François' Blog

Creating Signed Releases of your Git Projects


This post describes how to create a PGP signed software release from your Git project.


We want to use tar.xz archives, and not zip or tar.gz, for this to work we need to add a little snippet to ${HOME}/.gitconfig:

[tar "tar.xz"]
        command = xz -c

Now, with that out of the way, you can put the following POSIX shell script in ${HOME}/.local/bin/make_release. Make sure you make it "executable" with chmod 0755 ${HOME}/.local/bin/make_release:

PROJECT_NAME=$(basename "${PWD}")

if [ -z "${1}" ]
    # we take the last "tag" of the Git repository as version
    PROJECT_VERSION=$(git describe --abbrev=0 --tags)
    echo Version: "${PROJECT_VERSION}"

gpg2 --armor --detach-sign "${PROJECT_NAME}-${PROJECT_VERSION}.tar.xz"

Creating a Release

Now, from your checked out repository you can run make_release and it will create (by default) a signed archive of the last (annotated) tag of the project. If you want to create a release of a specific tag, provide it as the first argument to make_release:

$ mkdir tmp && cd tmp
$ git clone
$ cd php-yubitwee
$ make_release
Version: 1.1.4

The following files are created:

$ ls -l php-yubitwee-*
-rw-rw-r--. 1 fkooman fkooman 8240 Jun  8 17:18 php-yubitwee-1.1.4.tar.xz
-rw-rw-r--. 1 fkooman fkooman  833 Jun  8 17:18 php-yubitwee-1.1.4.tar.xz.asc

You can verify the signature:

$ gpg2 --verify php-yubitwee-1.1.4.tar.xz.asc
gpg: assuming signed data in 'php-yubitwee-1.1.4.tar.xz'
gpg: Signature made Fri 08 Jun 2018 05:18:37 PM CEST
gpg:                using RSA key 6237BAF1418A907DAA98EAA79C5EDD645A571EB2
gpg: Good signature from "François Kooman <>" [ultimate]

Easy peasy ;-)

UPDATE (2018-06-09): the git archive command got a --prefix now as to put the contents in a directory containing the name and version of the software.

Last updated on 2018-06-09

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