Once you have your own VPS or other Internet-available server, you can start hosting your own git repositories. The goal of this tutorial is for you to go from
git clone github.com/...
git clone YourLandChadDomainName.xyz/...
so you can cultivate your own homegrown, grass-fed code, rather than relying on a centralized proprietary service like GitHub.
You most likely already have it installed on your server, but if not, run:
apt install git
We don't need any additional software,
git itself ships
with everything needed to host a remote repository!
Creating bare repositories
For each repository you want to host, you will need to manually create what's called a "bare" repository on your server. These hold all the commits and any other git data needed for your repository, but without an expanded "index" in which you can just browse all the files of a certain commit in the file system.
These repositories need to be owned by the
git user, and
you should probably pick a directory where you will store them all. One
sane choice is under
/srv/git/, and we will use this as the
example directory for the rest of the tutorial, but any other path will
do as well.
Become the git user and create the directory
If you're logged in to your server as root and have
installed, you can become the
git user by executing
Now navigate to/create your desired directory, for example
cd /srv mkdir git
Create the repo
Now you can create the bare repository with
git init --bare my-repo.git
By convention, bare repository names end with ".git".
Repeat the above command for any other repositories you want to host.
Syncing local repositories with your server
Set up SSH login for the git user
You will need to be able to login remotely via
ssh as the
git user we've used before. To do this, you will either
need to set up a password for the
git user by running
or copy your public SSH key from your local machine to
See the SSH keys instructional for details
(just log in as
git instead of
Syncing a new repository with your server
If you've just created a new repository on your local machine, you will
need to tell
git where the remote repository is to be able
to sync with it (using commands like
git push or
git pull). We do this by defining a "remote" for your
A remote is just a named URL remembered in your repo's configuration. So
we need a name and a URL. By convention, the "main" remote is called
"origin". The URL has the format
gituser we've already worked with before.
hostis your domain name. Alternatively you could even use your server's raw IP address.
pathis the absolute path to the repository on the server, in our example
So, to create a new remote, run:
git remote add origin firstname.lastname@example.org:/srv/git/my-repo.git
Now you'll be able to run
git push origin master to push
your commits or
git pull origin to pull from the remote.
Syncing an existing repository
If you've already set up your local repository to sync with a service like GitHub it probably already has a remote called "origin". You can see your repo's remotes with:
git remote -v
You can follow the above instructions, substituting an arbitrary other name other than "origin" to create a differently named remote, e.g.
git remote add vps git@...
Now you'll be able to push/pull with
git push vps master
git pull vps, respectively.
Or, to completely sever ties with your centralized git provider, first
remove the original origin with:
git remote remove origin
and then follow the instructions as above.