Developing For OpenSSL

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Periodically people ask us how to join the OpenSSL development team. This page is an attempt to answer that question.

Firstly it is important to understand that OpenSSL is complex. It is both a fully featured cryptography library as well as an SSL/TLS library. In addition the command line tools provide a wide array of capabilities. It can take quite a while to become proficient in coding in the internals. It is also clearly security sensitive. For those reasons joining the main development team is by invitation only. Most of the current development team have had an association with OpenSSL of one sort or another for a long time. Some have been on the project since the beginning, whilst many others joined later. For those joining later, without exception, everyone had a number of years of experience working with OpenSSL before they joined the team itself. The list of current development team members is available here: https://www.openssl.org/community/

However, there are still a number of ways to contribute to the project without joining the development team. We welcome such contributions:

  • A good place to start is the openssl-users mailing list. This will give you the opportunity to help out other users of OpenSSL, and learn from other experts in its use. Development issues that the team is tackling can be viewed via the GitHub issue tracking system.
  • We are always looking for good people to help us build up the information held within this wiki. Documentation is one area where we are keen to improve things, and this wiki is an important location for people to come to. Information on how to get an account is available on the Welcome page.
  • Bug fixes and enhancements to the code and documentation can be submitted via GitHub as issues or pull requests. See the README for details. If using GitHub pull requests please create and/or reference an issue so that it will automatically show up in the issue timeline.