HOW-TO check out PKP applications from git

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Revision as of 20:28, 31 January 2011 by (Talk | contribs) (fixed error)

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This is the official process to check out OMP with the PKP library as a sub-module. The same process applies to all other PKP projects. Just exchange omp for ojs, ocs or harvester.

Create user

This tutorial assumes that you'll work with forked copies of our software on github and that you intend to publish your changes back. You can do without forks, especially if you want to have only read access. You'll have to adapt this process a bit then (e.g. exchange the read/write URLs to forks with read-only URLs to the master repository). Please refer to the git documentation for this.

If you want write access to the repository then go to and create your own user account there and log into it. See the github documentation to generate/add your RSA key to your github account.

If you want to write back to the official PKP git repositories then you'll need write access there. Please ask Juan or Florian to grant you access.

Delete existing personal forks

First you have to delete existing personal forks of omp/pkp-lib if you have cloned these repositories before. You obviously shouldn't do this when there are still changes in there you don't have in other locations! If you don't have existing forks then you can jump to the next step.

Otherwise do the following:

  • Go to your personal github dashboard.
  • In "Your Repositories" select the forks you want to delete.
  • Go to Admin tab.
  • Down on the page click on "Delete This Repository".
  • Repeat these steps for both omp and pkp-lib

Fork the official application repositories

You can fork a subset of these projects if you do not intend to work on all of them. You'll always need the pkp-lib repository together with any of the application-specific repositories.

Clone your personal application repository locally

Please replace "your-pkp-workspace" and "your-user" with the appropriate values.

cd ~/your-pkp-workspace
git clone omp

Set up pkp submodule in your local application repository clone

edit .git/config with your favourite editor and find (or add if it's not there):

[submodule "lib/pkp"]
        url =

Change the url to

        url =


cd omp/
git submodule init
git submodule update

Add the official repository

The 'official' respositories can be compared to the role that PKP's old CVS repositories used to fill. Adding the official branch allows you to synchronize your code with the rest of the team, and should be pulled from before creating a patch or making a commit.


cd lib/pkp/
git remote add official  # this only works if you already have write access to the official rep.
git fetch official
git checkout -b master official/master
cd ../..
git remote add official
git checkout master
git pull official master

Now edit .git/config and lib/pkp/.git/config again. Find:

[branch "master"]
        remote = origin
        merge = refs/heads/master

And change it to:

[branch "master"]
        remote = official
        merge = refs/heads/master

for both repositories.

Save the files and execute

git pull

for both repositories.

This should give you the output 'Already up-to-date'.

Create development branches

You'll not usually develop directly on the master branch. We can use the master branch to track released code and tested changes. You should have development branches for actual code changes.

Create development branches in the main project and the sub-module. The canonical set-up uses a branch called "dev".

git checkout -b dev
git push origin dev
cd lib/pkp/
git checkout -b dev
git push origin dev
cd ../..

Next you edit lib/pkp/.git/config and '.git/config' and insert the following configuration to the end of both files:

[branch "dev"]
        remote = official
        merge = refs/heads/master
        rebase = true

You can now (optionally) delete the master branch in your personal remote github development repository as you won't probably need it. To do so you'll first have to go to the github website and switch your default branch to the dev branch:

Now you can enter the following commands locally to remove the remote master branch

git push origin :master
cd lib/pkp
git push origin :master
cd ../..

Be very careful to never enter this command with official rather than origin. Otherwise you'll drop the master repository!

Where to go from here?

Have a look at frequent git use cases for typical git use cases you'll encounter in your day to day work with git.


"Git cheat sheet"