Checking out the V8 source code

This document explains how to check out the V8 source code locally. If you just want to browse the source online, use these links:

Using Git #

V8’s Git repository is located at, with an official mirror on GitHub:

Don’t just git clone either of these URLs! if you want to build V8 from your checkout, instead follow the instructions below to get everything set up correctly.

Instructions #

  1. On Linux or macOS, first install Git and then depot_tools.

    On Windows, follow the Chromium instructions (for Googlers, for non-Googlers) to install Visual Studio, Debugging tools for Windows, and depot_tools (which on Windows includes Git).

  2. Update depot_tools by executing the following into your terminal/shell. On Windows, this has to be done in the Command Prompt (cmd.exe), as opposed to PowerShell or others.

  3. For push access, you need to setup a .netrc file with your Git password:

    1. Go to and log in with your committer account (usually an account). Note: creating a new password doesn’t automatically revoke any previously-created passwords. Please make sure you use the same email as the one set for git config
    2. Have a look at the big, grey box containing shell commands. Paste those lines into your shell.
  4. Now, get the V8 source code, including all branches and dependencies:

    mkdir ~/v8
    cd ~/v8
    fetch v8
    cd v8

After that you’re intentionally in a detached head state.

Optionally you can specify how new branches should be tracked:

git config branch.autosetupmerge always
git config branch.autosetuprebase always

Alternatively, you can create new local branches like this (recommended):

git new-branch fix-bug-1234

Staying up-to-date #

Update your current branch with git pull. Note that if you’re not on a branch, git pull won’t work, and you’ll need to use git fetch instead.

git pull

Sometimes dependencies of V8 are updated. You can synchronize those by running:

gclient sync

Sending code for reviewing #

git cl upload

Committing #

You can use the CQ checkbox on codereview for committing (preferred). See also the chromium instructions for CQ flags and troubleshooting.

If you need more trybots than the default, add the following to your commit message on Gerrit (e.g. for adding a nosnap bot):


To land manually, update your branch:

git pull --rebase origin

Then commit using

git cl land

Try jobs #

This section is only useful for V8 project members.

Creating a try job from codereview #

  1. Upload a CL to Gerrit.

    git cl upload
  2. Try the CL by sending a try job to the try bots like this:

    git cl try
  3. Wait for the try bots to build and you get an email with the result. You can also check the try state at your patch on Gerrit.

  4. If applying the patch fails you either need to rebase your patch or specify the V8 revision to sync to:

git cl try --revision=1234

Creating a try job from a local branch #

  1. Commit some changes to a git branch in the local repo.

  2. Try the change by sending a try job to the try bots like this:

    git cl try
  3. Wait for the try bots to build and you get an email with the result. Note: There are issues with some of the replicas at the moment. Sending try jobs from codereview is recommended.

Useful arguments #

The revision argument tells the try bot what revision of the code base is used for applying your local changes to. Without the revision, V8’s LKGR revision is used as the base.

git cl try --revision=1234

To avoid running your try job on all bots, use the --bot flag with a comma-separated list of builder names. Example:

git cl try --bot=v8_mac_rel

Viewing the try server #

git cl try-results

Source code branches #

There are several different branches of V8; if you're unsure of which version to get, you most likely want the up-to-date stable version. Have a look at our Release Process for more information about the different branches used.

You may want to follow the V8 version that Chrome is shipping on its stable (or beta) channels, see