Pure-Python implementation of git extensions to provide high-level repository operations for Vincent Driessen's branching model.
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Salsita git-flow

Pure-Python implementation of Git extensions to provide high-level repository operations for Vincent Driessen's branching model.

We've added a few tweaks to make it cooperate with Pivotal Tracker, Review Board and Jenkins.

Getting started

For the best introduction to get started with git flow, please read Jeff Kreeftmeijer's blog post http://jeffkreeftmeijer.com/2010/why-arent-you-using-git-flow.

Or have a look at one of these screen casts:

Salsita GitFlow basically follows the same guidelines, it just interacts with some other tools as well. Features are tied to Pivotal Tracker stories and Review Board review requests. Here is a quick summary of how it works:

  • feature start lets you choose a Pivotal Tracker story to be started.
  • feature finish finishes the PT story and posts the feature diff into Review Board. You can call feature finish multiple times and it will detect existing review request and update it. Every time you run feature finish, the assocciated Jenkins doploy job is triggered and the develop branch is deployed to the develop environment.
  • release start adds labels to the currently finished Pivotal Tracker stories, thus assigning them to the release of your choice. The newly created release branch is deployed to the QA environment so that it can be tested.
  • release stage checks if all relevant stories have been reviewed and QA'd and if that is the case, the release branch is deployed into the client environment so that the PT stories can be tested and accepted by the client.
  • release finish checks if all relevant stories were accepted by the client and if that is the case, the release is finished and closed, i.e. all the branches are merged and review requests submitted.
  • There is also deploy family of subcommands, which lets you perform the deployment step alone for a release branch of your choice.

Installing salsita-gitflow

You can install salsita-gitflow using:

pip install --allow-external rbtools --allow-unverified rbtools salsita-gitflow

To upgrade the package to the current version, just add -U flag to the command:

pip install -U --allow-external rbtools --allow-unverified rbtools salsita-gitflow

Please not that salsita-gitflow requires Python 2.7.

Setting it up

Global (same for all projects):

* git config --global reviewboard.url https://example.com/rb/ (the trailing slash is REQUIRED)
* git config --global reviewboard.server https://example.com/rb/
* git config --global gitflow.pt.token <YOUR PIVOTAL TRACKER TOKEN>

(Fill in your Pivotal Tracker token and ReviewBoard URLs.)

You will be prompted for the project-specific settings during git flow init or other commands when the need arises.

If you have the original git-flow <https://github.com/nvie/gitflow> installed, just go to the git bin folder and delete everything that starts with git-flow.

On the cutting edge

If you want to install salsita-gitflow from the develop or a release branch, follow these steps:

  1. Use virtualenv to create the testing environment.
  2. Once the environment is activated, get the sources:
    1. git clone https://github.com/salsita/gitflow.git
    2. git checkout develop or git checkout release/X.Y.Z
    3. python setup.py install
    4. The git flow commands should be available to you now, just make sure you are using the right one (man which)

Integration with your shell

For those who use the Bash or ZSH shell, please check out the excellent work on the git-flow-completion project by bobthecow. It offers tab-completion for all git-flow subcommands and branch names.

Please note that some subcommands have changed in this gitflow fork, so it is questionable if the completions still make sense.

git flow usage


Before you start, make sure that you are using SSH for communication with origin.

To initialize a new repo with the basic branch structure, use:

git flow init [-d] [-f]

This will then interactively prompt you with some questions like what branches you would like to use as development and production branches, and how you would like your prefixes be named. You may simply press Return on any of those questions to accept the (sane) default suggestions.

Please make sure that the prefixes end with / when that is desired, because otherwise you may get some weird errors. For example, choosing prefix release-v2 and staging version 0.3.0 would lead to GF looking for branch called release-v20.3.0.

The -d flag will accept all defaults.

The -f flag will make gitflow overwrite existing settings.

Note: Please use the -d flag it will make your life much easier.

init will also check your git config to see if the required records for Review Board and Pivotal Tracker are in place, failing if that is not the case.

Since not long time ago, there is support for multiple repositories for a single Pivotal Tracker project. It works by choosing an include or a set of exclude labels during flow init. It you specify an include label, only the stories labeled with it will be listed during feature start. If you define some exclude labels, that is a list of comma-separated labels, all stories NOT labeled with any of the label defined will be listed.

Creating feature/release/hotfix/support branches

The list of command line flags listed here is not complete. Check the wiki for a more complete list. The best documentation is, however,:

git flow <subcmd> <subsubcmd> -h
  • To list/start/finish feature branches, use:

    git flow feature
    git flow feature start [--for-release|-R RELEASE]
    git flow feature finish [<name>]

    feature start will list unstarted & started stories from current & backlog iterations in Pivotal Tracker. Select one and its state will change to started. This command creates a feature branch as well, so switch between stories using git checkout, not git flow feature start. If you wish to base your story on a release branch, use --for-release RELEASE. This will also assign the story in Pivotal Tracker to the release as a part of starting it.

    If the story of your choice is not present in the list of available stories, it means that it is not unstarted, the feature branch is already present in your local repository or it is not marked with include label or it is excluded by an exclude label. Or in general, the story state is wrong :-)

    feature finish will finish the currently active story (merge it into develop, push develop, change the story state in PT to finished and post a review request to Pivotal Tracker). It will do its best to find the corersponding review request in ReviewBoard and update the review but if it can't then it will post a new review. You can force posting a new review by setting the -n/--new-review flag.

  • To push/pull a feature branch to the remote repository, use:

    git flow feature publish <name>
    git flow feature pull <remote> <name>
  • To list/start/deploy/finish release branches, use:

    git flow release
    git flow release start <major.minor.release> [<base>]
    git flow release stage [-R|--ignore-missing-reviews] <major.minor.release>
    git flow release finish [-R|--ignore-missing-reviews] [<major.minor.release>]

    release start creates a new release branch on top of <base> and pushes it.

    release stage checks all the stories that are included in the release for their QA and review status. If the check passes, the branch is deployed to the client staging environment to be accepted by the client. You can use -R to disable code review check altogether or just append no review label into Pivotal Tracker to disable the check just for one particular story. If the story is labeled with dupe, wontfix or cannot reproduce, the QA check will be disabled as well.

    You will be asked for a few of questions when you run release stage for the first time. Jenkins security token can be a bit confusing. This string can be found on the Jenkins job configuration page, or set there if it is not activated for the chosen project yet. The checkbox you are looking for is called Trigger builds remotely (e.g., from scripts).

    release finish makes sure that all the stories were accepted by the client. Then the release branch is merged into master, tagged, then merged into develop and deleted.

  • To extend the release to include additional features, use:

    git flow release append <major.minor.release>

    which adds the relevant label to all unassigned Pivotal Tracker stories and then merges develop into the current release branch.

  • To list/start/finish hotfix branches (not supported by Salsita), use:

    git flow hotfix
    git flow hotfix start <release> [<base>]
    git flow hotfix finish <release>
  • To list/start support branches (not supported by Salsita), use:

    git flow support
    git flow support start <release> <base>

    For support branches, the <base> arg must be a commit on master.

Deploying Projects with gitflow

There is one more subcommand that does not really fit into the original GitFlow. It is git flow deploy. It is invoked by release start|finish|deliver automatically, but you can as well trigger deployment separately by typing:

git flow deploy develop
git flow deploy release <version> {qa|client}
git flow deploy master

Only the release version accepts additional parameters since the other two forms imply what branch and what environment to use.


A small demo how a complete feature implementation could look like:

$ git config --global reviewboard.server https://example.com/rb/
$ git config --global reviewboard.url https://example.com/rb/
$ git config --global workflow.token 0123456789
$ mkdir project
$ cd project
$ git remote add origin git@github.com:salsita/project.git
$ git pull
$ git flow init # Pick the project from PT and the repo from RB.
$ git checkout develop
$ git flow feature start # Pick the story from PT.
# Code code code
$ git add *
$ git commit -s
# Enter a beautiful and descriptive commit message.
$ git flow feature finish
# Go to the Review Board to submit the generated review request.
# Well, not so fast ...
$ git flow release start 1.0.0
# ... review ... qa ...
$ git flow release stage 1.0.0
# ... wait for the client, mmmmmmmmmm ...
$ git flow release finish 1.0.0

Known Issues

  • AssertionError is a bug in one of the libraries that we failed to get rid of, it is not worth the time. When you get this error, just repeat the command again, it happens only occasionally.
  • feature finish hangs when posting the review. This usually means that it is prompting your for username and password, but you cannot see it because there is a bug in rbt. The bug is fixed in 0.5.3 of rbt, but other things are broken there so it cannot be used. Just try to insert your Review Board username and password and see if that helped.
  • Api10 error on feature finish usually means there was an HTTP error and rbt received a weird response. Try again after making sure that your git config reviewboard.url|reviewboard.server points to the right server.
  • feature finish saying the diff is empty can happen when you change a submodule. This is a wrong usage of gitflow. You should be using the multi-repo mode and call git flow feature start from the repository containing the submodule.

History of the Project

gitflow was originally developed by Vincent Driessen as a set of shell-scripts. In Juni 2007 he started a Python rewrite but did not finish it. In February 2012 Hartmut Goebel started completing the Python rewrite and asked Vincent to pull his changes. But in June 2012 Vincent closed the pull-request and deleted his python-rewrite branch. So Hartmut decided to release the Python rewrite on his own.

Showing your appreciation to the original authors

Of course, the best way to show your appreciation for the git-flow tool itself remains contributing to the community. If you'd like to show your appreciation in another way, however, consider donating to the original authors through PayPal: Donate

Please help out

This project is still under development. Feedback and suggestions are very welcome and I encourage you to use the Issues list on Github to provide that feedback.

Feel free to fork this repo and to commit your additions. For a list of all contributors, please see the :file:`AUTHORS.txt`.

You will need :module:`unittest2` to run the tests (which are completely broken as of now, so nevermind).

License terms

git-flow is published under the liberal terms of the BSD License, see the :file:`LICENSE.txt`. Although the BSD License does not require you to share any modifications you make to the source code, you are very much encouraged and invited to contribute back your modifications to the community, preferably in a Github fork, of course.