The project is in a healthy, maintained state
A set of GitHub and GitLab workflow scripts to provide a smoother development process for your git projects.
 Project Readme

git_helper Maintainability Main

Gem Usage

gem install git_helper

Some of the commands in this gem can be used without any additional configuration. However, others utilize special GitHub or GitLab configuration. To provide access tokens for this, create a ~/.git_helper/config.yml file. The contents should look like this:

:github_user:  GITHUB-USERNAME
:github_token: GITHUB-TOKEN
:gitlab_user:  GITLAB-USERNAME
:gitlab_token: GITLAB-TOKEN

To create or see what access tokens you have, look here for GitHub personal access tokens and here for GitLab access tokens. You could either have one set of tokens for each computer you use, or just have one set of tokens for all computers that you rotate periodically.

Once the gem is installed, run this to view the help screen:

git-helper --help

To see what version of git_helper you're running, run:

git-helper --version

Plugin Usage

As an additional option, you can set each of the following commands to be a git plugin, meaning you can call them in a way that feels even more git-native:

# As a Gem                            # As a Plugin
git-helper clean-branches             git clean-branches
git-helper code-request               git code-request

To do this, download the file in the root of this directory. Unzip and place the contents in the appropriate location:

mkdir ~/.git_helper
unzip path/to/downloaded/ -d ~/.git_helper

Now, the plugins will live in ~/.git_helper/plugins/*. Add the following line to your ~/.bash_profile:

export PATH=/path/to/computer/home/.git_helper/plugins:$PATH

And then run source ~/.bash_profile.

Alias Usage

To make the commands even shorter, I recommend setting aliases. You can either set aliases through git itself, like this (only possible if you also use the plugin option):

git config --global alias.nb new-branch

And then running git nb maps to git new-branch, which through the plugin, maps to git-helper new-branch.

Or you can set the alias through your ~/.bashrc (which is my preferred method because it can make the command even shorter, and doesn't require the plugin usage). To do this, add lines like this to the ~/.bashrc file and run source ~/.bashrc:

alias gnb="git new-branch"

And then, running gnb maps to git new-branch, which again routes to git-helper new-branch.

For a full list of the git aliases I prefer to use, check out my Git Aliases gist.

If you're going to make using git workflows easier, might as well provide lots of options 😃.



This can be used when switching the owners of a GitHub repo. When you switch a username, GitHub only makes some changes for you. With this command, you no longer have to manually walk through local repo and switch the remotes from each one into a remote with the new username.

This command will go through every directory in a directory, and see if it is a git directory. It will then ask the user if they wish to process the git directory in question. The command does not yet know if there's any changes to be made. If the user says 'yes', then it will check to see if the old username is included in the remote URL of that git directory. If it is, then the command will change the remote URL to instead point to the new username's remote URL. To run the command, run:

git-helper change-remote OLD-OWNER NEW-OWNER


This command will check out the default branch of whatever repository you're currently in. It looks at what branch the origin/HEAD remote is pointed to on your local machine, versus querying GitHub/GitLab for that, so if your local machine's remotes aren't up to date, then this command won't work as expected. To run this command, run:

git-helper checkout-default

If your local branches aren't right (run git branch --remote to see), then run:

git symbolic-ref refs/remotes/origin/HEAD refs/remotes/origin/CORRECT-DEFAULT-BRANCH-GOES-HERE


This command will bring you to the repository's default branch, git pull, git fetch -p, and will clean up your local branches on your machine by seeing which ones are existing on the remote, and updating yours accordingly. To clean your local branches, run:

git-helper clean-branches


This command can be used to handily make new GitHub/GitLab pull/merge requests from the command line. The command uses either the Octokit::Client or Gitlab client to do this, so make sure you have a ~/.git_helper/config.yml file set up in the home directory of your computer. For instructions on how to do that, see Gem Usage.

After setup is complete, you can call the command like this:

git-helper code-request

The command will provide an autogenerated code request title based on your branch name. It will separate the branch name by '_' if underscores are in the branch, or '-' if dashes are present. Then it will join the list of words together by spaces. If there's a pattern in the form of jira-123 or jira_123 in the first part of the branch name, then it'll add JIRA-123 to the first part of the code request. You can respond 'yes' or 'no'. If you respond 'no', you can provide your own code request title.

The command will also ask you if the default branch of the repository is the proper base branch to use. You can say 'yes' or 'no'. If you respond 'no', then you can give the command your chosen base base.

If your project uses GitLab, the command will potentially ask you if you'd like to delete the source branch upon merge. If the project defaults to deleting the source branch, then the script will use that selection, and the value can be changed for a specific MR either over the API or in the browser. If the project just provides source branch deletion as on option, then it'll ask the user. It also will probably ask you if you'd like to squash the MR upon merge. If the project requires or prevents squashing, then whatever answer you give will be ignored. This is unfortunate, but is here due to limited API functionality.

Lastly, it'll ask about code request templates. For GitHub, it'll ask the user to apply any pull request templates found at .github/, ./, or .github/PULL_REQUEST_TEMPLATE/*.md. Applying any template is optional, and a user can make an empty pull request if they desire. For GitLab, it'll ask the user to apply any merge request templates found at any .gitlab/, ./, or .gitlab/merge_request_templates/*.md. Applying any template is optional, and from the command's standpoint, a user can make an empty merge request if they desire (although GitLab may still add a merge request template if the project itself requires one). When searching for templates, the code ignores cases, so the file could be named with all capital letters or all lowercase letters.


For some reason, I'm always forgetting the commands to create an empty commit. So with this command, it becomes easy. The commit message of this commit will be 'Empty commit'. To run the command, run:

git-helper empty-commit


This command is handy if you locally have a bunch of commits you wish to completely get rid of. This command basically does a hard reset to origin/HEAD. Once you forget them, they're completely gone, so run carefully. To test it out, run:

git-helper forget-local-commits


This command can be used to merge pull/merge requests from the command line. The command uses either the Octokit::Client or Gitlab client to do this, so make sure you have a ~/.git_helper/config.yml file set up in the home directory of your computer. For instructions on how to do that, see Gem Usage.

After setup is complete, you can call the proper command like this:

git-helper merge-code-request

The command will ask you the number ID of the code request you wish to merge.

If using GitHub and the repository allows multiple types of merges (merge/squash/rebase), then the command will ask the user what type of merge to do. It'll only let users select a type of merge the repository allows. If a repository only allows one type of merging, then the command will automatically use that. The commit message to use during the merge/squash/rebase will be the title of the pull request.

For GitLab, the command will use whatever squash/source branch deletion/etc settings are already set on the merge request, so make sure you click the proper checkboxes in the MR manually or over the API before running this command. The commit message to use during the merge/squash will be the title of the merge request.


This command is useful for making new branches in a repository on the command line. To run the command, run:

git-helper new-branch
# OR
git-helper new-branch NEW_BRANCH_NAME

The command either accepts a branch name right away or it will ask you for the name of your new branch. Make sure your input does not contain any spaces or special characters.


To submit a feature request, bug ticket, etc, please submit an official GitHub Issue.

To report any security vulnerabilities, please view this project's Security Policy.

When interacting with this repository, please follow Contributor Covenant's Code of Conduct.


To make a new release of this gem:

  1. Merge the pull request via the big green button
  2. Run git tag vX.X.X and git push --tag
  3. Make a new release here
  4. Run gem build *.gemspec
  5. Run gem push *.gem to push the new gem to RubyGems
  6. Run rm *.gem to clean up your local repository

To set up your local machine to push to RubyGems via the API, see the RubyGems documentation.