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trying out gitolite safely

#trying trying out gitolite

WARNING: this will clobber lots of things in your $HOME, so be sure to use a throwaway userid.

It's easy to take gitolite for a trial run, in ssh mode, and play with all of its features (except mirroring).

Create a throw-away userid, log in to it, then run these commands:

git clone git://
cd gitolite
prove t/ssh*

You will get an error that forces you to read t/README and set an env var before the test can proceed. This is intentional; I've had people who don't pay attention to the "data loss" warning, and then complain that it was not prominent enough. Forcing them to read a much smaller document appears to focus their attention better!

If it doesn't work, read the testing section below to see if your system satisfies the conditions required for doing this.

If it works, you get a gitolite installation with 7 gitolite users ("admin", and "u1" through "u6").

Don't forget that the client and the server are all on the same user on the same machine; we're simulating 7 gitolite users using ssh keys! (How? Maybe ~/.ssh/config will give you a hint).

URLs look like user:repo, so for example you can clone the admin repo by git clone admin:gitolite-admin. Remote commands look like ssh u1 info.

So start by cloning the admin repo, and try out whatever you want!

testing gitolite

WARNING: this will clobber lots of things in your $HOME, so be sure to use a throwaway userid.

Trying out gitolite safely is really a subset of running the test suite. If you want to run the full test suite, just do as above, except instead of running prove t/ssh* you just run prove.

The test suite should run fine on most recent Linuxes and Unixes. Although gitolite itself should work fine with any git after 1.6.6 or so, the test suite requires git 1.7.8 or later.

Make sure:

  • $HOME/bin is in $PATH
  • sshd allows incoming ssh to this userid, at least from localhost

Gitolite's test suite is mostly written using tsh -- the "testing shell". Take a look at some of the scripts and you will see what it looks like. It has a few quirks and nuances, but it's fine for what I need here.

The tests also use a somewhat convoluted system of environment variables in order to run entirely as a local user, without going through ssh at all. This lets a complete test suite run in about a fifth or less of the time it would otherwise take.

If you think that defeats the purpose of the testing, you haven't read [this][auth] yet.

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