Branch-based workflow

One of the most important things beyond technical advantage is the flexibility of the build system and easy development.

That's why we choose a branch-based workflow instead of a fork-based workflow for GitLab, the developer would commit his changes in a upstream branch instead of a forked repository.

Why? because it's simple and less time consuming (less steps/commands), if you use a branch-based workflow you just need to create your branch, run git checkout your-branch-name on your working folder, commit to it and send a Merge Request when your branch is done, simple like that.

While in a fork-based workflow you need to fork the repository (require configuration changes to the new forks), update the master branch of the fork frequently (git pull and it's not possible on the GitLab web interface, you need to delete your fork and create a new one to update), create your branch, commit to it and send a Merge Request.

It takes less space too, because you don't need to maintain two forks of the same repository (the local fork and the GitLab fork).

Redox programs

Redox programs development inside recipe folders is the most improved task by this workflow, because in a fork-based workflow you need to delete the source folder or change the git = and branch = fields on your recipe.toml.

How easy is the Redox program development in a branch-based workflow? after your make pull rebuild, go to the source folder of your recipe - cd cookbook/recipes/your-recipe/source, run - git checkout your-branch and commit your changes, just that.

When your changes are ready, run make c.your-recipe r.your-recipe image to test your changes (if you have this recipe added to your TOML config, desktop.toml for example).

How it is done in a fork-based workflow? you have two ways to do this:

1 - The most easy way is to delete the source folder of your recipe, fork your repository on this folder (git clone), commit your changes to master or your branch.

To test your changes, run - make c.your-recipe r.your-recipe image.

It seems similar to a branch-based workflow, but you need to delete the source folder, fork your GitLab repository and update it separated from the build system, you can easily forget to update it and lost recent improvements/bug fixes on the upstream source code.

2 - The time consuming/error-prone way, you change the git = and branch = fields of your recipe.toml to fetch your fork link, delete the source folder and run make c.your-recipe r.your-recipe image.

You can bypass these steps if you run - scrips/ your-recipe, it will delete the source and target folders for you, but it don't run make image (you can't use this script on the method 1).


You can create your recipe folder/configuration on separated branches, to active your branch from Cookbook, run:

cd cookbook
git checkout your-branch
git pull
cd ..

These commands will access the Cookbook folder, change the active branch, update it and go back to your working Redox directory.

  • To update your Cookbook branches, run - git pull on your Cookbook folder.

Local Changes

To avoid unwanted changes caused by the make rebuild command, you can remove the [source], git = and tar = fields from the recipe.toml (a source folder must exist to avoid error).

Outdated Branches

Sometimes your build system can be outdated if you forgot to update your active branches, read more about this here.