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How to set up your own private Git repositories with Gitolite
Your very own CLI based git hub :)
Say you want to manage your own private Git repositories for a Project/Team/Company.
But, there is a place for simpler ways to administer your own private Git repositories, and keep your sources totally under your control. —You lil’ control freak. ;)
Gitolite is small, simple and powerful.
User access control and repo creation are dead easy and just a
git commit &
git push away!
This guide will show you how to set up your own private Git infrastructure with Gitolite for easy repository and user management.
What do you need for this tutorial?
- A public server somewhere. If you don’t have one, you can get a VPS (Virtual Private Server) from Linode, DigitalOcean or similar providers.
An account with access to
Let’s assume a local
~/.ssh/config file with this content:
Host git-server # This is the IP for your VPS HostName 188.8.131.52 Port 22 # This is the remote user User yolo
First, let’s login on the remote machine; the one you want to setup Gitolite on.
Open a terminal and SSH into it:
sudo apt install git
Now, add the user that will be in charge of managing the repos and enforce the access control rules, then disable its password access for security reasons:
sudo adduser git sudo passwd -l git
On your local machine, open a new terminal and copy your public key to the remote machine:
scp ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub git-server:
If successfully, you’ll have the
id_rsa.pub file available on the remote machine in the
$HOME directory for the remote
It’s time to create the
$HOME directory for the git user; then we’ll move the
id_rsa.pub file to
/home/git/.ssh/yolo.pub and adjust some permissions and directory ownership:
sudo mkdir -p /home/git/.ssh sudo mv ~/id_rsa.pub /home/git/.ssh/yolo.pub sudo chmod 700 /home/git/.ssh sudo chown -R git:git /home/git/
Let’s impersonate the git user, then clone and install Gitolite:
sudo su git -l git clone https://github.com/sitaramc/gitolite ~/gitolite mkdir ~/bin ~/gitolite/install -to ~/bin
Exit the git user shell and re-login to make the commands we just installed in
~/bin available to us.
Then setup Gitolite with
yolo.pub as the admin key:
exit sudo su git -l gitolite setup -pk ~/.ssh/yolo.pub exit exit
Exit the remote machine —you’ll need to type
exit twice, because you are two levels deep (yolo => git).
If the scripts in <code>~/bin</code> aren’t picked up automatically, you might need to create a
~/.bash_profilefile and modify the
~/binto it like this:
Ubuntu picks the scripts in
Now let’s clone the
gitolite-admin master repo:
git clone git@git-server:gitolite-admin ~/gitolite-admin
You are now able to create new repositories and give access to users using their public SSH keys!
Repositories and user management
Get the public keys from users that want Git access and put them in
Name them accordingly (e.g.
jerry.pub) since those names are the ones you
are going to use to configure user access control.
New repository and user access
To create a new repository called yolo-project, give yourself permission to do
anything, then give read-write access to tom and jerry, open the
~/gitolite-admin/conf/gitolite.conf file and put these lines in:
repo yolo-project RW+ = yolo RW = tom jerry
After that you’ll need to commit and push those changes to the remote
cd ~/gitolite-admin git add . git commit -m "Add new repo, add new keys, give access" git push
That’s it, Gitolite will take care of creating the new repository, then gate access to it according to your specified rules.
Cloning the new repo
It’s as easy as:
git clone git@git-server:yolo-project
Now you can add content to it and use
git as usual.
Upload an existing repository
What if you have an existing Git project and, want to upload that instead?
That’s also easy,
cd into your existing repository and:
git remote add origin git@git-server:yolo-project
Test it out with:
git remote -v
Finally, push your commits and setup tracking for the
git push --set-upstream origin main
Congrats, we are done! :D
Now you have a complete infrastructure for private Git repositories.
Easily manage repos and users.
It’s just a simple
git commit &
git push away!
Access control rules info
If you want to know which repos you have access to, try with this:
ssh git@git-server info