gz

If you want to keep multiple golang version in your local develop environment, you can download the package and unfold it into some place, like ~/go/go1.19.1, then the following commands should also change according to the path.

  1. Set environment variables for Golang

    export PATH=~/go/bin/:$PATH
    export GOROOT=~/go/
    export GOPATH=~/gopath/

    Create a gopath folder if not exist mkdir ~/gopath. These commands will add the go binary folder to the PATH environment (let it to be the primary choice for go), and set the GOROOT environment to this go folder. Please add these lines to your ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc file, so that you don't need to set these environment variables every time you open a new terminal.

  2. (Optional) Some area like China may be too slow to connect to the default go registry, you can configure GOPROXY to speed up the download process.

    go env -w GOPROXY=,direct
  • Kubernetes version v1.20+ with ~/.kube/config configured. (Don't have a test cluster? Try VelaD to develop KubeVela)
  • golangci-lint 1.49.0+, it will install automatically if you run make, you can install it manually if the installation broken.
Install golangci-lint manually

You can install it manually follow the guide or the following command:

cd ~/go/ && curl -sSfL | sh -s v1.49.0
  • kustomize 4.5.4+, it will install automatically if you run make reviewable, you can install it manually if the installation broken.
Install kustomize manually

You can install it manually follow the guide or the following commands:

curl -s ""  | bash

Move kustomize binary to your KubeVela repo folder:

mv kustomize ~/kubevela/bin/
  • ginkgo 1.14.0+ (just for E2E test)

    go install
  • kubebuilder v3.1.0+ and you need to manually install the dependency tools for unit test.

Install Kubebuilder manually


tar -zxvf kubebuilder-tools-1.21.2-linux-amd64.tar.gz
mkdir -p /usr/local/kubebuilder/bin
sudo mv kubebuilder/bin/* /usr/local/kubebuilder/bin


tar -zxvf kubebuilder-tools-1.21.2-darwin-amd64.tar.gz
mkdir -p /usr/local/kubebuilder/bin
sudo mv kubebuilder/bin/* /usr/local/kubebuilder/bin

For other OS or system architecture, please refer to

  • CUElang v0.4.3+

    go install
  • Other tools for running make reviewable in KubeVela.

    go install
    go install
    go install

    Note: For macOS, you may need to install diffutils.


You may also be interested with KubeVela's design before diving into its code.


  • Clone this project
git clone

KubeVela includes two parts, vela core and vela cli.

  • The vela core is actually a K8s controller, it will watch OAM Spec CRD and deploy resources.
  • The vela cli is a command line tool that can build, run apps(with the help of vela core).

For local development, we probably need to build both of them.

  • Build Vela CLI

After the vela cli built successfully, make command will create vela binary to bin/ under the project.

  • Configure vela binary to System PATH
export PATH=$PATH:/your/path/to/project/kubevela/bin

Then you can use vela command directly.

  • Build Vela Core
make manager
  • Run Vela Core

Firstly make sure your cluster has CRDs, below is the command that can help install all CRDs.

make core-install

To ensure you have created vela-system namespace and install definitions of necessary module. you can run the command:

make def-install

And then run locally:

make core-run

This command will run controller locally, it will use your local KubeConfig which means you need to have a k8s cluster locally. If you don't have one, try VelaD to develop KubeVela.

When you're developing vela-core, make sure the controller installed by helm chart is not running. Otherwise, it will conflict with your local running controller.

You can check and uninstall it by using helm.

helm list -A
helm uninstall -n vela-system kubevela


It's necessary to write tests for good code quality, please refer to the principle of test before you start.

Unit test

make test

To execute the unit test of the API module, the mongodb service needs to exist locally.

make unit-test-apiserver

Integration and E2E test

Before e2e test start, make sure you have vela-core running.

make core-run

Start to test.

make e2e-test

Debugging Locally with Remote KubeVela Environment

To run vela-core locally for debugging with kubevela installed in the remote cluster:

  • Firstly, scaling the replicas of kubevela-vela-core to 0 for leader election of controller-manager:
    kubectl scale deploy -n vela-system kubevela-vela-core --replicas=0
  • Secondly, removing the WebhookConfiguration, otherwise an error will be reported when applying your application using vela-cli or kubectl:
    kubectl delete ValidatingWebhookConfiguration kubevela-vela-core-admission -n vela-system
    kubectl delete MutatingWebhookConfiguration kubevela-vela-core-admission -n vela-system

Finally, you can use the commands in the above Build and Testing sections, such as make run, to code and debug in your local machine.


Note you will not be able to test features relate with validating/mutating webhooks in this way.

Run VelaUX Locally

VelaUX is the UI console of KubeVela, it's also an addon including apiserver code in kubevela repo and the frontend code in velaux repo.

Before start, please make sure you have already started the vela controller environment in kubevela repo directory.

make run-apiserver

By default, the apiserver will serving at "".

Get the VelaUX code by:

git clone

Configure the apiserver address:

cd velaux
echo "BASE_DOMAIN=''" > .env

Make sure you have installed yarn.

yarn install
yarn start

To execute the e2e test of the API module, the mongodb service needs to exist locally.

# save your config
mv ~/.kube/config ~/.kube/

kind create cluster --image kindest/node:v1.20.7@sha256:688fba5ce6b825be62a7c7fe1415b35da2bdfbb5a69227c499ea4cc0008661ca --name worker
kind get kubeconfig --name worker --internal > /tmp/worker.kubeconfig
kind get kubeconfig --name worker > /tmp/worker.client.kubeconfig

# restore your config
mv ~/.kube/ ~/.kube/config

make e2e-apiserver-test

Create a pull request

We're excited that you're considering making a contribution to the KubeVela project! This document guides you through the process of creating a pull request.

Before you begin

We know you're excited to create your first pull request. Before we get started, make sure your code follows the relevant code conventions.

Your first pull request

Before you submit a PR, run this command to ensure it is ready:

make reviewable

If this is your first time contributing to an open-source project on GitHub, make sure you read about Creating a pull request.

To increase the chance of having your pull request accepted, make sure your pull request follows these guidelines:

  • Title and description matches the implementation.
  • Commits within the pull request follow the Formatting guidelines.
  • The pull request closes one related issue.
  • The pull request contains necessary tests that verify the intended behavior.
  • If your pull request has conflicts, rebase your branch onto the main branch.

If the pull request fixes a bug:

  • The pull request description must include Closes #<issue number> or Fixes #<issue number>.
  • To avoid regressions, the pull request should include tests that replicate the fixed bug.
  • Generally, we will maintain the last 2 releases for bugfix. You should add backport release-x.x label or comment /backport release-x.y for the releases contained the bug, github bot will automatically backport this PR to the specified release branch after PR merged. If there're any conflicts, you should cherry-pick it manually.

Code review

Once you've created a pull request, the next step is to have someone review your change. A review is a learning opportunity for both the reviewer and the author of the pull request.

If you think a specific person needs to review your pull request, then you can tag them in the description or in a comment. Tag a user by typing the @ symbol followed by their GitHub username.

We recommend that you read How to do a code review to learn more about code reviews.

Formatting guidelines

A well-written pull request minimizes the time to get your change accepted. These guidelines help you write good commit messages and descriptions for your pull requests.

Commit message format

KubeVela follows the conventional-commits and commit messages best practices to improve better history information.

The commit message should be structured as follows:

<type>[optional scope]: <subject>

[optional body]


Commit message with scope:

Feat(lang): add polish language

Commit message with no body:

Docs: correct spelling of CHANGELOG

Commit message with multi-paragraph body:

Fix: correct minor typos in code

see the issue for details

on typos fixed.

Reviewed-by: Z
Refs #133

<type> (required)

Type is required to better capture the area of the commit, based on the Angular convention.

We capitalize the <type> to make sure the subject line is capitalized. <type> can be one of the following:

  • Feat: A new feature
  • Fix: A bug fix
  • Docs: Documentation only changes
  • Build: Changes that affect the build system or external dependencies
  • Style: Changes that do not affect the meaning of the code (white-space, formatting, missing semi-colons, etc)
  • Refactor: A code change that neither fixes a bug nor adds a feature
  • Perf: A code change that improves performance
  • Test: Adding missing or correcting existing tests
  • Chore: Changes to the build process or auxiliary tools and libraries such as documentation generation

<scope> (optional)

Scope is optional, it may be provided to a commit’s type, to provide additional contextual information and is contained within parenthesis, it is could be anything specifying place of the commit change. Github issue link is also a valid scope. For example: Fix(cli), Feat(api), Fix(#233), etc.

You can use * when the change affects more than a single scope.

<subject> (required)

The subject MUST immediately follow the colon and space after the type/scope prefix. The description is a short summary of the code changes, e.g., "Fix: array parsing issue when multiple spaces were contained in string", instead of "Fix: bug".

<body> (optional)

A longer commit body may be provided after the short subject, providing additional contextual information about the code changes. The body MUST begin one blank line after the description.


The area should use upper camel case, e.g. UpperCamelCase.

Prefer using one of the following areas:

  • Application: Changes to the application controller.
  • Component: Changes to the component related code or definition controller.
  • Trait: Changes to the trait related code or definition controller.
  • CUE: Changes to the CUE related logic.
  • Docs: Changes to documentation.


  • Application: Support workflow in application controller
  • CUE: Fix patch parse issues
  • Docs: Changed url to URL in all documentation files

Pull request titles

The KubeVela team squashes all commits into one when we accept a pull request. The title of the pull request becomes the subject line of the squashed commit message. We still encourage contributors to write informative commit messages, as they become a part of the Git commit body.

We use the pull request title when we generate change logs for releases. As such, we strive to make the title as informative as possible.

Make sure that the title for your pull request uses the same format as the subject line in the commit message. If the format is not followed, we will add a label title-needs-formatting on the pull request.

Pass all the CI checks

Before merge, All test CI should pass green.

  • The codecov/project should also pass. This means the coverage should not drop. Currently, the coverage of the Pull Request should have at least 70%.

  • KubeVela uses DCO for contributor agreements. It requires you to sign-off every commit before the pull request being merged.

    • Git provides a convenient flag -s in your commit command to sign-off automatically:

      git commit -s -m 'This is my commit message'
    • Contributors can also sign-off manually by adding a Signed-off-by line to commit messages as the following format, make sure the email matches your github account or the check bot won't pass.

      This is my commit message

      Signed-off-by: Random Developer <>

Update the docs & website

If your pull request merged and this is a new feature or enhancement, it's necessary to update the docs and send a pull request to repo.

Learn how to write the docs by the following guide:

Great, you have complete the lifecycle of code contribution, try to join the community as a member if you're interested.