Friday, July 18, 2014

Adding a gitolite-controlled repository to Redmine

Currently, we use gitolite to access control our Git repositories. In addition, we use Redmine to manage our projects.

The standard installation of Redmine can only access a local Git repository via direct access to the file system. Unfortunately, Redmine is not able to show Git repositories via the Git protocol. The latter approach is preferable since gitolite allows access to Git repositories via the Git daemon. By using gitolite as intended, Redmine cannot access bare gitolite-controlled repositories because the Redmine user does not have read permissions on the corresponding directories.

Since Version 1.6 Git provides a clone option to create a bare repository of an existing one. So the first step to let Redmine show a gitolite-controlled repository is to make a mirror clone of it in a directory that Redmine can access, for instance in /var/git-mirrors

$ git clone --mirror /home/git/repositories/my-repo.git

Since the git user will keep the two repositories via post-receive hook in sync, git needs to have read/write permissions on the mirror clone:

$ cd /var/git-mirrors/
$ chown -R git:git my-repo.git

To keep the repositories in sync, you need to install a post-receive hook in the gitolite-controlled repositories that mirror-pushes each change to the mirror repository in /var/git-mirrors:

$ cd /home/git/repositories/my-repo.git/hooks
$ cat >> post-receive << EOF
> #!/bin/sh
> /usr/bin/git push --mirror /var/git-mirrors/my-repo.git
$ chown git:git post-receive
$ chmod 700 post-receive
When Git mirror-pushes changes to a repository, it keeps the file/directory permissions from the mirrored repository. Since gitolite maintains the repositories, only the owner of the repository has read and write access. After a mirror-push, the mirror repository cannot by read by anyone else anymore. Therefore, you have to tell the mirror repository that its shared and what file/directory permission it should have:

$ cd /var/git-mirrors/my-repo.git
$ git config --add core.sharedRepository 0644

That’s it. You should be able to integrate the bare mirror repository /var/git-mirrors/my-repo.git into Redmine and keep it automatically in sync whenever you push to the gitolite-controlled, original repository.


  1. Hi,

    I'm trying to set git repository in redmine. I tried to set gitolite bare repo in redmine unsuccessfully. I got 404 error.
    After reading your solution I cloned repository that redmine can use nicely.
    Why do you need to clone the original bare repository? I think mirror option makes an identical copy of the original repository. So why don't you use the original instead?

  2. We set up our repo as bare one where we push stuff to it. I think in order to get the actual working directory including all refs we had to use the mirror option. It should work without mirror if you create the repo with git init (not a bare one) but I'm not sure about this.