Contribution workflow

Forking vs. committing

Linus’ way of things sounds fine for now: if you find yourself implementing a new feature, either send me an email with a bunch of commits or use Github pull request feature. Maybe if the user base grows too much as well as the need for trust in a specific branch of the project, we can switch to a shared repository and add a couple of trusted committers.


This is a community project, thus commits should be readable enough for any of the contributors to guess the content by simply reading the comment or find a proper commit when one knows what they are looking for.

Usual standards remain: write English comments, single line short comments and additional multi-line if required (keep in mind that the most important piece of information should fit in the first line).


You are of course free of naming you branches to your taste or even using master directly if you find this appropriate. Still, keep in mind that:

  • a git email or a pull request should address a single feature a bug, so keep your branches as tidy as possible;

  • this is a small project with a limited number of forks and active threads on Github, so someone might want to look at your fork and find the branch you are using to implement a specific feature; to avoid any hassle, we suggest that you use branch names prefixed with feat- or fix- and followed either by the name of the Github issue or a short and meaningful name.

PR Workflow

All pull requests have to be against the main master branch. The PR gets build by a Github Action workflow and some primitive auto-testing is done. Test images get uploaded to a separate section in Docker hub. Reviewers will check the PR and test the resulting images. See the Test images section for more info.

Urgent fixes can be backported to the stable branch. For this a member of Mailu/contributors has to set the type/backport label. Upon merge of the original PR, a copy of the PR is created against the stable branch. After some testing on master, we will approve and merge this new PR as well.

At the end of every milestone, a new stable branch will be created from master or any previous commit that matches the completion of the milestone.


Adding entries in the CHANGELOG is an automated process which requires creation of a file under towncrier/newsfragments directory.

The start of the filename is the ticket number, and the content is what will end up in the news file. For example, if ticket #850 is about adding a new widget, the filename would be towncrier/newsfragments/850.feature and the content would be Feature that has just been added.

Supported file extensions are:

  • .feature: Signifying a new feature.

  • .bugfix: Signifying a bug fix.

  • .doc: Signifying a documentation improvement.

  • .removal: Signifying a deprecation or removal of public API.

  • .misc: A ticket has been closed, but it is not of interest to users.

Forked projects

If you find yourself forking the project for a specific independent purpose (commercial use, different philosophy or incompatible point of view), we would be glad if you let us know so that we can list interesting known forks and their specific features (and backport some of them if your implementation is free as well).