Book Image

Gitolite Essentials

By : Sitaram Chamarty
Book Image

Gitolite Essentials

By: Sitaram Chamarty

Overview of this book

Table of Contents (19 chapters)
Gitolite Essentials
About the Author
About the Reviewers

Gitolite and the Git control flow

Conceptually, Gitolite is a very simple program. To see how it controls access to a Git repository, let us first look at how control flows from the client to the server in a normal git operation (say git fetch) when using plain ssh:

When the user executes a git clone, fetch, or push, the Git client invokes ssh, passing it a command (either git-upload-pack or git-receive-pack, depending on whether the user is reading or writing). The local ssh client passes this to the server, and assuming authentication succeeds, that command gets executed on the server.

With Gitolite installed, the ssh daemon does not invoke the git-upload-pack or git-receive-pack directly. Instead, it calls a program called gitolite-shell, which changes the control flow as follows:

First, notice that nothing changes on the Git client side in any way; the changes are only on the server side. In fact, unless an access violation happens and an error message needs to be sent to the user, the user may not even know that Gitolite is installed!

Second, notice the red link from Gitolite's shell program to the git-upload-pack program. This call does not happen if Gitolite determines that the user does not have the appropriate access to the repo concerned. This access check happens for both read (that is, git fetch and git clone commands) and write (git push) operations; although for writes, there are more checks that happen later.