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Getting Started

Fork Repository

Fork the stacker repository on GitHub to your personal account.

#Set golang environment
export GOPATH=$HOME/go
mkdir -p $GOPATH/src/

#Get code
go get
cd $GOPATH/src/

#Track repository under your personal account
git config push.default nothing # Anything to avoid pushing to project-stacker/stacker by default
git remote rename origin project-stacker
git remote add $USER$USER/stacker.git
git fetch $USER

NOTES: Note that GOPATH can be any directory, the example above uses $HOME/go. Change $USER above to your own GitHub username.


See build instructions in the stacker Developer Guide.

Using host's toolchain


Project Structure

├── atomfs      # Source code contains the main atomfs logic
├── cmd         # Source code that handles commandline logic
├── container   # Source code for container management
├── embed-exec  # Source code for converting a file to a exec cmd
├── lib         # Source code contains helper routines
├── log         # Source code that handles logging
├── mount       # Source code that handles the mount logic
├── mtree       # Source code that handles the mtree logic
├── oci         # Source code that handles the OCI layout logic
├── overlay     # Source code that handles overlayfs logic
├── squashfs    # Source code that handles squashfs logic
├── storage     # Source code contains common storage code
├── test        # Source code various unit tests
├── types       # Source code that handles various object types

Contribute Workflow

PRs are always welcome, even if they only contain small fixes like typos or a few lines of code. If there is a significant effort, please document it as an issue and get a discussion going before working on it.

Please submit a PR broken down into small changes, bit by bit. A PR with a lot features and code changes may be hard to review. It is recommended that you submit PRs in an incremental fashion.

Note: If you split your pull request to small changes, please make sure that the changes that go to master do not break existing features. Otherwise, it cannot be merged until this feature is complete.

Develop, Build and Test

Write code on the new branch in your fork. The coding style used in stacker is suggested by the Golang community. See the style doc for details.

Try to limit column width to 120 characters for both code and markdown documents such as this one.

As we are enforcing standards set by golangci-lint, please always run a full 'make' on source code before committing your changes. This will trigger compilation, unit tests, and linting. If it reports an issue, in general, the preferred action is to fix the code. We try to enforce the guideline that code coverage does not drop as code is added or modified.

Automated Testing (via CI/CD)

Once your pull request is opened, stacker will start a full CI pipeline against it that compiles, and runs unit tests and linters.

Reporting issues

A great way to contribute to stacker is by reporting an issue. Well-written and complete bug reports are always welcome! Please open an issue on Github and follow the template to fill in required information.

Before opening any issue, please review existing issues to avoid submitting a duplicate. If you find a match, you can "subscribe" to it to get notified of updates. If you have additional helpful information about the issue, please leave a comment.

When reporting issues, always include:

Build environment (golang compiler, etc) Configuration files of stacker

Log files as per configuration.

Because the issues are open to public, when submitting the log and configuration files, be sure to remove any sensitive information, e.g. user name, password, IP address, and company name. You can replace those parts with "REDACTED" or other strings like "****".

Be sure to include the steps to reproduce the problem, if applicable. It can help us understand and fix your issue faster.


Update the documentation if you are creating or changing features. Good documentation is as important as the code itself.

The main location for the documentation is the website repository. The images referred to in documents can be placed in docs/img in that repo.

Documents are written using Markdown. See Writing on GitHub for more details.

Design New Features

You can propose new designs for existing stacker features. You can also design new features. Please submit a proposal in GitHub issues. stacker maintainers will review this proposal as soon as possible. This is necessary to ensure consistency in the overall architecture and to avoid duplicate effort in the roadmap.

Last update: January 1, 2023