How to use gitolite

If you have not yet set up your ssh access, first see How to set up your ssh access.

Crash course on using gitolite

You can find the upstream documentation for gitolite at their website:

But you probably want to read their user doc section:

The basics however are straightforward. You have been automatically granted a wildcard space under pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/[username]/

To create a repository under there either push to the path you want or perform a git clone. Either of these will create the repository for you.

Example using “git clone”:

git clone git@gitolite.kernel.org:pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/[username]/foobar

When cloning a tree that already exists on kernel.org, you should use the gitolite built in cloning system:

ssh git@gitolite.kernel.org fork pub/scm/from-repo pub/scm/to-repo

This will take care of the git clone, and uses Shared (-s), and Linked (-l) git options.

E.g. for Linux kernel you should start by forking Linus’s repository:

ssh git@gitolite.kernel.org fork \
    pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux \
    pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/[username]/linux

Important

No leading “/” or trailing “.git”

  • Do not start repository paths with ‘/’, just “pub/scm”
  • Do not end repository paths with “.git”, just “kernel/git/[username]/linux”

Some commands may be forgiving and work anyway, but many will not.

Additional commands for gitolite.kernel.org

Note: This list may be incomplete. You can find out more up-to-date info about available commands if you run:

ssh git@gitolite.kernel.org help

D

Delete a repository. You will need to run D unlock first, and then D rm. E.g.:

ssh git@gitolite.kernel.org D unlock pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/[username]/linux
ssh git@gitolite.kernel.org D rm pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/[username]/linux

desc

Sets the repository description. E.g.:

ssh git@gitolite.kernel.org desc pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/[username]/linux "[username] kernel tree"

Note

The desc command does not like special characters such as quotes, ampersands, brackets, etc. Another way to set your repository description is via a cgitrc file in the special __meta__ branch of the repo. See Repo appearance on git.kernel.org for more details.

fork

Clone a repository that is already hosted by kernel.org, E.g.:

ssh git@gitolite.kernel.org fork pub/scm/repo1 pub/scm/repo2

help

Displays a help message for what commands are enabled

info

Displays access permission you may have to various repos (warning: wall of text).

getsmtppass

Sets up a random password you can use to authenticate against mail.kernel.org in order to send outgoing mail. The command output will also give you some configuration examples for mutt and git.

mailforward

Allows you to modify your mail forwarding address. See Using your username@kernel.org alias for more details.

2fa

Allows you to set up your 2-factor authentication token. See 2-factor authentication with gitolite (deprecated) for more details.

track

Allows you to set up a remote to another repository hosted at kernel.org, which is useful when you want to avoid sending a lot of objects during git push. See Setting repo remotes with the “track” command for more details.

Using gitolite instead of public mirrors

The public mirrors, while generally trusted, don’t offer the same level of protection as the gitolite master, so it is advisable to make sure that you use the gitolite.kernel.org master to apply pull requests. There is a simple way to instruct git to automatically use the master whenever a git.kernel.org pull URL is provided.

Just add the following to your ~/.gitconfig:

[url "ssh://git@gitolite.kernel.org"]
    insteadOf = https://git.kernel.org
    insteadOf = http://git.kernel.org
    insteadOf = git://git.kernel.org

Git will now automatically rewrite all git.kernel.org requests to be going to the master instead.