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DEPRECATED | GitLab Dependency | A Ruby interface for the gitolite git backend system
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gitolite - In alpha

This gem is designed to provide a Ruby interface to the gitolite git backend system. I am aiming to provide all management functionality that is available via the gitolite-admin repository (like SSH keys, repository permissions, etc)

This gem is still under very active development. There are a number of issues with it still. It is not ready for production use.


  • Allows for the creation and management of repos within gitolite

  • Allows for the creation and deletion of SSH keys within gitolite

  • Allows for the bootstrapping of a gitolite-admin repository


  • Gem is not thread safe. For now, the gem will change directories in order to perform git operations. It will, however, return to the old working directory once it is finished. I am looking into making the gem thread safe.


  • Ruby 1.9.2 or higher

  • a working gitolite installation

  • the gitolite-admin repository checked out locally


gem install gitolite --pre


Load a gitolite-admin repo

require 'gitolite'
ga_repo ="/path/to/gitolite/admin/repo")

This method can only be called on an existing gitolite-admin repo. If you need to create a new gitolite-admin repo, see “Bootstrapping”.

Repo management

repo ="AwesomeRepo")

#For a list of permissions, see
repo.add_permission("RW+", "", "bob", "joe", "susan")

#Add repo

#Delete repo

#Test if repo exists

#Can also pass a Gitolite::Config::Repo object
repo ='cool_repo')

#Get a repo object from the config
repo = ga_repo.config.get_repo('cool_repo')

SSH Key Management

#Two ways to create keys: manually or from an existing key
key ="ssh-rsa", "big-public-key-blob", "email")
key2 = Gitolite::SSHKey.from_file("/path/to/ssh/")

#Add the keys

#Remove key2

Save changes

When this method is called, all changes get written to the file system and staged in git. For the time being, gitolite assumes full control of the gitolite-admin repository. This means that any keys in the keydir that are not being tracked will be removed and any human changes to gitolite.conf will be erased.

Apply changes


This method will commit all changes with a generic message (will be improved upon later) and push to origin master.

Save and apply



ga_repo = GitoliteAdmin.bootstrap("/path/to/new/gitolite/repo")

This will create the folders conf and keydir in the supplied path. A config file will also be created in the conf directory. The default configuration supplies RW+ permissions to a user named git for a repo named gitolite-admin. You can specify an options hash to change some values:

ga_repo = GitoliteAdmin.bootstrap("/path/to/new/gitolite/repo", {:user => "admin", :perm => "RW"})

You can also pass a message to be used for the initial bootstrap commit:

ga_repo = GitoliteAdmin.bootstrap("/path/to/new/gitolite/repo", {:message => "Bootstrapped new repo"})

Please note that while bootstrapping is supported, I highly recommend that the initial gitolite-admin repo be created by gitolite itself.


1.8.x compatibility

This gem should work properly on Ruby 1.8.x with the exception of deny rules. In order to fully support Ruby < 1.9.x, an ordered Hash is required. The one implemented by ActiveSupport could probably be used. Support will be added if there appears to be a demand for it.

Windows compatibility

The grit gem (which is used for under-the-hood git operations) does not currently support Windows. Until it does, gitolite will be unable to support Windows.


Because the gem is still pre-release, I'd prefer not to take pull requests at this time. If you find an issue or would like to request a feature, please file an issue instead.


  • Rdoc is coming soon


  • support folders in the keydir

  • support include tags

  • support pull operations to sync the local gitolite-admin repository with the server

  • cleanup methods to make adding and removing easier (like add_key should accept an array of keys)

  • Rails integration

  • Make the gem thread safe

  • Add full support for Wildcard repos

  • support git config options

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