Getting Started With NSS

How to get involved with NSS

Network Security Services (NSS) is a base library for cryptographic algorithms and secure network protocols used by Mozilla software.
Would you like to get involved and help us to improve the core security of Mozilla Firefox and other applications that make use of NSS? We are looking forward to your contributions!
We have a large list of tasks waiting for attention, and we are happy to assist you in identifying areas that match your interest or skills. You can find us on Mozilla IRC in channel #nss or you could ask your questions on the newsgroup.

The NSS library and its supporting command line tools are written in the C programming language. Its build system and the automated tests are based on makefiles and bash scripts.

Over time, many documents have been produced that describe various aspects of NSS. You can start with:

(Unfortunately the NSS project doesn’t have a technical writer at this time, so our documentation is not as organized as we would like it to be. You could contribute by organizing it in a better way.)

NSS Sample Code

A good place to start learning how to write NSS applications are the command line tools that are maintained by the NSS developers. You can find them in subdirectory mozilla/security/nss/cmd

Or have a look at some basic NSS Sample Code.

A new set of samples is currently under development and review, see Create new NSS samples.

You are welcome to download the samples via: hg clone; cd nss; hg update SAMPLES_BRANCH

How to Contribute

… (this section is still under construction, but there are many contribution opportunities)

Start by opening a bugzilla account at if you don’t have one.

NSS :: Libraries component for issues you’d like to work on. We maintain a list of NSS bugs marked with a keyword “good-first-bug” that you can view.

Creating your Patch

Seee our section on NSS sources building testing to get started making your patch. When you’re satisfied with it, you’ll need code review.

Code Review is our code review tool, which uses your Bugzilla account. Use our Phabricator user instructions to upload patches for review.

Some items that will be evaluated during code review are listed in checklist form on Github.

After passing review, your patch can be landed by a member of the NSS team. You can find us on Mozilla IRC in channel #nss.

Note that we don’t land code that isn’t both reviewed and tested. Code only works when it has tests, and tests only work when they’re part of the automation.