Keeping debian/patches on a patch-queue branch

This part moved to gbp's manual

Cloning a repository

If you use gbp clone instead of git clone to clone a remote repository it will automatically set up the debian, upstream and pristine-tar branches for you. The manual explains the terminology.

Keeping a repository up to date

After initially cloning with gbp clone you can run gbp pull to update your debian, upstream and pristine-tar branches from the remote site. So the complete workflow for simple team maintenance looks like this:

# Initially clone the repo once
gbp clone git://
cd gtk-vnc

Work on that clone, commit, release, push, etc. Now after a couple of days you want to make more changes but don't know if another developer worked on it. So you do:

# Update to what others might have pushed
gbp pull

This will update all necessary branches to what other developers might have pushed in the meantime. If you're also using a patch-queue as described above you can refresh that too in one step:

# Update to what others might have pushed and rebuild patch-queue
gbp pull --redo-pq

This will additionally drop your current patch-queue branch and recreate it from debian/patches.

Preparing a Backport

I keep backports on a separate bpo- branch like bpo-lenny:

git checkout bpo-lenny
git merge debian/<version-currently-in-testing>
<resolve conflict in debian/changelog>
<fix up stuff needed for backport>
gbp buildpackage --git-pbuilder --git-dist=lenny -sa -v <last-backported-version> --git-debian-branch=bpo-lenny

In order to avoid the merge conflict in the changelog have a look at dpkg-mergechangelogs(1). To create the necessary cowbuilder chroot for Lenny use:

DIST=lenny git-pbuilder create