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GitHub release signing tool

Project Description


Ballsy is a GitHub release tarball signing tool. It tries to promote signing of the automatically generated release tarballs on GitHub with developer’s OpenPGP keys. Usually that would involve:

  • pushing a tag
  • navigating to the GitHub web page and creating a release
  • downloading their tarball
  • signing the tarball
  • uploading the detached ASCII signature to the release page as an asset

(And then redo this for the ZIP file…) The Debian wiki has a good set of instructions for this.

Most of us probably wouldn’t bother doing this. This software automates this job by taking care of the necessary steps as outlined above.

Additional features:

  • Automatic conversion from tags to releases
  • Selective signing of ZIPs/tarballs
  • Automatic target repo selection based on current directory


$ pip install ballsy


You’ll need to log in to GitHub once:

$ ballsy login

which will ask for your user credentials, and then obtain a token for future logins (stored in ~/.ballsyrc). 2FA by phone is supported.

After logging in, signing is as easy as:

$ ballsy sign v2.0

to sign the release v2.0 in the GitHub repo pointed to by the origin remote in the current directory (which is the default). Other targets can easily be specified:

$ ballsy sign --remote home v2.0
$ ballsy sign --repo foobar/otherrepo v2.0

By default, the key specified in Git’s user.signingkey property is used, but this can be overridden using the --keyid option.

If you don’t usually use releases on GitHub, just tags, it is possible to automatically prepare a release given a tag (--include-tags). This also works when specifying multiple tags:

$ ballsy sign --include-tags v1.0 v1.2 v2.0

Please see ballsy --help and ballsy sign --help for more options.


At the moment you have to trust GitHub not to alter the contents of the tarballs when preparing a release. Future versions of ballsy will verify the contents of the downloaded tarballs against the local content corresponding to given tags.


2-clause BSD, see LICENSE.txt

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