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Homu is a bot that integrates with GitHub and your favorite continuous integration service such as Travis CI, Appveyor or Buildbot.

Why is it needed?

Let's take Travis CI as an example. If you send a pull request to a repository, Travis CI instantly shows you the test result, which is great. However, after several other pull requests are merged into the master branch, your pull request can still break things after being merged into master. The traditional continuous integration solutions don't protect you from this.

In fact, that's why they provide the build status badges. If anything pushed to master is completely free from any breakage, those badges will not be necessary, as they will always be green. The badges themselves prove that there can still be some breakages, even when continuous integration services are used.

To solve this problem, the test procedure should be executed just before the merge, not just after the pull request is received. You can manually click the "restart build" button each time before you merge a pull request, but Homu can automate this process. It listens to the pull request comments, waiting for an approval comment from one of the configured reviewers. When the pull request is approved, Homu tests it using your favorite continuous integration service, and only when it passes all the tests, it is merged into master.

Note that Homu is not a replacement of Travis CI, Buildbot or Appveyor. It works on top of them. Homu itself doesn't have the ability to test pull requests.

Influences of bors

Homu is largely inspired by bors. The concept of "tests should be done just before the merge" came from bors. However, there are also some differences:

  1. Stateful: Unlike bors, which intends to be stateless, Homu is stateful. It means that Homu does not need to retrieve all the information again and again from GitHub at every run. This is essential because of GitHub's rate limiting. Once it downloads the initial state, the following changes are delivered with the Webhooks API.
  2. Pushing over polling: Homu prefers pushing wherever possible. The pull requests from GitHub are retrieved using Webhooks, as stated above. The test results from Buildbot are pushed back to Homu with the HttpStatusPush feature. This approach improves the overall performance and the response time, because the bot is informed about the status changes immediately.

And also, Homu has more features, such as rollup, try, and the Travis CI & Appveyor support.


How to install

$ sudo apt-get install python3-venv python3-wheel
$ python3 -m venv .venv
$ . .venv/bin/activate
$ pip install -U pip
$ git clone
$ pip install -e homu

How to configure

In the following instructions, HOST refers to the hostname (or IP address) where you are running your custom homu instance. PORT is the port the service is listening to and is configured in web.port in cfg.toml. NAME refers to the name of the repository you are configuring homu for.

  1. Copy cfg.sample.toml to cfg.toml. You'll need to edit this file to set up your configuration. The following steps explain where you can find important config values.

  2. Create a GitHub account that will be used by Homu. You can also use an existing account. In the developer settings, go to "OAuth Apps" and create a new application:

    • Make note of the "Client ID" and "Client Secret"; you will need to put them in your cfg.toml.
    • The OAuth Callback URL should be http://HOST:PORT/callback.
    • The homepage URL isn't necessary; you could set http://HOST:PORT/.
  3. Go back to the developer settings of the GitHub account you created/used in the previous step. Go to "Personal access tokens". Click "Generate new token" and choose the "repo" and "user" scopes. Put the token value in your cfg.toml.

  4. Add your new GitHub account as a Collaborator to the GitHub repo you are setting up homu for. This can be done in repo (NOT user) "Settings", then "Collaborators". Enable "Write" access.

    4.1. Make sure you login as the new GitHub account and that you accept the collaborator invitation you just sent!

  5. Add a Webhook to your repository. This is done under repo (NOT user) "Settings", then "Webhooks". Click "Add webhook", then set:

    • Payload URL: http://HOST:PORT/github
    • Content type: application/json
    • Secret: The same as repo.NAME.github.secret in cfg.toml
    • Events: click "Let me select individual events", then pick Issue comments, Pull requests, Pushes, Statuses, Check runs
  6. Add a Webhook to your continuous integration service, if necessary. You don't need this if using Travis/Appveyor.

    • Buildbot

      Insert the following code to the master.cfg file:

      from buildbot.status.status_push import HttpStatusPush
         extra_post_params={'secret': 'repo.NAME.buildbot.secret in cfg.toml'},
  7. Go through the rest of your cfg.toml and uncomment (and change, if needed) parts of the config you'll need.

How to run

$ . .venv/bin/activate
$ homu