Forking the Repository

The first step to editing the repository is to fork it into your own user space. Creating a fork makes a copy of the repository in your GitHub for you to make any changes you may require for your use-case. This allows you to make changes without impacting the core VOLTTRON repository.

Forking is done by pointing your favorite web browser to and then clicking “Fork” on the upper right of the screen. (Note: You must have a GitHub account to fork the repository. If you don’t have one, we encourage you to sign up.)


After making changes to your repository, you may wish to contribute your changes back to the Core VOLTTRON repository. Instructions for contributing code may be found here.

Cloning ‘YOUR’ VOLTTRON forked repository

The next step in the process is to copy your forked repository onto your computer to work on. This will create an identical copy of the GitHub repository on your local machine. To do this you need to know the address of your repository. The URL to your repository address will be<YOUR USERNAME>/volttron.git. From a terminal execute the following commands:

# Here, we are assuming you are doing develop work in a folder called `git`. If you'd rather use something else, that's OK.
mkdir -p ~/git
cd ~/git
git clone -b develop<YOUR USERNAME>/volttron.git
cd volttron


VOLTTRON uses develop as its main development branch rather than the standard main branch (the default).

Adding and Committing files

Now that you have your repository cloned, it’s time to start doing some modifications. Using a simple text editor you can create or modify any file in the volttron directory. After making a modification or creating a file it is time to move it to the stage for review before committing to the local repository. For this example let’s assume we have made a change to in the root of the volttron directory and added a new file called To get those files in the staging area (preparing for committing to the local repository) we would execute the following commands:

git add
git add

# Alternatively in one command
git add

After adding the files to the stage you can review the staged files by executing:

git status

Finally, in order to commit to the local repository we need to think of what change we actually did and be able to document it. We do that with a commit message (the -m parameter) such as the following.

git commit -m "Added new and updated copyright of"

Pushing to the remote repository

The next step is to share our changes with the world through GitHub. We can do this by pushing the commits from your local repository out to your GitHub repository. This is done by the following command:

git push