Syncing changes between Clippy and rust-lang/rust

Clippy currently gets built with a pinned nightly version.

In the rust-lang/rust repository, where rustc resides, there's a copy of Clippy that compiler hackers modify from time to time to adapt to changes in the unstable API of the compiler.

We need to sync these changes back to this repository periodically, and the changes made to this repository in the meantime also need to be synced to the rust-lang/rust repository.

To avoid flooding the rust-lang/rust PR queue, this two-way sync process is done in a bi-weekly basis if there's no urgent changes. This is done starting on the day of the Rust stable release and then every other week. That way we guarantee that we keep this repo up to date with the latest compiler API, and every feature in Clippy is available for 2 weeks in nightly, before it can get to beta. For reference, the first sync following this cadence was performed the 2020-08-27.

This process is described in detail in the following sections. For general information about subtrees in the Rust repository see Rust's

Patching git-subtree to work with big repos

Currently, there's a bug in git-subtree that prevents it from working properly with the rust-lang/rust repo. There's an open PR to fix that, but it's stale. Before continuing with the following steps, we need to manually apply that fix to our local copy of git-subtree.

You can get the patched version of git-subtree from here. Put this file under /usr/lib/git-core (making a backup of the previous file) and make sure it has the proper permissions:

sudo cp --backup /path/to/patched/ /usr/lib/git-core/git-subtree
sudo chmod --reference=/usr/lib/git-core/git-subtree~ /usr/lib/git-core/git-subtree
sudo chown --reference=/usr/lib/git-core/git-subtree~ /usr/lib/git-core/git-subtree

Note: The first time running git subtree push a cache has to be built. This involves going through the complete Clippy history once. For this you have to increase the stack limit though, which you can do with ulimit -s 60000. Make sure to run the ulimit command from the same session you call git subtree.

Note: If you are a Debian user, dash is the shell used by default for scripts instead of sh. This shell has a hardcoded recursion limit set to 1000. In order to make this process work, you need to force the script to run bash instead. You can do this by editing the first line of the git-subtree script and changing sh to bash.

Defining remotes

You may want to define remotes, so you don't have to type out the remote addresses on every sync. You can do this with the following commands (these commands still have to be run inside the rust directory):

# Set clippy-upstream remote for pulls
$ git remote add clippy-upstream
# Make sure to not push to the upstream repo
$ git remote set-url --push clippy-upstream DISABLED
# Set a local remote
$ git remote add clippy-local /path/to/rust-clippy

Note: The following sections assume that you have set those remotes with the above remote names.

Performing the sync from rust-lang/rust to Clippy

Here is a TL;DR version of the sync process (all of the following commands have to be run inside the rust directory):

  1. Clone the rust-lang/rust repository or make sure it is up to date.

  2. Checkout the commit from the latest available nightly. You can get it using rustup check.

  3. Sync the changes to the rust-copy of Clippy to your Clippy fork:

    # Make sure to change `your-github-name` to your github name in the following command. Also be
    # sure to either use a net-new branch, e.g. `sync-from-rust`, or delete the branch beforehand
    # because changes cannot be fast forwarded and you have to run this command again.
    git subtree push -P src/tools/clippy clippy-local sync-from-rust

    Note: Most of the time you have to create a merge commit in the rust-clippy repo (this has to be done in the Clippy repo, not in the rust-copy of Clippy):

    git fetch upstream  # assuming upstream is the rust-lang/rust remote
    git checkout sync-from-rust
    git merge upstream/master --no-ff

    Note: This is one of the few instances where a merge commit is allowed in a PR.

  4. Bump the nightly version in the Clippy repository by changing the date in the rust-toolchain file to the current date and committing it with the message:

    git commit -m "Bump nightly version -> YYYY-MM-DD"
  5. Open a PR to rust-lang/rust-clippy and wait for it to get merged (to accelerate the process ping the @rust-lang/clippy team in your PR and/or ask them in the Zulip stream.)

Performing the sync from Clippy to rust-lang/rust

All of the following commands have to be run inside the rust directory.

  1. Make sure you have checked out the latest master of rust-lang/rust.
  2. Sync the rust-lang/rust-clippy master to the rust-copy of Clippy:
    git checkout -b sync-from-clippy
    git subtree pull -P src/tools/clippy clippy-upstream master
  3. Open a PR to rust-lang/rust