How to test git hooks

Since "testing" is a common use for a Git hook, my question is hard to search for.

I'm writing a fairly involved git post-receive hook and want to know what the best way to test it is. Currently my process is:

  • make changes to post-receive in a dummy "remote" repo
  • make a change to a dummy local repo
  • commit change in dummy local repo
  • push change to dummy remote repo

Is there any easier way to test this? Ideally it would look like:

  • make change(s) to post-receive in a dummy repo
  • issue "magic" command to test post-receive

Perhaps I can "reissue" a previous push or have the remote repo act as though it just received a push with a specific hash?


Write a hook that just records its arguments/environment and dumps that to a file. Then you can just re-invoke the real hook at your leisure with the same environment/arguments and it will act as though you just re-issued the exact same push.

Answer this four-years-old question.

If you'd like to test hook in local environment, I give the detail commands for following up, use post-receive as sample:

$ mkdir /tmp/hook_test
$ cd /tmp/hook_test

# set local git repo, where you put hooks in it.
$ git clone --bare

# set develop environment which is cloned from the new created repo. 
$ git clone git.git repo 

# copy and rename the hook you need test to "post-receive"
$ cd git.git/hooks
$ cp ~/post-receive-test post-receive

# suppose the hook script is bash script.
# edit "post-receive" and add "set -x" to second line in it to active debug

$ cd /tmp/hook_test/repo
# emulate a hook trigger, do some changes, "git add" and "git commit" it 

$ git push

# Now you should see the script "post-receive" runs automatically with debug details.

You should be free to run git push, that the updates are only pushed to local repo /tmp/hook_test/git.git

My approach is to dial the HEAD at the remote repo back one commit, and then push again:

ssh <repo> 'cd /<repo_path>; git update-ref refs/heads/master HEAD^' && git push origin master

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