Set up your laptop

Set up your Gestalt Repository

  • Clone the Repo: Fork the Gestalt Repo and work of your forked repo, not the pinterest/gestalt repo.
  • Once forked, clone to your local machine using the SSH option.
    git clone<YOUR_USERNAME>/gestalt.git
  • Use the correct Node.js version to setup the environment locally.
    cd gestalt && nvm use
    If the node version isn't available,
    install it locally
  • Install project dependencies. Do not run npm install because it will create a package-lock.json file.
  • Add pinterest/gestalt as a remote upstream (do this once).
    git remote add upstream
  • Check your remote.
    git remote -v
    // origin<YOUR_USERNAME>/gestalt.git (fetch)
    // origin<YOUR_USERNAME>/gestalt.git (push)
    // upstream (fetch)
    // upstream (push)

Set up VSCode

  • Open the new /gestalt folder with VSCode.
  • Install the suggested VSCode extensions including vscode-stylelint to lint CSS files.
  • If you want to automatically launch the docs when you open VSCode:
    • In VSCode type CMD+Shift+p
    • Search and select Tasks: "Manage Automatic Tasks in Folder"
    • Select Allow "Automatic Tasks in Folder"
    • Relaunch VSCode

Run the Gestalt Documentation Server

Whenever you make changes to Gestalt, please test them out locally before making a PR.
To start the documentation server run yarn start & open http://localhost:8888.

Create a Pull Request

  • Rebase your local master branch.
    git fetch upstream
    git rebase upstream/master
  • Create and checkout a branch. Replace the text <feature-branch> with your branch name.
    git checkout -b <feature-branch> upstream/master
  • Time to make changes to Gestalt!
    • Run the following command to generate the scaffolding for new components. Replace ‘ComponentName‘ with the name of your component.
      yarn generate ComponentName
    • Run tests & update snapshots.
      yarn jest -u
    • Update CSS flow types.
      yarn run flow-generate:css
    • If you are introducing breaking changes, create a
      to help users migrate between versions.
  • Push the changes up to your branch. Follow naming conventions for the PR: <Component>: <Commit Change Description>. Follow these steps again for any additional updates to your branch.
    git add .
    git commit -am "Component: Commit Change Description"
    git push -f origin HEAD
  • Go to
    . A new banner will be displayed, click on 'Compare & Create Pull Request'.
  • Add useful summary and screenshots.
  • Click on Create Pull Request or Create Draft if it is not ready for review and approval.
  • Ensure checks pass on your Pull Request - having the "Require Semver / Test (pull_request)" check fail is expected, because a Gestalt maintainer needs to add a correct semver label. Check out our
    versioning guidelines
    for more info.
  • After a Gestalt maintainer adds a correct semver label and approves a Pull Request, the release process is initiated automatically.


Scope of work

When pushing new changes to GitHub, your PR title should be aligned with the scope of your work. If your goal was to change the default color of a component, keep the scope of changes to that specific task and get the title exactly reflect those changes.


Our versioning guidelines follow those outlined at
  • Patch: internal fixes, documentation changes, or package upgrades (anything that consumers of Gestalt don't need to worry about)
  • Minor: any new functionality or properties for a component, or net-new components
  • Major: any breaking change, whether it be in a specific component or the library itself (will most likely include a


When a release will cause breaking changes — in usage or in typing — we provide a codemod to ease the upgrade process. Codemods are organized by release number in /packages/gestalt-codemods. The name of the folder should reflect the resulting version number of your PR.
Run the relevant codemod(s) in the relevant directory of your repo (not the Gestalt repo): anywhere the component to be updated is used. Example usage for a codebase using Flow:
yarn codemod --parser=flow -t={relative/path/to/codemod} relative/path/to/your/code
For a dry run to see what the changes will be, add the -d (dry run) and -p (print output) flags (pipe stdout to a file for easier inspection if you like).

Changes not allowed

Do not use the following CSS style properties:
  • line-height: Property in CSS that controls the space between lines of text. Not defining a line-height allows the browser to determine line-height based on language which prevents localization issues.
  • height/width: Height & width are CSS properties that can be used for determining the size of static assets such as an icon size. However, components that contain text data should not fix the height & width of the component to prevent incorrect styling under different cases such as localization, longer texts, etc. Consider other alternatives such as padding to define different component sizes.
  • Boolean props: For example, instead of isRTL: boolean or isStart: boolean or isEnd: boolean use more declarative props such as layoutDirection: rtl | ltr or role: startInput | endInput.