Launchpad features experimental support for hosting Git repositories. This is distinct from the code import facility that Launchpad has included for many years; it will shortly be possible to host Git repositories on Launchpad directly.
Git repositories use a somewhat different model from Bazaar branches: operations such as cloning happen at the level of a repository, but it is common for a single repository to contain many branches. This means that the Launchpad interface needs to be laid out somewhat differently to support that.
As of the end of April 2015, a reasonably complete basic version of Git hosting support is live on our "qastaging" site. This means:
- all changes made will be reset - this is not yet a persistent hosting service, but is strictly for experimenting and finding bugs in Launchpad
- the URL format is not guaranteed to be stable
- everything is on qastaging.launchpad.net and git.qastaging.paddev.net, rather than on the main launchpad.net site
- the hosting backend is still quite basic and may have scaling problems
Within these constraints, you can:
- push Git repositories to qastaging over SSH
- clone repositories over git://, SSH, or HTTPS
- see summary information on repositories and the branches they contain in the Launchpad web UI on qastaging
- follow links from the Launchpad web UI to a full-featured code browser
- propose merges from one branch to another, including in a different repository, provided that they are against the same project or package (registering merge proposals currently requires using the webservice, and preview diffs don't yet work; both will be fixed soon)
Just don't keep the only copy of your repository on qastaging!
What will be supported?
Launchpad's Bazaar support has grown many features over the years, and it will take some time to bring our Git support up to full parity with it. Here's an incomplete list of some of the features we expect to add:
- merge proposals (these are very heavily used by many teams, including Launchpad itself, so are the top feature priority)
- useful subscriptions (currently only attribute change notifications work, which are not usually very interesting in themselves)
- RSS feeds
- an integrated code browser
Our top priority is to polish things up so that this can land on Launchpad production, and to this end we appreciate your feedback on any bugs you find. Here's a short list of known bugs that you don't need to tell us about:
- working with default repositories is harder than it should be (they don't appear on the target's code page, so you have to guess their URL)
- there is no web listing of repositories available for a given target
- the interface for registering merge proposals is very rough
Git identifies repositories using URLs. Unlike Bazaar, there is no built-in abbreviation for repositories hosted on Launchpad, but it is very easy to add such a thing yourself. Edit ~/.gitconfig and add these lines, where USER is your Launchpad username:
[url "git+ssh://USER@git.qastaging.paddev.net/"] insteadof = lpqas:
This allows you to type git clone lpqas:REPOSITORY instead of git clone git+ssh://git.qastaging.paddev.net/REPOSITORY. (Of course, when we add Git support to production we will update this documentation to recommend lp: instead.)
The rest of this documentation assumes that you have configured Git this way.
You can fetch the default repository for a project like this:
$ git clone lpqas:PROJECT
For example, git clone lpqas:launchpad fetches Launchpad itself.
To keep your local clone up to date, run:
$ git pull
You can add a "remote" to your repository like this, if you own the project:
$ git remote add lpqas lpqas:PROJECT
Or like this (where USER is your Launchpad username), if you do not own the project:
$ git remote add lpqas lpqas:~USER/PROJECT
Now, you can push a branch using a command such as this:
$ git push lpqas my-changes
Every Git repository hosted on Launchpad has a full "canonical" URL of one of these forms (these are the versions you'd use in a web browser; you only need to change the scheme and host parts for the command-line Git client):
- This identifies a repository for an upstream project.
- This identifies a repository for a source package in a distribution.
- This identifies a "personal" repository with no particular connection to any project or package.
These are unique, but can involve quite a lot of typing, and in most cases there's no need for more than one repository per owner and target (project or package). Launchpad therefore has the notion of "default repositories". A repository can be the default for a target, in which case it has one of these forms:
- This is the default repository for an upstream project.
- This is the default repository for a source package in a distribution.
Or a repository can be a person's or a team's default for a target, in which case it has one of these forms:
- This is an owner's default repository for an upstream project.
- This is an owner's default repository for a source package in a distribution.
We expect that projects hosting their code on Launchpad will normally have their primary repository set as the default for the project, and contributors will normally push to branches in owner-default repositories. The extra flexibility with named repositories allows for situations such as separate private repositories containing embargoed security fixes.