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This section documents the process of merging code changes contributed via Github Pull Requests. It assumes you have a clone of ZooKeeper's Git repository and the user has committer access rights. is a script that automates the process of accepting a code change into the project. It creates a temporary branch from apache/master, squashes the commits in the pull request, rewrites the commit message in the squashed commit to follow a standard format including information about each original commit, merges the squashed commit into the temporary branch, pushes the code to apache/master and closes the JIRA ticket. The push will then be mirrored to apache-github/master, which will cause the PR to be closed due to the pattern in the commit message. Note that the script will ask the user before executing remote updates (ie git push and closing JIRA ticket), so it can still be used even if the user wants to skip those steps.


This script is a modified version of an Apache Kafka tool: that, in its turn, is a modified version of an Apache Spark tool:

Step-by-step guide

Setting Up:

  1. Add aliases for the remotes expected by the merge script (if you haven't already):

  2. Before starting using the script it’s required to setup environment variables below:

    PR_REMOTE_NAME - points to Github mirror of Apache project (default git-remote name: apache-github)

    PUSH_REMOTE_NAME - points to Apache Git repo (default git-remote name: apache)

  3. Install jira-python: 


  4. Setup environment variables to JIRA credentials:

    JIRA_USERNAME & JIRA_PASSWORD - apache JIRA credentials



    If you don't execute steps 3 and 4 then the script will not be able to automatically close the JIRA after merging the PR.


  5. (Optional) Setup Github OAUTH token:

    GITHUB_OAUTH_KEY  (optional) - if you exceed Github API rate limit then set this variable to allow it to surpass this limit as the script comment states:


    “OAuth key used for issuing requests against the GitHub API. If this is not defined, then requests will be unauthenticated. You should only need to configure this if you find yourself regularly exceeding your IP's unauthenticated request rate limit. You can create an OAuth key at This script only requires the "public_repo" scope.”


Once the pull request is ready to be merged (it has been reviewed, feedback has been addressed, CI build has been successful and the branch merges cleanly into trunk):

  1. Run the merge script:

  2. Answer the questions prompted by the script.
    When the script asks “List pull request commits in squashed commit message? (y/n)”, answer n.

    If there is any error during the script execution then the process can be aborted without running the clean up routine. In this case, make sure you delete the PR_TOOL_* branches before re-running the script. (look the section below entitled "Temporary local branches" to understand what artifacts the script creates).


Under the hood

  1. Merging and/or cherry-picking
    1.  If the Github PR is already closed by asfgit then this indicates the PR has already been merged into Apache Git repo, so the script will ask if you want to cherry-pick the PR commits to other branches (to backport the changes to other branches, for example). After we are done cherry-picking (the script asks if we want to continue), no further steps from this script are executed.
    2. Otherwise, the script will try to merge the PR into the target reference (if the PR is targeting the master branch it will try to merge the PR on master, if targeting branch-3.5 it will try to merge on branch-3.5, etc). It will ask for authors and reviewers names/emails, among other bits of info that compose the commit log.

      1. After executing step b, the script will ask if you want to backport (i.e., cherry-pick) the PR into other branches, suggesting the latest branch it has already find (say, branch-3.6), but you are free to choose other branches. After each cherry-pick it will ask if you want to backport the PR to another branch until you choose not to (in a nutshell, the same procedure as step b).

    3. During this step, the script will update the JIRA entry, marking it as closed. It will try to fill the fixed versions accordingly. The committer should provide the JIRA ID. If the JIRA credentials are not set up or jira-python lib is not installed, the script will merge the PR and push to Apache git repo, but won't close the JIRA issue, so make sure the correspondent JIRA issue was closed after merging the PR.



  2. Temporary local branches
    1. Suppose we want to merge the PR 34 into master:

      1. the script creates a local branch for pull request 34 commits called PR_TOOL_MERGE_PR_34

      2.  Then it creates a local branch from the Apache Git repo as the merge destination called PR_TOOL_MERGE_PR_34_MASTER and checkout into this branch. As the name shows, PR 34 is gonna be merged into master branch. 

      3.  The script automatically performs a merge with commit squashing from PR_TOOL_MERGE_PR_34 into PR_TOOL_MERGE_PR_34_MASTER:

        The script executes the following commands:

      4. After the merge the tool ask if we would like to push PR_TOOL_MERGE_PR_34_MASTER to the changes to master at Apache Git repo.

      5. Finally, the clean up process removes the local temporary branches (PR_TOOL_*) from the  commiter’s ZK git repo (i.e., git branch -D PR_TOOL_<suffix> )

      6. Cherry pick work along the same lines, but the temporary branch name created (the one that will be pushed to Apache git) has the name PR_TOOL_PICK_PR_34_branch-3.4 if we want to cherry pick the PR 34 into branch-3.4, for example.