git ship alias

git ship alias

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James Reed
·Nov 22, 2022·

2 min read

I use git for version control in the development of my software projects. As it's frequently the case that I'm the sole developer of these projects, I've adopted a simple trunk-based-style branching strategy in which I make new commits to a devel branch until deeming these changes stable enough to merge into master. This allows me to edit commits in the development branch before "finalizing" them.

I found myself repeating the process of checking out the "production" branch, merging the development branch, and pushing—essentially "shipping" stable code—so I created a git alias. Let's check it out!

git aliases

git aliases allow you to specify alternative names for commands. For example, you can use an abbreviation for the checkout command:

git config --global checkout
git co

Another handy feature is the ability to create an alias to a separate executable; this is done by prefacing the command with ! on the command-line using git config:

git config --global alias.ship '!git-ship'

Remember to include the single quotes as ! is a special history expansion character in popular shells such as bash and zsh. Also, be sure this executable exists in your shell's PATH.


My alias points to a separate executable shell script that chains together multiple git commands:



git checkout $prod && git merge $dev && git push && git checkout $dev

These commands perform the following actions:

  1. check out the production branch;
  2. merge the development branch into production;
  3. push the production branch to the default remote;
  4. and check out the development branch to prepare for new commits.

The targeted branches can be changed using environment variables.

In the directory of a given project, I "finalize" development commits and "ship" them to the remote repository with:

git ship

And it couldn't be easier!

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