The Sentinel Bot
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The Sentinels

This is a github bot to allow management of repositories that contain open source projects. It takes a list of maintainers for the repository, and allows you to communicate with the bot about the status of a pull request.

  • When a PR is opened, it will create a branch called hypothetical-BRANCH. This branch will contain the commits in your PR, rebased on top of master, as if they where merged. The status of the PR will be In Progress.
  • The hypothetical-BRANCH will then be submitted to Travis CI for testing. The status of the PR will be 'In Testing', with the URI of the travis job.
  • A comment will be added to the PR that contains the commit that was on HEAD.
  • If the test passes, the status on the PR will be updated to 'The Travis CI build passed'.
  • If the test fails, the status on the PR will be updated to 'The Travis CI build failed'.

When someone on the committers list says:

@thesentinels approve

This bot will merge this PR. It will follow the following process:

  • We will check the comment for the commit that was on HEAD. If HEAD has moved on, we will re-trigger the test phase, listed above.
  • If the test is passing, we force push the hypothetical-BRANCH as BRANCH, then we merge the BRANCH.
  • If the merge is successful, we delete hypothetical-BRANCH and BRANCH.


Check out the source, run bundle install, then bundle exec exe/sentinel.

This is also easy to run on heroku; clone the repo, push it to heroku, set the environment variables and configure the webhook/access token. Viola!


The bot requires a toml configuration file with three settings:

access_token = "GITHUB_ACCESS_TOKEN"
secret_token = "SECRET_TOKEN"

These can also be set in your environment:


The login is a github username; the access token is a personal access token that has the Repo privilege. The secret token is the one you specify when you add the bot as a webhook.


After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run rake spec to run the tests. You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment. Run bundle exec sentinel to use the gem in this directory, ignoring other installed copies of this gem.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install. To release a new version, update the version number in version.rb, and then run bundle exec rake release, which will create a git tag for the version, push git commits and tags, and push the .gem file to


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at This project is intended to be a safe, welcoming space for collaboration, and contributors are expected to adhere to the Contributor Covenant code of conduct.


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.

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