The guidelines in this file are the ideals; it's better to send a
not-fully-following-guidelines patch than no patch at all, though. We
can always polish it up.
The D-Bus mailing list is firstname.lastname@example.org; discussion
of patches, etc. should go there.
Most of D-Bus is security sensitive. Guidelines related to that:
- avoid memcpy(), sprintf(), strlen(), snprintf, strlcat(),
strstr(), strtok(), or any of this stuff. Use DBusString.
If DBusString doesn't have the feature you need, add it
There are some exceptions, for example
if your strings are just used to index a hash table
and you don't do any parsing/modification of them, perhaps
DBusString is wasteful and wouldn't help much. But definitely
if you're doing any parsing, reallocation, etc. use DBusString.
- do not include system headers outside of dbus-memory.c,
dbus-sysdeps.c, and other places where they are already
included. This gives us one place to audit all external
dependencies on features in libc, etc.
- do not use libc features that are "complicated"
and may contain security holes. For example, you probably shouldn't
try to use regcomp() to compile an untrusted regular expression.
Regular expressions are just too complicated, and there are many
different libc's out there.
- we need to design the message bus daemon (and any similar features)
to use limited privileges, run in a chroot jail, and so on.
http://vsftpd.beasts.org/ has other good security suggestions.
- The C library uses GNU coding conventions, with GLib-like
extensions (e.g. lining up function arguments). The
Qt wrapper uses KDE coding conventions.
- Write docs for all non-static functions and structs and so on. try
"doxygen Doxyfile" prior to commit and be sure there are no
- All external interfaces (network protocols, file formats, etc.)
should have documented specifications sufficient to allow an
alternative implementation to be written. Our implementation should
be strict about specification compliance (should not for example
heuristically parse a file and accept not-well-formed
data). Avoiding heuristics is also important for security reasons;
if it looks funny, ignore it (or exit, or disconnect).
Making a release
To make a release of D-Bus, do the following:
- check out a fresh copy from CVS
- verify that the libtool versioning/library soname is
changed if it needs to be, or not changed if not
- update the file NEWS based on the ChangeLog
- update the AUTHORS file based on the ChangeLog
- add a ChangeLog entry containing the version number
you're releasing ("Released 0.3" or something)
so people can see which changes were before and after
a given release.
- The version number should have major.minor.micro even
if micro is 0, i.e. "1.0.0" and "1.2.0" not "1.0"/"1.2"
- "make distcheck" (DO NOT just "make dist" - pass the check!)
- if make distcheck fails, fix it.
- once distcheck succeeds, "cvs commit"
- if someone else made changes and the commit fails,
you have to "cvs up" and run "make distcheck" again
- once the commit succeeds, "cvs tag DBUS_X_Y_Z" where
X_Y_Z map to version X.Y.Z
- bump the version number up in configure.in, and commit
it. Make sure you do this *after* tagging the previous
release! The idea is that CVS has a newer version number
than anything released.
- scp your tarball to freedesktop.org server and copy it
to /srv/dbus.freedesktop.org/www/releases. This should
be possible if you're in group "dbus"
- update the wiki page http://www.freedesktop.org/Software/dbus by
adding the new release under the Download heading. Then, cut the
link and changelog for the previous that was there.
- update the wiki page
http://www.freedesktop.org/Software/DbusReleaseArchive pasting the
previous release. Note that bullet points for each of the changelog
items must be indented three more spaces to conform to the
formatting of the other releases there.
- post to email@example.com announcing the release.
After making a ".0" stable release
After releasing, when you increment the version number in CVS, also
move the ChangeLog to ChangeLog.pre-X-Y where X-Y is what you just
released, e.g. ChangeLog.pre-1-0. Then create and cvs add a new empty
ChangeLog. The last entry in ChangeLog.pre-1-0 should be the one about
Add ChangeLog.pre-X-Y to EXTRA_DIST in Makefile.am.
We create a branch for each stable release; sometimes the branch is
not done immediately, instead it's possible to wait until someone has
a not-suitable-for-stable change they want to make and then branch to
allow committing that change.
The branch name should be DBUS_X_Y_BRANCH which is a branch that has
releases versioned X.Y.Z
To branch, tag HEAD with DBUS_X_Y_BRANCHPOINT:
cvs tag DBUS_X_Y_BRANCHPOINT
then create the branch from that tag:
cvs rtag -b -r DBUS_X_Y_BRANCHPOINT DBUS_X_Y_BRANCH dbus
Note that DBUS_X_Y_BRANCHPOINT may not tag the same revision as the
DBUS_X_Y_0 release, since we may not branch immediately.
These are the environment variables that are used by the D-Bus client library
Turns on printing verbose messages. This only works if D-Bus has been
compiled with --enable-verbose-mode
Can be set to a number, causing every nth call to dbus_alloc or
dbus_realloc to fail. This only works if D-Bus has been compiled with
Can be set to a number, causing every call to dbus_alloc or
dbus_realloc to fail if the number of bytes to be allocated is greater
than the specified number. This only works if D-Bus has been compiled with
Many of the D-Bus tests will run over and over, once for each malloc
involved in the test. Each run will fail a different malloc, plus some
number of mallocs following that malloc (because a fair number of bugs
only happen if two or more mallocs fail in a row, e.g. error recovery
that itself involves malloc). This env variable sets the number of
mallocs to fail.
Here's why you care: If set to 0, then the malloc checking is skipped,
which makes the test suite a heck of a lot faster. Just run with this
env variable unset before you commit.
These are the test programs that are built if dbus is compiled using
This is the main unit test program that tests all aspects of the D-Bus
This it the unit test program for the message bus.
A test that tries to break the message loader by passing it randomly
created invalid messages.
"make check" runs all the deterministic test programs (i.e. not break-loader).
"make check-coverage" is available if you configure with --enable-gcov and
gives a complete report on test suite coverage. You can also run
"test/decode-gcov foo.c" on any source file to get annotated source,
after running make check with a gcov-enabled tree.
Please file them at http://bugzilla.freedesktop.org under component
dbus, and also post to the mailing list for discussion. The commit
- for fixes that don't affect API or protocol, they can be committed
if any one qualified reviewer other than patch author
reviews and approves
- for fixes that do affect API or protocol, two people
in the reviewer group have to review and approve the commit, and
posting to the list is definitely mandatory
- if there's a live unresolved controversy about a change,
don't commit it while the argument is still raging.
- regardless of reviews, to commit a patch:
- make check must pass
- the test suite must be extended to cover the new code
as much as reasonably feasible
- the patch has to follow the portability, security, and
- the patch should as much as reasonable do one thing,
not many unrelated changes
No reviewer should approve a patch without these attributes, and
failure on these points is grounds for reverting the patch.
The reviewer group that can approve patches: Havoc Pennington, Michael
Meeks, Alex Larsson, Zack Rusin, Joe Shaw, Mikael Hallendal, Richard
Hult, Owen Fraser-Green, Olivier Andrieu, Colin Walters, Thiago
Macieira, John Palmieri.