What are “git hooks”?

In Git, “hooks” are customizable scripts that allow you to automate actions or trigger custom behavior at specific points in the Git workflow. Git hooks are executed in response to various events, such as before or after specific Git commands like commit, push, merge, and more. They provide a way to integrate custom logic into the Git workflow, making it possible to enforce coding standards, run tests, perform code reviews, and implement various other automated tasks.

Git supports both client-side and server-side hooks. Client-side hooks are executed on the local repository, while server-side hooks are executed on the remote repository (e.g., on the Git server).

Here are some common examples of Git hooks and when they are triggered:

  1. pre-commit: Executed before a commit is created. This hook can be used to perform pre-commit checks, such as code linting or running unit tests. If the pre-commit hook fails, the commit process is aborted.
  2. prepare-commit-msg: Executed after the pre-commit hook but before the commit message editor is opened. It allows you to modify the commit message automatically or prepopulate it with certain information.
  3. post-commit: Executed after a commit is created. This hook is useful for performing post-commit actions, such as sending notifications or triggering a build.
  4. pre-push: Executed before a push to a remote repository. It can be used to prevent specific pushes or run additional checks before the code is sent to the remote repository.
  5. post-receive: Executed on the server-side after changes are received via a push. It is commonly used for deployment tasks or to update a live server with the latest changes.

To use Git hooks, you need to create executable scripts in the .git/hooks/ directory of your Git repository. Git automatically looks for these scripts and executes them when the corresponding events occur.

By leveraging Git hooks, developers can enforce best practices, automate repetitive tasks, and ensure that certain requirements are met before allowing changes to be committed or pushed to the repository. They are a powerful tool to enhance the efficiency and reliability of the development process within a Git repository.

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