Code ownership

Code ownership is aimed at helping find the right person and team to contact, for any question, at any time. We are starting out with code ownership, ownership inference and assignments and are exploring ways to help you find someone to answer every question.

Enabling code ownership

Code ownership is enabled by default. If you like to disable it from being shown in the UI, you can create the feature flag enable-ownership-panels and set it to false:

  • Go to Site-admin > Feature flags
  • If the feature flag enable-ownership-panels doesn't yet exist, click Create feature flag
  • Under Name, put enable-ownership-panels
  • For Type select Boolean
  • And set Value to False
  • Click Create flag


Owner: An owner is defined as a person or a team in Sourcegraph.

A person can be:

  • a Sourcegraph user which we were able to resolve from the CODEOWNERS handle or email, in which case we link to their profile.
  • an unknown user for which we were unable to resolve a profile, in which case we will return the CODEOWNERS data we have.

A team is a group of Sourcegraph users represented by a common handle, which is a new feature that we added. Read more about how to manage teams in Sourcegraph.

Code ownership

Code ownership is set in 2 different ways:


  • Code ownership support has been released as an MVP for 5.0. In the future of the product we intend to infer ownership beyond CODEOWNERS data.
  • The feature has not been fully validated to work well on large repositories or large CODEOWNERS rulesets. This is a future area of improvement, but please contact us if you run into issues.

Browsing ownership

The ownership information is available for browsing once ownership data is available through a CODEOWNERS file.

When displaying a source file, there is a bar above the file contents.

  • On the left-hand side, it displays the most recent change to the file.
  • On the right-hand side it displays the code ownership bar with at most 2 file owners. Any additional number of owners is also displayed.

File view showing code ownership bar on the right hand side above the file contents

After clicking on the code ownsership bar, a bottom panel appears listing all the owners.

File view with the ownership tab selected in the bottom panel

There is always a single rule in a CODEOWNERS file that determines ownership (if any). Each owner listed in the bottom panel has a description found by clicking the collapsible arrow: Owner is associated with a rule in a CODEOWNERS file. Clicking this description links to the line containing the responsible rule in the CODEOWNERS file.

If any email information has been found for the owner, clicking the mail icon will start an email to them.

Searching for files with owners

Code ownership is a first-class citizen in search. Ownership can be either a query input or a search result:

  • file:has.owner([email protected]) keeps only the search results associated with given user (here referred to by e-mail).
  • -file:has.owner(@username) removes all results owned by specific user (here referred to by name).

Ownership predicate can also be used without parameters:

-file:has.owner() will only include files with an owner assigned to them. --file:has.owner() will only include files without an owner.

When performing a search the select:file.owners predicate will return the owners for the result of that search.

For instance one can find all the owners of TypeScript files in a given repository by using repo:^github\.com/sourcegraph/sourcegraph$ lang:TypeScript select:file.owners.

Find commits in given release for given owner

To find all commits between versions 5.0 and 5.1 made by sourcegraph/own team, the following query could be used:

repo:^github\.com/sourcegraph/[email protected]:^5.0 type:commit file:has.owner(sourcegraph/own)

Same query can be run for any owner (a person or a team).

Further reading

In order to learn more please check out our references: