How to contribute

Filing an issue

If you want your issue to be resolved quickly, please include in your issue:

  • Gatsby version, node.js version, OS version
  • The contents of your gatsby-config.js and package.json as well as your gatsby-node.js, gatsby-browser.js gatsby-ssr.js files depending on changes you’ve made there.


Gatsby uses a “monorepo” pattern to manage its many dependencies and relies on lerna and yarn to configure the repository for active development.

You can install the latest version of Gatsby by following these steps:

  • Clone the repo, navigate to its directory.
  • ensure you have the latest version of yarn installed (>= 1.0.2)
  • Install dependencies using yarn run bootstrap in the root of the repo.

The usual contributing steps are:

  • Fork the official repository.
  • Clone your fork: git clone<your-username>/gatsby.git
  • setup up repo and Install dependencies: yarn run bootstrap
  • Make sure tests are passing for you: yarn test
  • Create a topic branch: git checkout -b topics/new-feature-name
  • Run npm run watch from the root of the repo to first do an initial Babel build of all packages and then watch for changes to packages’ source code and compile these changes on-the-fly as you work.
  • Install gatsby-dev-cli globally: yarn global add gatsby-dev-cli
  • Run yarn install in each of the sites you’re testing with.
  • For each of your Gatsby test sites, run the gatsby-dev command there to copy the built files from your cloned copy of Gatsby. It’ll watch for your changes to Gatsby packages and copy them into the site. For more detailed instructions see the gatsby-dev-cli README
  • Add tests and code for your changes.
  • Once you’re done, make sure all tests still pass: yarn test
  • Commit and push to your fork.
  • Create an pull request from your branch.

Contributing to the documentation.

Gatsby, unsurprisingly, uses Gatsby for it’s documentation website.

If you want to add/modify any Gatsby documentation, go to the docs folder on Github and use the file editor to edit and then preview your changes. Github then allows you to commit the change and raise a PR right in the UI. This is the easiest way you can contribute to the project!

However, if you want to make more changes to the website, that is, change layouts, add sections/pages, follow the steps below. You can then spin up your own instance of the Gatsby website and make/preview your changes before raising a pull request.

  • Clone the repo and navigate to /www
  • Run yarn to install all of the website’s dependencies.
  • Run gatsby develop to preview the website in http://localhost:8000
  • The Markdown files for the documentation live in /docs folder. Make additions or modifications here.
  • Make sure to double check your grammar and capitalise correctly.
  • Commit and push to your fork.
  • Create a pull request from your branch.

Development tools

Redux devtools

Gatsby uses Redux for managing state during development and building. It’s often helpful to see the flow of actions and builtup state for a site you’re working on or if adding new functionality to core. We leverage and to give you use the Redux devtools extension for debugging Gatsby.

To use this, first install redux-devtools-extension in your browser. Then in your Gatsby repo, run npm run remotedev. Then in your site directory run REDUX_DEVTOOLS=true gatsby develop. Depending on your operating system and shell, you may need to modify how you set the REDUX_DEVTOOLS environment variable.

At this point, your site will be sending Redux actions and state to the remote server.

To connect to this, you need to setup the devtools extension to talk to the remote server.

First open the remote devtools.

how to open the redux remote devtools extension

Then click settings along the bottom menu and set the host and port.

how to set the host/port for the remote devtools extension to connect to Gatsby

After this, the devtools extension should connect to the remote server and you’ll see actions start showing up.

gatsby redux remote devtools

Warning!! Lots of buginess. While having this available is extremely helpful, this setup is very buggy and fragile. There is a memory leak in the extension that’s triggered it seems every time you restart the Gatsby development server. Also the extension often, for no apparent reason, just won’t show any actions from the remote server. It’ll also often freeze up. The best solution seems to just be turning everything off and on again. Fixing up these tools would be very helpful for us and many others using these tools if someone wants to take this on!

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