(Original version thanks to teemu dot matilainen at iki dot fi.)

Note: this won't work unless the rc file has the right settings; please see $GIT_CONFIG_KEYS in the rc file doc.

1 basic syntax

The syntax is simple:

config sectionname.keyname = value

For example:

repo gitolite
    config hooks.mailinglist = gitolite-commits@example.tld
    config hooks.emailprefix = "[gitolite] "
    config foo.bar = ""

This does either a plain "git config section.key value" (for the first 2 examples above) or "git config --unset-all section.key" (for the last example). Other forms of the git config command (--add, the value_regex, etc) are not supported.

1.1 an important warning about deleting a config line

WARNING: simply deleting the config line from the conf/gitolite.conf file will not delete the variable from repo.git/config. You have to use the syntax in the last example to make gitolite execute a --unset-all operation on the given key.

2 substituting the repo name and the creator name

You can also use the special values %GL_REPO and %GL_CREATOR in the string. The former is available to all repos, while the latter is only available to wild repos.

repo foo bar baz
    config hooks.mailinglist = %GL_REPO-commits@example.tld
    config hooks.emailprefix = "[%GL_REPO] "

3 (v3.6.7+) expanding a group name

If you add


to the rc file (suggested location: just after the GIT_CONFIG_KEYS line), then the value of a config line will have groupnames expanded. For example:

@admins = sitaramc@gmail.com jdoe@example.com
repo foo
    config hooks.mailinglist = @admins

will behave as if the two email addresses were explicitly listed in the config line. However, if there is no such group, the text will be left as-is. Also, for safety, only word characters (alphanumerics and underscore) are expected as part of the group name.

4 overriding config values

You can repeat the 'config' line as many times as you like, and the last occurrence will be the one in effect. This allows you to override settings just for one project, as in this example:

repo @all
    config hooks.mailinglist = %GL_REPO-commits@example.tld
    config hooks.emailprefix = "[%GL_REPO] "

# ... later ...

repo customer-project
    # different mailing list
    config hooks.mailinglist = announce@customer.tld

The "delete config variable" syntax can also be used, if you wish:

repo secret     # no emails for this one please
    config hooks.mailinglist = ""
    config hooks.emailprefix = ""

As you can see, the general idea is to place the most generic ones (repo @all, or repo regex like repo foo.*) first, and place more specific ones later to override the generic settings.

5 compensating for UNSAFE_PATT

An important feature in gitolite is that you can share the admin load with more people, without having to give all of them shell access on the server. Thus there are some restrictions designed to prevent someone who can push the gitolite-admin repo, from somehow managing to run arbitrary commands on the server.

This section is about one of these restrictions.

Gitolite, by default, does not allow the following characters in the value of a config variable: ` ~ # $ & ( ) | ; < >. This is due to unspecified paranoia; see this discussion for some context. This restriction is enforced by a regex called UNSAFE_PATT, whose default value is [`~#\$\&()|;<>].

But let's say you need to do this, which fails due to the semicolon.

config hooks.showrev = "git show -C %s; echo"

There are two ways to fix this.

If all your admins already have shell access, you can override this by placing a modified version in the rc file. For our example, you'd just put the following line at the very end of your rc file, just before the 1; line (notice there is no semicolon in the regex here):

$UNSAFE_PATT          = qr([`~#\$\&()|<>]);

Similarly, you can remove other characters from that regex (to allow those characters in your config values).

If all your admins do not have shell access, you need a more fine-grained method:

    config hooks.showrev = %SHOWREV

This mechanism allows you to add any number of specific violations to the UNSAFE_PATT rule instead of denaturing the regex itself and potentially allowing something that could be (ab)used by a repo admin to obtain shell access at some later point in time.

A similar problem arises with email addresses, which contain the < and > characters. Here's how to deal with that easily:

    config hooks.mailinglist = "Sitaram Chamarty %LTsitaramc@gmail.com%GT"

Admittedly, that looks a wee bit ugly, but it gets the job done without having to remove angle brackets from UNSAFE_PATT.