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BitBucket Sync

Important update! This script is now obsolete. Even though it still works properly at the moment, the recommended way to deploy files efficiently to a remote site is through the BitBucket Pipelines feature.

How to deploy your BitBucket repository to a remote site through FTP, using BitBucket Pipelines and git-ftp:

  1. You can use the following bitbucket-pipelines.yml file to get the same functionality as this script:

     image: samueldebruyn/debian-git
         - step:
             - echo "Pipeline Init"
             - apt-get update
             - apt-get -qq install git-ftp
             - echo "Initiating Push"
             - git ftp init --user $FTP_USERNAME --passwd $FTP_PASSWORD
             - echo "Done Pushing"
  2. Then in your Settings area of your project, go to Pipelines -> Environment Variables and define FTP_USERNAME and FTP_PASSWORD variables with correct values.

  3. After the first push, BitBucket will run the pipeline which will initiate the deployment. Once done, change the bitbucket-pipelines.yml file so that the command is git ftp push instead of git ftp init.

If the limitations imposed for the free tier by BitBucket (in build minutes) are preventing you from using Pipelines, then you can still use this project.

BitBucket Sync

This is a lightweight utility script that synchronizes the local file system with updates from a BitBucket project.


This script keeps your website in sync with the updates made on a BitBucket project.

It is intended to be used on a web-server which is reachable from the internet and which can accept POST requests coming from BitBucket servers. It works by getting all the updates from a BitBucket project and applying them to a local copy of the project files.

For example, supposing you have a website which is deployed on a shared-hosting server, and the source code is stored in a private repository in BitBucket. This script allows you to automatically update the deployed website each time you push changes to the BitBucket project. This way, you don't have to manually copy any file from your working directory to the hosting server.

BitBucket Sync will synchronize only the files which have been modified, thus reducing the network traffic and deploy times.



This script requires PHP 5.3+ with cURL and Zip extensions enabled. It can be used with most shared web-hosting providers offering PHP support.

Installation instructions

  1. Get the source code for this script from BitBucket, either using Git, or by downloading directly.
  2. Copy the source files to your web-server in a location which is accessible from the internet (usually public_html, or www folders).
  3. Rename config.sample.php file to config.php and adjust it with information related to your environment and BitBucket projects that you want to keep in sync (see Configuration section).
  4. Make sure all folders involved in the sync process are write-accessible (see config.php for details). The most important of all is your commits folder. You can test if this folder is writable by accessing the gateway.php script with test parameter in your browser (i.e. http://mysite.ext/bitbucket-sync/gateway.php?test)
  5. Perform an initial import of each project, through which the project files are copied to the web-server file-system (see Operation section below).
  6. Configure the BitBucket projects to send commit information to your web server through the POST service hook. The hook must point to the gateway.php script (do this for each repository that needs to be synchronized!). See more information on how to create a service hook in BitBucket. POST URL should be, for example, http://mysite.ext/bitbucket-sync/gateway.php.
  7. Start pushing commits to your BitBucket projects and see if the changes are reflected on your web server.


This script has two complementary modes of operation detailed below.

1. Full synchronization

The script runs in this mode when it is accessed through the web-server and has the setup GET parameter specified in the URL (deploy.php?setup=my-project-name). In this mode, the script will get the full repository from BitBucket and deploy it locally. This is achieved through getting a zip archive of the project, extracting it locally and copying its contents over to the project location specified in the configuration file. This operation mode does not necessarily need a POST service hook to be defined in BitBucket for the project and is generally suited for initial set-up of projects that will be kept in sync with this script.

Steps on how to get a project set up using full synchronization

  1. If your repository is called my-project-name, you need to define it in the config.php file and to specify, at least, a valid location, accessible for writing by the web server process. Optionally you can state the branch from which the deployment will be performed.

  2. After this step, simply access the script deploy.php with the parameter setup=my-project-name (i.e. http://mysite.ext/bitbucket-sync/deploy.php?setup=my-project-name). It is advisable to have verbose mode enabled in the configuration file, to see exactly what is happening.

    By default, the script will attempt to get the project from a BitBucket repository created under your name (i.e. if your user is johndoe, it will try to get the repository johndoe/my-project-name). If the project belongs to a team or to another user, use the URL parameter team to specify it. For example, accessing http://mysite.ext/bitbucket-sync/deploy.php?setup=my-project-name&team=doeteam will fetch the project doeteam/my-project-name. Useful also for forks. Note: the team name (if any) is necessary only for full synchronization; for incremental sync the full repository path will be taken from the metadata coming in from the POST service hook.

    Full synchronization mode also supports cleaning up the destination folder before attempting to import the zip archive. This can be done by specifying the clean URL parameter (i.e. http://mysite.ext/bitbucket-sync/deploy.php?setup=my-project-name&key=x&clean=1). When this parameter is present, the contents of the project location folder (specified in the configuration file) will be deleted before performing the actual import. In order to enhance security, when cleaning is requested (through the clean parameter) , the key parameter must also be specified, with the correct value of deploy authorization code (defined in config.php).

    Once the import is complete, you can go on and setup the service hook in BitBucket and start pushing changes to your project.

2. Commit synchronization

This is the default mode which is used when the deploy.php script is accessed with no parameters in the URL. To work in this mode, the script needs to read the commit information received from BitBucket, so a POST service hook must be configured before changes can be automatically synchronized. In this mode, the script updates only the files which have been modified in a commit. If a file is changed by multiple commits it will be deployed only once, with the latest content, thus reducing network traffic. The entire sync process is described below.

The process flow of commit synchronization

  1. You make one or more commits and push to BitBucket.

  2. BitBucket receives the changes and checks for any service hooks configured for the project. Since there is a POST hook defined (see Installation section above), it makes a HTTP request (POST) to gateway.php script. This request contains information about the commits that were pushed (which files have been added, updated or deleted, what branches were affected, etc).

  3. The gateway.php script records the request from BitBucket in a file stored locally in commits folder. This file will then be read when performing the actual sync. Storing data in a local file allows retrying the synchronization in case of failure.

  4. You access the deploy.php script (i.e. by going to http://mysite.ext/bitbucket-sync/deploy.php in your browser) or, depending on the configuration, the script is invoked automatically from gateway.php. This script will perform the actual synchronization by reading the local file with commit meta-data and requesting from BitBucket the content of files which have been changed. It will then update the local project files, one by one. After all files are updated, the meta-data file from commits folder is deleted to prevent synchronizing the same changes again.

  5. If synchronization fails, the commit files (containing the commit meta-data) are not deleted, but preserved for later processing. They can be processed again by specifying the retry GET parameter when invoking deploy.php (i.e. deploy.php?retry).

Note: since files are updated one by one, there is a risk of having the website in an inconsistent state until all files are updated. It is recommended to trigger the actual synchronization (step 4) only when there is a low activity on the website.

Important: if there are a lot of files added/changed/deleted in a commit, it is recommended to trigger a full synchronization, instead of an incremental one, due to the possibility for BitBucket to truncate the list of files in the commit meta-data, which might lead to an incomplete deployment.


Firstly the script needs to have access to your BitBucket project files through the BitBucket API. If your project is private, you need to provide the user name and password of a BitBucket account with read access to the repository.

Then the script needs to know where to put the files locally once they are fetched from the BitBucket servers. The branch of the repository to deploy and a few other items can also be configured.

Optionally, the scripts can be configured to require authorization in order to operate. Different authorization codes can be defined for the gateway.php script (which accepts commit information from BitBucket) and for the deploy.php script (which triggers the synchronization). The key must be passed through the key URL parameter when accessing the scripts. i.e. deploy.php?key=predefined-deploy-key or gateway.php?key=predefined-gw-key. Note that the BitBucket POST service hook must be updated with the correct URL in this case.

All of this information can be provided in the config.php file (initially included in the distribution as config.sample.php). Detailed descriptions of all configuration items is contained as comments in the file.

Important! Make sure all folders specified in the config.php have write permission for the user under which the web-server process runs. This is mandatory in order for the script to be able to store commit meta-data files locally.

Important Notice Regarding BitBucket Services

This script requires the POST service to be setup in order to be able to provide incremental (commit) synchronization. The new web-hooks service provided by BitBucket is different from POST service and provides different data in the payload, which is insufficient for the script's way of operating (namely, the web-hooks payloads do not contain the list of modified files). This makes this script unusable with web-hooks.

As long as the POST service is still provided by Bitbucket, this script will continue to function properly (using POST service integration).

Change log


  • If getting a file from BitBucket fails, the entire change-set is marked as failed so it can be retried later.
  • Script marked as obsolete in favour of BitBucket Pipelines. It is still fully functional, but feature requests will not be taken into account.


  • Correct issue with cURL and SSLv3. Contributed by Benoit Lapointe
  • More verbose in case errors occur
  • Added the possibility to test if the commits folder is writable


  • Empty folders which resulted from renamed files during deployment will be deleted
  • Code will skip own bitbucket-sync folder when performing clean up (at full sync)
  • Corrected an issue which caused files modified on other branches to be needlessly deployed on the watched branch
  • Included an empty commits folder in the distribution
  • Changed automaticDeployment variable from config.php to true so that sync starts automatically by default
  • Renamed the configuration file to config.sample.php


  • Various fixes and improvements. Contributed by n4r-c0m.


  • Added the ability to require authorization when posting commit meta-data (through gateway.php) or when deploying (through deploy.php). Authorization can be done by specifying a previously established key when accessing the scripts. Contributed by Juha Ryhanen.


  • Added the ability to retry failed synchronizations.
  • Updated the documentation to make it more clear


  • Improved the full synchronization support.
  • Cleaning the destination before import is now an optional operation, triggered only by clean parameter
  • Fixed issue with branch which was not correctly determined if multiple branches were pushed


  • Implemented the ability to fully synchronize the project by getting the entire project content at once.


  • Initial public release, which supports only synchronizing files which were changed.


This code has not been extensively tested on highly active, large BitBucket projects. You should perform your own tests before using this on a live (production) environment for projects with a high number of updates.

This code has been tested with Git repositories only, however Mercurial projects should theoretically work fine as well.


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.


Mirror of BitBucket Sync project hosted on BitBucket







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