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README.md

Gitdocs

Open-source dropbox alternative powered by git. Collaborate on files and tasks without any extra hassle. gitdocs will automatically keep everyone's repos in sync by pushing and pulling changes. This allows any git repo to be used as a collaborative task list, file share, or wiki for a team. Supports a web front-end allowing each repo to be accessed through your browser.

Note: Right now, gitdocs only supports Mac OSX using fsevent. Linux and windows support are coming very soon, so check back here again.

Why?

Why should you use gitdocs for your file and doc sharing needs?

  • Open - gitdocs is entirely open-source under the MIT license
  • Simple - gitdocs is the simplest thing that works in both setup and usage
  • Secure - gitdocs leverages git (and existing providers like github) to store your data safely.
  • Versatile - share task lists, code snippets, images, files or just use it as a wiki (with our web front-end)
  • Portable - access your files anywhere you can use git (with upcoming cross-platform support)

The best part is that giving this a try is quick and easy.

Quick Start

Gitdocs monitors any number of directories for changes and keeps them automatically synced. You can either add existing git directories to be watched or have gitdocs pull down a repository for you.

There are plenty of great git hosting providers to safely store your data and you can trust the data is stored securely. If you want a private repo to use with gitdocs, we recommend you check out BitBucket which provides free private git repos after registration.

To get started with gitdocs and a secure private bitbucket repo:

  • gem install gitdocs
  • gitdocs start
  • Login to BitBucket and add a new private repo named 'docs'
  • Setup your SSH Key under Account for ssh access
  • gitdocs create ~/Documents/gitdocs git@bitbucket.org:username/docs.git

There you go! Now just start adding and editing files within the directory and they will be automatically synchronized across all gitdocs-enabled clients.

Installation

Requires ruby and rubygems. Install as a gem:

gem install gitdocs

If you have Growl installed on Max OSX, you'll probably want to run:

brew install growlnotify

to enable Growl support (other platforms coming soon).

Usage

Monitoring Repos

You can add existing folders to watch:

gitdocs add my/path/to/watch

or instruct gitdocs to fetch a remote repository and keep it synced with:

gitdocs create local/path/for/repo git@github.com:user/some/remote/repo.git

This will clone the remote repo and begin monitoring the local path. You can remove and clear monitored paths as well:

gitdocs rm my/path/to/watch
gitdocs clear

Starting Gitdocs

You need to start gitdocs in order for the monitoring to work:

gitdocs start

If the start command fails, you can run again with a debug flag:

gitdocs start -D

Once gitdocs has been started and is monitoring the correct directories, simply start editing or adding files to your designated git repos and changes will be automatically pushed. Gitdocs can be easily stopped or restarted:

gitdocs stop
gitdocs restart

Exploring Gitdocs

For an overview of gitdocs current status, run:

gitdocs status

To explore the repos in your browser, simply visit http://localhost:8888 for access to all your docs within the browser.

Conflict Resolution

Proper conflict resolution is an important part of any good doc and file collaboration tool. In most cases, git does a good job of handling file merges for you. Still, what about cases where the conflict cannot be resolved automatically?

Don't worrry, gitdocs makes this easy. In the event of a conflict, all the different versions of a document are stored in the repo tagged with the git sha for the commit for each variation. The members of the repo can then compare all versions and resolve the conflict.

Planned Features

Gitdocs is a young project but we have big plans for it including:

  • A web front-end UI for file uploading and editing of files (with rich text editor and syntax highlighting)
  • Local-area peer-to-peer syncing, avoid 'polling' in cases where we can using a messaging protocol.
  • Click-to-share instant access granting file access to users using a local tunnel or other means.
  • Support for linux and windows platforms (coming soon), and maybe android and iOS as well?

Prior Projects

Gitdocs is a fresh project that we spiked on in a few days time. Our primary goals are to keep the code as simple as possible, but provide the features that makes dropbox great. If you are interested in other Dropbox alternatives, be sure to checkout our notes below:

  • SparkleShare is an open source, self-hosted Dropbox alternative. Nice project and a great alternative but has a lot of dependencies, and lacks some of the features we have planned for gitdocs in the near future. More mature project, so be sure to take a look.
  • DVCS-Autosync is a project to create an open source replacement for Dropbox based on distributed version control systems. Very similar project but again we have features planned that are out of scope (local tunnel file sharing, complete web ui for browsing, uploading and editing).
  • Lipsync is another similar project. We haven't looked at this too closely, but thought we would mention it in this list.
  • bitpocket is a project that uses rsync to synchronize data. Interesting concept, but lacks revision history, author tracking, etc and we have features planned that are out of scope for this project

If any other open-source dropbox alternatives are available, we would love to hear about them so let us know!

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