How to Contribute to Vulkan Source Repositories

The Repositories

The source code for various Vulkan components is distributed across several GitHub repositories. The repositories sponsored by Khronos and LunarG are described here. In general, the canonical Vulkan Loader and Validation Layers sources are in the Khronos repository, while the LunarG repositories host sources for additional tools and sample programs.

As a convenience, the contents of the Vulkan-LoaderAndValidationLayers repository are downstreamed into the VulkanTools and VulkanSamples repositories via a branch named trunk. This makes the VulkanTools and VulkanSamples easier to work with and avoids compatibility issues that might arise with Vulkan-LoaderAndValidationLayers components if they were obtained from a separate repository.

The Vulkan Ecosystem Needs Your Help

The Vulkan validation layers are one of the larger and more important components in this repository. While there are often active and organized development efforts underway to improve their coverage, there are always opportunities for anyone to help by contributing additional validation layer checks and tests for these validation checks. If you desire to help in this area, please examine the issues list in this repository and look for any unassigned issues that are of interest to you. Of course, if you have your own work in mind, please open an issue to describe it and assign it to yourself. Finally, please feel free to contact any of the developers that are actively contributing should you wish to coordinate further. Please see the section about Validation Layers later on this page.

Repository Issue labels:

  • Incomplete: These issues refer to missing validation checks that users have encountered during application development that would have been directly useful, and are high priority.
  • Enhancement: These issues refer to ideas for extending or improving the loader, demos, or validation layers.
  • Bug: These issues refer to invalid or broken functionality and are the highest priority.

If you choose to work on an issue that is already assigned, simply coordinate with the current assignee.

How to Submit Fixes

  • Ensure that the bug was not already reported or fixed by searching on GitHub under Issues and Pull Requests.
  • Use the existing GitHub forking and pull request process. This will involve forking the repository, creating a branch with your commits, and then submitting a pull request.
  • Please base your fixes on the master branch. SDK branches are generally not updated except for critical fixes needed to repair an SDK release.
  • Please include the GitHub Issue number near the beginning of the commit text if applicable.
    • Example: “layers: GH123, Fix missing init”
  • If your changes are restricted only to files from the Vulkan-LoaderAndValidationLayers repository, please direct your pull request to that repository, instead of VulkanTools or VulkanSamples.

Coding Conventions and Formatting

  • Use the Google style guide for source code with the following exceptions:

    • The column limit is 132 (as opposed to the default value 80). The clang-format tool will handle this. See below.
    • The indent is 4 spaces instead of the default 2 spaces. Again, the clang-format tool will handle this.
    • If you can justify a reason for violating a rule in the guidelines, then you are free to do so. Be prepared to defend your decision during code review. This should be used responsibly. An example of a bad reason is “I don't like that rule.” An example of a good reason is “This violates the style guide, but it improves type safety.”
  • Run clang-format on your changes to maintain formatting

    • There are .clang-format files throughout the repository to define clang-format settings which are found and used automatically by clang-format.
    • A sample git workflow may look like:
   # Make changes to the source.
   $ git add -u .
   $ git clang-format --style=file
   # Check to see if clang-format made any changes and if they are OK.
   $ git add -u .
   $ git commit
  • Format your git commit messages consistently with the repo
    • Limit the subject line to 50 characters. Begin with a one-word component description followed by a colon (e.g. loader, layers, tests, etc.).
    • Separate subject from body with a blank line.
    • Wrap the body at 72 characters.
    • Capitalize the subject line.
    • Do not end the subject line with a period.
    • Use the body to explain what and why vs. how.
    • Use the imperative mood in the subject line. This just means to write it as a command (e.g. Fix the sprocket).

Testing Your Changes

  • Run the existing tests in the repository before and after each if your commits to check for any regressions. There are some tests that appear in all repositories. These tests can be found in the following folders inside of your target build directory:

    (These instructions are for Linux)

  • In the demos directory, run:

   cube --validate
   smoke --validate
  • In the tests directory, run:
  • On Windows, a quick sanity check can be run from inside Visual Studio -- just run the vk_layer_validation_tests project, or you can run run_all_tests.ps1 from a PowerShell window

  • Note that some tests may fail with known issues or driver-specific problems. The idea here is that your changes shouldn't change the test results, unless that was the intent of your changes.

  • Run tests that explicitly exercise your changes.

  • Feel free to subject your code changes to other tests as well!

Special Considerations for Validation Layers

If you are submitting a change that adds a new validation check, you should also construct a “negative” test function. The negative test function purposely violates the validation rule that the new validation check is looking for. The test should cause your new validation check to identify the violation and issue a validation error report. And finally, the test should check that the validation error report is generated and consider the test as “passing” if the report is received. Otherwise, the test should indicate “failure”. This new test should be added to the validation layer test program in the tests directory and contributed at the same time as the new validation check itself, along with appropriate updates to layers\vk_validation_error_database.txt. There are many existing validation tests in this directory that can be used as a starting point.

Contributor License Agreement (CLA)

You'll be prompted with a one-time “click-through” CLA dialog as part of submitting your pull request or other contribution to GitHub.

License and Copyrights

All contributions made to the Vulkan-LoaderAndValidationLayers repository are Khronos branded and as such, any new files need to have the Khronos license (Apache 2.0 style) and copyright included. Please see an existing file in this repository for an example.

All contributions made to the LunarG repositories are to be made under the Apache 2.0 license and any new files need to include this license and any applicable copyrights.

You can include your individual copyright after any existing copyrights.