Skia Quickstart Guide

WARNING: Several steps in this guide are out of sync with our automatically- tested, officially-supported processes for checking out and building Skia. The officially supported processes are the ones documented in skiadocs; see

The steps documented within this file are more experimental in nature.

This guide assumes you've got git, ninja, and python on your path.

  1. First, checkout Skia:
    • git clone
    • cd skia
  2. Then download the dependencies. You only need to rerun this when the dependencies change.
    • python tools/git-sync-deps
  3. Create our Ninja build files from our Gyp meta-build files. You only need to rerun this when you sync or change a .gyp file.
    • GYP_GENERATORS=ninja ./gyp_skia
  4. Now, let's build Skia. There are a few options:
    • ninja -C out/Debug: no optimization, asserts enabled
    • ninja -C out/Release: optimization, asserts disabled
    • ninja -C out/Coverage: no optimization, asserts enabled, code coverage generated
  5. Run some tests:
    • out/Debug/dm: runs golden master tests from gm/, unit tests from tests/
  6. Make some changes:
    • git checkout -b my-new-feature origin/master
    • vim src/...
    • git commit -am "Changes for my new feature."
    • vim tests/...
    • git commit --amend -a
    • ninja -C out/Debug && out/Debug/dm && echo ok
  7. Rebase your change onto the latest Skia code:
    • git pull --rebase
    • ninja -C out/Debug && out/Debug/dm && echo ok
  8. Upload your change and send it out for review:
    • git cl upload -r -s
    • git cl web
  9. Go through code review, get an LGTM, submit using the checkbox on the code review page.