Documentation / maintainer / pull-requests.rst


Based on kernel version 5.14. Page generated on 2021-08-31 10:40 EST.

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.. _pullrequests:

Creating Pull Requests
======================

This chapter describes how maintainers can create and submit pull requests
to other maintainers. This is useful for transferring changes from one
maintainers tree to another maintainers tree.

This document was written by Tobin C. Harding (who at that time, was not an
experienced maintainer) primarily from comments made by Greg Kroah-Hartman
and Linus Torvalds on LKML. Suggestions and fixes by Jonathan Corbet and
Mauro Carvalho Chehab.  Misrepresentation was unintentional but inevitable,
please direct abuse to Tobin C. Harding <me@tobin.cc>.

Original email thread::

	http://lkml.kernel.org/r/20171114110500.GA21175@kroah.com


Create Branch
-------------

To start with you will need to have all the changes you wish to include in
the pull request on a separate branch. Typically you will base this branch
off of a branch in the developers tree whom you intend to send the pull
request to.

In order to create the pull request you must first tag the branch that you
have just created. It is recommended that you choose a meaningful tag name,
in a way that you and others can understand, even after some time.  A good
practice is to include in the name an indicator of the subsystem of origin
and the target kernel version.

Greg offers the following. A pull request with miscellaneous stuff for
drivers/char, to be applied at the Kernel version 4.15-rc1 could be named
as ``char-misc-4.15-rc1``. If such tag would be produced from a branch
named ``char-misc-next``, you would be using the following command::

        git tag -s char-misc-4.15-rc1 char-misc-next

that will create a signed tag called ``char-misc-4.15-rc1`` based on the
last commit in the ``char-misc-next`` branch, and sign it with your gpg key
(see :ref:`Documentation/maintainer/configure-git.rst <configuregit>`).

Linus will only accept pull requests based on a signed tag. Other
maintainers may differ.

When you run the above command ``git`` will drop you into an editor and ask
you to describe the tag.  In this case, you are describing a pull request,
so outline what is contained here, why it should be merged, and what, if
any, testing has been done.  All of this information will end up in the tag
itself, and then in the merge commit that the maintainer makes if/when they
merge the pull request. So write it up well, as it will be in the kernel
tree for forever.

As said by Linus::

	Anyway, at least to me, the important part is the *message*. I want
	to understand what I'm pulling, and why I should pull it. I also
	want to use that message as the message for the merge, so it should
	not just make sense to me, but make sense as a historical record
	too.

	Note that if there is something odd about the pull request, that
	should very much be in the explanation. If you're touching files
	that you don't maintain, explain _why_. I will see it in the
	diffstat anyway, and if you didn't mention it, I'll just be extra
	suspicious.  And when you send me new stuff after the merge window
	(or even bug-fixes, but ones that look scary), explain not just
	what they do and why they do it, but explain the _timing_. What
	happened that this didn't go through the merge window..

	I will take both what you write in the email pull request _and_ in
	the signed tag, so depending on your workflow, you can either
	describe your work in the signed tag (which will also automatically
	make it into the pull request email), or you can make the signed
	tag just a placeholder with nothing interesting in it, and describe
	the work later when you actually send me the pull request.

	And yes, I will edit the message. Partly because I tend to do just
	trivial formatting (the whole indentation and quoting etc), but
	partly because part of the message may make sense for me at pull
	time (describing the conflicts and your personal issues for sending
	it right now), but may not make sense in the context of a merge
	commit message, so I will try to make it all make sense. I will
	also fix any speeling mistaeks and bad grammar I notice,
	particularly for non-native speakers (but also for native ones
	;^). But I may miss some, or even add some.

			Linus

Greg gives, as an example pull request::

	Char/Misc patches for 4.15-rc1

	Here is the big char/misc patch set for the 4.15-rc1 merge window.
	Contained in here is the normal set of new functions added to all
	of these crazy drivers, as well as the following brand new
	subsystems:
		- time_travel_controller: Finally a set of drivers for the
		  latest time travel bus architecture that provides i/o to
		  the CPU before it asked for it, allowing uninterrupted
		  processing
		- relativity_shifters: due to the affect that the
		  time_travel_controllers have on the overall system, there
		  was a need for a new set of relativity shifter drivers to
		  accommodate the newly formed black holes that would
		  threaten to suck CPUs into them.  This subsystem handles
		  this in a way to successfully neutralize the problems.
		  There is a Kconfig option to force these to be enabled
		  when needed, so problems should not occur.

	All of these patches have been successfully tested in the latest
	linux-next releases, and the original problems that it found have
	all been resolved (apologies to anyone living near Canberra for the
	lack of the Kconfig options in the earlier versions of the
	linux-next tree creations.)

	Signed-off-by: Your-name-here <your_email@domain>


The tag message format is just like a git commit id.  One line at the top
for a "summary subject" and be sure to sign-off at the bottom.

Now that you have a local signed tag, you need to push it up to where it
can be retrieved::

	git push origin char-misc-4.15-rc1


Create Pull Request
-------------------

The last thing to do is create the pull request message.  ``git`` handily
will do this for you with the ``git request-pull`` command, but it needs a
bit of help determining what you want to pull, and on what to base the pull
against (to show the correct changes to be pulled and the diffstat). The
following command(s) will generate a pull request::

	git request-pull master git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/gregkh/char-misc.git/ char-misc-4.15-rc1

Quoting Greg::

	This is asking git to compare the difference from the
	'char-misc-4.15-rc1' tag location, to the head of the 'master'
	branch (which in my case points to the last location in Linus's
	tree that I diverged from, usually a -rc release) and to use the
	git:// protocol to pull from.  If you wish to use https://, that
	can be used here instead as well (but note that some people behind
	firewalls will have problems with https git pulls).

	If the char-misc-4.15-rc1 tag is not present in the repo that I am
	asking to be pulled from, git will complain saying it is not there,
	a handy way to remember to actually push it to a public location.

	The output of 'git request-pull' will contain the location of the
	git tree and specific tag to pull from, and the full text
	description of that tag (which is why you need to provide good
	information in that tag).  It will also create a diffstat of the
	pull request, and a shortlog of the individual commits that the
	pull request will provide.

Linus responded that he tends to prefer the ``git://`` protocol. Other
maintainers may have different preferences. Also, note that if you are
creating pull requests without a signed tag then ``https://`` may be a
better choice. Please see the original thread for the full discussion.


Submit Pull Request
-------------------

A pull request is submitted in the same way as an ordinary patch. Send as
inline email to the maintainer and CC LKML and any sub-system specific
lists if required. Pull requests to Linus typically have a subject line
something like::

	[GIT PULL] <subsystem> changes for v4.15-rc1