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How can I manage permissions in "children" branches?

gcover January 6, 2023

We have a branch structure for releases that is locked down permissions wise - `release/*` has very few write access, and only PR merge permissions.

I now want to create a structure where folks can create branches with the following name `release/*/child/*`. Having configured the permissions, and I understand there's overlap here with the first schema, we're seeing an error about not being able to create a branch while the "parent" exists.

Is this an odd wording of a permission related error (the overlap)? If I"m not able to achieve this, what are my other options given these ideals:

  • Folks can create branches "from" the release branch
  • Some folks can commit/push directly to that branch
  • Other folks can only merge via PR
  • When browsing branches it's easy/obvious what release a child branch comes from

That last point is the idea behind putting the branch names after the release...but if that's not going to work, I'm a bit short of ideas atm.



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Theodora Boudale
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
January 10, 2023

Hi @gcover and welcome to the community.

If there is a branch restriction for release/* and only certain users have write access, then only these users will be able to create a branch starting with release/. This was by design, and we have a feature request to change this here:

I would suggest adding your vote (by selecting the Vote for this issue link) and a comment to it to express your interest.

If branch permissions overlap, the results are determined by the table on the following documentation page:

Please keep in mind the following though:

If you already have a branch named release/123, it will not be possible to create a branch named e.g. release/123/child/456. This is a limitation of Git (and not Bitbucket) and it doesn't have anything to do with branch permissions.

Branches with the pattern A/B exist as a file named B in a folder named A. If you already have another branch named A, it will not be possible for Git to create a folder named A in order to save the branch A/B.

If you have locally a branch named release/123, then trying to create a branch release/123/child/456 is going to show the following error:

$ git checkout -b release/123/child/456
fatal: cannot lock ref 'refs/heads/release/123/child/456': 'refs/heads/release/123' exists; cannot create 'refs/heads/release/123/child/456'

You could work around this issue by creating a branch named release/123-child/456, so using the pattern release/*-child/* instead of release/*/child/*

Kind regards,

gcover January 10, 2023

Thank you for the information, both on the Bitbucket side, and reminding me about the structure of git branches. I can work with this structure now to create something that works for us.

Like Theodora Boudale likes this

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