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depot_tools_tutorial - A tutorial introduction to the Chromium depot_tools git
The Chromium linkgit:depot_tools[7] suite contains many git workflow-enhancing
tools which are designed to work together to enable anyone to wrangle the
Chromium codebase expertly. This tutorial explains how to do development on
Chromium using these tools. This will cover:
* <<_setting_up,Setting up>>
* <<_getting_the_code,Getting the code>>
* <<_tl_dr,TL;DR>>
* <<_creating_uploading_a_cl,Creating / Uploading a CL>>
* <<_updating_the_code,Updating the code>>
* <<_managing_multiple_cls,Managing multiple CLs>>
* <<_managing_dependent_cls,Managing dependent CLs>>
* <<_example_walkthrough,Example Walkthrough>>
Please refer to the manpages (or `--help` output) for details about any of the
commands mentioned in this tutorial.
If your platform does not support manpages (or you prefer something a bit more
expressive than plain text) you can find all documentation in 'html' form in the
`[DEPOT_TOOLS]/man/html` folder.
This tutorial assumes basic familiarity with git terminology and concepts. If you
need to brush up on these, the following are very good resources:
* link:[Think like (a) Git] - A lighthearted
overview of git. If you're sorta-familiar with git, but not 'comfortable' with
it, then give this a look.
* link:[Git Immersion Tutorial] - An in-depth git
* link:[pcottle's Visual Git
Branching] - An excellent interactive/graphical demo on how git handles
commits, branches, and shows the operations git performs on them.
* link:[Pro Git book] - ``The'' book for learning git
from basics to advanced concepts. A bit dry, but very through.
If you've tried these out and are still having some trouble getting started,
there are 'many' other resources online which should help. If you're 'really'
**'really'** stuck, then chat up one of the Chromium infrastructure team
members for some pointers.
Litmus Test::
If you know what `git add`, `git status`, `git commit` do and you know
'essentially' what `git rebase` does, then you should know enough to follow
Clone the 'depot_tools' repository:
[white]**$ git clone**
Add 'depot_tools' to the 'end' of your PATH (you will probably want to put this
in your `~/.bashrc` or `~/.zshrc`). Assuming you cloned 'depot_tools' to
[white]**$ export PATH=$PATH:/path/to/depot_tools**
// No need to show the Windows stuff on the manpage output.
Download the 'depot_tools'
link:[bundle] and
extract it somewhere.
*DO NOT* use drag-n-drop or copy-n-paste extract from Explorer, this will not
extract the hidden ``.git'' folder which is necessary for 'depot_tools' to
autoupdate itself. You can use ``Extract all...'' from the context menu though.
Add 'depot_tools' to the 'start' of your PATH (must be ahead of any installs of
Python). Assuming you unzipped the bundle to `C:\workspace\depot_tools`:
With Administrator access: ::
*Control Panel -> System and Security -> System -> Advanced system settings*
Modify the PATH system variable to include `C:\workspace\depot_tools`.
Without Administrator access: ::
*Control Panel -> User Accounts -> User Accounts -> Change my environment variables*
Add a PATH user variable: `C:\workspace\depot_tools;%PATH%`.
From a `cmd.exe` shell, run the command `gclient` (without arguments). On first
run, gclient will install all the Windows-specific bits needed to work with the
code, including msysgit and python.
* If you run gclient from a non-cmd shell (e.g., cygwin, PowerShell), it
may appear to run properly, but msysgit, python, and other tools may not get
installed correctly.
* If you see strange errors with the file system on the first run of gclient,
you may want to link:[disable
Windows Indexing].
* After running gclient open a command prompt and type `where python` and confirm that
the depot_tools python.bat comes ahead of any copies of python.exe. Failing to ensure
this can lead to overbuilding when using gn - see
If you have never used git before, youll need to set some global git
configurations; substitute your name and email address in the following
[white]**$ git config --global "John Doe"**
[white]**$ git config --global ""**
[white]**$ git config --global core.autocrlf false**
[white]**$ git config --global core.filemode false**
[white]**$** # and for fun!
[white]**$ git config --global color.ui true**
[white]**$** # get the code
[white]**$** # In an empty directory:
[white]**$ fetch {chromium,...}**
[white]**$** # Update third_party repos and run pre-compile hooks
[white]**$ gclient sync**
[white]**$** # Make a new change and upload it for review
[white]**$ git new-branch <branch_name>**
[white]**$** # repeat: [edit, git add, git commit]
[white]**$ git cl upload**
[white]**$** # After change is reviewed, commit with the CQ
[white]**$ git cl set_commit**
[white]**$** # Note that the committed hash which lands will /not/ match the
[white]**$** # commit hashes of your local branch.
Pick an empty directory and run one of the following:
[white]**$ fetch chromium** # Basic checkout for desktop Chromium
[white]**$ fetch android** # Chromium checkout for Android platform
[white]**$ fetch ios** # Chromium checkout for iOS platform
When the `fetch` tool completes you should have the following in your working
[white]**.gclient** # A configuration file for you source checkout
[white]**src/** # Top-level Chromium source checkout.
If you are on linux and fetching the code for the first time, then you'll need
to run:
[white]**$ cd src && ./build/**
And finally:
[white]**$ gclient sync**
This will pull all dependencies of the Chromium src checkout. You will need
to run this any time you update the main src checkout, including when you
switch branches.
NOTE: The remainder of the tutorial assumes that your current working directory
is the `src/` folder mentioned in <<_getting_the_code,Getting the code>>.
Each CL corresponds exactly with a single branch in git. Any time you want to
begin a new CL:
[white]**$ git new-branch <branch_name>**
This will create and checkout a new branch named `branch_name` which will track
the default upstream branch (`origin/master`). See
linkgit:git-new-branch[1] for more features.
Commit as many changes as you like to this branch. When you want to upload it
for review, run:
[white]**$ git cl upload**
This will take the diff of your branch against its upstream branch (in that
case origin/master), and will post it to the
link:[Chromium code review site].
Inevitably, you'll want to pull in changes from the main Chromium repo. This is
pretty easy with 'depot_tools':
[white]**$ git rebase-update**
This command will update all of your CLs to contain the latest code from their
upstreams. It will also automatically clean up CLs which have been committed and
a couple other nice things. See linkgit:git-rebase-update[1] for the full
One thing to look out for are 'merge conflicts'. These happen for exactly the
same as they do with SVN, but the experience is a little more controllable with
git. `git rebase-update` will try to rebase all your branches for you, but if it
encounters a merge conflict in one, it will halt and leave you in a rebase
conflict state (see linkgit:git-rebase[1]). Resolving `git rebase` merge
conflicts is beyond the scope of this tutorial, but there are many good sources
online (see the <<_prerequisites,Prerequisites>> for some).
Sometimes you're pretty certain that you've committed a certain branch, but `git
rebase-update` isn't able to tell that for sure. This is usually because your
branch doesn't rebase cleanly. You could just delete the branch with `git branch
-D <branch>`, but you'd like to double check the diff of your branch against its
upstream before deleting it. If this is the case you can abort the rebase
started by `git rebase-update`, and then run linkgit:git-squash-branch[1] to
flatten your branch into a single commit. When you run `git rebase-update`
again, you'll get a (hopefully) much smaller / saner diff. If it turns out you
were wrong about your branch being fully committed, you can use
linkgit:git-reflog[1] to reset your branch back to where it was before. If the
diff looks inconsequential, you can use `git rebase --skip` to ignore it, and
then `git rebase-update` will clean it up for you.
Once you're done resolving all of the merge conflict, just run `git
rebase-update`, and it will pick up where it left off. Once the command has
finished updating all of your branches, it will return you back to the branch
you started on.
Running `git rebase-update` will update all your branches, but it will not
automatically run `gclient sync` to update your dependencies.
Sometimes you want to work on more than one CL at once (say, you have a CL
posted for review and want to work on something else). For each CL that you
want to work on, just use `git new-branch <branch_name>`.
Once you start to have more than one CL at a time, it can be easy to lose your
bearings. Fortunately, 'depot_tools' has two tools to help you out:
[white]**$ git map**
[white blue-background]##*##{zwsp}[blue-background red]** 7dcfe47 ** [green]##(##{zwsp}[aqua]**frozen_changes**{zwsp}[green]##)## [yellow]##2014-03-12## \~ FREEZE.unindexed
* [red]**4b0c180** [yellow]##2014-03-12## \~ modfile
* [red]**59a7cca** [yellow]##2014-03-12## \~ a deleted file
* [red]**6bec695** [green]##(##{zwsp}[red]##origin/master##{zwsp}[green]##)## [yellow]##2014-03-11## \~ Add neat feature [white]**<(frozen_changes)**
* [red]**d15a38a** [yellow]##2014-03-11## \~ Epic README update
* [red]**d559894** [green]##(##{zwsp}[lime]**master**{zwsp}[green]##)## [yellow]##2014-03-11## \~ Important upstream change
[red]##|## * [red]**9c311fd** [green]##(##{zwsp}[lime]**cool_feature**{zwsp}[green]##)## [yellow]##2014-03-11## \~ Respond to CL comments
[red]##|## [green]##|## * [red]**2a1eeb2** [green]##(##{zwsp}[lime]**subfeature**{zwsp}[green]##)## [yellow]##2014-03-11## \~ integrate with CoolService
[red]##|## [green]##|## * [red]**d777af6** [yellow]##2014-03-11## \~ slick commenting action
[red]##|## [green]##|/##
[red]##|## * [red]**265803a** [yellow]##2014-03-11## \~ another improvement [white]**<(subfeature)**
[red]##|## * [red]**6d831ac** [green]##(##{zwsp}[fuchsia]**spleen_tag**{zwsp}[green]##)## [yellow]##2014-03-11## \~ Refactor spleen
[red]##|## * [red]**82e74ab** [yellow]##2014-03-11## \~ Add widget
* [red]**d08c5b3** [green]##(##{zwsp}[lime]**bogus_noparent**{zwsp}[green]##)## [yellow]##2014-03-11## ~ Wonderful beginnings [white]**<(cool_feature)**
Note that this example repo is in dire need of a linkgit:git-rebase-update[1]!
[white]**$ git map-branches**
[aqua]#frozen_changes *#
This tool shows you the history of all of your branches in a pseudo-graphical
format. In particular, it will show you which commits all of your branches
are on, which commit you currently have checked out, and more. Check out the
doc for the full details.
This tool just shows you which branches you have in your repo, and their
upstream relationship to each other (as well as which branch you have checked
out at the moment).
Additionally, sometimes you need to switch between branches, but you've got work
in progress. You could use linkgit:git-stash[1], but that can be tricky to
manage because you need to remember which branches you stashed what changes on.
Helpfully 'depot_tools' includes two tools which can greatly assist in case:
linkgit:git-freeze[1] allows you to put the current branch in \'suspended
animation' by committing your changes to a specially-named commit on the top of
your current branch. When you come back to your branch later, you can just run
linkgit:git-thaw[1] to get your work-in-progress changes back to what they were.
Another useful tool is linkgit:git-rename-branch[1]. Unlike `git branch -m <old>
<new>`, this tool will correctly preserve the upstream relationships of your
branch compared to its downstreams.
Finally, take a look at linkgit:git-upstream-diff[1]. This will show you the
combined diff for all the commits on your branch against the upstream tracking
branch. This is 'exactly' what `git cl upload` will push up to code review.
Additionally, consider trying the `--wordwise` argument to get a colorized
per-word diff (instead of a per-line diff).
Now that you know how to manage 'independent' CLs, we'll see how to manage
'dependent' CLs. Dependent CLs are useful when your second (or third or fourth
or ...) CL depends on the changes in one of your other CLs (such as: CL 2 won't
compile without CL 1, but you want to submit them as two separate reviews).
Like all of the other CLs we've created, we use linkgit:git-new-branch[1], but
this time with an extra argument. First, `git checkout` the branch
you want to base the new one on (i.e. CL 1), and then run:
[white]**$ git new-branch --upstream_current <branch_name>**
This will make a new branch which tracks the 'current' branch as its upstream
(as opposed to 'origin/master'). All changes you commit to this branch will be
in addition to the previous branch, but when you `git cl upload`, you will only
upload the diff for the dependent (child) branch. You may have as many branches
nested in this fashion as you like.
linkgit:git-map[1] and linkgit:git-map-branches[1] are particularly helpful when
you have dependent branches. In addition, there are two helper commands which
let you traverse your working copy up and down this tree of branches:
linkgit:git-nav-upstream[1] and linkgit:git-nav-downstream[1].
Sometimes when dealing with dependent CLs, it turns out that you accidentally
based a branch on the wrong upstream, but since then you've committed changes to
it, or even based 'another' branch off of that one. Or you discover that you
have two independent CLs that would actually be much better off as dependent
CLs. In instances like these, you can check out the offending branch and use
linkgit:git-reparent-branch[1] to move it to track a different parent. Note that
this can also be used to move a branch from tracking `origin/master` to `lkgr`
or vice versa.
This section will demo what a typical workflow looks like when writing,
updating, and committing multiple CLs.
So there you have the basic flow. Note that you don't 'have' to do chromium
development using these tools. Any git workflow is compatible, as long as
`git cl upload` is able to upload good patches.
Hopefully that gives you a good starting overview on Chromium development using
'depot_tools'. If you have questions which weren't answered by this tutorial or
the man pages for the tools (see the index of all tools here:
linkgit:depot_tools[7]), please feel free to ask.
A 'change-list'. This is a diff which you would like to commit to the
A file in the chromium checkout which `gclient sync` uses to determine what
dependencies to pull in. This file also contains 'hooks'.
Last Known Good Revision. This is a linkgit:git-tag[1] which tracks the last
version of `origin/master` which has passed the full set of testing on the
link:[main Chromium waterfall].
// vim: ft=asciidoc: