This page talks about what you need to make sure you have before you install gitolite. For most people, this is not a big deal, but please read through it anyway. If you want to make sure, there's a section on trying it out safely.

1 your skills

2 your server

3 you and your users' clients

4 cautions and caveats

Please take note of the following points:

(For your entertainment, here are some requests I have refused over the years).

5 trying out gitolite safely

If you're not sure if gitolite is right for you or your system, it's easy to take it for a trial run, in ssh mode, and play with all of its features (except mirroring). This is very safe, and does not affect anything on your system permanently.

WARNING: this will clobber these files and directories in your $HOME. Ideally, you should use a throwaway userid.

Just create a throw-away userid, log in to it, then run these commands:

git clone git://
cd gitolite
prove t/ssh*

You will get an error that forces you to read t/README and set an env var before the test can proceed. This is intentional; I've had people who don't pay attention to the "data loss" warning, and then complain that it was not prominent enough. Forcing them to read a much smaller page appears to focus their attention better!

If it doesn't work, re-read this page to see if you may have missed something that gitolite requires, or ask for support.

If it works, you get a gitolite installation with 7 gitolite users ("admin", and "u1" through "u6").

Don't forget that the client and the server are all on the same user on the same machine; we're simulating 7 gitolite users using ssh keys! (How? Maybe ~/.ssh/config will give you a hint).

URLs look like user:repo, so for example you can clone the admin repo by git clone admin:gitolite-admin. Remote commands look like ssh u1 info.

So start by cloning the admin repo, and try out whatever you want!