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Automatic pulling of upstream releases to Fedora

· 4 min read

In the previous year, we automated the Fedora downstream release process in Packit. The first step of the release process, propagating the upstream release to Fedora, is covered by the propose_downstream job. This job updates the sources in Fedora, the spec file, and other needed files and creates pull requests with the changes in the dist-git repository.

The downside of this job is that for its execution, users need to install Packit Service GitHub/GitLab app since this job reacts only to GitHub/GitLab release webhooks. However, the person who maintains the package in Fedora may not be the upstream maintainer and may not have admin access to the upstream GitHub/GitLab repository.

To cover this case, we came up with a new job called pull_from_upstream, which aims to update Fedora dist-git similarly to propose_downstream, but is configured directly in the dist-git repository. Let's now look at how to set it up and how it works.


Upstream release monitoring

pull_from_upstream job reacts to a new bug in Bugzilla about a new upstream version of a project. The bug is automatically created by Upstream Release Monitoring. To enable the Upstream Release Monitoring:

  1. Add the upstream project (if it is not there yet) to Anitya and configure the mapping to a Fedora package: Project in Anitya

  2. Enable the monitoring in the dist-git repository (Fedora Package Sources):

Monitoring in dist-git


In Anitya, there are multiple backends you can configure the mapping for. Besides GitHub or GitLab, you can use e.g. PyPI, pagure, or many others. Also, be aware that there can be a delay in retrieving the new version, so the update to Fedora is usually not created instantly (e.g. for Python projects, it is better to configure PyPI backend rather than GitHub since the monitoring there is much less delayed).

Packit configuration

To automatically pull the upstream release as a reaction to the bug in Bugzilla, pull_from_upstream job together with the upstream_project_url configuration option, needs to be defined in the default branch (rawhide) of the dist-git repository in the Packit configuration file (see our documentation). The upstream_project_url needs to be a URL pointing to a Git repository so that we can do git commands on it.

pull_from_upstream in action

Let's showcase the new job in action for the latest release of Packit itself.

As you can see in the Setup section above, the Upstream Release Monitoring is configured: there is a PyPI project packitos in Anitya with configured mapping to the Fedora package packit and the monitoring in the packit dist-git repository is enabled. We could configure the mapping in Anitya from the GitHub project directly instead, and it would work as well. Just be aware that for each Fedora package, there can be a mapping only from one project.

In Packit configuration file, we have configured the job and related options:

copy_upstream_release_description: true

- job: pull_from_upstream
trigger: release
- fedora-all
- epel-8

You can see that version 0.66.0 of Packit (packitos in PyPI) was released:

Packit release PyPI

When Upstream Release Monitoring retrieved this new version, it created a new bug:


This triggered Packit, and after checking the Packit configuration in dist-git and finding the pull_from_upstream job, this job was run.

Using the upstream_project_url from the configuration, Packit was able to get the needed information from the corresponding GitHub release: Packit release GitHub

As a result, pull requests for configured branches were created. Here is an example of one of the created pull requests and part of its content: Dist-git PR Pull request content

Since we have configured the issue_repository, we could be also notified about errors: Pull from upstream issue

Update July 2023

It is now also possible to retrigger the job, see the details.

Also, if you need to do any change in the pull request, you need to locally fetch the source branch of the Packit's pull request and push it (with a fix) to your fork (as it is not possible to push to the branch created in the Packit's fork):

git fetch ssh://$$YOUR_PACKAGE.git refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/packit/*
git cherry-pick packit/$VERSION-$BRANCH-update-pull_from_upstream

Few words in the end

pull_from_upstream has just been implemented; therefore, we encourage you to help test it out and make it perfect! There are still some limitations (e.g. regarding upstreams, see documentation), which we are trying to resolve as soon as possible. We believe this functionality could be beneficial for maintainers of Fedora packages and could even be integrated further. Any suggestions and feedback are welcomed (see contacts).

If you are interested in details of customization of the pull_from_upstream job and in the whole downstream automation, make sure to check out our Fedora release guide as well!