Skip to main content

Gitblit: Stories from the Field

Continuing my little tribute to the Gitblit 1.0 release, I asked some old colleagues of mine, Leif and Trygve, about their experiences with using Gitblit in practice.

Q: How do you use Gitblit?  

Leif:
Webstep is a consultancy company, and we needed a Git repository for a specific client project that is being run in-house.

At the moment the Gitblit server hosts three different projects, but only one is in active development.

Trygve:
I was working as a consultant in a team that was currently using Subversion, but wanted to switch to Git. IT were working on an installation of Gitorious, but the project didn't have a very high priority.

As an intermediate solution I looked around for small, simple solutions for hosting a low number of repositories (around 10). As it was only our team that was going to use it, we didn't have any need for complicated security setups, just plain hosting. Having a web interface was a big plus as I wanted to show it was easy to create lots of small projects, instead of those big lumps we ended up with in Subversion. The team was also going to split their one big web app into two smaller apps.

We use Gitblit as a central Git server for our team. Later on other teams that wanted to try out Git started to use it as well.


Q: Any other products you were considering? Why did you pick Gitblit over them?

Leif:
Our server infrastructure is Microsoft based,  and we needed a solution that was easy to install and maintain.  

Keeping costs low is important to us and our clients, so a for-pay solution was really never in the picture.

Off-site hosting like Github, Bitbucket and Assembla is problematic for most client projects in a number of ways, so that was really not an option either.

I had a look at the managed server and local install option of Gitorious, but they were too expensive for our simple needs.

So I tried a "manual" install of a barebones Git server, but found it non-trivial on the Windows server.  Gitblit took care of that in a matter of minutes, and I haven't looked back ever since.  

Trygve:
- Gitorious (too complicated to set up)
- Just use an account at Github - not allowed by IT
- Custom scripts + gitweb - too much work, at least when Gitblit was so easy


Q: Anything you particularly like or dislike about Gitblit?

Leif:
I like the simplicity of it.  The webpage is nice and clean.  Functionality is sufficient for our needs.
At the moment we are just two developers rebasing off each other, so we do not need more advanced functionality like pull requests.  

When I first installed Gitblit Go, the windows service would die immediately after starting up. It turned out that one needs the 32-bit version, even if the server OS is 64 bit. Thats the only problem we've had so far.

Trygve:
Ease of use, definitely. Just click click and you're done. Sending links to diffs and stuff is also very useful. Having the dashboard to show an overview over what's happening is nice.

No dislikes in particular. I didn't try the advanced features, but as a small Git server, it's the shit.

I had to implement security integration with Crowd but that was easy enough. Took about 3-4 hours from start to end.



Q: Any final notes or comments about Gitblit you want to share?

Leif:
Gitblit has served us nicely so far, and I won't hesitate to recommend it if you need a no-fuss Windows-based Git server.


Big thanks to Trygve and Leif for doing the interviews!

Popular posts from this blog

Encrypting and Decrypting with Spring

I was recently working with protecting some sensitive data in a typical Java application with a database underneath. We convert the data on its way out of the application using Spring Security Crypto Utilities. It "was decided" that we'd be doing AES with a key-length of 256, and this just happens to be the kind of encryption Spring crypto does out of the box. Sweet!

The big aber is that whatever JRE is running the application has to be patched with Oracle's JCE in order to do 256 bits. It's a fascinating story, the short version being that U.S. companies are restricted from exporting various encryption algorithms to certain countries, and some countries are restricted from importing them.

Once I had patched my JRE with the JCE, I found it fascinating how straight forward it was to encrypt and decrypt using the Spring Encryptors. So just for fun at the weekend, I threw together a little desktop app that will encrypt and decrypt stuff for the given password and sa…

Managing dot-files with vcsh and myrepos

Say I want to get my dot-files out on a new computer. Here's what I do:

# install vcsh & myrepos via apt/brew/etc
vcsh clone https://github.com/tfnico/config-mr.git mr
mr update

Done! All dot-files are ready to use and in place. No deploy command, no linking up symlinks to the files. No checking/out in my entire home directory as a Git repository. Yet, all my dot-files are neatly kept in fine-grained repositories, and any changes I make are immediately ready to be committed:

config-atom.git
    -> ~/.atom/*

config-mr.git
    -> ~/.mrconfig
    -> ~/.config/mr/*

config-tmuxinator.git  
    -> ~/.tmuxinator/*

config-vim.git
    -> ~/.vimrc
    -> ~/.vim/*

config-bin.git   
    -> ~/bin/*

config-git.git          
    -> ~/.gitconfig

config-tmux.git  
    -> ~/.tmux.conf    

config-zsh.git
    -> ~/.zshrc

How can this be? The key here is to use vcsh to keep track of your dot-files, and its partner myrepos/mr for operating on many repositories at the same time.

I discovere…

Always use git-svn with --prefix

TLDR: I've recently been forced back into using git-svn, and while I was at it, I noticed that git-svn generally behaves a lot better when it is initialized using the --prefix option.

Frankly, I can't see any reason why you would ever want to use git-svn without --prefix. It even added some major simplifications to my old git-svn mirror setup.

Update: Some of the advantages of this solution will disappear in newer versions of Git.

For example, make a standard-layout svn clone:

$ git svn clone -s https://svn.company.com/repos/project-foo/

You'll get this .git/config:

[svn-remote "svn"]
        url = https://svn.company.com/repos/
        fetch = project-foo/trunk:refs/remotes/trunk
        branches = project-foo/branches/*:refs/remotes/*
        tags = project-foo/tags/*:refs/remotes/tags/*

And the remote branches looks like this (git branch -a):
    remotes/trunk
    remotes/feat-bar

(Compared to regular remote branches, they look very odd because there is no remote name i…

Joining eyeo: A Year in Review

It's been well over a year since I joined eyeo. And 'tis the season for yearly reviews, so...

It's been pretty wild. So many times I thought "this stuff really deserves a bloggin", but then it was too inviting to grab onto the next thing and get that rolling.

Instead of taking a deep dive into some topic already, I want to scan through that year in review and think for myself, what were the big things, the important things, the things I achieved, and the things I learned. And then later on, if I ever get around to it, grab one of these topics and elaborate in a dedicated blog-post. Like a bucket-list of the blog posts that I should have written. Here goes:
How given no other structures, silos will grow by themselves This was my initial shock after joining the company. Only a few years after taking off as a startup, the hedges began growing, seemingly almost by themselves, and against the will of the founders. I've worked in silos, and in companies without the…

Automating Computer Setup with Boxen

I just finished setting up a new laptop at work, and in doing so I revamped my personal computer automation quite a bit. I set up Boxen for installing software, and I improved my handling of dot-files using vcsh, which I'll cover in the next blog-post after this one.

Since it's a Mac, it doesn't come with any reasonable package manager built in. A lot of people get along with a combination of homebrew or MacPorts plus manual installs, but this time I took it a step further and decided to install all the "desktop" tools like VLC and Spotify using GitHub's Boxen:

  include vlc
  include cyberduck
  include pgadmin3
  include spotify
  include jumpcut
  include googledrive
  include virtualbox

If the above excerpt looks like Puppet to you, it's because it is. The nice thing about this is that I can apply the same puppet scripts on my Ubuntu machines as well. Boxen is Mac-specific, Puppet is not.

It was a little weird to get started with Boxen, as you're offered…