Development process

This page gives an overview of how Nextcloud code is developed.

Source Code Version Control

Nextcloud uses git to manage revisions of the code. Software components have their own repositories.

Branch Names

Default branches of Nextcloud and its app repositories are named main or master. Additionally, there are stable branches whenever a major version of Nextcloud is released. Those are named stableX, where X refers to the version. For Nextcloud 25, for example, the stable branch is named stable25.

Target Branches for Contributions

Any changes made to the source code go into the default branch of a repository through a pull request.

# Switch to the default branch and update it
git checkout main
git pull origin/main

# Create the new feature branch
git checkout -b feature/foo-bar

# Add and commit the changes
git add file1 file2
git commit --signoff -m 'Add foo bar'

# Push the new commit to the remote repository and open a pull request
git push origin feature/foo-bar


If a contribution fixes a bug that also affects older Nextcloud or app releases, it may qualify for a backport. Backporting a fix means applying the change on an older version of the code. Git calls this operation cherry picking.

Automatic Backport

In many cases the cherry pick results in a clean apply of the patch and git is able to resolve any small conflicts. In those cases it’s easiest to let the backport bot do the backport.

See the bot usage for its commands.

Manual Backport

More complex changes may require the developer to do the backport manually. This can be done as follows:

# Switch to the target branch and update it
git checkout stable25
git pull origin/stable25

# Create the new backport branch
git checkout -b fix/foo-stable25

# Cherry pick the change from the commit sha1 of the change against the default branch
# This might cause conflicts. Resolve them.
git cherry-pick abc123

# Push the cherry pick commit to the remote repository and open a pull request
git push origin fix/foo-stable25