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GIT-PUBLISH(1) User Contributed Perl Documentation GIT-PUBLISH(1)


git-publish - Prepare and store patch revisions as git tags


  git-publish [options] -- [common format-patch options]


git-publish prepares patches and stores them as git tags for future reference. It works with individual patches as well as patch series. Revision numbering is handled automatically.

No constraints are placed on git workflow, both vanilla git commands and custom workflow scripts are compatible with git-publish.

Email sending and pull requests are fully integrated so that publishing patches can be done in a single command.

Hook scripts are invoked during patch preparation so that custom checks or test runs can be automated.


Show program's version number and exit.
Show help message and exit.
Review and edit each patch email.
Branch which this is based off (defaults to master).
Specify a Cc: email recipient.
Specify a command add whose output to add the Cc: email recipient list. See git-send-email(1) for details.
Do not check whether the pull request URL is publicly accessible.
Check whether the pull request URL is publicly accessible. This is the default.
Edit message but do not tag a new version. Use this to draft the cover letter before actually tagging a new version.
Do not prompt for confirmation before sending emails.
Show confirmation before sending emails.
Explicitly specify the version number (auto-generated by default).
Do not add a message.
Add a message.
Do not output contents of changes in binary files, instead display a notice that those files changed. Patches generated using this option cannot be applied properly, but they are still useful for code review.
Select default settings from the given profile.
Tag and send as a pull request.
Sign tag when sending pull request.
Do not sign tag when sending pull request.
Use the given GPG key to sign tag when sending pull request
Use a pre-defined blurb message for the series HEAD.
Set the email Subject: header prefix.
Clear the per-branch subject prefix. The subject prefix persists between versions by default. Use this option to reset it.
Add git alias in ~/.gitconfig so that the "git publish" git sub-command works.
Set the topic name (defaults to current branch name).
Specify a primary email recipient.
Add Signed-off-by: <self> to commits when emailing.
Append the notes for the commit after the three-dash line. See git-notes(1) for details.
Override auto-cc when sending email. See git-send-email(1) for details.
Show executed git commands (useful for troubleshooting).
Forget all previous Cc: email addresses.
Ignore any profile or saved To: email addresses.
Ignore any profile or saved Cc: email addresses.
Specify the In-Reply-To: of the cover letter (or the single patch).



Run git-publish in setup mode to configure the git alias:

  $ git-publish --setup

You can now use 'git publish' like a built-in git command.


Create a "topic branch" on which to do your work (implement a new feature or fix a bug):

  $ git checkout -b add-funny-jokes
  $ git commit
  $ git commit

Send a patch series via email:

  $ git publish --to --cc

Address code review comments and send a new revision:

  $ git rebase -i master
  $ git publish --to --cc

Refer back to older revisions:

  $ git show add-funny-jokes-v1

This concludes the basic workflow for sending patch series.

Storing patch revisions

To store the first revision of a patch series:

  $ git checkout my-feature
  $ git publish

This creates the my-feature-v1 git tag. Running git-publish again at a later point will create tags with incrementing version numbers:


To refer back to a previous version, simply check out that git tag. This way a record is kept of each patch revision that has been published.

Overriding the version number

The version number can be set manually. This is handy when starting out with git-publish on branches that were previously manually versioned:

  $ git checkout my-existing-feature
  $ git publish --number 7

This creates the my-existing-feature-v7 tag.

Overriding the branch name

By default git-publish refuses to create a revision for the 'master' branch. Usually one works with so-called topic branches, one branch for each feature under development. Using the 'master' branch may indicate that one has forgotten to switch onto the intended topic branch. It is possible to override the topic name and even publish on 'master':

  $ git checkout branch-a
  $ git publish --topic branch-b

This creates branch-b-v1 instead of branch-a-v1 and can be used to skip the check for 'master'.

Tag messages

Tag messages have a summary (or subject line) and a description (or blurb). When send email integration is used the summary is put into the cover letter Subject: line while the description is put into the body.

When prompting for tag messages on v2, v3, or other incremental revisions, the previous revision's tag message is used as the starting point. This is handy for updating the existing description and keeping a changelog of the difference between revisions.

The git-config(1) format.coverLetter value is honored. The default 'auto' value adds a cover letter if there is more than 1 patch. The cover letter can also be forced with 'true' or 'false'.

To insist on creating a tag message:

  $ git publish --message

To refrain from creating a tag message:

  $ git publish --no-message

For convenience these options are also available as --cover-letter and --no-cover-letter just like in git-format-patch(1).

Editing tag messages without publishing

Sometimes it is useful to edit the tag message before publishing. This can be used to note down changelog entries as you prepare the next version of a patch series.

To edit the tag message without publishing:

  $ git publish --edit

This does not tag a new version. Instead a -staging tag will be created and the tag message will be picked up when you publish next time. For example, if you on branch my-feature and have already published v1 and v2, editing the tag message will create the tag my-feature-staging. When you publish next time the my-feature-v3 tag will be created and use the tag message you staged earlier.

Setting the base branch

git-publish detects whether the branch contains a single commit or multiple commits by comparing against a base branch ('master' by default). You can specify the base branch like this:

  $ git publish --base my-parent

Most of the time 'master' works fine.

It is also possible to persist which base branch to use. This is useful if you find yourself often specifying a base branch manually. It can be done globally for all branches in a reposity or just for a specific branch:

  $ git config git-publish.base origin/master # for all branches
  $ git config origin/master # for one branch

Send email integration

git-publish can call git-send-email(1) after creating a git tag. If there is a tag message it will be used as the cover letter. Email can be sent like this:

  $ git publish --to \
                --cc --cc

After the git tag has been created as usual, commits on top of the base branch are sent as the patch series. The base branch defaults to 'master' and can be set manually with --base.

The git-send-email(1) aliasesfile feature works since the email addresses are passed through without interpretation by git-publish.

Patch emails can be manually edited before being sent, these changes only affect outgoing emails and are not stored permanently:

  $ git publish --to --annotate

git-publish can background itself so patch emails can be inspected from the shell:

  $ git publish --to --inspect-emails

Signed-off-by: <self> lines can be applied to patch emails, only outgoing emails are affected and not the local git commits:

  $ git publish --to --signoff

Sending [RFC] series instead of regular [PATCH] series can be done by customizing the Subject: line:

  $ git publish --to --subject-prefix RFC

Using this way, specified "--subject-prefix" will be stored as per-branch subject prefix, and will be used for the next git-publish as well.

One can override the stored per-branch subject prefix by providing the --subject-prefix parameter again, or to clear it permanently, we can use:

  $ git publish --clear-subject-prefix

git-publish remembers the list of addresses CC'd on previous revisions of a patchset by default. To clear that internal list:

  $ git publish --to --forget-cc --cc

In the above example, will be saved to the internal list for next time.

CC addresses accumulate and cascade. Following the previous example, if we want to send a new version to both and

  $ git-publish --cc

To temporarily ignore any CCs in the profile or saved list, and send only to the addresses specified on the CLI:

  $ git-publish --override-cc --cc --to

CCs specified alongside --override-cc are not remembered for future revisions.

  $ git publish --to --notes

To include git-notes into a patch.

One can attach notes to a commit with `git notes add <object>`. For having the notes "following" a commit on rebase operation, you can use `git config notes.rewriteRef refs/notes/commits`. For more information, give a look at git-notes(1).

Creating profiles for frequently used projects

Instead of providing command-line options each time a patch series is published, the options can be stored in git-config(1) files:

  $ cat >>.git/config
  [gitpublishprofile "example"]
  prefix = PATCH for-example
  to =
  cc =
  cc =
  $ git checkout first-feature
  $ git publish --profile example
  $ git checkout second-feature
  $ git publish --profile example

The "example" profile is equivalent to the following command-line:

  $ git publish --subject-prefix 'PATCH for-example' --to --cc --cc

If command-line options are given together with a profile, then the command-line options take precedence.

The following profile options are available:

  [gitpublishprofile "example"]
  base = v2.1.0                        # same as --base
  remote = origin                      # used if branch.<branch-name>.remote not set
  prefix = PATCH                       # same as --patch
  to =             # same as --to
  cc =          # same as --cc
  suppresscc = all                     # same as --suppress-cc
  message = true                       # same as --message
  signoff = true                       # same as --signoff
  inspect-emails = true                # same as --inspect-emails
  notes = true                         # same as --notes
  blurb-template = A blurb template    # same as --blurb-template

The special "default" profile name is active when no --profile command-line option was given. The default profile does not set any options but can be extended in git-config(1) files:

  $ cat >>.git/config
  [gitpublishprofile "default"]
  suppresscc = all            # do not auto-cc people

If a file named .gitpublish exists in the repository top-level directory, it is automatically searched in addition to the git-config(1) .git/config and ~/.gitconfig files. Since the .gitpublish file can be committed into git, this can be used to provide a default profile for branches that you expect to repeatedly use as a base for new work.

Sending pull requests

git-publish can send signed pull requests. Signed tags are pushed to a remote git repository that must be readable by the person who will merge the pull request.

Ensure that the branch has a default remote repository saved:

  $ git config my-public-repo

The remote must be accessible to the person receiving the pull request. Normally the remote URI should be git:// or https://. If the remote is configured for ssh:// then git-config(1) can be supplemented with a public url and private pushurl. This ensures that pull requests always use the public URI:

  [remote "<name>"]
  url =
  pushurl =

Send a pull request:

  $ git publish --pull-request --to --annotate


There are three possible levels of configuration with the following order of precedence:

1. Per-branch options only apply to a specific branch.
2. Per-profile options apply when the profile is enabled with --profile.
3. Global options apply in all cases.

The following configuration options are available:

Same as the --base option.
Same as the --to option.
Same as the --cc option.
Same as the --cc-cmd option.
The remote where the pull request tag will be pushed.
Same as the --message option.
Same as the --subject-prefix option.
Same as the --suppress-cc option.
Same as the --signoff option.
Same as the --inspect-emails option.
Same as the --notes option.
Same as the --no-check-url and --check-url options.
Same as the --no-sign-pull and --sign-pull options.
Same as the --keyid option.


git-publish supports the githooks(5) mechanism for running user scripts at important points during the workflow. The script can influence the outcome of the operation, for example, by rejecting a patch series that is about to be sent out.

Available hooks include:

Invoked before git-send-email(1). Takes the path to the patches directory as an argument. If the exit code is non-zero, the series will not be sent.
Invoked before creating the -staging tag on current branch. Takes one argument which refers to the base commit or branch. If the exit code is non-zero, git-publish will abort.


git-format-patch(1), git-send-email(1), git-config(1), git-notes(1), githooks(5)


Stefan Hajnoczi <>


Copyright (C) 2011-2018 Stefan Hajnoczi

2022-05-15 perl v5.34.0