My personal workflow for QMK

Let’s be honest, git can be intimidating.

xkcd’s take on git xkcd’s take on git

While it’s true that git is an extremely powerful tool, most users can get by with only using a handful of subcommands.
I recommend the book Pro Git for everyone really interesed in git.

So, let’s see how I usually handle my QMK stuff, while keeping them up-to-date, too.


Every command need to be executed from your qmk_firmware directory!

Setting things up

This part you only need to do once.

So, if you followed the official getting started guide, which you should, this should be the output of running git remote -v:

[erovia@ws]$ git remote -v
origin (fetch)
origin (push)

Create a personal fork of the official repo.

  1. Log into your Github account
  2. Go to
  3. Click on the “Fork” button

Add your fork as a remote and create a branch where you will be commiting your changes:

[erovia@ws]$ git remote add myfork<your_github_username>/qmk_firmware.git
[erovia@ws]$ git checkout -b my_stuff -t my_fork/my_stuff

You can name the remote and the branch anything you’d like, ‘myfork’ and ‘my_stuff’ were just an example.

Check if both remotes are available:

[erovia@ws]$ git remote -v
origin (fetch)
origin (push)
myfork (fetch)
myfork (push)

Working on your stuff

This is what I usually do on a more or less daily basis.

Adding things

If you’d like to work on your keymap/userspace/custom board.

[erovia@ws]$ git checkout my_stuff                                # make sure I'm on the personal branch
#   do my magic
#   you know, new keymaps and the like
[erovia@ws]$ git add keyboards/example/keymaps/erovia/keymap.c    # add the new/modified files to the staging area
[erovia@ws]$ git commit -m 'My new shiny keymap'                  # commit the changes with a nice message
[erovia@ws]$ git push                                             # push the changes to my Github fork

You can git add multiple files or even whole directories and have their changes in one commit.


Always commit your custom stuff into your own branch(es) or there will be dragons.


[erovia@ws]$ git checkout master        # make sure I'm on the master branch
[erovia@ws]$ git pull                   # update master with the new goodies
[erovia@ws]$ git checkout my_stuff      # go back to my personal branch
[erovia@ws]$ git rebase master          # rebase my stuff on top of the newly updated master

As long as you keep you don’t modify things outside your keymap/userspace/custom board, this will allow you to update QMK without any difficulties.