github commits via email

I’m the old-fashioned type who still likes getting email: I can process it at my leisure while still handling high volume. Unfortunately github itself can’t email you when commits are made to a particular repo (unless you own it and can configure hooks). So I need to resort to the atom feeds, and rss2email:

$ r2e new [email protected]
$ vi .rss2email/
   # set local (sendmail) delivery, disable HTML mail, etc.
$ r2e opmlimport subscriptions.xml
$ declare -f github-commits
github-commits () 
    r2e add $(basename $1) "$1/commits/master.atom"
$ crontab -l | grep r2e
*/10 * * * * r2e run
$ tail -3 .procmailrc 
* User-Agent: rss2email

So every 10 minutes, we’ll get new commits from all the watched repos, and procmail them into a commits folder.

With the number of repos I’m watching, I have to set:

same-server-fetch-interval = 0.5

in the configuration to stop github throwing back 429 Too Many Requests at me.

Private repositories

It’s pretty ghetto, but if you look at the source for, you’ll find an Atom link including a token that you can use for getting notifications from private repos. At least you’re not handing it off to a third-party like IFTT with the above approach…