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Opening a pull request

To contribute new content pages or improve existing content pages, open a pull request (PR). Make sure you follow all the requirements in the Before you begin section.

If your change is small, or you're unfamiliar with git, read Changes using GitHub to learn how to edit a page.

If your changes are large, read Work from a local fork to learn how to make changes locally on your computer.

Changes using GitHub

If you're less experienced with git workflows, here's an easier method of opening a pull request. Figure 1 outlines the steps and the details follow.

flowchart LR A([fa:fa-user New
Contributor]) --- id1[(K8s/Website
GitHub)] subgraph tasks[Changes using GitHub] direction TB 0[ ] -.- 1[1. Edit this page] --> 2[2. Use GitHub markdown
editor to make changes] 2 --> 3[3. fill in Propose file change] end subgraph tasks2[ ] direction TB 4[4. select Propose file change] --> 5[5. select Create pull request] --> 6[6. fill in Open a pull request] 6 --> 7[7. select Create pull request] end id1 --> tasks --> tasks2 classDef grey fill:#dddddd,stroke:#ffffff,stroke-width:px,color:#000000, font-size:15px; classDef white fill:#ffffff,stroke:#000,stroke-width:px,color:#000,font-weight:bold classDef k8s fill:#326ce5,stroke:#fff,stroke-width:1px,color:#fff; classDef spacewhite fill:#ffffff,stroke:#fff,stroke-width:0px,color:#000 class A,1,2,3,4,5,6,7 grey class 0 spacewhite class tasks,tasks2 white class id1 k8s

Figure 1. Steps for opening a PR using GitHub.

  1. On the page where you see the issue, select the Edit this page option in the right-hand side navigation panel.

  2. Make your changes in the GitHub markdown editor.

  3. Below the editor, fill in the Propose file change form. In the first field, give your commit message a title. In the second field, provide a description.

  4. Select Propose file change.

  5. Select Create pull request.

  6. The Open a pull request screen appears. Fill in the form:

    • The Subject field of the pull request defaults to the commit summary. You can change it if needed.
    • The Body contains your extended commit message, if you have one, and some template text. Add the details the template text asks for, then delete the extra template text.
    • Leave the Allow edits from maintainers checkbox selected.
  7. Select Create pull request.

Addressing feedback in GitHub

Before merging a pull request, Kubernetes community members review and approve it. The k8s-ci-robot suggests reviewers based on the nearest owner mentioned in the pages. If you have someone specific in mind, leave a comment with their GitHub username in it.

If a reviewer asks you to make changes:

  1. Go to the Files changed tab.
  2. Select the pencil (edit) icon on any files changed by the pull request.
  3. Make the changes requested.
  4. Commit the changes.

If you are waiting on a reviewer, reach out once every 7 days. You can also post a message in the #sig-docs Slack channel.

When your review is complete, a reviewer merges your PR and your changes go live a few minutes later.

Work from a local fork

If you're more experienced with git, or if your changes are larger than a few lines, work from a local fork.

Make sure you have git installed on your computer. You can also use a git UI application.

Figure 2 shows the steps to follow when you work from a local fork. The details for each step follow.

flowchart LR 1[Fork the K8s/website
repository] --> 2[Create local clone
and set upstream] subgraph changes[Your changes] direction TB S[ ] -.- 3[Create a branch
example: my_new_branch] --> 3a[Make changes using
text editor] --> 4["Preview your changes
locally using Hugo
or build container image"] end subgraph changes2[Commit / Push] direction TB T[ ] -.- 5[Commit your changes] --> 6[Push commit to
origin/my_new_branch] end 2 --> changes --> changes2 classDef grey fill:#dddddd,stroke:#ffffff,stroke-width:px,color:#000000, font-size:15px; classDef white fill:#ffffff,stroke:#000,stroke-width:px,color:#000,font-weight:bold classDef k8s fill:#326ce5,stroke:#fff,stroke-width:1px,color:#fff; classDef spacewhite fill:#ffffff,stroke:#fff,stroke-width:0px,color:#000 class 1,2,3,3a,4,5,6 grey class S,T spacewhite class changes,changes2 white

Figure 2. Working from a local fork to make your changes.

Fork the kubernetes/website repository

  1. Navigate to the kubernetes/website repository.
  2. Select Fork.

Create a local clone and set the upstream

  1. In a terminal window, clone your fork and update the Docsy Hugo theme:

    git clone<github_username>/website
    cd website
    git submodule update --init --recursive --depth 1
  2. Navigate to the new website directory. Set the kubernetes/website repository as the upstream remote:

    cd website
    git remote add upstream
  3. Confirm your origin and upstream repositories:

    git remote -v

    Output is similar to:

    origin<github_username>/website.git (fetch)
    origin<github_username>/website.git (push)
    upstream (fetch)
    upstream (push)
  4. Fetch commits from your fork's origin/main and kubernetes/website's upstream/main:

    git fetch origin
    git fetch upstream

    This makes sure your local repository is up to date before you start making changes.

Create a branch

  1. Decide which branch base to your work on:

    • For improvements to existing content, use upstream/main.
    • For new content about existing features, use upstream/main.
    • For localized content, use the localization's conventions. For more information, see localizing Kubernetes documentation.
    • For new features in an upcoming Kubernetes release, use the feature branch. For more information, see documenting for a release.
    • For long-running efforts that multiple SIG Docs contributors collaborate on, like content reorganization, use a specific feature branch created for that effort.

    If you need help choosing a branch, ask in the #sig-docs Slack channel.

  2. Create a new branch based on the branch identified in step 1. This example assumes the base branch is upstream/main:

    git checkout -b <my_new_branch> upstream/main
  3. Make your changes using a text editor.

At any time, use the git status command to see what files you've changed.

Commit your changes

When you are ready to submit a pull request, commit your changes.

  1. In your local repository, check which files you need to commit:

    git status

    Output is similar to:

    On branch <my_new_branch>
    Your branch is up to date with 'origin/<my_new_branch>'.
    Changes not staged for commit:
    (use "git add <file>..." to update what will be committed)
    (use "git checkout -- <file>..." to discard changes in working directory)
    modified:   content/en/docs/contribute/new-content/
    no changes added to commit (use "git add" and/or "git commit -a")
  2. Add the files listed under Changes not staged for commit to the commit:

    git add <your_file_name>

    Repeat this for each file.

  3. After adding all the files, create a commit:

    git commit -m "Your commit message"
  4. Push your local branch and its new commit to your remote fork:

    git push origin <my_new_branch>

Preview your changes locally

It's a good idea to preview your changes locally before pushing them or opening a pull request. A preview lets you catch build errors or markdown formatting problems.

You can either build the website's container image or run Hugo locally. Building the container image is slower but displays Hugo shortcodes, which can be useful for debugging.

  1. Build the container image locally
    You only need this step if you are testing a change to the Hugo tool itself

    # Run this in a terminal (if required)
    make container-image
  2. Start Hugo in a container:

    # Run this in a terminal
    make container-serve
  3. In a web browser, navigate to https://localhost:1313. Hugo watches the changes and rebuilds the site as needed.

  4. To stop the local Hugo instance, go back to the terminal and type Ctrl+C, or close the terminal window.

Alternately, install and use the hugo command on your computer:

  1. Install the Hugo version specified in website/netlify.toml.

  2. If you have not updated your website repository, the website/themes/docsy directory is empty. The site cannot build without a local copy of the theme. To update the website theme, run:

    git submodule update --init --recursive --depth 1
  3. In a terminal, go to your Kubernetes website repository and start the Hugo server:

    cd <path_to_your_repo>/website
    hugo server --buildFuture
  4. In a web browser, navigate to https://localhost:1313. Hugo watches the changes and rebuilds the site as needed.

  5. To stop the local Hugo instance, go back to the terminal and type Ctrl+C, or close the terminal window.

Open a pull request from your fork to kubernetes/website

Figure 3 shows the steps to open a PR from your fork to the K8s/website. The details follow.

flowchart LR subgraph first[ ] direction TB 1[1. Go to K8s/website repository] --> 2[2. Select New Pull Request] 2 --> 3[3. Select compare across forks] 3 --> 4[4. Select your fork from
head repository drop-down menu] end subgraph second [ ] direction TB 5[5. Select your branch from
the compare drop-down menu] --> 6[6. Select Create Pull Request] 6 --> 7[7. Add a description
to your PR] 7 --> 8[8. Select Create pull request] end first --> second classDef grey fill:#dddddd,stroke:#ffffff,stroke-width:px,color:#000000, font-size:15px; classDef white fill:#ffffff,stroke:#000,stroke-width:px,color:#000,font-weight:bold class 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 grey class first,second white

Figure 3. Steps to open a PR from your fork to the K8s/website.

  1. In a web browser, go to the kubernetes/website repository.

  2. Select New Pull Request.

  3. Select compare across forks.

  4. From the head repository drop-down menu, select your fork.

  5. From the compare drop-down menu, select your branch.

  6. Select Create Pull Request.

  7. Add a description for your pull request:

    • Title (50 characters or less): Summarize the intent of the change.

    • Description: Describe the change in more detail.

      • If there is a related GitHub issue, include Fixes #12345 or Closes #12345 in the description. GitHub's automation closes the mentioned issue after merging the PR if used. If there are other related PRs, link those as well.
      • If you want advice on something specific, include any questions you'd like reviewers to think about in your description.
  8. Select the Create pull request button.

Congratulations! Your pull request is available in Pull requests.

After opening a PR, GitHub runs automated tests and tries to deploy a preview using Netlify.

  • If the Netlify build fails, select Details for more information.
  • If the Netlify build succeeds, select Details opens a staged version of the Kubernetes website with your changes applied. This is how reviewers check your changes.

GitHub also automatically assigns labels to a PR, to help reviewers. You can add them too, if needed. For more information, see Adding and removing issue labels.

Addressing feedback locally

  1. After making your changes, amend your previous commit:

    git commit -a --amend
    • -a: commits all changes
    • --amend: amends the previous commit, rather than creating a new one
  2. Update your commit message if needed.

  3. Use git push origin <my_new_branch> to push your changes and re-run the Netlify tests.

Changes from reviewers

Sometimes reviewers commit to your pull request. Before making any other changes, fetch those commits.

  1. Fetch commits from your remote fork and rebase your working branch:

    git fetch origin
    git rebase origin/<your-branch-name>
  2. After rebasing, force-push new changes to your fork:

    git push --force-with-lease origin <your-branch-name>

Merge conflicts and rebasing

If another contributor commits changes to the same file in another PR, it can create a merge conflict. You must resolve all merge conflicts in your PR.

  1. Update your fork and rebase your local branch:

    git fetch origin
    git rebase origin/<your-branch-name>

    Then force-push the changes to your fork:

    git push --force-with-lease origin <your-branch-name>
  2. Fetch changes from kubernetes/website's upstream/main and rebase your branch:

    git fetch upstream
    git rebase upstream/main
  3. Inspect the results of the rebase:

    git status

    This results in a number of files marked as conflicted.

  4. Open each conflicted file and look for the conflict markers: >>>, <<<, and ===. Resolve the conflict and delete the conflict marker.

  5. Add the files to the changeset:

    git add <filename>
  6. Continue the rebase:

    git rebase --continue
  7. Repeat steps 2 to 5 as needed.

    After applying all commits, the git status command shows that the rebase is complete.

  8. Force-push the branch to your fork:

    git push --force-with-lease origin <your-branch-name>

    The pull request no longer shows any conflicts.

Squashing commits

If your PR has multiple commits, you must squash them into a single commit before merging your PR. You can check the number of commits on your PR's Commits tab or by running the git log command locally.

  1. Start an interactive rebase:

    git rebase -i HEAD~<number_of_commits_in_branch>

    Squashing commits is a form of rebasing. The -i switch tells git you want to rebase interactively. HEAD~<number_of_commits_in_branch indicates how many commits to look at for the rebase.

    Output is similar to:

    pick d875112ca Original commit
    pick 4fa167b80 Address feedback 1
    pick 7d54e15ee Address feedback 2
    # Rebase 3d18sf680..7d54e15ee onto 3d183f680 (3 commands)
    # These lines can be re-ordered; they are executed from top to bottom.

    The first section of the output lists the commits in the rebase. The second section lists the options for each commit. Changing the word pick changes the status of the commit once the rebase is complete.

    For the purposes of rebasing, focus on squash and pick.

  2. Start editing the file.

    Change the original text:

    pick d875112ca Original commit
    pick 4fa167b80 Address feedback 1
    pick 7d54e15ee Address feedback 2


    pick d875112ca Original commit
    squash 4fa167b80 Address feedback 1
    squash 7d54e15ee Address feedback 2

    This squashes commits 4fa167b80 Address feedback 1 and 7d54e15ee Address feedback 2 into d875112ca Original commit, leaving only d875112ca Original commit as a part of the timeline.

  3. Save and exit your file.

  4. Push your squashed commit:

    git push --force-with-lease origin <branch_name>

Contribute to other repos

The Kubernetes project contains 50+ repositories. Many of these repositories contain documentation: user-facing help text, error messages, API references or code comments.

If you see text you'd like to improve, use GitHub to search all repositories in the Kubernetes organization. This can help you figure out where to submit your issue or PR.

Each repository has its own processes and procedures. Before you file an issue or submit a PR, read that repository's,, and, if they exist.

Most repositories use issue and PR templates. Have a look through some open issues and PRs to get a feel for that team's processes. Make sure to fill out the templates with as much detail as possible when you file issues or PRs.

What's next

  • Read Reviewing to learn more about the review process.
Last modified May 08, 2023 at 9:34 PM PST: correct git clone url (a7604dc93e)