Stop yourself from committing to master with git hooks

03 April, 2019

This is based on the excellent work of Aaron Hoffman which he’s written up here.

This process adds two git hooks to your repositories which prevent you from committing or pushing to a branch named master.

Add directories

Git hooks live in each of your git repositories rather than in a global location, and so the first thing to do is create the files which will be copied into each repository when you do a git clone (or a git init in an existing local repository).

mkdir -p ~/.git-templates/hooks

Add git hooks

Create a file called pre-commit and give it this content:

 prevent commit to local master branch
 branch=git symbolic-ref HEAD
 if [ "$branch" = "refs/heads/master" ]; then
     echo "pre-commit hook: Can not commit to the local master branch."
     exit 1

Create a file called pre-push and give it this content:

 Prevent push to remote master branch
 while read local_ref local_sha remote_ref remote_sha
     if [ "$remote_ref" = "refs/heads/master" ]; then
         echo "pre-push hook: Can not push to remote master branch."
         exit 1
 exit 0

Mark them as executable

chmod a+x .git-templates/hooks/*

Set the git init.templateDir configuration variable

git config --global init.templateDir '~/.git-templates'

Add the hooks to an existing local repository clone

Run git init while in your local clone directory. This is a non-destructive command which will copy the new hooks into your REPO/.git/hooks directory

You can double-check the git-init docs if you’re nervous before doing this!

Add the hooks when you clone a repository

Just clone the repo and your hooks will be in the .git/hooks directory!


You will no longer get the sample git hooks copied into REPO/.git/hooks, nor the sample excludes file but they will continue to exist in /usr/share/git-core/templates and can be copied into your ~/.git-templates directory if you want to keep them.

See other posts tagged with general git and all posts made in April 2019.