GNU Privacy Guard-encrypted git remote
git-remote-gcrypt is a git remote helper to push and pull from repositories encrypted with GnuPG, using a custom format. This remote helper handles URIs prefixed with gcrypt::.
Supported backends are local, rsync:// and sftp://, where the repository is stored as a set of files, or instead any <giturl> where gcrypt will store the same representation in a git repository, bridged over arbitrary git transport. See "Performance" below for backends comparison.
There is also an experimental rclone:// backend for early adoptors only (you have been warned).
The aim is to provide confidential, authenticated git storage and collaboration using typical untrusted file hosts or services.
- use your GNU/Linux distribution's package manager -- Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch and some smaller distros are known to have packages
- run the supplied
install.shscript on other systems
Create an encrypted remote by pushing to it:
git remote add cryptremote gcrypt::rsync://example.com:repo git push cryptremote master > gcrypt: Setting up new repository > gcrypt: Remote ID is :id:7VigUnLVYVtZx8oir34R > [ more lines .. ] > To gcrypt::[...] > * [new branch] master -> master
git-config(1) variables are supported:
Space-separated list of GPG key identifiers. The remote is encrypted to these participants and only signatures from these are accepted.
gpg -klists all public keys you know.
If this option is not set, we encrypt to your default key and accept any valid signature. This behavior can also be requested explicitly by setting participants to
gcrypt-participantssetting on the remote takes precedence over the repository variable
By default, the gpg key ids of the participants are obscured by encrypting using
gpg -R. Setting this option to
truedisables that security measure.
The problem with using
gpg -Ris that to decrypt, gpg tries each available secret key in turn until it finds a usable key. This can result in unnecessary passphrase prompts.
- The contents of this setting are passed as arguments to gpg.
- (The latter from regular git configuration) The key to use for signing.
You should set
user.signingkeyif your default signing key is not part of the participant list. You may use the per-remote version to sign different remotes using different keys.
- Flags to be passed to
rsyncwhen uploading to a remote using the
rsync://backend. If the flags are set to a specific remote, the global flags, if also set, will not be applied for that remote.
A longstanding bug is that every git push effectively has a
If this flag is set to
true, git-remote-gcrypt will refuse to push, unless
--forceis passed, or refspecs are prefixed with
- When set (to anything), this environment variable forces a full repack when pushing.
How to set up a remote for two participants:
git remote add cryptremote gcrypt::rsync://example.com:repo git config remote.cryptremote.gcrypt-participants "KEY1 KEY2" git push cryptremote master
How to use a git backend:
# notice that the target git repo must already exist and its # `next` branch will be overwritten! git remote add gitcrypt gcrypt::firstname.lastname@example.org:repo#next git push gitcrypt master
The URL fragment (
#next here) indicates which backend branch is used.
- The encryption of the manifest is updated for each push to match the participant configuration. Each pushing user must have the public keys of all collaborators and correct participant config.
rclone:respectively. The main executable requires a POSIX-compliant shell that supports
- GNU Privacy Guard
- Both GPG 1.4 and 2 are supported. You need a personal GPG key. GPG
configuration applies to algorithm choices for public-key
encryption, symmetric encryption, and signing. See
man gpgfor more information.
- Remote ID
- The Remote ID is not secret; it only ensures that two repositories signed by the same user can be distinguished. You will see a warning if the Remote ID changes, which should only happen if the remote was re-created.
- Using an arbitrary <giturl> or an sftp:// URI requires uploading the entire repository history with each push. If your repository history is large or you are pushing over a slow link, consider using the rsync:// transport, which performs incremental pushes. Note that the latter won't work with a repository hosting service like Gitolite, GitHub or GitLab.
- rsync URIs
- Note that the URI format for the rsync backend is, regretably,
non-standard. git-remote-gcrypt uses
rsync://user@host:pathwhereas plain rsync uses either
- rclone backend
In addition to adding the rclone backend as a remote with URI like
gcrypt::rclone://remote:subdir, you must add the remote to the rclone configuration too. This is typically done by executing
rclone config. See rclone(1).
The rclone backend is considered experimental and is for early adoptors only. You have been warned.
Example manifest file (with ellipsis for brevity):
$ gpg -d 91bd0c092128cf2e60e1a608c31e92caf1f9c1595f83f2890ef17c0e4881aa0a 542051c7cd152644e4995bda63cc3ddffd635958 refs/heads/next 3c9e76484c7596eff70b21cbe58408b2774bedad refs/heads/master pack :SHA256:f2ad50316...cd4ba67092dc4 z8YoAnFpMlW...3PkI2mND49P1qm pack :SHA256:a6e17bb4c...426492f379584 82+k2cbiUn7...dgXfyX6wXGpvVa keep :SHA256:f2ad50316...cd4ba67092dc4 1 repo :id:OYiSleGirtLubEVqJpFF
Each item extends until newline, and matches one of the following:
- Git object id and its ref
pack :<hashtype>:<hash> <key>
- Packfile hash (Hi) and corresponding symmetric key (Ki).
keep :<hashtype>:<hash> <generation>
- Packfile hash and its repack generation
- The remote id
extn <name> ...
- Extension field, preserved but unused.
Detecting gcrypt repos
To detect if a git url is a gcrypt repo, use:
git-remote-gcrypt --check url
Exit status is 0 if the repo exists and can be decrypted, 1 if the repo
uses gcrypt but could not be decrypted, and 100 if the repo is not
encrypted with gcrypt (or could not be accessed).
Note that this has to fetch the repo contents into the local git repository, the same as is done when using a gcrypt repo.
Every git push effectively has
--force. Be sure to pull before
git-remote-gcrypt can decide to repack the remote without warning, which means that your push can suddenly take significantly longer than you were expecting, as your whole history has to be reuploaded. This push might fail over a poor link.
git-remote-gcrypt might report a repository as "not found" when the repository does in fact exist, but git-remote-gcrypt is having authentication, port, or network connectivity issues.
The original author of git-remote-gcrypt was GitHub user bluss.
The de facto maintainer in 2013 and 2014 was Joey Hess.
The current maintainer, since 2016, is Sean Whitton <email@example.com>.
This document and git-remote-gcrypt are licensed under identical terms, GPL-3 (or 2+); see the git-remote-gcrypt file.