Welcome to the Doctrine Project Contributors Guide. This documentation aims to document how contributors and maintainers should work when using git, development workflow, build process, dependency management, etc.


The Doctrine Project is the home of a selected set of PHP libraries primarily focused on providing persistence services and related functionality. Its prize projects are the Object Relational Mapper and the Database Abstraction Layer it is built on top of. You can view a list of all projects on the website.

Contributors vs Maintainers

Before continuing you need to understand the difference between a contributor and a maintainer.

Contributor Workflow

Who is a contributor? A contributor can be anyone! It could be you. Continue reading this section if you wish to get involved and contribute back to a Doctrine project.

Initial Setup

$ git clone [email protected]:username/doctrine2.git
$ cd doctrine2
$ git remote add doctrine git://
$ git config branch.master.remote doctrine

Keeping your master up-to-date!

Once all this is done, you'll be able to keep your local master up to date with the simple command:

$ git checkout master
$ git pull --rebase

Alternatively, you can synchronize your master from any branch with the full fetch/rebase syntax:

$ git fetch doctrine
$ git rebase doctrine/master master

Using rebase pull will do a rebase instead of a merge, which will keep a linear history with no unnecessary merge commits. It'll also rewind, apply and then reapply your commits at the HEAD.

Branching Model

The following names will be used to differentiate between the different repositories:

As a contributor you will push your completed local topic branch to origin. As a contributor you will pull updates from doctrine. As a maintainer (write-access) you will merge branches from contributors into doctrine.

Primary Branches

The doctrine repository holds the following primary branches:

These branches exist in parallel and are defined as follows:

doctrine/master is the branch where the source code of HEAD always reflects the latest version. Each released stable version will be a tagged commit in a doctrine/\* branch. Each released unstable version will be a tagged commit in the doctrine/master branch.

NOTE You should never commit to your forked origin/master. Changes to origin/master will never be merged into doctrine/master. All work must be done in a topic branch, which are explained below.

Topic Branches

Topic branches are for contributors to develop bug fixes, new features, etc. so that they can be easily merged to master. They must follow a few simple rules as listed below:

Topic branches are used to develop new features and fix reported issues. When starting development of a feature, the target release in which this feature will be incorporated may well be unknown. The essence of a topic branch is that it exists as long as the feature is in development, but will eventually be merged back into master or a release branch (to add the new feature or bugfix to a next release) or discarded (in case of a disappointing experiment).

Topic branches should exist in your local and origin repositories only, there is no need for them to exist in doctrine.

Working on topic branches

First create an appropriately named branch. When starting work on a new topic, branch off from doctrine/master or a doctrine/\* branch:

$ git checkout -b fix-weird-bug doctrine/master
Switched to a new branch "fix-weird-bug"

Now do some work, make some changes then commit them:

$ git status
$ git commit 

Next, merge or rebase your commit against doctrine/master. With your work done in a local topic branch, you'll want to assist upstream merge by rebasing your commits. You can either do this manually with fetch then rebase, or use the pull --rebase shortcut. You may encounter merge conflicts, which you should fix and then mark as fixed with add, and then continue rebasing with rebase --continue. At any stage, you can abort the rebase with rebase --abort unlike nasty merges which will leave files strewn everywhere.


Please note that once you have pushed your branch remotely you MUST NOT rebase!

$ git fetch doctrine
$ git rebase doctrine/master fix-weird-bug

or (uses tracking branch shortcuts):

$ git pull --rebase

Push your branch to origin:

Finished topic branches should be pushed to origin for a maintainer to review and pull into doctrine as appropriate:

$ git push origin fix-weird-bug
To [email protected]:hobodave/doctrine2.git
    * [new branch]      fix-weird-bug -> fix-weird-bug

Now you are ready to send a pull request from this branch and ask for a review from a maintainer.

Topic Branch Cleanup

Once your work has been merged by the branch maintainer, it will no longer be necessary to keep the local branch or remote branch, so you can remove them!

Sync your local master:

$ git checkout master
$ git pull --rebase

Remove your local branch using -d to ensure that it has been merged by upstream. Branch -d will not delete a branch that is not an ancestor of your current head.

From the git-branch man page:

    Delete a branch. The branch must be fully merged in HEAD.
    Delete a branch irrespective of its merged status.

Remove your local branch:

$ git branch -d fix-weird-bug

Remove your remote branch at origin:

$ git push origin fix-weird-bug

Project Dependencies

Project dependencies between Doctrine projects are handled through composer. The code of the particular Doctrine project you have cloned is located under lib/Doctrine. The source code of dependencies to other projects resides under vendor/.

To bump/upgrade a dependency version you just need to update the version constraint in composer.json and run:

$ composer update

Running Tests

You must have installed the library with composer and the dev dependencies (default). To run the tests:

$ ./vendor/bin/phpunit

Security Disclosures

You can read more about how to report security issues in our Security Policy.

Maintainer Workflow

You can learn more about the maintainer workflow here. Continue reading if you are interested in learning more about how to get started with your first contribution.


The website is completely open source! If you want to learn how to contribute to the Doctrine website and documentation you can read more about it here.