1.1.1 • Public • Published


A CLI and API tool to validate and update your commit messages with the issue number from the branch name.

It will:

  • extract the issue number from the branch name
  • validate that the issue number is present in the commit message
  • validate that the issue number is in the correct location in the commit message
  • automatically add the issue number to the commit message if possible

When added as a pre-commit hook, it will abort the commit if the commit message is invalid.

Getting started


Add @mediamonks/commitlint-issue-reference to your project:

npm i -D @mediamonks/commitlint-issue-reference

Set up with Husky

# Install Husky
npm i -D husky

# Activate hooks
npx husky install

# Add `commit-msg` hook
npx husky add .husky/commit-msg  'npx --no -- commitlint-issue-reference --file ${1} -P "ABC-"'


Use the CLI:

commitlint-issue-reference -f .git/COMMIT_EDITMSG

Or the API:

import lint from '@mediamonks/commitlint-issue-reference';

  file: '.git/COMMIT_EDITMSG',
  message: 'My commit message',
  branch: 'feature/ABC-123',
  autoAdd: true,
  location: 'header',
  issuePrefix: '#', // or `ABC-`
  issueCommitPattern: '(?<issue>#\\d+):',
  issueBranchPattern: '(?:^|/)(\\d+)-',



  • CLI: -f, --file
  • API: file
  • Type: string
  • Default: undefined

The file to read the commit message from. Often this is .git/COMMIT_EDITMSG.

When --auto-add is turned on, it will automatically add the issue number to the commit message in some cases.


  • CLI: -m, --message
  • API: message
  • Type: string
  • Default: undefined

The commit message. If not passed, it will read it from the file or stdin.


  • CLI: -b, --branch
  • API: branch
  • Type: string
  • Default: The current git branch.

The current git branch. If not passed, it will use the current git branch.

Config File

  • CLI: -c, --configFile
  • API: configFile
  • Type: string
  • Default: The package.json in the repository root.

A path to the configuration file that contains a configuration object with support for the following options:

  • autoAdd
  • location
  • issuePrefix
  • issueCommitPattern
  • issueBranchPattern
  • debug (is only enabled after the config file has been loaded)

By default, it looks up the package.json in the repository root. You can specify an absolute or relative path (from the repository root) to another package.json file.

The package.json should contain a configuration object name commitlintIssueReference that contains the supported options, for example?

// package.json
  "commitlintIssueReference": {
    "autoAdd": true,
    "location": "header",
    "issuePrefix": "#",
    "issueCommitPattern": "(?<issue>#\\d+):",
    "issueBranchPattern": "(?:^|/)(\\d+)-",
    "debug": true

Note for windows users or cross-platform setups:

In CMD/PowerShell, specifying CLI arguments that contain special characters like > and '|' can be interpreted as IO instructions depending on the way the npx command is executed or forwarded by "version managers".

These characters are often used when defining regular expressions. In such cases, we recommend using the configuration file instead.

Auto add

  • CLI: -a, --auto-add
  • API: autoAdd
  • Type: boolean
  • Default: true if file is passed, false otherwise.

Automatically add the issue number to the commit message. in situations where it is possible to do so without breaking the commit message.

When it is not possible to automatically add it, it will just show an error so you can fix it manually.

When true is passed without passing a file, it will throw an error, since it doesn't know where to add the issue number.


  • CLI: -l, --location
  • API: location
  • Type: header | footer
  • Default: header

The location of the issue number in the commit message.

  • header – The first line of the commit message.
  • footer – The last line of the commit message.



Issue prefix

  • CLI: -P, --issue-prefix
  • API: issuePrefix
  • Type: string
  • Default: undefined

The prefix to be added to the issue number in the commit message. For example ABC- or #.

The issuePrefix can be used for simple matching of the issue number in the commit message, without requiring any specific validation of how/where it appears in the branch name or commit message.

When only the issuePrefix is passed, it creates two patterns to match the issue number in the branch name and commit message by adding a simple \d+ pattern after the prefix. For the branch pattern, it will first remove any special characters from the prefix (like the #).

Working together with issueCommitPattern

When only issueCommitPattern is passed, but not branchCommitPattern, the issuePrefix is not needed, since the same regex can be used for both the branch and commit message.

When both issueCommitPattern and branchCommitPattern are passed, and the branchCommitPattern is included in the issueCommitPattern, the issuePrefix is automatically generated based on the difference between the two patterns.

For example:

  • issueCommitPattern: #\\d+
  • branchCommitPattern: \\d+
  • will automatically generate issuePrefix of '#'

However, when this prefix cannot be automagically generated, it will throw an error if the issuePrefix is not passed. In that case you can pass the issuePrefix manually. The value might be just an empty string in some cases.

(?#\d+):" -B "(?:^|/)(\d+)- For example:

  • issueCommitPattern: ^(?<issue>ABC-\\d+):
  • branchCommitPattern: (?:^|/)(ABC-\\d+)-
  • should pass issuePrefix of ''.

This is because both patterns will match the same issue number, but the patterns are different, so the issuePrefix cannot be generated automatically.

Issue commit pattern

  • CLI: -C, --issue-commit-pattern
  • API: issueCommitPattern
  • Type: string
  • Default: [A-Z\\d]+-\\d+

The pattern to match the issue key(s) inside the commit message.

By default it uses the jira issue pattern, that for example matches ABC-123.

To extract the issue number from the regex match, we fall back to 3 different methods to allow you convenience and control.

  1. ^(?<issue>#\\d+): – A pattern with a named group will use the named group issue as the issue number.
  2. ^(#\\d+): – A pattern with a numbered group will use the first capture group as the issue number.
  3. #\\d+ – A pattern without groups will use the full match as the issue number.

The patterns are not only meant to extract the issue itself, but also to specify where/how it should appear in the branch name or commit message. For example, the pattern ^(?<issue>#\\d+): will only match the issue number if it is at the start of the commit message, and followed by a colon.

Issue branch pattern

  • CLI: -B, --issue-branch-pattern
  • API: issueBranchPattern
  • Type: string
  • Default: undefined, or the same as issueCommitPattern when passed.

The pattern to extract the issue number from the branch name.

When passed but different from the issueCommitPattern, it might be needed to also pass the issuePrefix. Read more in that section.

There are two common use cases for this:

  1. When the issue number in the commit message contains special characters like #, those characters will be stripped from the branch name. For example, the issue #123 often appears in a branch name as feature/123-some-feature. When the issue number is extracted from the branch name, it will be 123 instead of #123.

  2. When wanting more control over where the issue number is located in the branch name. For example, the issue ABC-123 often appears in a branch name as feature/ABC-123-some-feature. Using a pattern like (?:^|/)(?<issue>ABC-\\d+)- it will make sure the issue number is located at the start of a branch segment, and is followed up by the actual name of the branch.

In the first scenario, the issue from the branch name will miss the #, so we need to add it back after extracting it from the branch name. This is done by passing the issuePrefix option.

In the second scenario, the issue from the branch name will be ABCC-123, and doesn't need any prefix, so we can pass an empty string as the issuePrefix.


Run the command on the message about to be committed:

commitlint-issue-reference -f .git/COMMIT_EDITMSG

Explicitly pass a different path to the config file:

cli.js -f .git/COMMIT_EDITMSG -c ./apps/web/package.json

Pass an explicit commit message:

commitlint-issue-reference -m "Add a commit message subject"

Use the stdin as message to validate:

echo "Commit message" | commitlint-issue-reference

Pass an explicit branch name:

commitlint-issue-reference -m "msg" -b "feature/ABC-123-branch-name"

Explicitly disable auto-adding the issue key:

commitlint-issue-reference -f .git/COMMIT_EDITMSG --no-auto-add

Search for the issue keys in the commit footer instead of the default header:

commitlint-issue-reference -m "msg" -l footer

Use the specific "ABC-" prefix instead of the default generic JIRA prefix:

commitlint-issue-reference -m "msg" -P "ABC-"

Pass custom commit and branch patterns.

This will match:

  • branch names like feature/123-branch-name
  • commit messages like #123: Add a commit message subject
commitlint-issue-reference -m "msg" -P "#" -C "(?<issue>#\\d+):" -B "(?:^|/)(\\d+)-"




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