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Git and Github

Contributing to Betaflight involves preparing your development environment and making a fork of the repository and working with Git. This document gives some instructions how to handle Git.

Look in development/building for installation notes for your environment.

Please contribute to this article to help others make git easier to use.

Clone your fork to your development machine.

First make a fork of the repository you want to work on from the github website.

git clone

Global configuration

Please configure this to have the correct author in your commits

git config --global "Your Name"
git config --global "your@email.domain"

If you omit to configure this you get a warning and have to use the following commands to rectify:

git config --global --edit
git commit --amend --reset-author


git config --global core.autocrlf true


git config --global core.autocrlf input


git config --global core.safecrlf warn
git config --global core.whitespace cr-at-eol
git config --global core.filemode false
git config --global help.autocorrect true

Setup remotes

git remote add upstream
git remote -v

Create a branch and start making changes

git checkout -b branch

Stage files for commit

Commit your changes after making initial changes:

git add .
git commit -m "message"
git push origin branch

Note: git commit -am or specify the files.

Make more changes and commit on top of last commit

git commit --amend
git push origin +branch

Update master branch with upstream updates and update your fork

git checkout master
git pull --rebase upstream master
git push origin +master

Update your local branch with upstream changes

git checkout branch
git branch --set-upstream-to=upstream/master branch
git pull --rebase


git pull upstream master
git rebase -i master

If you look at git reflog --oneline you will see these lines:

shacode HEAD@{0}: rebase (finish): returning to refs/head/branch
shacode HEAD@{1}: rebase (pick): your branch commit description
shacode (upstream/master, origin/master, origin/HEAD, master) HEAD@{2}: rebase (start): checkout longsha

Unstage file from working area

git restore --staged \<file> to unstage a file from working area.


git checkout --\<filename>

Recover from unwanted commit without push

git reset HEAD^

If you want to completely remove the unstaged changes run

git reset --hard HEAD

Unwanted commits in your latest push.

First try:

git rebase -i origin/branch~2 branch
git push origin +branch

If this fails, backup your changed files (maybe also could use git stash)

git reset HEAD~ --hard
git checkout branch

And restore your saved files (or use git stash pop)

git add .
git commit -m "Make new commit"
git push origin +branch

See general changes

git diff

See changes in particular file

git log -- src/main/cms/cms` .c

Checkout work on another machine

git checkout origin/branch
git switch -c branch

Quickly testing a PR

git fetch upstream pull/2500/head:2500
git checkout 2500

Squash your commits

From the project folder you can use something like: Note the number of commits in your PR.

git rebase -i HEAD~17
  • You should see a list of commits, each commit starting with the word “pick”.
  • Make sure the topmost, first commit says “pick” and change the rest below from “pick” to “squash”. This will squash each commit into the previous commit, which will continue until every commit is squashed into the first commit.
  • Save and close the editor.
  • It will give you the opportunity to change the commit message. What you see is a single message containing all of the commit messages. Edit these as you wish.
  • Save and close the editor again.
  • Important: If you’ve already pushed commits to origin, and then squash them locally, you will have to force the push to your branch.

Finally update with:

git push origin +branch

Commit to a PR from another contributor

Sometimes you want to make changes to an existing PR. Before doing so please ask permission from the contributor. In the example please substitute the contributor, betaflight_project and branch:

git remote add contributor
git remote -v
git fetch contributor
git switch branch

The original author now can pull the changes to the local branch with:

git fetch origin branch:branch --update-head-ok

Now you can make more changes and commit again. (This should just work with git pull - have to check this)


How to sign your commits with PGP


When using commit just add the -S flag to verify the commit and enter the passphrase you have chosen before.


Do bisection:

git bisect reset
git bisect start
git checkout 4.1.1

Build and make sure it works

git bisect good
git checkout 4.1.2

Build and make sure it fails

git bisect bad

Then git will automatically bisects commits between the two versions, checks out a new bisecting commit. You will build and test it, and tell git if the commit was good or bad.