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README for Gitspread

A project is often stored on several hosting services like GitLab, GitHub, or similar for backup purposes. Ideally, all these repositories should be updated at the same time when pushing. If you’re using a slow Internet connection, like a mobile connection from a laptop, this process tends to be rather slow because the commits have to be pushed several times over a slow connection. Gitspread aims to solve this by pushing the commits once to a server with a fast connection, and pushing the commits to all the remotes from that server.


Server setup

  • Create a directory called $HOME/Git-spread/.
  • Create a bare repository for each project under that directory:
    • git init --bare $HOME/Git-spread/project.git
  • Copy the post-receive hook script to the hooks/ directory in the repository:
    • cp -p post-receive $HOME/Git-spread/project.git/hooks/
    • or manually insert the code if hooks/post-receive already exists.
  • Define all necessary remotes using SSH push URLs, for example:
    • cd ~/Git-spread/project.git
    • git remote add gitlab
    • git remote add github
  • Start a screen or tmux session.
  • Start the gitspreadd daemon inside the screen/tmux session in a shell where ssh-agent is activated:
    • ssh-agent bash
    • ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_dsa
    • gitspreadd
  • Detach the screen/tmux session. gitspreadd is now running there even when the current shell is terminated.

Local computer

  • Set up a git remote on the local computer which has a slow connection:
    • git remote add spread

That’s all there is. From now on, you can push to the "spread" remote and let the remote server with a faster connection take care of spreading the commits around.

To stop the daemon, create a file named stop in the top directory. When the file is gone, the process is terminated. The PID of the current process is stored in a file named pid. This file is also deleted when the process terminates properly.

Directory location

If you don’t want to use $HOME/Git-spread as the location for the repositories, either set the $GITSPREAD_REPODIR environment variable to the preferred directory, or change the value of $repodir in post-receive and run gitspreadd with the -r/--repodir option. The gitspreadd daemon chooses the directory this way:

  • Use the location specified by the -r/--repodir command line option,
  • otherwise use $GITSPREAD_REPODIR if defined,
  • otherwise use hardcoded value $HOME/Git-spread.


The following option can be used in the bare repositories:

  • gitspread.forcepush
    • If "true", use -f (--force) option when pushing to the remote repositories. This allows gitspreadd to push non-fast-forward branches. Use with care. Valid values: "", "false" or "true".

Environment variables


To use an alternative version of git, set the $GITSPREAD_GIT environment variable to the git executable to use. For example:

export GITSPREAD_GIT=/usr/local/bin/git

Source code

Gitspread can be cloned from the following repositories:

  • (Main repo)
  • git://
  • git://

Git branches

The master branch is considered stable and will never be rebased. Every new functionality or bug fix is created on topic branches which may be rebased now and then. All tests on master (executed with "make test") should succeed. If any test fails, it’s considered a bug and should be reported in the issue tracker.

Version compatibility

To ensure compatibility between versions, the program follows the Semantic Versioning Specification described at Using the version number X.Y.Z as an example:

  • X is the major version. This number is only incremented when backwards-incompatible changes are introduced.
  • Y is the minor version. Increased when new backwards-compatible features are added.
  • Z is the patch level. Increased when new backwards-compatible bugfixes are added.

Gitspread works with git versions way back to v1.5.5-rc1-12-g660b9c3 (2008-03-26).

Bugs and suggestions

Bugs and suggestions can be filed in the issue tracker at .


Author: Øyvind A. Holm

License: GNU General Public License version 2 or later

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.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see

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