Skip to main content


Keeping your own XM Cloud repository in sync with official XM Cloud starter kit template

XM Cloud is a live evolving platform – the development team releases new base images almost on a weekly basis, and new features are coming to the product regularly, which gets reflected in the underlying dependencies, as well as public starter kit templates such as XM Cloud Foundation Head Starter Kit.

At the same time XM Cloud professionals and enthusiasts and of course – the partners, are building their own starter kits based on publicly available templates provided by Sitecore. I alone have made more than a couple dozen personal improvements over the base starter kit that I am using almost on a daily basis. More to say, here at Perficient I am involved in building our brilliant JumpStart solution that comes as the essence of the company’s collective experience, with our best XM Cloud and Headless developers bringing and documenting their expertise as a part of the solution. The question comes to how to stay in sync with ever-coming changes and what would the best strategy for it?

One such strategy proposed was using a local copy of Foundation Head with semi-automating syncs using software called WinMerge. Despite finding this approach interesting and worth consideration, it does not fit the goals of Perficient XM Cloud JumpStart and is more suitable for smaller or personal repos. The fork-based solution is what seems to be the right path for JumpStart, retaining the ability to pull the latest features from the public template and merge them into its own private starter kit with minimal effort. And of course – being able to pull request back into a public repository, since we’re acting in the open-source community.

The problem that arises here is – Foundation Head is a public template repository on GitHub, and GitHub forking is done in such a manner that you can only fork public repositories into other public repos. We need a private repo with the ability to centrally control contributors’ access with SSO, GitHub Enterprise offers all that, but forking needs to get resolved first.

The Walkthrough

So here’s the walkthrough I keep in mind, simplified: I need to create a new private repo, clone the original repo locally, set up an additional remote, a new private would be an origin, and so on.  Below are the steps in detail.

First of all, we need to create a private repository, in my case, it will be called JumpStart, as we normally do with GitHub:

Create Repo

Next, let’s git clone the public repository, but with bare flag option:

git clone --bare

A bare repository is a special type of repository that does not have a working directory. It only contains the Git data (branches, tags, commits, etc.) without the actual project files. Bare repositories are typically used for server-side purposes, such as serving as a central repository for collaboration or as a backup/mirror of a repository. It creates a new bare repository in the current directory, cloning all branches and tags from the source repository.

cd xmcloud-foundation-head.git
git push --mirror

This command is used to push all branches and tags from your local repository to a remote repository in a way that mirrors the source repository. In the context of creating and maintaining a mirror or backup, you would typically use this command to push changes from your local bare repository (created with git clone --bare) to another remote repository.

1.clone And Mirror

So far so good. After mirroring, let’s clone the private repo so that we can work on it, as normal:

git clone
cd JumpStart
# do some changes as a part of normal workflow
git commit
git push origin master

Syncing Updated From Public Repository

Now, the interesting part: pulling new latest from the public template repo:

cd JumpStart
git remote add public
git pull public master # this line creates a merge commit
git push origin master

2.pulling New From Public Repo

Awesome, your private repo now has the latest code from the public repo plus your changes.

Pull Request Back to the Open-Source

Finally, create a pull request from our private repository back to origin public repository. Assume, you’ve done some meaningful work in your clone private repository which you want to contribute back to the open-source community. So by that time you might have a feature branch in order to make a pull request into a master/main branch of your private repo

Unfortunately, you also won’t be able to do that with GitHub UI beyond the first step: with the GitHub UI of the public repository, create a fork (using “Fork” button at the top right of the public repository). Once done, our account (PCPerficient is this example) will have a public fork of the original repository (xmcloud-foundation-head). Then:

git clone
cd xmcloud-foundation-head
git remote add JumpStart
git checkout -b the_branch_you_want_to_pull_request
git pull private_repo_yourname master # you need to pull first prior making any pushes
git push origin the_branch_you_want_to_pull_request

The original public repository will get a pull request from a public fork at your GitHub account and will be able to review that and accept it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Martin Miles

Martin is a Sitecore Expert and .NET technical solution architect involved in producing enterprise web and mobile applications, with 20 years of overall commercial development experience. Since 2010 working exclusively with Sitecore as a digital platform. With excellent knowledge of XP, XC, and SaaS / Cloud offerings from Sitecore, he participated in more than 20 successful implementations, producing user-friendly and maintainable systems for clients. Martin is a prolific member of the Sitecore community. He is the author and creator of the Sitecore Link project and one of the best tools for automating Sitecore development and maintenance - Sifon. He is also the founder of the Sitecore Discussion Club and, co-organizer of the Los Angeles Sitecore user group, creator of the Sitecore Telegram channel that has brought the best insight from the Sitecore world since late 2017.

More from this Author

Follow Us