How to become a contributor to IPFire

by Michael Tremer, December 1, 2018

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When it is getting cold and the long days over summer are over, that is usually the time when developers wake up and get back to work again. Winter is always a good time for software development.

So I would like to invite you all, who have some free time and interest to contribute to the IPFire Project! Instead of always asking for donations, I would like to highlight what is even more valuable for us: Code contributions.


IPFire is used by many companies in many places all around the world. Although it is ready for production, software is never done. There is always a chance to make IPFire better fit into a environment. However, we, the IPFire developers can only simulate a certain number of these. In all other cases, we rely on the feedback from you!

Start off with a bug fix

Maybe you found a bug that is bothering you and nobody else has discovered it yet. Reporting it is the first step! If you have the right skills, try to fix and propose a patch that can be integrated into the distribution.

There is a category with bugs that are be easy to solve for beginners and a great for learning about this whole process.

How to contribute?

Contributing to IPFire is easy. However, to only allow good-quality code into the distribution, every change has to be peer-reviewed by the other IPFire developers. Only when it has been tested and confirmed that it does not introduce any new bugs and actually fixes a bug, it will be merged into the distribution.

This process is needed to keep IPFire running as well as it is today. It has to be secure, fast and easy to use. Every change needs to make sure that this is never compromised. We have a guide on how to submit patches that helps you with the first steps and has some great tips on how to work with the tools that the IPFire developers use.

Work with the community

If you know how to contribute and have contributed before, start working on bigger things. Maybe you are missing a feature or want to add support for certain hardware that you are using. Whether it is some new code that you are contributing or fixing a bug that changes a couple of lines of existing code, it is strongly recommended to work with the community.

Sometimes there are many ways on how to architect code, what language to use and many other things. It is always helpful to speak to the developers first on how to design a change to get it tested and approved easier. Maybe you can join people who are already working on a certain project. We also help out when you are stuck with an idea. Talk to use on the development mailing list.

We only people on the other end of the keyboard and would like to form a lasting relationship with you to improve IPFire. Come and join us. Get in touch!