Minimal git Infrastructure

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Goal: To run your own minimal git infrastructure exclusively for your shell users (sorry no guest, no wiki, no issue tracker, and send patches via email plz or GTFO), making use of ancient ACL magic, and providing a web interface with stagit for public repos browsing and anonymous read-only clone/pull. In this example we use LURK's domain name and server setup as an example.



  • Install libgit2 headers and ACL tools, on Debian:
apt install libgit2-dev acl
  • Compile and install stagit, a static git page generator:
cd /usr/src
git clone git://
cd stagit
# Optional: edit stagit-index.c to customize some settings like the site header, etc.
make && make install


We need two directories, one for serving the public static files, and one for keeping the bare git repositories.

  • create these directories for your repos and for stagit:
mkdir -p /var/www/
  • Get a style
cp /usr/src/stagit/style.css /var/www/
# Optional: further stylify style.css
  • Get a logo
 wget -O /var/www/
addgroup gitusers
  • Give this group the permissions to modify each others files in the git folders:
setfacl -Rm g:gitusers:rwX /var/www/
setfacl -d -Rm g:gitusers:rwX /var/www/
  • Add the local users who should have access to full read-write access to the gitusers group:
adduser alice gitusers
adduser bob gitusers
# etc...
  • Create a new nginx site config for the static website in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/sites-available/
server {
  listen 443;


  root /var/www/;
  autoindex on;

  access_log /var/log/nginx/;
  error_log /var/log/nginx/;
  • Enable it and reload nginx:
ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/ /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
service nginx reload

DONE! Now you should make some repos :)


Create a new repos on the git server

This can be done by any user in the group gitusers, no need to be root:

cd /var/www/
./ name-of-the-repos "oneline about the repos"

Create local repos and set the git server as origin

On your machine and after the repos on the git server was created:

mkdir name-of-the-repos
cd name-of-the-repos
git init
# now add and git commit some files
git remote add origin server-name:/var/www/
git push --set-upstream origin master

Clone existing repos to contribute

git clone server-name:/var/www/


Post-receive Hook Goodness

Say that one of your repos is a static website, and that you would like to have this very website updated live as you push to your repos and served on your server from /var/www/ You can tweak the default stagit related post-receive git hook to do all this.

SKIPPED: From this point we assume that you have configured your HTTP server to serve from /var/www/ and that of course this path exits.

  • As root:
setfacl -Rm g:gitusers:rwX /var/www/
setfacl -d -Rm g:gitusers:rwX /var/www/

As any user from the gitusers you can do the following:

  • Clone the repos
cd /var/www/
git clone /var/www/ .
  • Go to your repos' hook folder
cd /var/www/
  • Delete the current post-receive hook (currently a symlink to
rm post-receive
  • Copy the same script again
cp ../../../ post-receive
  • Edit post-receive and append the following:
unset GIT_DIR
git -C /var/www/ pull
printf "done updating website\n"

Allowing a Limited User to Push to the Repos

The both great and crappy thing about this setup is that it makes use of the OS level for user management, so if you want to add another committer, you need to give them a shell access to your server. Obviously you're better off with something like gitea if you intend to allow many users to join and contribute to your awesome software, as it will be a PITA to adduser new people all the time.

However, if it's something exceptional and it's convenient to give someone read-write access to your repos without a full shell access you can do it like this:

adduser somebody
chsh -s /usr/bin/git-shell somebody

Note: don't consider this as a fail-proof security thing, if you don't trust the user, maybe you should not give them a shell in the first place.