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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!

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