Contributing to Barbican

For general information on contributing to OpenStack, please check out the contributor guide to get started. It covers all the basics that are common to all OpenStack projects: the accounts you need, the basics of interacting with our Gerrit review system, how we communicate as a community, etc.

Below will cover the more project specific information you need to get started with the Barbican project, which is responsible for the following OpenStack deliverables:

Horizon extension for the OpenStack Key Manager API.
Additional Barbican tempest-based tests beyond those in the main OpenStack Integration Test Suite (tempest).
Ansible role to manage Luna SA Hardware Security Module (HSM) client software

See the CONTRIBUTING.rst file in each code repository for more information about contributing to that specific deliverable. Additionally, you should look over the docs links above; most components have helpful developer information specific to that deliverable.



People working on the Barbican project may be found in the #openstack-barbican channel on OFTC during working hours in their timezone. The channel is logged, so if you ask a question when no one is around, you can check the log to see if it’s been answered:

weekly meeting

Tuesdays at 13:00 UTC in #openstack-barbican on OFTC. Meetings are logged:

More information (including a link to the Agenda, some pointers on meeting etiquette, and an ICS file to put the meeting on your calendar) can be found at:

mailing list

We use the mailing list for asynchronous discussions or to communicate with other OpenStack teams. Use the prefix [barbican] in your subject line (it’s a high-volume list, so most people use email filters).

More information about the mailing list, including how to subscribe and read the archives, can be found at:


The Barbican project usually has a presence at the OpenDev/OpenStack Project Team Gathering that takes place at the beginning of each development cycle. Planning happens on an etherpad whose URL is announced at the weekly meetings and on the mailing list.

Contacting the Core Team

The barbican-core team is an active group of contributors who are responsible for directing and maintaining the Barbican project. As a new contributor, your interaction with this group will be mostly through code reviews, because only members of barbican-core can approve a code change to be merged into the code repository.


Although your contribution will require reviews by members of barbican-core, these aren’t the only people whose reviews matter. Anyone with a gerrit account can post reviews, so you can ask other developers you know to review your code … and you can review theirs. (A good way to learn your way around the codebase is to review other people’s patches.)

If you’re thinking, “I’m new at this, how can I possibly provide a helpful review?”, take a look at How to Review Changes the OpenStack Way.

You can learn more about the role of core reviewers in the OpenStack governance documentation:

The membership list of barbican-core is maintained in gerrit:,members

New Feature Planning

The Barbican project uses both “specs” and “blueprints” to track new features. Here’s a quick rundown of what they are and how the Barbican project uses them.

Exist in the barbican-specs repository. Each spec must have a Launchpad blueprint associated with it for tracking purposes.
A spec is required for any new Barbican core feature, anything that changes the Key Manager API, or anything that entails a mass change to the existing codebase.
It contains a README.rst file explaining how to file a spec.
You can read rendered specs docs at:
Exist in Launchpad, where they can be targeted to release milestones.
Examples of changes that can be covered by a blueprint only are:
  • adding a new backend; or

  • adding support for a defined capability that already exists in one or more existing backends.

Feel free to ask in #openstack-barbican or at the weekly meeting if you have an idea you want to develop and you’re not sure whether it requires a blueprint and a spec or simply a blueprint.

The Barbican project observes the OpenStack-wide deadlines, for example, final release of non-client libraries (barbican), final release for client libraries (python-barbicanclient), feature freeze, etc. These are also noted and explained on the release schedule for the current development cycle.

Task Tracking

We track our tasks in Launchpad. See the top of the page for the URL of each Barbican project deliverable.

If you’re looking for some smaller, easier work item to pick up and get started on, search for the ‘low-hanging-fruit’ tag in the Bugs section.

When you start working on a bug, make sure you assign it to yourself. Otherwise someone else may also start working on it, and we don’t want to duplicate efforts. Also, if you find a bug in the code and want to post a fix, make sure you file a bug (and assign it to yourself!) just in case someone else comes across the problem in the meantime.

Reporting a Bug

You found an issue and want to make sure we are aware of it? You can do so in the Launchpad bugs tracker of the affected deliverable.

Getting Your Patch Merged

The Barbican project policy is that a patch must have two +2s before it can be merged. (Exceptions are documentation changes, which require only a single +2, and specs, for which the PTL may require more than two +2s, depending on the complexity of the proposal.)

Patches lacking unit tests are unlikely to be approved. Check out the testing-barbican section of the Barbican Contributors Guide for a discussion of the kinds of testing we do with barbican.

In addition, some changes may require a release note. Any patch that changes functionality, adds functionality, or addresses a significant bug should have a release note. You can find more information about how to write a release note in the release-notes section of the Barbican Contributors Guide.

Keep in mind that the best way to make sure your patches are reviewed in a timely manner is to review other people’s patches. We’re engaged in a cooperative enterprise here.

You can see who’s been doing what with Barbican recently in Stackalytics:

Project Team Lead Duties

All common PTL duties are enumerated in the PTL guide.