Richard Liu / 7.25.2023Home / news

Contribute to Skiff Mail

We’re excited to share a big announcement for the Skiff community – Skiff Mail can now be built and edited on any device. If you're looking to make open-source contributions, read on.
Open-source code and inbox graphic.
Skiff Mail has been open-source since day one, and our engineering team has been hard at work to release changes that make it easier to run and contribute to Skiff Mail's web app. Now, anyone can contribute to Skiff's development - simply push up a pull request if you have a creative idea, feature suggestion, or bug fix.


To try out Skiff Mail immediately in your web browser, visit the code sandbox below: can run, edit, and experiment with Skiff Mail all inside the Code Sandbox. However, local development (see instructions below) will likely be much faster if you intend to make larger changes.
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Our process of creating a buildable version of Skiff Mail started from an open-source approach since launch. Along with publishing our security model and whitepaper, working in public encourages our users to not just trust us, but verify our code for themselves.Recently, we launched Skiff Crypto and Skiff UI - our cryptography and UI libraries - as MIT-licensed NPM packages for anyone to use. We’ve been appreciative of the tremendous response this has received from the Skiff community.With this update, we hope to unlock the creativity and energy of our community - if you want to make a change to Skiff Mail or fix a bug, you can now do so immediately.As an example, here’s Skiff Mail in “homebrew”-style colors, with the source code available on the homebrew branch.
Skiff Mail in homebrew theme.


Here’s what we recommend to get started in contributing to Skiff Mail.
  1. Set up a development environment and run Skiff Mail locally. You can either follow instructions for local development in the README, or edit directly in the cloud using our CodeSandbox.
  2. Take a look at our Good First Issues section within the repository, and assign yourself if anything looks interesting. This is the fun part of tinkering with our codebase and solving an interesting technical problem.
  3. When you’ve made your change, create a pull request with our contributing guidelines, and assign someone from the Skiff team to review!
  4. Once your pull request is approved, you’re all cleared to merge. 🚀


Q: Is the Skiff API accessible?A: For now, we decided to mock most API calls and authentication for simplicity and reliability. In the future, we may consider offering a hosted API - please email us at [email protected] if you’re interested in being a beta tester for this.Q: Are there bounties?A: There are not financial bounties yet, but we’re offering a year of the Essential Plan to anyone who closes a “good first issue.”Q: Will my changes be released?A: Yes! Any PR that is merged and goes through a design review will be released to the entire Skiff community, which is now over one million users.

Joining the community

Skiff’s community is full of enthusiasts who care deeply about open-source software, privacy, and freedom. Feel free to join our DiscordReddit, or follow us on Twitter for daily updates. If you have feature requests, you can also add them to our public feature request roadmap here. If you want to contribute, we hope this guide was helpful!

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