Contribution Guidelines

There are many ways to contribute to Apache Arrow:

  • Contributing code (we call them “patches”)

  • Writing documentation (another form of code, in a way)

  • Participating in discussions on JIRA or the mailing list

  • Helping users of the libraries

  • Reporting bugs and asking questions

Mailing List

Projects in The Apache Software Foundation (“the ASF”) use public, archived mailing lists to create a public record of each project’s development activities and decision-making process. As such, all contributors generally must be subscribed to the mailing list to participate in the community.

Note that you must be subscribed to the mailing list in order to post to it. To subscribe, send a blank email to

Mailing list archives can be found here.

Issue Tracking

We use the ASF JIRA to manage our development “todo” list and to maintain changelogs for releases. In addition, the project’s Confluence site has some useful higher-level views of the JIRA issues.

To create a JIRA issue, you’ll need to have an account on the ASF JIRA, which you can sign yourself up for. The JIRA server hosts bugs and issues for multiple Apache projects. The JIRA project name for Arrow is “ARROW”.

Before you create a new bug entry, we recommend you first search among existing Arrow issues.

When reporting a new issue, follow these conventions to help make sure the right people see it:

  • Enter the component your issue pertains to (for example “Python” or “C++”).

  • Also prefix the issue title with the component name in brackets, for example [Python] issue name ; this helps when navigating lists of open issues.

  • If you’re reporting something that used to work in a previous version but doesn’t work in the current release, you can add the “Affects version” field. For feature requests and other proposals, “Affects version” isn’t appropriate.

Project maintainers may later tweak formatting and labels to help improve their visibility. They may add a “Fix version” to indicate that they’re considering it for inclusion in the next release, though adding that tag is not a commitment that it will be done in the next release.

Advanced use

Once you are involved in the project and want to do more on JIRA, such as assign yourself an issue, you will need “Contributor” permissions on the Apache Arrow JIRA. To get this role, ask on the mailing list for a project maintainer’s help.

GitHub issues

We support GitHub issues as a lightweight way to ask questions and engage with the Arrow developer community. We use JIRA for maintaining a queue of development work and as the public record for work on the project. So, feel free to open GitHub issues, but bugs and feature requests will eventually need to end up in JIRA, either before or after completing a pull request. Don’t be surprised if you are immediately asked by a project maintainer to open a JIRA issue.

How to contribute patches

We prefer to receive contributions in the form of GitHub pull requests. Please send pull requests against the repository following the procedure below.

If you are looking for some ideas on what to contribute, check out the JIRA issues for the Apache Arrow project. Comment on the issue and/or contact with your questions and ideas.

If you’d like to report a bug but don’t have time to fix it, you can still post it on JIRA, or email the mailing list

To contribute a patch:

  • Break your work into small, single-purpose patches if possible. It’s much harder to merge in a large change with a lot of disjoint features.

  • If one doesn’t already exist, create a JIRA for your patch on the Arrow Project JIRA.

  • Submit the patch as a GitHub pull request against the master branch. For a tutorial, see the GitHub guides on forking a repo and sending a pull request. So that your pull request syncs with the JIRA issue, prefix your pull request name with the JIRA issue id (ex: ARROW-767: [C++] Filesystem abstraction).

  • Make sure that your code passes the unit tests. You can find instructions how to run the unit tests for each Arrow component in its respective README file.

  • Add new unit tests for your code.

Thank you in advance for your contributions!