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Installing Git hooks

The Git version control system allows you to configure hook scripts that will be invoked whenever certain actions are performed. (See Git’s Customizing Git chapter for complete documentation.) The basic idea is that you create shell scripts with well-known names such as pre-commit, post-update, prepare-commit-msg, and so forth. If the Git client finds these scripts in the local .git/hooks folder, it will run the scripts whenever the corresponding operations are performed.

For security reasons, Git will not automatically install these scripts when you clone a repo. Instead, each developer must invoke a command that creates the files and chmods them to be executable. Rush can automate this for you!

Configuring Rush to install a Git hook script

As an example, suppose we find that developers are making commits without a meaningful description of their work. As a result, the Git history is difficult to understand. To solve this problem, might want to add a commit-msg hook that requires the commit message to meet certain requirements. For example, here’s a simple Bash script that requires at least 3 words of text:


# This is an example Git hook for use with Rush.  To enable this hook, rename this file
# to "commit-msg" and then run "rush install", which will copy it from common/git-hooks
# to the .git/hooks folder.
# The Git documentation is here:
# Some helpful resources:
# The commit-msg hook is called by "git commit" with one argument, the name of the file
# that has the commit message.  The hook should exit with non-zero status after issuing
# an appropriate message if it wants to stop the commit.  The hook is allowed to edit
# the commit message file.

# This example enforces that commit message should contain a minimum amount of
# description text.
if [ `cat $1 | wc -w` -lt 3 ]; then
  echo ""
  echo "Invalid commit message: The message must contain at least 3 words."
	exit 1

The sample file shown above is a template that rush init generates when setting up a new repo. You can probably find a copy as common/git-hooks/commit-msg.sample in your own repo.

You would use it as follows:

  1. Add this file in your common/git-hooks folder, and commit to Git.
  2. When a developer runs rush install, Rush will copy this file to be .git/hooks/commit-msg
  3. When you run git commit, Git will find the script and invoke it
  4. If the commit message is too short, the script returns a nonzero exit code; Git shows the Invalid commit message notice and rejects the operation.

Using Rush to install the hook script avoids the need for a separate solution such as the popular Husky package. Note that Husky expects your repo to have a root-level package.json and node_modules folder, and Husky runs shell commands for every Git operation (even unused hooks); using Rush to install hooks avoids those limitations.

Note: If you need to uninstall the hooks for some reason, it is safe to delete the files in your .git/hooks/ folder.

Invoking Prettier during “git commit”

The Prettier tool ensures that source files follow consistent conventions for syntax issues like spacing and commas. By configuring a git commit hook to invoke Prettier automatically, you can apply these fixes without any effort on the developer’s part.

The Enabling Prettier article provides step-by-step instructions.