Git commits and workflow#

When sending a pull request for the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI), please follow these guidelines:

  • The PR should target the develop branch.

  • Your PR branch should be based off a recent commit of the develop branch. Preferably the base commit for the PR should use the latest commit of develop at the time the PR was created. This helps to ensure there are no merge conflicts or test failures when the PR is merged back to the develop branch.

  • Make separate commits for logically separate changes. Avoid commits such as “update”, “fix typo again”, “more updates”. Rebase your commits before submitting your PR to ensure they represent a logical change.

  • Avoid merge commits in your PRs. If you want to pull in the latest changes from the develop branch, rebase on top of the develop branch instead of merging the develop branch into your feature branch.

Commit message formatting#

Your commit messages must use the following formatting:

  • Summary (required)

    • Short (50 characters or less) summary.

    • 50 character summary does not end with any punctuation.

    • Describe your changes in the imperative mood. e.g. “Add foo to bar”, “Update foo component for bar”, “Fix race condition for foo”.

  • Body (optional)

    • To add a body, add a blank line after the summary.

    • Limit the line length in the body of a commit message to 80 characters or less.

    • The body of the commit message can include the following:

      • An explanation of the problem and what this change tries to solve.

      • Rationale behind the specific implementation.

      • Alternatives considered and why they were discarded, if appropriate.

Example Git workflows#

This section contains different example workflows you can use.

First time setup#

For full step by step instructions on how to setup your workspace, see Setup or update your contribution environment.

Before running the below commands, you must fork the AWS CLI repository. Afterwards you clone your forked repo and set up the remotes using the following commands:

# Navigate to the directory you want your repo to clone to
$ cd <path>

# Clone your fork into this current directory
$ git clone

# Navigate to the cloned repo
$ cd aws-cli

# Setup the remotes and fetch all updates
$ git remote add upstream
$ git fetch upstream
$ git merge upstream/develop

Update existing setup#

Get current information from the original repository and merge them into your fork.

# Navigate to the AWS CLI directory
$ cd <path_to_awscli_repo>

# Fetch updates from remotes and merge them
$ git fetch upstream
$ git rebase upstream/develop

Create a feature branch for contribution and submit a pull request#


When you contribute be sure to follow coding format guidelines and commit message format guidelines.

The following is an example workflow where you retrieve updated information from the AWS CLI repository, create a branch on your fork, make your changes, commit your changes, and push your commits to a pull request (PR):

# Get and merge current information from the original repository to your fork
$ git fetch upstream
$ git merge upstream/develop

# Create your feature branch
$ git checkout -b my-branch-name

# Add your feature commits
$ git add path/to/my/files

# Commit your updates
$ git commit -m "Add support for foo"

# To send a PR, push your commits to your fork
$ git push origin my-branch-name

After you push to your remote, the output will contain a URL for you to open a pull request.

Rebase your commits#

If you have committed multiple times, you must rebase your commits before submitting a pull request. This squashes all your commits into a final one and syncs it with the latest upstream changes.

$ git fetch upstream
$ git rebase upstream/develop