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Set up your fork

First you follow the instructions for Making your own copy (fork) of matplotlib.


git clone
cd matplotlib
git remote add upstream git://

In detail

Clone your fork

  1. Clone your fork to the local computer with git clone

  2. Investigate. Change directory to your new repo: cd matplotlib. Then git branch -a to show you all branches. You’ll get something like:

    * master

    This tells you that you are currently on the master branch, and that you also have a remote connection to origin/master. What remote repository is remote/origin? Try git remote -v to see the URLs for the remote. They will point to your github fork.

    Now you want to connect to the upstream matplotlib github repository, so you can merge in changes from trunk.

Linking your repository to the upstream repo

cd matplotlib
git remote add upstream git://

upstream here is just the arbitrary name we’re using to refer to the main matplotlib repository at matplotlib github.

Note that we’ve used git:// for the URL rather than git@. The git:// URL is read only. This means that we can’t accidentally (or deliberately) write to the upstream repo, and we are only going to use it to merge into our own code.

Note this command needs to be run on every clone of the repository that you make. It is not tracked in your personal repository on github.

Just for your own satisfaction, show yourself that you now have a new ‘remote’, with git remote -v, giving you something like:

upstream     git:// (fetch)
upstream     git:// (push)
origin (fetch)
origin (push)

Read-only remote / push access to matplotlib/matplotlib

If you have commit rights to matplotlib/matplotlib the git:// protocol URL will still be read-only (due to it not supporting authentication and restrictions on github’s side). To reduce the chance of accidentally pushing to upstream, we suggest setting up a read-only remote of upstream as above and a read/write remote as

git remote add DANGER