index rss mastodon twitter github linkedin email
Álvaro Ramírez

Álvaro Ramírez

29 November 2020 Emacs: Clone git repo from clipboard

Cloning git repositories is a pretty common task. For me, it typically goes something like:

  • Copy git repo URL from browser.
  • Drop to Emacs eshell.
  • Change current directory.
  • Type "git clone ".
  • Paste git repo URL.
  • Run git command.
  • Change directory to cloned repo.
  • Open dired.

No biggie, but why go through the same steps every time? We can do better. We have a hyper malleable editor, so let's get it to grab the URL from clipboard and do its thing.

shell-command or async-shell-command can help in this space, but require additional work: change location, re-type command, what if directory already exists… This is Emacs, so we can craft the exact experience we want. I did take inspiration from shell-command to display the process buffer correctly (git progress, control codes, etc.) and landed on the following experience:


;; -*- lexical-binding: t -*-

(defun ar/git-clone-clipboard-url ()
  "Clone git URL in clipboard asynchronously and open in dired when finished."
  (cl-assert (string-match-p "^\\(http\\|https\\|ssh\\)://" (current-kill 0)) nil "No URL in clipboard")
  (let* ((url (current-kill 0))
         (download-dir (expand-file-name "~/Downloads/"))
         (project-dir (concat (file-name-as-directory download-dir)
                              (file-name-base url)))
         (default-directory download-dir)
         (command (format "git clone %s" url))
         (buffer (generate-new-buffer (format "*%s*" command)))
    (when (file-exists-p project-dir)
      (if (y-or-n-p (format "%s exists. delete?" (file-name-base url)))
          (delete-directory project-dir t)
        (user-error "Bailed")))
    (switch-to-buffer buffer)
    (setq proc (start-process-shell-command (nth 0 (split-string command)) buffer command))
    (with-current-buffer buffer
      (setq default-directory download-dir)
      (require 'shell)
      (view-mode +1))
    (set-process-sentinel proc (lambda (process state)
                                 (let ((output (with-current-buffer (process-buffer process)
                                   (kill-buffer (process-buffer process))
                                   (if (= (process-exit-status process) 0)
                                         (message "finished: %s" command)
                                         (dired project-dir))
                                     (user-error (format "%s\n%s" command output))))))
    (set-process-filter proc #'comint-output-filter)))

Comment on reddit or twitter.


  • Added lexical binding.
  • Checks clipboard for ssh urls also.