Introducing: git tpush

On today’s issue of “one hour hacks”, I’ll show you how you can stop your git drive-by’s to git master from breaking your CI tests… Let’s continue!

The problem:

Sometimes I’ve got a shitty one-line patch that I want to push to git master. I’m usually right, and everything tests out fine, but usually isn’t always, and then I look silly while I frantically try to fix git master on a project that I maintain. Let’s use tools to hide our human flaws!

How you’re really supposed to do it:

Good hackers know that you’re supposed to:

  • checkout a new feature branch for your patch
    • checkout -b feat/foo
  • write the patch and commit it
    • git add -p && git commit -m 'my foo'
  • push that branch up to origin
    • git push origin feat/foo
  • wait for the tests to succeed
    • hub ci-status && sleep 1m && ...
  • merge and push to git master
    • git checkout master && git merge feat/foo && git push
  • delete your local branch
    • git branch -d feat/foo
  • delete the remote branch
    • git push origin :feat/foo
  • mourn all the lost time it took to push this patch
    • cat && drink && sleep 8h

If it happens to fail, you have to remember what the safe git reset command is, and then you have to start all over!

How do we make this easy?

I write tools, so I sat down and wrote a cheap little bash script to do it for me! Sharing is caring, so please enjoy a copy!

How does it work?

It actually just does all of the above for you automatically, and it automatically cleans up all of the temporary branches when it’s done! Here are two example runs to help show you the tool in action:

A failure scenario:

Here I add a patch with some trailing whitespace, which will easily get caught by the automatic test suite. You’ll note that I actually had to force the commit locally with git commit -n, because the pre-commit hook actually caught this first. You could extend this script to run your test suite locally before you push the patch, but that defeats the idea of a drive-by.

james@computer:~/code/mgmt$ git add -p
diff --git a/ b/
index 277aa73..2c31356 100644
--- a/
+++ b/
@@ -34,6 +34,7 @@ Please get involved by working on one of these items or by suggesting something
 Please grab one of the straightforward [#mgmtlove]( issues if you're a first time contributor.
 ## Bugs:
+Some bugs are caused by bad drive-by patches to git master! 
 Please set the `DEBUG` constant in [main.go]( to `true`, and post the logs when you report the [issue](
 Bonus points if you provide a [shell]( or [OMV]( reproducible test case.
Stage this hunk [y,n,q,a,d,/,e,?]? y
<stdin>:9: trailing whitespace.
Some bugs are caused by bad drive-by patches to git master! 
warning: 1 line adds whitespace errors.

james@computer:~/code/mgmt$ git commit -m 'XXX this is a bad patch' trailing whitespace.
+Some bugs are caused by bad drive-by patches to git master! 
james@computer:~/code/mgmt$ git commit -nm 'XXX this is a bad patch'
[master 8b29fb3] XXX this is a bad patch
 1 file changed, 1 insertion(+)
james@computer:~/code/mgmt$ git tpush 
tpush branch is: tpush/test-0
Switched to a new branch 'tpush/test-0'
Counting objects: 3, done.
Delta compression using up to 4 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (3/3), done.
Writing objects: 100% (3/3), 357 bytes | 0 bytes/s, done.
Total 3 (delta 2), reused 0 (delta 0)
 * [new branch]      tpush/test-0 -> tpush/test-0
Switched to branch 'master'
Your branch is ahead of 'origin/master' by 1 commit.
  (use "git push" to publish your local commits)
- CI is starting...
/ Waiting for CI...
- Waiting for CI...
\ Waiting for CI...
| Waiting for CI...
Deleted branch tpush/test-0 (was 8b29fb3).
 - [deleted]         tpush/test-0
Upstream CI failed with:
Fix branch 'master' with:
git commit --amend
git reset --soft HEAD^
Happy hacking!

A successful scenario:

In this example, I amended the previous patch in my local copy of git master (which never got pushed to the public git master!) and then I ran git tpush again.

james@computer:~/code/mgmt$ git commit --amend
[master 1186d63] Add a link to my article about debugging golang
 Date: Mon Feb 15 17:28:01 2016 -0500
 1 file changed, 1 insertion(+)
james@computer:~/code/mgmt$ git tpush 
tpush branch is: tpush/test-0
Switched to a new branch 'tpush/test-0'
Counting objects: 3, done.
Delta compression using up to 4 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (3/3), done.
Writing objects: 100% (3/3), 397 bytes | 0 bytes/s, done.
Total 3 (delta 2), reused 0 (delta 0)
 * [new branch]      tpush/test-0 -> tpush/test-0
Switched to branch 'master'
Your branch is ahead of 'origin/master' by 1 commit.
  (use "git push" to publish your local commits)
- CI is starting...
/ Waiting for CI...
- Waiting for CI...
\ Waiting for CI...
| Waiting for CI...
Deleted branch tpush/test-0 (was 1186d63).
 - [deleted]         tpush/test-0
Counting objects: 3, done.
Delta compression using up to 4 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (3/3), done.
Writing objects: 100% (3/3), 397 bytes | 0 bytes/s, done.
Total 3 (delta 2), reused 0 (delta 0)
   6e68d6d..1186d63  master -> master

Please take note of the “Waiting for CI…” text. This is actually a spinner which updates itself. Run this tool yourself to get the full effect! This avoids having 200 line scrollback in your terminal while you wait for your CI to complete.

Lastly, you’ll note that I run git tpush instead of git-tpush. This is because I added an alias to my ~/.gitconfig. It’s quite easy, just add:

tpush = !git-tpush

under the [alias] section, and ensure the git-tpush shell script is in your ~/bin/ folder and is executable.


This actually depends on the hub command line tool which knows how to ask our CI about the test status. It sucks using a distributed tool like git with a centralized thing like github, but it’s still pretty easy for me to move away if they go bad. You’ll also want the tput installed if you want the fancy spinner, but that comes with most GNU/Linux distros by default.

The code:

Grab a copy here!

Happy hacking,


PS: No, I couldn’t think of a better name than git-tpush, if you don’t like it feel free to rename it yourself!

Git archive with submodules and tar magic

Git submodules are actually a very beautiful thing. You might prefer the word powerful or elegant, but that’s not the point. The downside is that they are sometimes misused, so as always, use with care. I’ve used them in projects like puppet-gluster, oh-my-vagrant, and others. If you’re not familiar with them, do a bit of reading and come back later, I’ll wait.

I recently did some work packaging Oh-My-Vagrant as RPM’s. My primary goal was to make sure the entire process was automatic, as I have no patience for manually building RPM’s. Any good packager knows that the pre-requisite for building a SRPM is a source tarball, and I wanted to build those automatically too.

Simply running a tar -cf on my source directory wouldn’t work, because I only want to include files that are stored in git. Thankfully, git comes with a tool called git archive, which does exactly that! No scary tar commands required:

Nobody likes tar

Here’s how you might run it:

$ git archive --prefix=some-project/ -o output.tar.bz2 HEAD

Let’s decompose:

The --prefix argument prepends a string prefix onto every file in the archive. Therefore, if you’d like the root directory to be named some-project, then you prepend that string with a trailing slash, and you’ll have everything nested inside a directory!

The -o flag predictably picks the output file and format. Using .tar.bz2 is quite common.

Lastly, the HEAD portion at the end specifies which git tree to pull the files from. I usually specify a git tag here, but you can specify a commit id if you prefer.

Obligatory, "make this article more interesting" meme image.

Obligatory, “make this article more interesting” meme image.

This is all well and good, but unfortunately, when I open my newly created archive, it is notably missing my git submodules! It would probably make sense for there to be an upstream option so that a --recursive flag would do this magic for you, but unfortunately it doesn’t exist yet.

There are a few scripts floating around that can do this, but I wanted something small, and without any real dependencies, that I can embed in my project Makefile, so that it’s all self-contained.

Here’s what that looks like:

    @echo Running git archive...
    # use HEAD if tag doesn't exist yet, so that development is easier...
    git archive --prefix=oh-my-vagrant-$(VERSION)/ -o $(SOURCE) $(VERSION) 2> /dev/null || (echo 'Warning: $(VERSION) does not exist.' && git archive --prefix=oh-my-vagrant-$(VERSION)/ -o $(SOURCE) HEAD)
    # TODO: if git archive had a --submodules flag this would easier!
    @echo Running git archive submodules...
    # i thought i would need --ignore-zeros, but it doesn't seem necessary!
    p=`pwd` && (echo .; git submodule foreach) | while read entering path; do \
        temp="$${path%\'}"; \
        temp="$${temp#\'}"; \
        path=$$temp; \
        [ "$$path" = "" ] && continue; \
        (cd $$path && git archive --prefix=oh-my-vagrant-$(VERSION)/$$path/ HEAD > $$p/rpmbuild/tmp.tar && tar --concatenate --file=$$p/$(SOURCE) $$p/rpmbuild/tmp.tar && rm $$p/rpmbuild/tmp.tar); \

This is a bit tricky to read, so I’ll try to break it down. Remember, double dollar signs are used in Make syntax for embedded bash code since a single dollar sign is a special Make identifier. The $(VERSION) variable corresponds to the version of the project I’m building, which matches a git tag that I’ve previously created. $(SOURCE) corresponds to an output file name, ending in the .tar.bz2 suffix.

    p=`pwd` && (echo .; git submodule foreach) | while read entering path; do \

In this first line, we store the current working directory for use later, and then loop through the output of the git submodule foreach command. That output normally looks something like this:

james@computer:~/code/oh-my-vagrant$ git submodule foreach 
Entering 'vagrant/gems/xdg'
Entering 'vagrant/kubernetes/templates/default'
Entering 'vagrant/p4h'
Entering 'vagrant/puppet/modules/module-data'
Entering 'vagrant/puppet/modules/puppet'
Entering 'vagrant/puppet/modules/stdlib'
Entering 'vagrant/puppet/modules/yum'

As you can see, this shows that the above read command, eats up the Entering string, and pulls the quoted path into the second path variable. The next part of the code:

        temp="$${path%\'}"; \
        temp="$${temp#\'}"; \
        path=$$temp; \
        [ "$$path" = "" ] && continue; \

uses bash idioms to remove the two single quotes that wrap our string, and then skip over any empty versions of the path variable in our loop. Lastly, for each submodule found, we first switch into that directory:

        (cd $$path &&

Run a normal git archive command and create a plain uncompressed tar archive in a temporary directory:

git archive --prefix=oh-my-vagrant-$(VERSION)/$$path/ HEAD > $$p/rpmbuild/tmp.tar &&

Then use the magic of tar to overlay this new tar file, on top of the source file that we’re now building up with each iteration of this loop, and then remove the temporary file.

tar --concatenate --file=$$p/$(SOURCE) $$p/rpmbuild/tmp.tar && rm $$p/rpmbuild/tmp.tar); \

Finally, we end the loop:


Boom, magic! Short, concise, and without any dependencies but bash and git.

Nobody should have to figure that out by themselves, and I wish it was built in to git, but until then, here’s how it’s done! Many thanks to #git on IRC for pointing me in the right direction.

This is the commit where I landed this patch for oh-my-vagrant, if you’re curious to see this in the wild. Now that this is done, I can definitely say that it was worth the time:

Is it worth the time? In this case, it was.

With this feature merged, along with my automatic COPR builds, a simple ‘make rpm‘, causes all of this automation to happen, and delivers a fresh build from git in a few minutes.

I hope you enjoyed this technique, and I hope you have some coding skills to get this feature upstream in git.

Happy Hacking,


Docker containers in Oh-My-Vagrant

The Oh-My-Vagrant (omv) project is an easy way to bootstrap a development environment. It is particularly useful for spinning up an arbitrary number of virtual machines in Vagrant without writing ruby code. For multi-machine container development, omv can be used to help this happen more naturally.

Oh-My-Vagrant can be very useful as a docker application development environment. I’ve made a quick (<9min) screencast demoing this topic. Please have a look:

If you watched the screencast, you should have a good overview of what’s possible. Let’s discuss some of these features in more detail.

Pull an arbitrary list of docker images:

If you use an image that was baked with vagrant-builder, you can make sure that an arbitrary list of docker images will be pre-cached into the base image so that you don’t have to wait for the slow docker registry every time you boot up a development vm.

This is easily seen in the CentOS-7.1 image definition file seen here. Here’s an excerpt:

DOCKER='centos fedora'		# list of docker images to include

The GlusterFS community gracefully hosts a copy of this image here.

If you’d like to add images to a vm you can add a list of things to pull in the docker omv.yaml variable:

:image: centos-7.1-docker
- ubuntu
- busybox
:count: 1
: vms: []

This key is also available in the vms array.

Automatic docker builds:

If you have a Dockerfile in a vagrant/docker/*/ folder, then it will get automatically added to the running vagrant vm, and built every time you run a vagrant up. If the machine is already running, and you’d like to rebuild it from your local working directory, you can run: vagrant rsync && vagrant provision.

Automatic docker environments:

Building and defining docker applications can be a tricky process, particularly because the techniques are still quite new to developers. With Oh-My-Vagrant, this process is simplified for container developers because you can build an enhanced omv.yaml file which defines your app for you:

:image: centos-7.0-docker
- type: git
  system: docker
  directory: simple-app1
:docker: []
:vms: []
:count: 3

By listing multiple git repos in your omv.yaml file, they will be automatically pulled down and built for you. An example of the above running would look similar to this:

$ time vup omv1
Cloning into 'simple-app1'...
remote: Counting objects: 6, done.
remote: Total 6 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0), pack-reused 6
Unpacking objects: 100% (6/6), done.
Checking connectivity... done.

Bringing machine 'omv1' up with 'libvirt' provider...
==> omv1: Creating image (snapshot of base box volume).
==> omv1: Creating domain with the following settings...
==> omv1:  -- Name:              omv_omv1
==> omv1:  -- Domain type:       kvm
==> omv1:  -- Cpus:              1
==> omv1:  -- Memory:            512M
==> omv1:  -- Base box:          centos-7.0-docker
==> omv1:  -- Storage pool:      default
==> omv1:  -- Image:             /var/lib/libvirt/images/omv_omv1.img
==> omv1:  -- Volume Cache:      default
==> omv1:  -- Kernel:            
==> omv1:  -- Initrd:            
==> omv1:  -- Graphics Type:     vnc
==> omv1:  -- Graphics Port:     5900
==> omv1:  -- Graphics IP:
==> omv1:  -- Graphics Password: Not defined
==> omv1:  -- Video Type:        cirrus
==> omv1:  -- Video VRAM:        9216
==> omv1:  -- Command line : 
==> omv1: Starting domain.
==> omv1: Waiting for domain to get an IP address...
==> omv1: Waiting for SSH to become available...
==> omv1: Starting domain.
==> omv1: Waiting for domain to get an IP address...
==> omv1: Waiting for SSH to become available...
==> omv1: Creating shared folders metadata...
==> omv1: Setting hostname...
==> omv1: Rsyncing folder: /home/james/code/oh-my-vagrant/vagrant/ => /vagrant
==> omv1: Configuring and enabling network interfaces...
==> omv1: Running provisioner: shell...
    omv1: Running: inline script
==> omv1: Running provisioner: docker...
    omv1: Configuring Docker to autostart containers...
==> omv1: Running provisioner: docker...
    omv1: Configuring Docker to autostart containers...
==> omv1: Building Docker images...
==> omv1: -- Path: /vagrant/docker/simple-app1
==> omv1: Sending build context to Docker daemon 54.27 kB
==> omv1: Sending build context to Docker daemon 
==> omv1: Step 0 : FROM fedora
==> omv1:  ---> 834629358fe2
==> omv1: Step 1 : MAINTAINER James Shubin <>
==> omv1:  ---> Running in 2afded16eec7
==> omv1:  ---> a7baf4784f57
==> omv1: Removing intermediate container 2afded16eec7
==> omv1: Step 2 : RUN echo Hello and welcome to the Technical Blog of James > README
==> omv1:  ---> Running in 709b9dc66e9b
==> omv1:  ---> b955154474f4
==> omv1: Removing intermediate container 709b9dc66e9b
==> omv1: Step 3 : ENTRYPOINT python -m SimpleHTTPServer
==> omv1:  ---> Running in 76840da9e963
==> omv1:  ---> b333c179dd56
==> omv1: Removing intermediate container 76840da9e963
==> omv1: Step 4 : EXPOSE 8000
==> omv1:  ---> Running in ebf83f08328e
==> omv1:  ---> f13049706668
==> omv1: Removing intermediate container ebf83f08328e
==> omv1: Successfully built f13049706668

real	1m12.221s
user	0m5.923s
sys	0m0.932s

All that happened in about a minute!


I hope these tools help, if you’re following my git commits, you’ll notice that there are some new features I haven’t blogged about yet. Kubernetes integration exists, so please have a look, and hopefully I’ll have some screencasts and blog posts about this shortly.

Happy hacking,


Sharing dev environments with Oh-My-Vagrant

With Oh-My-Vagrant (omv) you can set up a dev environment in seconds. (Read the omv introduction if you’ve never used it before!) Since everything is defined in a single omv.yaml file, it is easy to share your cluster prototype with a friend! The one missing feature was associating code with this config file. This is now possible! Let me show you how it works…

In the omv.yaml file there is an extern variable. It is a list of each external repository which you’d like to include. Each element in this list is a hash of key value pairs. Currently four are supported: type, system, repository, directory.

An example will help you visualize this:

:image: fedora-21
- type: git
  system: ansible
  directory: kubernetes
:reallyrm: true

In this example, we list one external repository. It is of type git, it is intended for use with the ansible integration provided by omv, the repository is hosted by eparis, and we’ll store this in a local directory called kubernetes.

We currently only support git repositories, but patches for other systems are welcome. A few different “systems” are supported, including puppet, docker and kubernetes. They each integrate with omv, and, as a result can pull code and modules into the appropriate places. Any repository path that is valid is acceptable (including local file paths) and lastly, the directory you choose is entirely up to you!

The most important part that I need to mention is the reallyrm variable. If this is set to true, and you remove a git repository from the list, omv will make sure that it removes it! Since some users might not expect this behaviour, it defaults to false, and shouldn’t bite you! If you’re not comfortable with it, don’t use it! I find it incredibly helpful.

Here’s a small screencast to show you some examples of this in action:


I hope you enjoyed this. Please share and enjoy, and I’ll be back soon to explain some more of the features! Documentation patches are appreciated!

Happy hacking,


Fancy git aliases and git cherryfetch

Here are two quick git tricks that I’ve added to my toolbox lately…

I wanted to create a git alias that takes in argv from the command, but in the middle of the command. Here’s the hack that I came up with for the [alias] section of my ~/.gitconfig:


    # cherryfetch fetches a repo ($1) / branch ($2) and applies it rebased!
    # the && true at the end eats up the appended args
    cherryfetch = !git fetch "$1" "$2" && git cherry-pick HEAD..FETCH_HEAD && true


The git alias is called “cherryfetch“. It starts with an exclamation point (!) which means it’s a command to execute. It uses $1 and $2 as arguments, which thankfully exist in this environment! Because running a git alias causes the arguments to get appended to the command, the && true part exists at the end to receive those commands so that they are silently ignored! This works because the command:

$ true ignored command line arguments

Does absolutely nothing but return success. Better naming suggestions for my alias are welcome!

What does this particular alias do?

Too often I receive a patch which has not been rebased against *my* current git master. This happens because the patch author started hacking on the feature against current git master, but git master grew new commits before the patch was done. The best solution is to ask the author to rebase against git master and resubmit, but when I’m feeling helpful, I can now use git cherryfetch to do the same thing! When their patch is unrelated to my changes, this works perfectly.


$ git cherryfetch feat/branch_name
* branch            feat/branch_name -> FETCH_HEAD
[master abcdef01] Pi day is awesome, but Tau day is better! purpleidea/puppet-gluster#feat/branch_name
Author: Example User <>
Date: Tue Mar 14 09:26:53 2015 -0400
4 file changed, 42 insertions(+), 13 deletions(-)

Manual learning:

If you were to do the same thing manually, this operation is the equivalent of checking out a branch at the same commit this patch applies to, pulling the patch down (causing a fast-forward) running a git rebase master, switching to master and merging your newly rebased branch in.

My version is faster, isn’t it?

Happy hacking!


Update: I’ve updated the alias so that it works with N commits. Thanks to David Schmitt for pointing it out, and Felix Frank for finding a nicer solution!

Testing Evolution’s git master and GNOME continuous

I’ve wanted a feature in Evolution for a while. It was formally requested in 2002, and it just recently got fixed in git master. I only started publicly groaning about this missing feature in 2013, and mcrha finally patched it. I tested the feature and found a small bug, mcrha patched that too, and I finally re-tested it. Now I’m blogging about this process so that you can get involved too!

Why Evolution?

  • Evolution supports GPG (Geary doesn’t, Gmail doesn’t)
  • Evolution has a beautiful composer (Gmail’s sucks, just try to reply inline)
  • Evolution is Open Source and Free Software (Gmail is proprietary)
  • Evolution integrates with GNOME (Gmail doesn’t)
  • Evolution has lots of fancy, mature features (Geary doesn’t)
  • Evolution cares about your privacy (Gmail doesn’t)

The feature:

I’d like to be able to select a bunch of messages and click an archive action to move them to a specific folder. Gmail popularized this idea in 2004, two years after it was proposed for Evolution. It has finally landed.

In your account editor, you can select the “Archive Folder” that you want messages moved to:


This will let you have a different folder set per account.

Archive like Gmail does:

If you use Evolution with a Gmail account, and you want the same functionality as the Gmail archive button, you can accomplish this by setting the Evolution archive folder to point to the Gmail “All Mail” folder, which will cause the Evolution archive action to behave as Gmail’s does.

To use this functionality (with or without Gmail), simply select the messages you want to move, and click the “Archive…” button:


This is also available via the “Message” menu. You can also activate with the Control-Alt-a shortcut. For more information, please read the description from mcrha.

GNOME Continuous:

Once the feature was patched in git master, I wanted to try it out right away! The easiest way for me to do this, was to use the GNOME Continuous project that walters started. This GNOME project automatically kicks off integration builds of multiple git master trees for the most common GNOME applications.

If you follow the Gnome Continuous instructions, it is fairly easy to download an image, and then import it with virt-manager or boxes. Once it had booted up, I logged into the machine, and was able to test Evolution’s git master.

Digging deep into the app:

If you want to tweak the app for debugging purposes, it is quite easy to do this with GTKInspector. Launch it with Control-Shift-i or Control-Shift-d, and you’ll soon be poking around the app’s internals. You can change the properties you want in real-time, and then you’ll know which corresponding changes in the upstream source are necessary.

Finding a bug and re-testing:

I did find one small bug with the Evolution patches. I’m glad I found it now, instead of having to wait six months for a new Fedora version. The maintainer fixed it quickly, and all that was left to do was to re-test the new git master. To do this, I updated my GNOME Continuous image.

  1. Click on Control-Alt-F2 from the virt-manager “Send Key” menu.
  2. Log in as root (no password)
  3. Set the password to something by running the passwd command.
  4. Click on Control-Alt-F1 to return to your GNOME session.
  5. Open a terminal and run: pkexec bash.
  6. Enter your root password.
  7. Run ostree admin upgrade.
  8. Once it has finished downloading the updates, reboot the vm.

You’ll now be able to test the newest git master. Please note that it takes a bit of time for it to build, so it is not instant, but it’s pretty quick.

Taking screenshots:

I took a few screenshots from inside the VM to show to you in this blog post. Extracting them was a bit trickier because I couldn’t get SSHD running. To do so, I installed the guestfs browser on my host OS. It was very straight forward to use it to read the VM image, browse to the ~/Pictures/ directory, and then download the images to my host. Thanks rwmjones!


Hopefully this will motivate you to contribute to GNOME early and often! There are lots of great tools available, and lots of applications that need some love.

Happy Hacking,


Hacking out an Openshift app

I had an itch to scratch, and I wanted to get a bit more familiar with Openshift. I had used it in the past, but it was time to have another go. The app and the code are now available. Feel free to check out:

This is a simple app that takes the URL of a markdown file on GitHub, and outputs a pandoc converted PDF. I wanted to use pandoc specifically, because it produces PDF’s that were beautifully created with LaTeX. To embed a link in your upstream documentation that points to a PDF, just append the file’s URL to this app’s url, under a /pdf/ path. For example:

will send you to a PDF of the puppet-gluster documentation. This will make it easier to accept questions as FAQ patches, without needing to have the git embedded binary PDF be constantly updated.

If you want to hear more about what I did, read on…

The setup:

Start by getting a free Openshift account. You’ll also want to install the client tools. Nothing is worse than having to interact with your app via a web interface. Hackers use terminals. Lucky, the Openshift team knows this, and they’ve created a great command line tool called rhc to make it all possible.

I started by following their instructions:

$ sudo yum install rubygem-rhc
$ sudo gem update rhc

Unfortunately, this left with a problem:

$ rhc
/usr/share/rubygems/rubygems/dependency.rb:298:in `to_specs': Could not find 'rhc' (>= 0) among 37 total gem(s) (Gem::LoadError)
    from /usr/share/rubygems/rubygems/dependency.rb:309:in `to_spec'
    from /usr/share/rubygems/rubygems/core_ext/kernel_gem.rb:47:in `gem'
    from /usr/local/bin/rhc:22:in `'

I solved this by running:

$ gem install rhc

Which makes my user rhc to take precedence over the system one. Then run:

$ rhc setup

and the rhc client will take you through some setup steps such as uploading your public ssh key to the Openshift infrastructure. The beauty of this tool is that it will work with the Red Hat hosted infrastructure, or you can use it with your own infrastructure if you want to host your own Openshift servers. This alone means you’ll never get locked in to a third-party providers terms or pricing.

Create a new app:

To get a fresh python 3.3 app going, you can run:

$ rhc create-app <appname> python-3.3

From this point on, it’s fairly straight forward, and you can now hack your way through the app in python. To push a new version of your app into production, it’s just a git commit away:

$ git add -p && git commit -m 'Awesome new commit...' && git push && rhc tail

Creating a new app from existing code:

If you want to push a new app from an existing code base, it’s as easy as:

$ rhc create-app awesomesauce python-3.3 --from-code
Application Options
Domain:      purpleidea
Cartridges:  python-3.3
Source Code:
Gear Size:   default
Scaling:     no

Creating application 'awesomesauce' ... done

Waiting for your DNS name to be available ... done

Cloning into 'awesomesauce'...
The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is 00:11:22:33:44:55:66:77:88:99:aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:ff.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added ',' (RSA) to the list of known hosts.

Your application 'awesomesauce' is now available.

  SSH to:
  Git remote: ssh://
  Cloned to:  /home/james/code/awesomesauce

Run 'rhc show-app awesomesauce' for more details about your app.

In my case, my app also needs some binaries installed. I haven’t yet automated this process, but I think it can be done be creating a custom cartridge. Help to do this would be appreciated!

Updating your app:

In the case of an app that I already deployed with this method, updating it from the upstream source is quite easy. You just pull down and relevant commits, and then push them up to your app’s git repo:

$ git pull upstream master 
 * branch            master     -> FETCH_HEAD
Updating 5ac5577..bdf9601
Fast-forward | 2 --
 1 file changed, 2 deletions(-)
$ git push origin master 
Counting objects: 7, done.
Delta compression using up to 4 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (3/3), done.
Writing objects: 100% (3/3), 312 bytes | 0 bytes/s, done.
Total 3 (delta 2), reused 0 (delta 0)
remote: Stopping Python 3.3 cartridge
remote: Waiting for stop to finish
remote: Waiting for stop to finish
remote: Building git ref 'master', commit bdf9601
remote: Activating virtenv
remote: Checking for pip dependency listed in requirements.txt file..
remote: You must give at least one requirement to install (see "pip help install")
remote: Running script..
remote: running develop
remote: running egg_info
remote: creating pdfdoc.egg-info
remote: writing pdfdoc.egg-info/PKG-INFO
remote: writing dependency_links to pdfdoc.egg-info/dependency_links.txt
remote: writing top-level names to pdfdoc.egg-info/top_level.txt
remote: writing manifest file 'pdfdoc.egg-info/SOURCES.txt'
remote: reading manifest file 'pdfdoc.egg-info/SOURCES.txt'
remote: writing manifest file 'pdfdoc.egg-info/SOURCES.txt'
remote: running build_ext
remote: Creating /var/lib/openshift/00112233445566778899aabb/app-root/runtime/dependencies/python/virtenv/venv/lib/python3.3/site-packages/pdfdoc.egg-link (link to .)
remote: pdfdoc 0.0.1 is already the active version in easy-install.pth
remote: Installed /var/lib/openshift/00112233445566778899aabb/app-root/runtime/repo
remote: Processing dependencies for pdfdoc==0.0.1
remote: Finished processing dependencies for pdfdoc==0.0.1
remote: Preparing build for deployment
remote: Deployment id is 9c2ee03c
remote: Activating deployment
remote: Starting Python 3.3 cartridge (Apache+mod_wsgi)
remote: Application directory "/" selected as DocumentRoot
remote: Application "" selected as default WSGI entry point
remote: -------------------------
remote: Git Post-Receive Result: success
remote: Activation status: success
remote: Deployment completed with status: success
To ssh://
   5ac5577..bdf9601  master -> master

Final thoughts:

I hope this helped you getting going with Openshift. Feel free to send me patches!

Happy hacking!