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lein-githooks is a simple way to manage client-side git hooks for Leiningen projects.

Git hooks are great for automatically running test and quality checks at key points in the git workflow.

Unfortunately, living as they do under .git/hooks rather than in the main repository, they're not by default under source control so they take a bit of effort to distribute to developers. Most people are quite willing to have tests and quality checks run automatically before push but it's a real pain having to manually install the hooks necessary to do this.

How many times have you hit enter on a git push and suddenly realised you had forgotten to run the complete test suite after your last minor change? I do that sort of thing pretty frequently. Sure, you probably have some comprehensive testing going on in CI tooling anyway but it can save a lot of time and embarrassment to have git run these things for you locally before they get that far.

Now you may like to configure these things yourself - that's all well and good - or it might just be more convenient to have a consistent set of hooks defined at project level. That's what lein-githooks allows for leiningen projects.

Use lein-githooks if:

  • you want to easily automate quality checks at key points in the git workflow and you'd like to define this hooks in your project.clj along with the rest of your project config
  • you're comfortable with lein-githooks taking control of your .git/hooks directory

Do not use lein-githooks if:

  • you have existing non-lein-githooks-based hooks that you don't want to replace - right now lein-githooks doesn't like to share.
  • some JVM start-up time in key hook points is going to drive you mad - right now there's a fair bit of bouncing around through git and leiningen involved


Adding lein-githooks to your project

Current dependency information:

[lein-githooks "0.1.0"]

lein-githooks is all about distributing git hooks for your project so you probably want to install it at project level rather than in your profiles.clj file. Add the plugin dependency and the commands you would like to run in each git hook as follows.

(defproject my-project "0.x.x"

  ;; ...

  :profiles {:dev {:plugins [[lein-githooks "0.1.0"]]
                   :githooks {:auto-install true
                              :pre-push ["lein test"]
                              :pre-commit ["lein eastwood"]

If you set :auto-install, the hooks will be automatically installed and updated any time you use a leiningen command. The default is false. You may want to think carefully before switching this on.

You can use other git hook types and / or other leiningen profiles as you see fit. I'm not really sure of the benefit of deploying other hook types in this way but there didn't seem to be any reason to preclude it.

Manual usage is as follows:

$ lein githooks install 

...will ensure that your .git/hooks directory is updated to match the plugins declared in your project.clj by creating, updating or deleting hook files as necessary. This happens behind the scenes if you have :auto-install on.

$ lein githooks clean

...will delete the hook files corresponding to the hooks declared in your project.clj. You shouldn't generally need this but it can be useful for temporarily disabling hooks. (Though bear in mind if you push some that fails hooks you're likely causing a problem for other developers.)

$ lein githooks run pre-push

...runs the commands specified in project.clj for the pre-push hook. Use similar commands for other hook types. Useful for testing hooks. This is actually what the hook files run.

Opting Out

If you're working on a project that uses lein-githooks and has :auto-install on but you would prefer to manage your own hooks.

You can simply override the setting in your leiningen profiles.clj and hook installation will be manual for all your projects.

{:user {:githooks ^:replace {:auto-install false}}


Thanks to Roy Lines for pointing me at something similar in the javascript universe (git-pre-hooks) that provided the inspiration for this. I couldn't find anything similar out there for Leiningen already but I may have missed something.

Feedback and contributions welcome.


Copyright © 2015 Greg Hawkins

Distributed under the Eclipse Public License either version 1.0 or (at your option) any later version.

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