git ready

learn git one commit at a time
by Nick Quaranto

sharing your changes

committed 24 Jan 2009

Git’s distributed nature does not rely on central servers to host and broadcast your code. There’s more options available to you if for some reason your main server goes down, or perhaps when GitHub goes down.

Probably the easiest way to quickly export and share your code in this case is by making a bare clone of your repository, which contains only the stuff in the .git directory that’s usually at your project’s root folder. Since this one folder has all of the history stored in it, you can easily extract anything you need from it. Simply do:

git clone --bare ~/Dev/ruby/jekyll jekyll.git

and then upload the folder to a server somewhere, share it for others to find on your machine, etc. Copying it down onto your machine and doing these commands will restore the repository:

$ mkdir test
$ mv jekyll.git test/.git
$ cd test
$ git init
  Reinitialized existing Git repository in /Users/qrush/Dev/test/.git/
$ git checkout -f

So we’ve created a new folder for the repo, changed the folder name back to .git, woke git back up and restored all the changes from the latest commit.

You could also use the git-daemon to quickly serve up files using the git:// protocol. It will automatically serve up projects in subfolders, so for my ruby directory doing:

git daemon --base-path=~/Dev/ruby --export-all

will then allow you to clone the jekyll repository on another machine using:

git clone git://<ip-address>/jekyll

Make sure to check that port 4918 is open on your network for this transfer. If not, just configure a different one using the --port option. Refer to the manpage if it still doens’t work for you.

Using TCP is boring! What if you want to be able to get my changes over HTTP? Well, you’re in luck, Git can serve that up too. Doing these three commands should do the trick:

git --bare update-server-info
mv hooks/post-update.sample hooks/post-update
chmod a+x hooks/post-update

These basically prepare Git for access via a web browser. Provided Apache or your favorite server is set up to host that directory, you should be able to clone over http like so:

git clone

There’s plenty of other options as well. You could use OSX’s built in web sharing along with the previous technique to host it from your own machine. You could also use an ssh address if you have an ssh account set up on the server you want to share your code from.

If you’ve got any other handy ideas on how to share your repository, let us know in the comments!