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I tried Github CLIs...and I never open browser again!

Calvin Nguyen
Software Engineer
Updated on ・3 min read

Update: I added #discuss, so please if anyone of you knows new features of Github CLIs, feel free to comment. Below, I found more cool things I could do with gh.

https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1600/0*_Gp8d1a15_03NZLb

Inspiration

  • GitHub tools are all great, but sometimes, I get exhausted as I’m coding and have to switch from my terminal/text editor to do many clicks in the browser, just to create or view a PR.

  • Luckily, on March 6th, 2020, GitHub released a new cool GitHub CLI to create PR/ Issue in your local terminal.

In this post, I will go over 1 main command that I usually daily and highly recommend: gh pr <command>.


Installment

macOS

  1. Easy Install With brew: $ brew install github/gh/gh
  2. Upgrade: brew update && brew upgrade gh

Windows

Install gh via Scoop:

scoop bucket add github-gh https://github.com/cli/scoop-gh.git
scoop install gh

Linux

For Linux and other platforms, please refer to this GitHub page for different installment

Normal flow vs. new Github CLI

Old Process of creating a PR:

  1. (feat/login)$ git add .

  2. (feat/login)$ git commit -m "init skeleton code for login"

  3. (feat/login)$ git push origin feat/login

  4. Open Github on browser

  5. Open Github project

  6. Click Create a PR

  7. Fill the title and body

Now, let's see how many steps when we use gh pr create:

  1. (feat/login)$ git add .

  2. (feat/login)$ git commit -m "init skeleton code for login"

3.

(feat/login)$ gh pr create
Enumerating objects: 9, done.
Counting objects: 100% (9/9), done.
Delta compression using up to 4 threads
Compressing objects: 100% (5/5), done.
Writing objects: 100% (5/5), 444 bytes | 444.00 KiB/s, done.
Total 5 (delta 4), reused 0 (delta 0)
remote: Resolving deltas: 100% (4/4), completed with 4 local objects.
To github.com:calvinqc/trivin.git
   1c179cb..7953ecc  HEAD -> gh-testing
Branch 'feat/login' set up to track remote branch 'feat/login' from 'origin'.

Creating pull request for feat/login into master in calvinqc/trivin
? Title [WIP] Login API
? Body <Received>
? What's next? Submit
https://github.com/calvinqc/trivin/pull/1

Options

Source from Github CLIs:

  -a, --assignee login   Assign people by their login
  -B, --base string      The branch into which you want your code merged
  -b, --body string      Supply a body. Will prompt for one otherwise.
  -d, --draft            Mark pull request as a draft
  -f, --fill             Do not prompt for title/body and just use commit info
  -l, --label name       Add labels by name
  -m, --milestone name   Add the pull request to a milestone by name
  -p, --project name     Add the pull request to projects by name
  -r, --reviewer login   Request reviews from people by their login
  -t, --title string     Supply a title. Will prompt for one otherwise.
  -w, --web              Open the web browser to create a pull request

Easy 1 line command:

$ gh pr create -t "[WIP] Login API" -b "Init skeleton code for Login API" -r "calvinqc" -l "feat" -p "Roadmap" -B dev

$

If there’s one thing that I love about gh pr create, it is that it will push + create a PR at the same time.

List all PRs

$ gh pr list
Pull requests for calvinqc/trivin
#2  [WIP] Register API  feat/register
#1  [WIP] Login API     feat/login

View a PR

$ gh pr view 1
Opening https://github.com/calvinqc/trivin/pull/1 in your browser

Get status of all PRs

$ gh pr status
Relevant pull requests in calvinqc/trivin
Current branch
  #1  [WIP] Login API     feat/login
   - Checks passing
Created by you
  #2  [WIP] Register API  feat/register
   - Checks passing
  #1  [WIP] Login API     feat/login
   - Checks passing
Requesting a code review from you
  You have no pull requests to review

Checkout a PR

This is very similar to a regular branch checkout, but I don't have to checkout and then pull the code from that branch

$ gh pr checkout 1

Let's connect

Discussion (18)

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juanfrank77 profile image
Juan F Gonzalez

I was actually trying out the Github CLI today from my Ubuntu distro and it looked pretty cool to me. It gives the relevant info for issues and also PR's on a repo.

I think I can get used to it more than having to go to the browser. Also, I didn't know that gh pr create did push AND created the pr on GH, that's sooo cool!

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calvinqc profile image
Calvin Nguyen Author

Yep, that's why I start to use more gh pr create today, doing extra steps on the browser is just too tired

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jwp profile image
John Peters

We don't store our source on github, but.... I do only use command line git commands. I have an advantage doing that over GUI based Git command tools because (as painful as it can get sometimes) I'm forced to learn how Git things. As I move to my opensource projects I will use this article to help me get started, Thanks Calvin.

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calvinqc profile image
Calvin Nguyen Author

Sure @john , I'm really glad that could help provide great information for people. :). I know sometimes it's really painful with git, but the more I use and make mistake, the more confident I feel about git. so yeah, let's keep on practicing!

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vivinh0 profile image
Viviño

I did't know about this CLI. Very interesting tool, so thanks.

BTW to Linux users out there, you can install brew and then this CLI following macOS commands.

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calvinqc profile image
Calvin Nguyen Author

Thanks for providing

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vivinh0 profile image
Viviño

Thanks to you for the post.

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kenystev profile image
Kevin J. Estevez

It's awesome, I like it but I'd like to have the option to add a reviewer as well 😅

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adriansamuel profile image
Adrian Samuel

It's already here:

gh pr create --reviewer monalisa,hubot 

Taken from: cli.github.com/manual/gh_pr_create

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kenystev profile image
Kevin J. Estevez • Edited

Wow that should be new because I was looking for it in the documentation of the first release (which I used) and couldn't find it 😯 thanks Adrian

Thread Thread
kenystev profile image
Kevin J. Estevez

yeah definitely it's new, I was still on 0.7.0 version and now just updated to 0.11.1

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calvinqc profile image
Calvin Nguyen Author

Wow, I think it's new, I tried the beta version, and love to do more with the PR with the CLIs (Compare with other branch instead of the default branch)

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thinkverse profile image
Kim Hallberg • Edited

Yeah, that tool is awesome isn't it? 🤘
For personal projects, I usually just add the --fill flag to pre-fill the title and description with the commits.

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calvinqc profile image
Calvin Nguyen Author

Nice, thanks for the FYI, learn sth new today! Will use it for my personal project

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

Step 3 in your "normal flow" example has an error in it - you don't want to push your local branch to master.

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calvinqc profile image
Calvin Nguyen Author

lol, dang, I barely use git push these days haha. Thanks for reminding!

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khuongduybui profile image
Duy K. Bui

If you use VSCode, try the official GitHub Pull Requests extension. I have always used it in place of opening the browser.

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lewislow profile image
Lewis Low

I start using gh today! It improves my productivity at a significant level.