[gmx-developers] Renaming git "master" to "main"

gilles at rist.or.jp gilles at rist.or.jp
Mon Mar 21 16:01:00 CET 2022



Some projects such as Spack have the option to build from git, so they 
will either break or lag behind if the master branch is removed or no 
more updated.

So you might want to consider keeping both branches for "some time" (e.g.
 a grace period).

For example, gcc has two branches ("master" and "trunk") pointing to the 
same commit.

I guess one is read-only (e.g. developers have no more write access to 
it) and a bot simply fast-forward it when a commit is pushed to the 
other branch.


As a side note, and since the goal is to move away from the "master" 
term, what about using a more self descriptive name such as "devel" or "
dev"? they could be a better fit compared to the proposed "main" branch 





----- Original Message -----

Hello @ all,

as I wasn't consulted about this, I just want to also mention that we 
shouldn't make changes like this without proper preparation (and to 
please not jump it on me on a Friday :).

I agree that we can change this to be more in line with other large 
projects, but the preparation needs to be done properly.

I think the bi-weekly meeting this week as the best place to announce/
discuss this.




On 18/03/2022 09:43, Erik Lindahl wrote:

Hi devs,

We have considered this in the past, but since we were then in a very 
active phase of development we postponed it - but this might be a good 
period to do it when we're not dashing against any particular hard 
deadline with tons of development.


Several large open source projects have switched from using master/slave 
terminology due to the historical origin of the names, and to move 
towards a more inclusive culture. One can of course argue it's merely 
words, but I prefer to see it the other way - precisely because it's 
just words and a very minor inconvenience for us, I would like us to 
avoid relying on words that strongly remind others of oppression and 


Most of these things can be handled through MRs as we go, but renaming 
our master branch will require one manual step for developers tracking 
the branch. I've pasted the required commands below. 


My *suggestion* would be that we do this e.g. this Sunday noon Swedish 
time (mostly because it should only be 30 seconds of resync), but we can 
of course also postpone it if people prefer to - just let us know in 
that case.







Local actions required when master changes to main:


# Switch to the "master" branch:
$ git checkout master

# Rename it to "main":
$ git branch -m master main

# Get the latest commits (and branches!) from the remote:
$ git fetch

# Remove the existing tracking connection with "origin/master":
$ git branch --unset-upstream

# Create a new tracking connection with the new "origin/main" branch:
$ git branch -u origin/main




Erik Lindahl <erik.lindahl at dbb.su.se>

Professor of Biophysics, Dept. Biochemistry & Biophysics, Stockholm 

Science for Life Laboratory, Box 1031, 17121 Solna, Sweden


Note: I frequently do email outside office hours because it is a 
convenient time for me to write, but please do not interpret that as an 
expectation for you to respond outside your work hours.


Paul Bauer, PhD
GROMACS Development Manager
KTH Stockholm, SciLifeLab

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