Using Hub for faster Open-Source contribution

Written by | 5 minutes read | Tags howto, programming, learning, git | Comments

Ever wondering how you can easily fork and contribute to an Open-Source project without forking a repository manually in your browser? Then you should have a look into the hub gem.

Hub is a command-line wrapper for git written by defunkt. With it, you can easily create forks of repositories, making pull requests, and get code from other forks with no problems. If you are a maintainer of a very popular repository like twitter bootstrap with over ~23k forks, this tool makes your life a lot easier.

Update: gh is the hub implementation written in Go. It is faster and will be a replacement of the pure hub in the future - thanks @_ZKH for showing me this.

Update: hub is now available as precompiled binaries - so you don’t need it compile with go

Installing hub

Grab the latest hub release for your system and player into your bin path.

Workflow to get things done

What I normally do when using Open-Source technologies like the Foundation Framework is trying to give something back. For example by improving documentation, reporting bugs, or solving problems.

First of all let’s get the code:

$ hub clone zurb/foundation-sites
  Cloning into 'foundation-sites'...
  remote: Counting objects: 81224, done.
  remote: Compressing objects: 100% (28/28), done.
  remote: Total 81224 (delta 10), reused 0 (delta 0), pack-reused 81195
  Receiving objects: 100% (81224/81224), 112.63 MiB | 1.11 MiB/s, done.
  Resolving deltas: 100% (48423/48423), done.
  Checking connectivity... done.

Now let’s make a branch for fixing some documentation issues:

$ git checkout -b readme-fixes

Now you make your changes and run a git commit -m "Fixed documentation" and you are ready to fork the repo:

$ hub fork

Now you need to push the changes to your remote and open a pull request:

$ git push -u wikimatze readme-fixes
$ hub pull-request

That’s it. If you want to see a list of open issues, you can use the following command:

$ hub browse -- issues

This will open the issue site in your browser. In our case this would be

If you want to see a list of pull-requests, just pass the pulls param

$ hub browse -- pulls

Remember your username and token

Go to your github token settings, generate a fresh one and put them into ~/.config/hub:

- user: wikimatze
  oauth_token: <TOKEN>

Now you don’t need to type in your username and password everytime.


The idea for this blog came out of my first remote paring session with my friend @_ZPH where I wanted to show him this gem but wasn’t able to explain him the work flow. So this little snippet is a reminder for him and me.

Further Reading