Github hooks to provide an encouraging atmosphere for new contributors
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GitHub hooks to provide an encouraging atmosphere for new contributors. Highfive assigns pull requests to users based on rules in configuration files. You can see Highfive in action in several Rust repositories. See the rust-lang/rust pull requests, for example.

This project drives the @rust-highfive bot and was originally a fork of servo/highfive, used by Servo and Servo's @highfive bot. For more history see the comments in #35.

Table of Contents

  1. Installation
  2. Testing
  3. Adding a Project
  4. Enabling a Repository
  5. Local Development
  6. License


To install highfive, you just need to execute the script or use pip directly. Both commands have to be executed from the directory where is located.

$ python install


$ pip install . # the dot is important ;)


Before running tests, make sure the test-requirements are installed by running the following command:

$ pip install -r test-requirements.txt

Once the dependencies are installed, you can run all tests by executing:

$ nosetests

Tests are labeled using the nosetests Attribute Selector Plugin with types of "unit" or "integration". To run only unit tests do:

$ nosetests -a type=unit

Only unit tests are run in PR builds. All tests are run in daily cron builds.

Adding a Project

To make rust-highfive interact with a new repo, add a configuration file in highfive/configs, with a filename of the form reponame.json. The file should look like:

        "all": ["@username", "@otheruser"],
        "subteamname": ["@subteammember", "@username"]
        "dirname":  ["subteamname", "@anotheruser"]
    "contributing": "http://project.tld/contributing_guide.html",
    "expected_branch": "develop",
    "new_pr_labels": ["S-waiting-for-review"]

The groups section allows you to alias lists of usernames. You should specify at least one user in the group "all". Others are optional.

In the dirs section, you map directories of the repository to users or groups who're eligible to review PRs. This section can be left blank.

contributing specifies the contribution guide link in the message which welcomes new contributors to the repository. If contributing is not present, the Rust will be linked instead.

If PRs should be filed against a branch other than master, specify the correct destination in the expected_branch field. If expected_branch is left out, highfive will assume that PRs should be filed against master. The bot posts a warning on any PR that targets an unexpected branch.

new_pr_labels contains a list of labels to apply to each new PR. If it's left out or empty, no new labels will be applied.

Enabling a Repository

Once the hooks for a repository are set up, visit the repository's webhook settings page at

Create a new webhook, pointing at your highfive instance's location:

  • Enter payload URL: http://99.88.777.666/highfive/
  • Enter content type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
  • Leave the "secret" field blank
  • Click on "Let me select individual events", and heck the boxes by "Issue comment" and "pull request"
  • Check the box by "Active"
  • Click on "Add webhook"

Local Development

You can run Highfive on your machine and configure a repository to use your local instance. Here is one approach for running a local server:

  • Use to run the Highfive service. From the repository root, do:
    Now you have Highfive listening on port 8000 of your machine.
  • Your Highfive instance will need to be reachable from outside of your machine. One way to do this is to use ngrok to get a temporary domain name that proxies to your Highfive instance. Additionally, you will be able to use ngrok's inspector to easily examine and replay the requests.
  • Set up the webhook by following the instructions in Enabling a Repo, substituting your local Highfive IP address or domain name and port number (if necessary).
  • Obtain an OAuth token. In the account you are creating the token in, go to Grant access to the repository scope.
  • Put the authorization information obtained in the previous step into a file named config in the top of the repository (i.e., the directory containing this file). Here's a template of what it should look like:
    token: OAUTH_TOKEN
    Do not check in this file or commit your OAuth token to a repository in any other way. It is a secret.

Here are some details to be aware of:

  • The beginning of choose_reviewer in highfive/ contains logic that causes Highfive to ignore requests from unqualified repositories. You will likely need to modify this logic in order for your local Highfive to take action on new PRs.
  • For Highfive to know how to select reviewers for your repository, you need a configuration file in highfive/configs.
  • Highfive ignores comments from the integration user near the top of new_commment in highfive/


Highfive is licensed under the terms of both the MIT License and the Apache License (Version 2.0).