So You Want to Contribute…

For general information on contributing to OpenStack, please check out the contributor guide to get started. It covers all the basics that are common to all OpenStack projects: the accounts you need, the basics of interacting with our Gerrit review system, how we communicate as a community, etc.

Below will cover the more project specific information you need to get started with Octavia.



People working on the Octavia project may be found in the #openstack-lbaas channel on the IRC network described in during working hours in their timezone. The channel is logged, so if you ask a question when no one is around, you can check the log to see if it’s been answered:

Weekly Meeting

The Octavia team meets weekly on IRC. Please see the OpenStack meetings page for the current meeting details and ICS file: Meetings are logged:

Mailing List

We use the mailing list for asynchronous discussions or to communicate with other OpenStack teams. Use the prefix [octavia] in your subject line (it’s a high-volume list, so most people use email filters).

More information about the mailing list, including how to subscribe and read the archives, can be found at:

Virtual Meet-ups

From time to time, the Octavia project will have video meetings to address topics not easily covered by the above methods. These are announced well in advance at the weekly meeting and on the mailing list.

Physical Meet-ups

The Octavia project usually has a presence at the OpenDev/OpenStack Project Team Gathering that takes place at the beginning of each development cycle. Planning happens on an etherpad whose URL is announced at the weekly meetings and on the mailing list.

Contacting the Core Team

The octavia-core team is an active group of contributors who are responsible for directing and maintaining the Octavia project. As a new contributor, your interaction with this group will be mostly through code reviews, because only members of octavia-core can approve a code change to be merged into the code repository.


Although your contribution will require reviews by members of octavia-core, these aren’t the only people whose reviews matter. Anyone with a gerrit account can post reviews, so you can ask other developers you know to review your code … and you can review theirs. (A good way to learn your way around the codebase is to review other people’s patches.)

If you’re thinking, “I’m new at this, how can I possibly provide a helpful review?”, take a look at How to Review Changes the OpenStack Way.

There are also some Octavia project specific reviewing guidelines in the Octavia Style Commandments section of the Octavia Contributor Guide.

You can learn more about the role of core reviewers in the OpenStack governance documentation:

The membership list of octavia-core is maintained in gerrit:,members

You can also find the members of the octavia-core team at the Octavia weekly meetings.

New Feature Planning

The Octavia team use both Request For Enhancement (RFE) and Specifications (specs) processes for new features.


When a feature being proposed is easy to understand and will have limited scope, the requester will create an RFE in Storyboard. This is a story that includes the tag [RFE] in the subject prefix and has the “rfe” tag added to the story.

Once an RFE story is created, a core reviewer or the Project Team Lead (PTL) will approved the RFE by adding the “rfe-approved” tag. This signals that the core team understands the feature being proposed and enough detail has been provided to make sure the core team understands the goal of the change.


If the new feature is a major change or additon to Octavia that will need a detailed design to be successful, the Octavia team requires a specification (spec) proposal be submitted as a patch.

Octavia specification documents are stored in the /octavia/specs directory in the main Octavia git repository: This directory includes a template.rst file that includes instructions for creating a new Octavia specification.

These specification documents are then rendered and included in the Project Specifications section of the Octavia Contributor Guide.

Feel free to ask in #openstack-lbaas or at the weekly meeting if you have an idea you want to develop and you’re not sure whether it requires an RFE or a specification.

The Octavia project observes the OpenStack-wide deadlines, for example, final release of non-client libraries (octavia-lib), final release for client libraries (python-octaviaclient), feature freeze, etc. These are noted and explained on the release schedule for the current development cycle available at:

Task Tracking

We track our tasks in Storyboard.

If you’re looking for some smaller, easier work item to pick up and get started on, search for the ‘low-hanging-fruit’ tag.

When you start working on a bug, make sure you assign it to yourself. Otherwise someone else may also start working on it, and we don’t want to duplicate efforts. Also, if you find a bug in the code and want to post a fix, make sure you file a bug (and assign it to yourself!) just in case someone else comes across the problem in the meantime.

Reporting a Bug

You found an issue and want to make sure we are aware of it? You can do so on Storyboard.

Please remember to include the following information:

  • The version of Octavia and OpenStack you observed the issue in.

  • Steps to reproduce.

  • Expected behavior.

  • Observed behavior.

  • The log snippet that contains any error information. Please include the lines directly before the error message(s) as they provide context for the error.

Getting Your Patch Merged

The Octavia project policy is that a patch must have two +2s reviews from the core reviewers before it can be merged.

Patches for Octavia projects must include unit and functional tests that cover the new code. Octavia projects include the “openstack-tox-cover” testing job to help identify test coverage gaps in a patch. This can also be run locally by running “tox -e cover”.

In addition, some changes may require a release note. Any patch that changes functionality, adds functionality, or addresses a significant bug should have a release note. Release notes can be created using the “reno” tool by running “reno new <summary-message>”.

Keep in mind that the best way to make sure your patches are reviewed in a timely manner is to review other people’s patches. We’re engaged in a cooperative enterprise here.

Project Team Lead Duties

All common PTL duties are enumerated in the PTL guide.