Ian McNally

Stopping force pushes to master with a git hook

August 04, 2015

Today, my team ran into an issue where someone accidentally force pushed their git branch to master. There’s no easy configuration change to make sure no one does this, so I ended up writing a pre-push hook.

A hook is a script called at one of several points in git’s lifecycle, and a user has to simply supply their own hook file to run. So, for pre push I created a prepush.sh file. It runs after someone types “git push” but before the push actually happens. If the script exits with a failure, the push in cancelled. Here’s the script:

### prepush.sh


currentBranch=$(git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD)

lastCommand=$(ps -ocommand= -p $PPID)

if \[\[ $lastCommand =~ $disallowedCommand \]\] && \[ $currentBranch = $protectedBranch \]; then
  echo "Force pushing to $protectedBranch is not allowed. Your push is rejected."
  exit 1

exit 0

Then, I created a symlink to the git hooks directory from the shell file:

### setup-git-hooks.sh


# the shell scripts path is relative to the .git/hooks directory
ln -s -f ../../prepush.sh .git/hooks/pre-push

Lastly, to automate the symlinking of the shell script (which ensures it runs on every developers machine), I added it to our npm scripts. This way, before each developer install node dependencies, the symlink (and therefore, the hook) will be installed.


  "scripts": {
    "preinstall": "./setup-git-hooks.sh",

Ian McNally

Hey, I'm Ian. I build websites and write about what I learn as I go. Follow me on Twitter.