Development using git

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Revision as of 16:40, 4 July 2011 by Fab (talk | contribs)
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This document describes how to use git for Alpine Linux development and related projects. If you just want to browse the Alpine git repositories, please visit cgit.

Basic Git usage

Configure your global git config

First you need to tell your name and email to git. This name and email will show up in all your commits.

git config --global "Your Name Comes Here" git config --global

Using git config without --global let you configure other details for a specific git repository.

Tip: If you want to use git with colored output use:

git config --global color.ui true

Email configuration

To be able send your commits (patches) via email you need configure an SMTP server.

git config --global sendemail.smtpserver

For sending from a gmail address you can do:

git config --global sendemail.smtpserver git config --global sendemail.smtpserverport 587 git config --global sendemail.smtpencryption tls git config --global sendemail.smtpuser

Optionally, it is possible to skip the password prompt by adding it to the configuration with:

git config --global sendemail.smtppass your_password

To reset CC mail attribute

git config --global sendemail.suppresscc all

Example ~/.gitconfig

        email =
        name = Your Name
        editor = nano
        pager = less -FXRS
        from = Your Name <>
        smtpuser =
	smtpserver =
	smtpencryption = tls
	smtpserverport = 587
	suppresscc = self

        default = simple

Cloning the repository via Git

There are two ways to work with the Alpine git repository...

  • ...without write access.
  • ...with write access.

Without write access

cgit shows all available Alpine git repositories. If you want to clone the Alpine aports repository, switch to the directory you want to have the aports/ directory in and launch git.

git clone git://

If you want only the last 3 revisions:

git clone git:// --depth 3

Use the command below to see the full log of the trunk.

git log

With write access

If you have write access to the Alpine the URL needs to be adjusted for cloning a repository

git clone ssh://

General GIT Workflow

  1. Make your file edits in your local checkout of the local copy of repository.
  2. git commit the changes in your local repository
  3. git pull --rebase to bring the rest of your local repository up to date
  4. git log origin..master to check what you are going to commit
  5. git push to move your changes up to the master. This requires you have an ssh login and have cloned via ssh:// and not via git:// (see Development using git with write access)

git stash

if you want to "hide" your changes. Do this if you think there may be other commits against the same things you are working on and want to refresh your local checkout (using a git pull --rebase) from the master. Use git stash apply to get your stash back.

git checkout -f master

if you think your tree is pretty hopeless, need a kill-and-fill to bring the master into your local repository. You will lose local changes.

List the local branch

You can now list your local branch by doing

git branch

which should ouput

* master

List your local non committed changes

git status


Now you can start to work on your tree. As soon as you feel you have reached a step in development where you can commit your work locally, use

git commit -a


git commit <specific files>


git add <specific files> git commit

If you wish to give credit to someone else's work (e.g. you are applying a third party patch):

git commit <specific files> --author "Name Surname <>

The format of the commit message should be:

One-line descrption thats less than 72 chars long
<second line empty>
Optional longer description with explanation why changes were made. Links to relevant issues
in bugtracker can be done with:

  ref #<issuenumber>

It is also possible to resolve issues with:

  fixes #<issuenumber>

Think of first line as the subject in an email and the third line and on as the body of the email, describing what the commit does. You dont need the long description but the first line, the short description should be there as it will be showed in the commit log.

List your commits

git log

Keeping your local working branch in sync

Pull the changes from upstream (

git pull --rebase

Documentation about git

Some other useful documents