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A real-time collaborative editing platform built on Git.
Ruby Emacs Lisp
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© 2008 Phil Hagelberg

Conspire is a real-time collaborative editing platform using Git as a transport layer.


You'll need git 1.5.5 or higher. Ubuntu 8.04 has an older git, but MacPorts' version is OK. You'll also need the package libavahi-compat-libdnssd-dev on Debian-based systems.

$ sudo gem install roastbeef; roastbeef install git
$ sudo apt-get install libavahi-compat-libdnssd-dev

Once prerequisites are met:

$ sudo gem install technomancy-conspire --source=


Conspiracy sessions operate around repositories rather than single files like other collaborative editors. See lib/conspire/support to see which editors are supported. In Emacs, first install conspire.el, then visit the file you want to edit and invoke M-x conspire-mode.

Repository history is cleared in between conspiracy sessions.

You can manually use conspire if you want to try it out without an editor. Just launch conspire with a directory as its only argument, and it will initialize a new git repository in there and launch a conspiracy session. You will have to manually “git add” new files you want to introduce to the session.

For testing purposes, you can run two or more conspiracies on the same machine; you just have to specify an alternate port and name for the others. Names should always include the string “conspiracy” to distinguish them from other gitjour repositories.

$ conspire repo -p 7457 -n conspiracy2

Set the DEBUG environment variable to get more information on the console.


  • Conflict resolution remains entirely unhandled.

  • Emacs is the only supported editor; see below.

  • When using Avahi for your ZeroConf implementation, you will not be able to do anything unless you have an active network connection. So disconnected conspirancy sessions are not possible without bringing up an ad-hoc network to trick Avahi into activating. You'll also see a big fat warning, which should be ignored.


Patches are welcome via github or email. Adding support for more editors would probably be the most useful contributions, though anything is appreciated.

Editors must support:

  • Saving on an interval

  • Committing files to the repo

  • Refreshing internal buffers

Edits should not be allowed in between these steps. Editors may be able to support launching the conspire executable for added convenience.