How to remove a git branch in a dist-git repository

Historically we did not allow to remove git branches in dist-git repository, but FESCo recently approved their removal if and only if all the commits in the branch to be deleted can be reached from another branch. This is a requirement to ensure that if any of the commits were used in a build, we still have the commit accessible and thus we are able to reproduce the build if needed.

There is a script in the releng repository to use to check if a branch can safely be deleted.

So here are the steps to follow to remove the branch <branch> from the package <foo>.

  1. Clone the releng repo if you do not already have it:

    git clone
  2. Pull the latest changes:

    pushd releng && git pull --rebase && popd
  3. Clone the <foo> package locally:

    fedpkg clone <foo>
  4. Checkout the <branch> branch:

    cd clone && git checkout <branch>
  5. Run the script:

    python ../releng/scripts/ <branch>

    (If needed, see the --help of the script for more information)

  6. If the script returns that the branch is safe to delete:

    1. Go to pkgs01 as root

    2. Go to the git repository:

      cd /srv/git/repositories/<namespace>/<foo>.git
    3. Move the head of the branch (this allows to recover it later if needed):

      mv refs/heads/<branch> heads_<branch>

      Sometimes the ref is in the packed-refs file, in that case:

      grep <branch> packed-refs > heads_<branch>

      Then remove the line from packed-refs file

  7. On your local clone of <foo>, check that the branch was deleted upstream:

    git fetch -p

    This should show something like:

    $ git fetch -p
    From ssh://<namespace>/<foo>
    - [deleted]         (none)     -> origin/<branch>