allowing access to gitweb and git-daemon

Gitolite does not install or configure gitweb/git-daemon -- that is a one-time setup you must do separately.


The following repos are deemed to be readable by gitweb:

  • Any repos readable by the special user gitweb.
  • Any repos containing one or more of the following types of lines: (actually, any config variable starting with gitweb).

    config gitweb.owner         =   owner name
    config gitweb.description   =   some description
    config gitweb.category      =   some category

    Side note: the following shorter forms are available as syntactic sugar for the above longer forms:

    owner       =   owner name
    desc        =   some description
    category    =   some category

The list of gitweb-readable repos is written to a file whose name is given by the rc file variable GITWEB_PROJECTS_LIST. The default value of this variable, if it is not specified or empty, is $HOME/projects.list.

In addition, each of the config variables described above is written to the repo to which it pertains, so that gitweb can use them.

changing the UMASK

Gitweb (or cgit, redmine, etc.) typically runs under a different userid, and the default permissions that gitolite sets make them unreadable.

See the section on the UMASK variable in the page for the rc file.

repo-specific authorisation in gitweb

Gitweb has a feature whereby it will call a (perl) function that you supply, passing it the full path to the repo being accessed. If the remote user is authenticated, the username will be available, so your function can take those two pieces of information and return true or false to allow or deny the repository access.

If you want to use gitolite's access rules in making this determination, you will first have to ensure that the HTTP username (i.e., the username known to apache/gitweb) is the same as the gitolite username. If you're using gitolite's http mode, this is probably already true, but if you're using the more widely used ssh mode, you'll have to make sure they match.

You then need to add this code to your gitweb.conf.


Any repo readable by the special user daemon is deemed to be readable by git-daemon. For each of these repos, an empty file called git-daemon-export-ok is created in the repository (i.e., the repo.git directory inside $HOME/repositories).


Setting descriptions en-masse usually does not make sense, but you can certainly do things like

repo @all
    R       =   gitweb daemon

assuming you have other means of setting 'gitweb.description' and 'gitweb.owner'.

Also see this for a twist on that.