Git Web Applications (aka GitHub Alternatives)

I’ve been through the mill with a few of these and it’s a growing list of options. I should start by saying that I love GitHub and use it regularly for a large number of projects (including some of my own, some for my company and some for my customers). The only problem I have with GitHub is that I just haven’t made the jump to trust it with our proprietary code – the primary asset of the company. Particularly after a high profile security breech.

Now, nothing I’ve come across yet comes close to GitHub. But two we use daily have good matching features:

  • Gitorious –  whether they intended it or not, it’s a good clone of GitHub but always a little behind on features. It’s also a Ruby on Rails application and the documentation is getting far better. When we started, it was pretty… shite, to be honest. Installing and upgrading was a pain. They have addressed this with http://getgitorious.com/ which includes a virtual appliance for VirtualBox so you can be up and running in minutes.
  • Atlassian Stash – if you’re a small team (<= 10 users) then this could be for you. Installation is pretty easy, it looks great, is very fast (over HTTP/S, but it’s inbuilt SSH client is extremely slow) and is very easy to use. Pull requests are also done really really well. It’s a full Java webapp so it does require some CPU and memory. For <= 10 users, my definite favorite. Thereafter though it gets expensive – e.g. for up to 25 users you’ll fork out $1,800 / annum. That’s not entirely unaffordable but if you’re using Stash, then you may also be using their other products such as Jira, Confluence, Bamboo, Fisheye and Crucible. Now that adds up to a hefty bill!

One’s I have not tested and so cannot speak authoritively on include:

  • GitLab – Looks like a very interesting alternative.
  • RhodeCode – they say it will “change the way you manage your code”.
  • Gitolite – a quick look at the available information for this definitely puts it in the also ran category. There’s no polish or anything nice to entice one to even try it.
  • Gitosis – in their own words: “Manage git repositories, provide access to them over SSH, with tight access control and not needing shell accounts”. The project appears dead.

 

Specifying Specific SSH Keys for Git Remotes

When using Git via SSH with services such as GitHub and Gitorious, it can be useful to use specific / different ssh keys than your default.

This is accomplished with an entry such as the following in your ~/.ssh/config:

You then specify this remote as follows in .git/config:

Migrating SVN with Branches and Tags to Git

Following my love affair with Git, I’ve also started using a local install of Gitorious for private and commercial projects at Open Solutions. Before Gitorious, this meant setting up authentication and Apache aliases for each new Git repository which meant we were pretty disinclined to create repositories when we should have.

With Gitorious, it’s just a couple of clicks and we have internal public repositories, team repositories or individual developer private repositories. It’s grrrrrrreat!

Last night and this morning, I’ve stated a process of finding the many SVN repositories I / we have scattered around to import them into Git (with all branches and tags). Here’s the process:

Importing Subversion Repositories with Branches and Tags to Git

1. Create a users file so you can correctly map SVN commit usernames to Git users. For example, users.txt:

2. Now clone the Subversion repository:

3. Now we have all the SVN repository. We need to create Git tags to match the SVN tags:

4. Now we need to create matching branches:

5. To help speed up a remote push, we’ll compact the repository:

6. Then we remove the meta-data that was used by git-svn:

7. And finally, we push it to our own Gitorious server:

References:

  1. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3239759/checkout-remote-branch-using-git-svn
  2. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/79165/how-to-migrate-svn-with-history-to-a-new-git-repository
  3. http://blog.zobie.com/2008/12/migrating-from-svn-to-git/