Configuring Tide

Configuration of Tide is located under the config/prow/config.yaml file. All configuration for merge behavior and criteria belongs in the tide yaml struct, but it may be necessary to also configure presubmits for Tide to run against PRs (see ‘Configuring Presubmit Jobs’ below).

This document will describe the fields of the tide configuration and how to populate them, but you can also check out the GoDocs for the most up to date configuration specification.

To deploy Tide for your organization or repository, please see how to get started with prow.

General configuration

The following configuration fields are available:

  • sync_period: The field specifies how often Tide will sync jobs with GitHub. Defaults to 1m.
  • status_update_period: The field specifies how often Tide will update GitHub status contexts. Defaults to the value of sync_period.
  • queries: List of queries (described below).
  • merge_method: A key/value pair of an org/repo as the key and merge method to override the default method of merge as value. Valid options are squash, rebase, and merge. Defaults to merge.
  • merge_commit_template: A mapping from org/repo or org to a set of Go templates to use when creating the title and body of merge commits. Go templates are evaluated with a PullRequest (see PullRequest type). This field and map keys are optional.
  • target_urls: A mapping from “*”, , or <org/repo> to the URL for the tide status contexts. The most specific key that matches will be used.
  • pr_status_base_urls: A mapping from “*”, , or <org/repo> to the base URL for the PR status page. If specified, this URL is used to construct a link that will be used for the tide status context. It is mutually exclusive with the target_urls field.
  • max_goroutines: The maximum number of goroutines spawned inside the component to handle org/repo:branch pools. Defaults to 20. Needs to be a positive number.
  • blocker_label: The label used to identify issues which block merges to repository branches.
  • squash_label: The label used to ask Tide to use the squash method when merging the labeled PR.
  • rebase_label: The label used to ask Tide to use the rebase method when merging the labeled PR.
  • merge_label: The label used to ask Tide to use the merge method when merging the labeled PR.

Merge Blocker Issues

Tide supports temporary holds on merging into branches via the blocker_label configuration option. In order to use this option, set the blocker_label configuration option for the Tide deployment. Then, when blocking merges is required, if an open issue is found with the label it will block merges to all branches for the repo. In order to scope the branches which are blocked, add a branch:name token to the issue title. These tokens can be repeated to select multiple branches and the tokens also support quoting, so branch:"name" will block the name branch just as branch:name would.


The queries field specifies a list of queries. Each query corresponds to a set of open PRs as candidates for merging. It can consist of the following dictionary of fields:

  • orgs: List of queried organizations.
  • repos: List of queried repositories.
  • excludedRepos: List of ignored repositories.
  • labels: List of labels any given PR must posses.
  • missingLabels: List of labels any given PR must not posses.
  • excludedBranches: List of branches that get excluded when querying the repos.
  • includedBranches: List of branches that get included when querying the repos.
  • author: The author of the PR.
  • reviewApprovedRequired: If set, each PR in the query must have at least one approved GitHub pull request review present for merge. Defaults to false.

Under the hood, a query constructed from the fields follows rules described in Therefore every query is just a structured definition of a standard GitHub search query which can be used to list mergeable PRs. The field to search token correspondence is based on the following mapping:

  • orgs -> org:kubernetes
  • repos -> repo:kubernetes/test-infra
  • labels -> label:lgtm
  • missingLabels -> -label:do-not-merge
  • excludedBranches -> -base:dev
  • includedBranches -> base:master
  • author -> author:batman
  • reviewApprovedRequired -> review:approved

Every PR that needs to be rebased or is failing required statuses is filtered from the pool before processing

Context Policy Options

A PR will be merged when all checks are passing. With this option you can customize which contexts are required or optional.

By default, required and optional contexts will be derived from Prow Job Config. This allows to find if required checks are missing from the GitHub combined status.

If branch-protection config is defined, it can be used to know which test needs be passing to merge a PR.

When branch protection is not used, required and optional contexts can be defined globally, or at the org, repo or branch level.

If we want to skip unknown checks (ie checks that are not defined in Prow Config), we can set skip-unknown-contexts to true. This option can be set globally or per org, repo and branch.

Important: If this option is not set and no prow jobs are defined tide will trust the GitHub combined status and will assume that all checks are required (except for it’s own tide status).


    kubeflow/community: squash


  - repos:
    - kubeflow/community
    - kubeflow/examples
    - lgtm
    - approved
    - do-not-merge
    - do-not-merge/hold
    - do-not-merge/work-in-progress
    - needs-ok-to-test
    - needs-rebase

    # Use branch-protection options from this file to define required and optional contexts.
    # this is convenient if you are using branchprotector to configure branch protection rules
    # as tide will use the same rules as will be added by the branch protector
    from-branch-protection: true
    # Specify how to handle contexts that are detected on a PR but not explicitly listed in required-contexts,
    # optional-contexts, or required-if-present-contexts.  If true, they are treated as optional and do not
    # block a merge.  If false or not present, they are treated as required and will block a merge.
    skip-unknown-contexts: true
        - "check-required-for-all-repos"
             - "check-required-for-all-branches"
                from-branch-protection: false
                - "required_test"
                - "optional_test"
                - "conditional_test"

Explanation: The component starts periodically querying all PRs in and repositories that have lgtm and approved labels set and do not have do-not-merge, do-not-merge/hold, do-not-merge/work-in-progress, needs-ok-to-test and needs-rebase labels set. All PRs that conform to the criteria are processed and merged. The processing itself can include running jobs (e.g. tests) to verify the PRs are good to go. All commits in PRs from repository are squashed before merging.

For a full list of properties of queries, please refer to prow-config-documented.yaml.

Persistent Storage of Action History

Tide records a history of the actions it takes (namely triggering tests and merging). This history is stored in memory, but can be loaded from GCS and periodically flushed in order to persist across pod restarts. Persisting action history to GCS is strictly optional, but is nice to have if the Tide instance is restarted frequently or if users want to view older history.

Both the --history-uri and --gcs-credentials-file flags must be specified to Tide to persist history to GCS. The GCS credentials file should be a GCP service account key file for a service account that has permission to read and write the history GCS object. The history URI is the GCS object path at which the history data is stored. It should not be publicly readable if any repos are sensitive and must be a GCS URI like gs://bucket/path/to/object.


Configuring Presubmit Jobs

Before a PR is merged, Tide ensures that all jobs configured as required in the presubmits part of the config.yaml file are passing against the latest base branch commit, rerunning the jobs if necessary. No job is required to be configured in which case it’s enough if a PR meets all GitHub search criteria.

Semantic of individual fields of the presubmits is described in ProwJobs.